Match Report: 2/22 at Jacksonville
On Saturday, February 22, your Orlando RFC traveled to Jacksonville to play the rescheduled matrix match. It was a beautiful, sunny day at Huffman Park. The pitch was dry and the wind was an indication that prepared fitness would be of the essence. Jacksonville struck early on a penalty kick. Following the points, a kick for touch resulted in from by all accounts a hard fought goal line stand where the defensive persistence was finally outmatched, with a Jacksonville score. Lack of confidence in officiating aside, the rest of the first half combined with the entire second half saw sloppy, mismanaged breakdowns. The difference came in the second half when Orlando saw multiple, clean attempts at nearly full length pitch tries, two of which were called back with the opposing touch judge and referee determining the runner had gone into touch before grounding the ball. In the second half, Orlando used exceptional open field play and erased a twenty-point deficit down to six, with a prop in the bin nonetheless. After our man was brought back on, another was sent off. Using the man advantage, Jacksonville scored the dagger resulting in a 37 – 24 L for Orlando RFC. Tries scored on the day go to Will Doherty skipping and playing eight, Juan Dengel playing inside center, Sam Nelson playing wing, and Bart Longchamp playing flanker. Orlando awarded Eric Jacovetti (playing scrumhalf) with the Man of the Match honors, a welcome form of encouragement to play at a higher level to finish out the season strongly.
The B-side match was, again, a modified 10s format. Orlando and Jacksonville went blow for blow resulting in a small Jacksonville victory, and a universal, full-blown thirst for payback from the club, in general, for the second trip we make there in three short weeks. No Man of the Match honors were provided for either club, but with more than half the side playing in unfamiliar positions, this match and the first both showcased the obvious talent we possess among our ranks and the even more obvious need to demonstrate it through cooperation.
This week, Orlando RFC hosts its final home match of the year against Naples. We really are grateful for all the continued support and look forward to seeing faces both familiar and unfamiliar at this match. Make no mistake; if you are in attendance you will have a good time. We’ll see you on the pitch.