Vermont evens record in Norwich game
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 20:09
The men of UVM’s club rugby team lost against instate rivals, the Norwich Cadets, Sept. 22 in their second match of the season. The loss came in the last two minutes of play in a game that saw seven different lead changes.
UVM’s Tommy Barkovic scored on Vermont’s first drive. The Cats also earned a conversion to get ahead 7-0, yet 10 minutes later Norwich tied the score 7-7.
Twenty minutes in, Matt Potter took back control for Vermont, earning the Catamounts another five points off a try, leaving UVM up 12-7.
“It was a disappointing end result, but we showed that we could play some great rugby,” Potter said after the game.
As the minutes ran in the first half, possession continued to flip-flop between the teams. The tackles intensified, as did the shouting from both sides.
With just two minutes left in the first half, Norwich broke through to score another try, bringing the score at the end of the half back up to another tie of 12-12.
With the start of the second half, the teams entered into another scrum, from which the Cadets earned possession. Norwich dashed up the left side of the pitch closing in on Vermont’s try-zone. Luckily the run was interrupted by a tackle; however, once the second drive began Norwich scored both a try and a conversion to inch themselves ahead another seven points.
UVM battled back with solid passing as Vermont’s Troy Norman made passes ending up in the hands of Potter, who scored another try for the Catamounts. The try brought the Cats back into a tie with the Cadets.
The Catamounts continued to push against the Norwich defense. Five minutes after his prior try, Potter scored yet again, giving UVM back their lead of 24-19.
After minutes of back and forth possession, Norwich broke away and made a run down the middle to the UVM zone, scoring five to match Vermont, and managed to earn the extra two on the conversion to barely slide past.
Less than five minutes later, the teams went into another scrum, with Norman earning possession for Vermont.
Norman was tackled and brought to the ground, where the players entered into a “ruck”, a phase after a player is tackled where other members from both teams close in around the ball to gain possession.
After a long struggle, the ball came out again in the hands of Norman, who continued to make complete passes. The ball ended up with Catamount Jon Gamble, who managed to get the ball to teammate Ben Kaufman, who then scored what would be the last try for Vermont. With an unsuccessful conversion attempt the score was brought to 29-26 in favor of Vermont.
Nearing the end, the win appeared to be in the hands of UVM until the last two minutes, when Norwich earned themselves another seven points on a try and a conversion.
Vermont made last attempts to bring themselves back however time ran out, leaving the score at 33-29.
“It was a tough outcome but I was very proud of everyone on the field — we really played some solid rugby,” said captain Justin Whipple. “We’re going to practice hard this week, fix a few things and carry it into Coast Guard this week.”
Vermont makes their third appearance when they head out on the road to face Coast Guard this Saturday.