It was a tale of two halves this past weekend as Nooga Red traveled to Memphis, TN to play a matrix match against the Memphis Blues.
The first half saw several Nooga players cross the try line. "When we held on to the ball and made good decisions, defensive gaps opened up and we were able to take advantage of them," said Coach Copper. "We ended up playing a lot of offense, and moved the ball well through the midfield." Tries were scored by Mike Flynn, Austin Zambrano, Pat Flynn, Lyall Harrison, Izzy Brown, Chris Jones and Abner Casavant. Three conversions by Lyall Harrison. However, Memphis scored two tries of their own off of a clever grubber kick and then off of an overload situation on the wing. Nooga wins the first half 41-12.
"For whatever reason, the second half was completely different", Coach Copper lamented. Part of that reason was Memphis' increased intensity, as they started the second half well. Nooga had to play more defense in the second half and Memphis was able to find some gaps, scoring two tries by the end of the 60th minute.. Nooga's penalty count also increased, allowing Memphis some territorial gain. Memphis would go on to score two more tries, as did Nooga through Luis Rodas and Pat Flynn again. Nooga loses the second half, 10-14.
"I'm grateful to our players for their effort and for traveling across the state to get this matrix win. Although, it definitely gives us some areas to improve upon," Copper said.
Nooga Red plays next on 11/4 in Knoxville, TN.
Nooga Black next takes on Clarksville Rugby on 10/28 in Clarksville, TN