Monday, September 1, 2014

York University Take Two Over OSU Women on Weekend Visit

Over the long weekend the Ohio State University Women's Rugby team hosted the women from York University in Canada. The two teams played a set of friendly matches and had a day out on campus during the holiday weekend, and York's legs and discipline carried them past their opponents in the pair of matches.

On Friday the two played under the lights at the OSU women's rugby pitch and the two teams started off evenly matched. Strong runs and hard tackles kept the ball out of either team's try zone. Both squad brought their poaching hands to the match, snatching up any ball left open at the breakdown. Pressure from each team's defensive efforts caused knock-ons and errant passes as well.

The OSU women opened up the scoring first using speed and support runners to keep their opponents on their heels. The York women seemed unfazed by the try, returning to play after the restart with the same intensity and composure as before. That composure paid off when they took a scrum down deep in OSU's end and, after a few phases of play, crossed over the whitewash and evened the score. The OSU women struck back again after picking up a loose ball in their own half. The York defenders had trouble regrouping in the broken play and the OSU runner took full advantage of the confusion, tearing through a few gaps and streaking towards the try line nearly untouched to close out the first half. The Buckeyes started off the second half by putting in another try on a good team effort, with the backs linking together and supporting each other as they gained ground. Unfortunately, as the game wore on the support disappeared and so did the lead. At the end of the match, York was victorious by a score of 24-15.

"I thought we might pull it off," said Phil Payne, coach of the OSU women. "As we got tired we started making poor decisions that they were able to take advantage of."

The two teams took a social day on Saturday and toured the OSU campus after a day at Sky Zone, according to Payne. Unfortunately, Mother Nature decided to unleash a torrent of rain on Columbus Sunday and the second match had to be postponed. The two teams kicked off Sunday evening after moving locations to a turf field in the area.

The OSU women held the lead going into the final minutes of the match and it seemed as if they would be able to take the second match and leave the weekend with a win. Unfortunately, the eagerness of one of the OSU women got the better of her and led to her being shown a yellow for having her hands in the ruck. With ten minutes left in the match, all OSU had to hold on, but York's offense proved to be too much to withstand and they scored two tries before the final whistle to take the match - 34-22.

"I'm very happy with our adjustments and tempo," Payne said after the match. "I am very happy with our development. Now we can settle in and really start learning how to play together. I have some players that any team will have trouble with. I have some adjustments to make and it should make us a bit more dangerous."

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