Naples over Orlando 69-41
Saturday, Orlando traveled South to face Naples, the #1 seed in the state. Orlando was missing a good deal of starters, mainly due to injury, but was able to bring a solid side of 22 players despite. The first half of the match was rough as Naples went up by 40 at the half. Orlando’s defense wasn’t attacking as a flat line, and as a result, Naples was able to find the gaps. The counter attacks looked like a 7’s match, and Naples was able to poach the ball at will. Orlando managed a penalty kick and a try with conversion, both by Captain Eugene Louw. One noticeable factor for the Griffins was bickering amongst the team once frustration set in. Halftime primarily focused on being positive, playing as a team, and picking one another up and the second half was far different. Orlando moved the ball well, rucking and ball retention looked good, and Orlando fought back to put up another 38 points in the second forty, outscoring Naples 38-19 in the half. It wasn’t enough, however, as the final score saw Naples walking away with a 69-41 victory.
Some positive notes from Saturday: PJ Scott earned his first start and played brilliant rugby all afternoon, deserving of “Man of the Match.” Phillip Moore, who started his rugby career just a couple of weeks ago, filled in at wing and did very well, Mike Shope, Eugene Louw, and Pedro Tonietto all impressed with their solid play. Despite a disappointing result, I can say I was proud of everyone that travelled. Nobody gave up and everyone walked away with their heads held high. Orlando has it’s final match on 3/16, as they travel south again to play the #2 seed, Boca Raton. Thank you to all of the Old Boys for your support this season.