The Birmingham Vulcans traveled to Chattanooga this past Saturday to take on Nooga Red in a cross-conference matrix match. Nooga red narrowly beat Birmingham last year in the True South finals, so we were prepared for a tense game of rugby! There was rain in the forecast, but it held off for us and turned out to be a perfect fall sports day.
Nooga started fast with a weak side try by captain and fly half Lyall Harrison. “We had a good start,” said Coach Copper, “And we were able to really have a good forwards performance. They have put a lot of time in to improving their scrum performance, and luckily it showed today.” Nooga Rugby was able to steal several of Birmingham’s put-ins, giving us extra possessions. Forwards Pat Flynn, Kyle Hudson and John Moore scored a try a piece to finish the scoring in the first half. Harrison added one conversion. Birmingham scored a good first half try and one penalty so that the score after 40 minutes was 22-8.
“We were able to continue good possession in the second half and I’ve said the past few weeks, how impressed I’ve been with our defense. This week was a continuation of that. There were a lot of individual and group efforts to hold them scoreless in the second half, “ said Copper. “Credit to the guys for working hard on it and to Lyall for progressing our defense. He’s really led the way as far as that goes.” A great covering tackle by fullback John Truax in the second half was also key to keeping the Vulcans out of the try zone. Second half tries were scored by Dylan Watson, Edward Duke, Sam Koebley and Matt Herd. For his troubles, John Moore was chosen as the Nooga Rugby man of the match! Congratulations!
“I think we’ve had a good fall season. We’ve really worked on our offensive and defensive structures as well as integrating some of the new players in to our team. We’ve had some really key additions so far. Our motto this year was to ‘elevate
’ and perform better than last year in all areas. So far we are on our way to doing that and I’m proud of the guys for their hard work,” said Copper. “And what is exciting is that we still have a lot of room to improve! Still searching for that elusive perfect full game of rugby.”
Nooga Rugby would like to thank all of our supporters and sponsors for their help this season! We will be back to matrix play in 2018.