Phoenix Academy Beat Chapin RFC

Nov. 8, 2014

Updated Friday November 21, 2014 by Alpharetta Phoenix Rugby.

After a year's gap, Phoenix welcomed our old sparring partners, Chapin, to Atlanta in the first game of a home and away series. The game was played on the grass field at Independence High School due to North Park being unavailable on the day. Sterling work prior to the game by Coach Clinton, assisted by Coach Lukas, ensured that we had a field marked for rugby for this eagerly anticipated fixture. The day was both dry and bright ---- a perfect day for rugby!

Phoenix, with a large player pool to choose from, fielded an almost full strength side while Chapin travelled with a 21 man squad. Phoenix captain of the day was scrum half Austin Willis.

The home side opened well and quickly established a territorial edge in the Chapin half of the field that they refused to give up for almost the entire half. Spirited defense from the Chapin team kept Phoenix from scoring more but the 18 to 5 really could have been more. The Chapin boys operated as a pack whereas the Phoenix forwards seemed less of a unit and this was telling at the all-important rucks. Phoenix need to grasp the concept that rugby is a team as opposed to an individual game and they would dominant many an opponent as a result. Cristian Calvallo was a dominant presence in the first half scoring three individual tries with storming runs at the Chapin defense. A loss of concentration and weak tackling led to a Chapin try toward the end of the half.

The second half saw Phoenix continue their control of the game with outstanding contributions from Chris Bagby with two tries and Omari Rincon with one --- both were making their Phoenix starting debut! Mention should also be made of some terrific tackles from Jess Faz coming of the bench at fullback. Unfortunately Phoenix incurred some injuries in what was a very physical contest. Nick Koumandarakis incurred a broken leg while Nico Bean was forced off the field with a shoulder injury. We wish both a speedy recovery.

The game closed with a try from Chapin that should have been called back for a knock on but an 18 to 5 score line was a fair indication of play in the second half. The game closed with a final score line of Phoenix 36 : Chapin 10 with the final game in the series at Chapin next week. Phoenix should know that Chapin will be very reluctant to surrender two games in a row to their Georgia rivals! Many thanks to Clinton Cridick for both preparing the field and providing a refereeing master class.

Niall Fenton