The 2 day annual tournament brings Rugby Clubs from all over the state. This year was no different as there were representatives from all parts of Florida. The first day for Orlando Men included matches in pool play against D3 Champions Gainesville and D2 Runner Up Ft. Lauderdale.
Orlando beats 2014 D3 Champions Gainesville 22-11
Orlando took the first match against Gainesville with Micah Kropp showing how dangerous he is on the wing, leading the team to a 22-11 win over the D3 Champion Hogs. The game started slow for Orlando in the Back Line as bad passing and penalties at the breakdown led to a lackluster first 25 minutes, but The Griffins came out strong in the second half holding possession for most of the match. The Griffins defense was aggressive in this opening game and Gainesville had little opportunity to score until the waning moments of the game. In the dying moments Gainesville put across a try to make the match appear closer in score than it was on the pitch as Orlando was in control for the entirety.
Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale battle to a close call 17-20
This match-up was a test that would measure Orlando against high level D2 competition as Ft. Lauderdale ended up in second place last year in Florida D2. The first 25 minutes saw hard hits by both clubs and the intensity of this match was definitely dialed up in anticipation of a semi-final berth as Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale had just won their first matches of the tournament.
Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale exchanged tries in the first half but as penalties slowed the flow of tha game Orlando grabbed the lead before half going in up 10-7 over Ft. Lauderdale. The second half started with Ft. Lauderdale closing the gap with a penalty conversion making the game 10-10. Orlando then gained possesion and through hard work from the pack drove down the pitch to put in a try. Dylan Hamilton showed great skill and composure from the 10 spot and hit an amazing sideline conversion to put Orlando up 17-10. This score held true until the final 10 minutes of the match whenever Ft. Lauderdale without any open field play used 3 consecutive penalties to move down the pitch and tie the game up at 17-17. Then with no time left on the game clock Ft. Lauderdale again used penalties to kick a conversion to put away the far more aggresive Griffins 17-20. This was the best match of the tournament and be assured that this matrix match-up will be a tasty one.