Article written by Bart Pareschi and published on Wednesday, 17 October 2012. Check out the Brockport loses close match that goes down to the wire article on Empire Rugby Conference web site or read below.
In a highly contested match that went down to the wire, Brockport loses a close match to Binghamton 23-21 coming up 1 FOOT short of the Binghamton try line as Brockport attempted to drive over on a pick and go for the win. Going into the match it was expected to be an epic battle between opposing packs as both teams use their forwards extensively to control possession, the match and ultimately the final result. This match-up would pit the strong inline rucking seen from teams like Binghamton and Bonaventure against the size and physicality of Brockport.
The match started out with Binghamton scoring first, but missing the conversion to take a 5-0 lead at the 10′ mark. Brockport came back 4 minutes later with a nice break in the backs that FB Matt Thompson away for the score – conversion by Wharram for a 7-5 lead to Brockport. For the next 15 minutes the match went back and forth with multiple breaks by both sides stopped by last minute cover defense and big hits by both teams. At 29′ into the game, Binghamton finally put another try on the board to take the lead back 10-7. But Brockport tied the match 3 minutes later at 10-10 with a penalty kick due to infringements around the breakdown, which was followed 2 minutes later by a Binghamton penalty conversion to take the lead back at 34′ at 13-10. Brockport capitalized on another breakdown infringement to tie the match right before half 13-13.
At halftime both teams made slight tactical adjustments, as neither team seemed to be able to control the match for long periods of time and Binghamton’s quick inline rucking and strong gang tackling was slowing Brockport’s attack at the breakdown. Binghamton’s FH was also causing defensive issues for Brockport’s backline defense as he created confusion in the Brockport defense by being allowed to drift across the line under weak pressure and poor tackling.
The opening of the second half saw Binghamton come out on fire and within 4 minutes found their FH exploiting a loose ball that popped out of the scrum – and sidestepping the Brockport FB – scores under the posts, conversion was good for a 20-13 lead. But Brockport was not to be denied and off multiple phases down the left hand side, saw center Drew Holdnack score in the corner at 51′ to shorten their lead to 20-18 as the conversion was missed. The next 15 minutes saw Brockport driving the ball down the field off multiple pick and goes only to be denied inside the opposition 22 a few times due to breakdown infringements and handling errors. But Brockport finally scored off a converted penalty kick to take the lead 21-20 with 15 minutes left. For the next 7-8 minutes, both forward packs continued to contest the breakdown area in force as they had the whole game, with Brockport utilizing their heavier forwards to run picks off the base of the ruck, while Binghamton capitalized on their quicker forwards to either tie up the ball carrier or effectively seal off the ball by bridging past the initial Brockport runner. Brockport sees one penalty kick go wide inside 10 minutes left, only to see Binghamton finally capitalize on a Brockport infringement outside their 22 to slot a penalty kick and take the lead 23-21 with 6 minutes left.
But Brockport gathered their remaining strength and pounded the ball down the field again, creating a penalty around the breakdown, but only to see another penalty kick go wide. With one last effort, Brockport grinds the ball down the center of the field, chooses to quick tap on a penalty on the far right of the field, goes wide left once, almost loses the ball out of bounds and continues attacking with multiple forward runs down the left side that saw Binghamton under intense pressure inside their half for the remaining 4 minutes of the match. With no time left and with Brockport inside the Binghamton 5 meter line, the forwards continue driving the ball off the ruck for multiple phases, only to see one Brockport prop land 1 foot short and then their 2nd row come up less than a foot short of the try line – knock on called – game over.