The Empire Rugby Conference’s current number 1 seed, the Binghamton Devils, had a huge match this weekend against the ERC’s second seed, the Fordham Rams. Right from the start of the rainy Sunday afternoon, both sides knew this was going to be a hard fought game.
The tone was set early by the Devils as they drove down the field and held the ball in Fordham’s territory for the majority of the first 20 minutes. Binghamton came away with 3 quick points off of fly half Brandon Healy’s boot. The Devils went up 3-0. After the ensuing kick off, Binghamton continued applying pressure to Fordham’s defense. The Devils lead down the field with powerful pack play, and lock Jason McKenna capped off the drive with a try. The Devils went up 8-0. Although Binghamton was controlling the game up until this point, the Rams did not give up so easily.
Fordham responded to the 8 point deficit with some offense of their own. The Rams scored a try with a successful conversion and a penalty kick before the half’s end to take a 10-8 lead.
The second half was certainly a defensive battle as the score stayed stagnant until the final minutes. Although the Devils and the Rams both had good ball movement, the opposing defenses refused to concede a score. However, Binghamton finally took the lead after a 30-meter penalty kick from Brandon Healy. The Devils were now up 11-10 late in the second half. With only minutes remaining on the clock, Binghamton’s defense held strong to close out this thrilling game and take away a W.
After the game, Devils captain Pierce Butler said, “The game was really tight and gritty the entire 80 minutes. Because of the rough weather, it was difficult for the backs to get much offense going, so our forwards really stepped up muscling the Fordham pack around the field all day. We have some things we know we need to work on, but I’m glad we were able to stay composed and come away with the victory despite being down close to the final whistle.”
Both teams brought plenty of extra players, so the b sides played 3 30-minute sessions. Although the Rams came away with a 25-15 victory, Devils hooker Stephen Ambrosino scored two tries and prop Ewart Green touched down another.
Next weekend, the Devils are on the road again to Brockport for another crucial match. With only two games left in the regular season, the Devils must treat every game as the most important one of the season.