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New York Downs Old Blue

Saturday Sep 19, 2009 in Amateur Competitions Division I Clubs

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The New York Rugby Club defeated Old Blue 26-10 Saturday under spectacular sunny skies at the club’s new home field, recently the venue for the All-Star 7s Championships.

Both teams were 1-0 in MetNY Union play. Old Blue had won easily over Connecticut and New York was shaky in downing Morris.

New York’s team featured no territorial senior men's players, but, have been working with Director of Rugby Drew Fautley for the last six months and his mantra of "Team" and "Accountability" was going to be put to the test.

Right from the opening kickoff, New York put Old Blue on their back foot. Within two minutes, Old Blue committed a penalty and NY captain Matt Venzin slotted the kick for the 3-0 lead.

New York played to their game plan perfectly and did not give Old Blue room to create.

“Our defensive structure has been a work in progress for a while now and I am so pleased that the lads took ownership of it and put so much pressure on Old Blue" said Fautley.

In the 12th minute, the constant pressure paid off as NY turned the ball over and transitioned to offense quickly. Flanker AJ Cush-Fautley sent the ball out quickly to wing Donald Walters, who was in the corner for the try. The half ended with yet another penalty converted by Venzin.

"I had to remind the lads that this opponent was not going to lie down and let us win, I wanted them to come out of the break with an adjusted confidence and not arrogance just because we were ahead by eleven" said Fautley. "We knew they were going to bring everything they had and we had to take the game to them".

Within five minutes, Fautley got his wish and Venzin finished off a smooth scrum move to score.

Down sixteen points, Old Blue changed on the fly and came at New York with everything. Now the pressure was on New York and after losing two players to yellow cards, New York’s remaining 13 players were tested.

Old Blue took advantage of their chances and scored twice to make it 16-10 with 20 minutes to go.

But New York finished the stronger.

"We have been working closely with a guest coach, Shane Lehane, from Ireland, as Strength and Conditioning Coach and it really paid off today" Fautley said.

Venzin again scored and then prop Danny Sonon ran in a long-range score to finish the game off 26-10.

New York is alone atop the MetNY league with a 2-0 record.

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