JANUARY 30, 2012
On the Saturday the 28th of January, Olde Grey traveled 4.5 hours to North Carolina to play a pre-season friendly against the Marines of Camp Lejeune. Having been rained out, and ultimately losing against a spirited Augusta side the weekend prior, Columbia had ironed out what few wrinkles were present and presented against Augusta, and traveled ready for a hard nosed game of rugby.
The game started with OG kicking to Lejeune, and quickly regained possession through a turnover, a theme that would run strongly through the day. After a little back and forth, and a scrum awarded to OG, our flanker, Day Day broke through only to have his try deemed incorrectly a knock on. Not to be discouraged, OG scored shortly later on a great rumbling play by the forwards. The conversion was missed, and OG received the kick off well. The other theme throughout the day was penalties. OG gave Lejeune 40 yards in penalties, which ended in a rumbling run by their lock, and a score. Conversion missed, it was back to business for OG, notching up another score via a Try, and then a penalty kick through the uprights just before the half. Score at halftime, OG 13, Lejeune 5. There was an abbreviated second half, as Lejeune had plenty of new players to blood, and an agreement was met to have a 20 minute second half, so as to not have the youngsters first rugby game be a bad affair. The second half started with a Lejeune knock on missed and quick thinking by their winger in the absence of a whistle gave them a try, conversion missed. But in the dying minutes, a scathing run by Matt Holsopple gave OG a cushion, with the conversion narrowly missed in decent winds. Final score OG 18, Lejeune 12.
DECEMBER 3, 2011
On Saturday, December 3rd, Olde Grey, plus a couple of guest players, traveled to Charleston, SC for the annual Toys for Tots tournament hosted by the Charleston Outlaws. The weather was a little chilly but the sky was clear and the day beautiful on the Citadel parade field for a long day of charity rugby. There were three college womens teams from the Citadel, College of Charleston, and Georgia Southern University. Three college mens teams from the Citadel, College of Charleston, and the University of North Carolina. Four senior mens team included the Charleston Outlaws, Augusta Maddogs, Camp Lejeune Misfits, and Columbia Olde Grey.
Game 1 - Augusta
Old Grey played with 11 team members plus 2 non-OG extras we recruited at the game. We held them pretty well the first half, but frustrations boiled over during the second half. We picked up another player to make it 14, after which Neil. Bruce joined Neil after a questionable call that resulted in a try for Augusta. Ryan showed up just in time to bring the team back up to 13 again. After Neil's return another player was sent off. Augusta won by about 10.
Game 2 - Charleston
Ahhh Charleston, a hell of a game! One of the better we have played in a while. With a full squad on the field, the games was very back and forth and ending the first half at 0-0. This was against pretty much their full back line and a few of their forwards mixed in with some olde boys. Second half was back and forth with scoring: 5-5 before a penalty made it 8-5, then 13-5, then 13-10. Charleston played very well to the dying moments, sneaking two more in to make it 21-10.
Game 3 - Camp Lejune
Well they are Marines, so we knew we were in for a physical game. We had picked up a few players loaned from Lejune and other teams. We ended up having to borrow from Lejune, which was good of them. This game was a beauty, they, as expected were a very physical team, very scrappy, and hard running. Score was never more than 5 points apart, and we had them until a turn over while at our 5m line gave Lejune a score. We were still up by 2 at that time with a great try by Stumpy and an even better intercept try by Tyler. We eventually ran out of gas, and they ran one in to win by 3.
Overall, a much better effort all around by everyone. it was good to get out there and put what we have been doing the last three weeks into action. Despite our being a motley crew, we teamed up well together.
Thanks again to those that made the commitment to come out and play today, I am honored to be playing with you gents.
SEPTEMBER 10, 2011
The sky opened up and let the sun shine down on the players and the crowd this past Saturday afternoon. The Columbia Olde Grey had their first match of the Fall against a motley mix of USC Columbia ruggers at the Strom Thurmond complex fields of USC's campus. The belly butterflies created a faint breeze that brought in the odor of both uncertainty and optimism from the Rhinos starting line up that had an array of rookies and steeped veterans in this ay of life we call rugby.
POSSESSION: US 45% THEM 55%
PENALTIES: 19 5
SCRUMMAGE: OFFENSIVE 8 DEFENSIVE 14
SCRUMMAGE STEALS/SPOILS: 3
LINE OUTS: 6 OFFENSIVE ( 3 LOST TO NOT STRAIGHT THROWS)
LINE OUTS: 12 DEFENSIVE ( 4 WERE STOLEN/SPOILED)
KNOCK ONS: 7
FORWARD PASS: 4
11:54 Todd Shuster
27:27 Rob Bortins
46:21 Neil Pitcher
2 conversions completed.
SIN BINS: Ryan Grigsly for diving over ruck and Max for high tackle/playing the man.
The game was enjoyable to watch. It is easy to sit on the fence and sit with the peanut gallery and pick the game to pieces. It is obvious that there is much to work on. Captains Neil and Bruce will sort that out.
Sorry I couldn't be there for the full stats of the second match,
DEFENSE: There was no attack on our part. We let them bring the ball to us. The gain line was met by them over 90 pecent of their carries. The goal line defense was as secure as our border with Mexico.
SELFISH PLAY: Lost us an easy 4 tries due to shutting down our own support to easy passes. Sharing is important, as long as it is only with your team.
VISION; Sort of goes back to the defense and passing. We are not aware of the opponents positioning. Any decent team would capitalize on the many times we gave 5 to 1 or greater overloads with the defense huddled over a breakdown. If you use your eyes you can find people to pass to.
SIMPLICITY: This will win games for us.
Once again I must say it was a great day overall. I imagine the social was good, sorry I couldn't be there.
The competition will get better as the season progresses. Keep your heads up and remember that when you complicate things it increases mistakes. Sadly, our mistakes have been the bread and butter of our opponents for far to long.