Phoenix Rugby Club Academy U-19 vs. Pope Greyhounds RFC, Nov. 6, 2013

Updated Sunday September 14, 2014 by Alpharetta Phoenix Rugby.

The Phoenix HS boys played their second match of the 2013 Fall Season at North park on Wednesday, November 6 versus Pope Greyhounds RFC.

We were blessed with a terrific evening for rugby under the lights with the Pope team reinforced on the night with a number of guest players from Norsemen RFC. Phoenix HS, captained ably once again by Doran Erickson, started with great energy and the forwards quickly asserted themselves over the Pope pack. It was through this forward dominance that Phoenix controlled the match throughout and really did not allow the Pope team to settle. The game featured rolling substitutions on both sides in order to allow the coaches to assess as many players as possible in a variety of playing positions. Phoenix led the encounter by 43 points to zero at the half with some dominant forward play from at the scrum, lineout and breakdown. Joe Lynch, Chandler Cox and Tanner Simpson were particularly effective with some sterling carries and good rucking. Overall the level of physicality was excellent with few mistakes but offloading needs to improve with fewer individual charges resulting in slow secondary possession phases. We will be working on this aspect in practice this week. In the backs, Garrick Glaudin and Trey Gibson continued to impress with their pace and improving rugby skills.

The second half did not yield the same level of Phoenix scoring as we saw in the first but this was probably due to the myriad number of personnel changes made by the coaches combined with some conditioning issues. However, it was an opportunity to give some of our less experienced and under-age players some valuable game time and I am pleased to report that all acquitted themselves well in true Phoenix tradition. Our boys handled themselves very well when tempers flared in the opposition camp and refused to react when severly provoked -- we expect nothing less from Phoenix members. Our half back combination of Sven Leicher, Nico Bein and Lechandt Opperman worked well with Kyle Lattanzi looking very comfortable at fullback. Tyler Simpson, in the swan song of his illustrious Phoenix career, was a dominant player on the field with scorching runs with ball in hand. The match finished with Phoenix running out the winners by a score of 54 to 7, Pope scoring a late consolation try. One of the highlights of the evening however, came at the very end when Jack Robertson, elevated from the Colts roster, scored an opportunistic try to finish the Phoenix scoring --- well done Jack!

All in all, a tangible improvement over our performance in the earlier Lambert RFC game and a good portent of things to come from this young Phoenix team. Practice will, as always, be the key to future success...