Gold defeated Burlington in their second match of the day Saturday by a score of 33-10. OGRFC went into this game with plenty to prove after Burlington played a spineless bureaucratic card in the Fall to rob Old Gold of their win on a technicality. The first try came after about 5 minutes after a typical Tongan hit-up by Simi Lui smashed the Burlington tacklers back. Great hands in a tricky pick-up by Jason Caron, the trusty old man at fly-half, got the ball quickly to Filipe “the Ox” Saafi and on to Irishstew who hit a great line running straight to an open line. He neatly converted his own try and OGRFC was looking like they could dominate this game. Arturo R2 Barvo Neuvo led the way in pressuring Burlington when they had their rare chance with the ball. The forwards kept the boys from Burlington moving backwards and our backs gave theirs few options and they usually chose to throw the ball away in a panic. R2â€™s pressure paid dividends only minutes after the first try. A good lineout call from about 15 meters out had Masi Konggaika running off the back. The ball was popped down softly by Simi, picked up in one hand by Masi and, to the horror of some spectators including this scribe, kept in only one hand as he barged and dodged his 300 pounds of agile Tongan manflesh through the Burlington team, finally putting the ball down a bit sketchily for a try. Irishstew converted and OGRFC were up by 14 points and could smell more in the Newport breeze. Some more Tongan tackling by Filipe and Sisi Konggaika kept smashing the Burlington players low and hard. Sisi proved that Tongans do bleed and spent the rest of the half with white fluff stuck up his oh-so-pretty nose. Unfortunately, Tim Day took a few minutes too long to prove that Sth Africans can also tackle. The Burlington backs moved the ball wide and when it went to ground Tim went for the ball. The bounce favored Burlington and they were in for a soft try. The conversion was missed. A lovely break down the sideline by Justin Wilmot that started with a step and a fend (a spectator was heard to remark that the defender was Justinâ€™s bitch) ended with his twinkle-toes just going into touch. The Burlington team had another chance at a try after they made a break after a penalty was called for not releasing the player. This penalty was the first of about 300 tackle related penalties that were called against OGRFC in the game, eventually leading to the sending off of a couple of players. The break was halted by Tim Day tackling like a ball of noise at shin height on the runaway Vermonter. Jon-Luc Dupuy showed the strength of Brumbieâ€™s flanker George Smith at the breakdown and stole a good ball. If OGRFC can lift the workrate among the loose forwards and keep doing that (staying on our feet, stealing ball, feeding our backs) we can have more great games. As the game went to the half-time break OGRFC forwards showed another weakness; getting driven backwards in mauls as they stayed too upright. Regardless, OGRFC was up 14-5 at the break. The second half provided more good opportunities for OGRFC although the weakness in technique and composure at the breakdown continued to keep the refereeâ€™s whistle busy and gave Burlington some opportunities to pick and drive. However, there was so much ball on offer for OGRFC that minutes later Sam and Irishstew were on a great run. Irishstew used pace and step to maneuver through half a dozen defenders. In a great sign for OGRFC he was well supported at
every turn and could choose not to pass and run with the confidence of back-up. His impact to the game was proven again when Simi popped another ball off the back of the lineout to Masi who only took out a couple of defenders before passing a lovely ball to the backs that kept it moving to the newly arrived Irishman for his second try which he neatly converted. The scribe had been listening to Chuckwhine about getting no game time and was relieved when he was finally substituted on. Within seconds he was on the end of a try from a beautifully executed double-miss move though it appeared he had pulled both hamstrings based on his speed to complete the try. Another conversion for Irishstew. It looked like Irishstew could be up for more conversion work straight off the kick-off as Simi played as the Tongan Torpedo. Unfortunately the ball went to ground dropped by a man whose descendants in Hobbiton probably didnâ€™t play much rugby. The first of the sin-bins came soon after with Craig Welton yellow-carded. It was a great hit out for the big college kid and his intimacy with the nuances of rugby was revealed when he tried to sub someone on to replace him. Tim “Woody” Ward shared his wisdom and almost ran back on. Irishstew made another huge run through the Vermont players and was generous enough to let Old Man Caron finish the movement. The big run took it out of Irishstew and Sam Berry stepped up to take the conversion, missing by only a few dozen feet. Another substitution was made with Eve going on to enjoy perhaps a minute of game time before the refereeâ€™s wrath at the OGRFC failure to roll away from the player had him jogging towards the posts at the far end of the pitch. Burlington managed to get over the line once more in the dying minutes as they tried to bash through the forwards against a side with only 13 men on the pitch. Good use of the overlap! They had just enough time to miss the conversion before the referee blew time. Tries: Irishstew (2), Masi, Chuck, Jason. Conversions: Irishstew (4) Courtesy of Guest Writer Patrick O'Connor Photos from this game are available in the media section!