Boston vs. Albany
Albany 29 - Boston 7
October 1, 2011
The number three was a common theme in the latest matchup between Albany and Boston. For example, this was the third meeting of the two clubs this year. Three tries were scored in each half on Saturday and three of those tries were converted. And it was the back three of Boston that Albany feared most going into the match.
Despite being in different divisions the past 10 years, Albany and Boston faced off against each other about once a year, either in a tournament or playing a non-league match. During that period Boston had always come out with the win. April 2011 signaled a change in that relationship when Albany won on the road, 46-24. The two met again less than a month later in a NERFU Cup semi-final and again Albany prevailed, 20-0.
The first day of October greeted both clubs with a cold wind and with a light rain thrown in; the conditions did indeed make the ball “greasy” (as overseas commenters like to say). This contributed to handling errors by both sides throughout the match and also played a factor in only one player with double digits on her back getting into score.
The game started with both clubs going back and forth mostly between the 22’s, getting a feel for the game and looking for weaknesses to exploit. From the start Albany worked their game plan of keeping the ball mostly in the forwards pressuring Boston on the inside and trying to keep the ball from getting out to the Boston back three, who could put a game out of reach quickly with their speed.
At the 9 minute mark Albany was the first to score, powering over the try line after a series of forward pick and go’s. Hooker Nicole Vidro with the help of flanker Amy Peker got the ball down for the first points of the day. Kicking into the wind and from the outside, JoAnne Kos just missed to the left of the posts on the conversion attempt. The next 10 minutes saw most of the game played on Boston’s half of the field but neither club was able to gain much ground as handling errors and some nice open-field tackles killed many opportunities. Albany got on the board again with 22 minutes to go off of a five-meter scrum, when eight Angie Craig scored after the front seven pushed their way into the try zone. On the conversion attempt this time JoAnne lined up the kick well but it was the wind that kept it short.
Being up by 10 was a nice start but also less than comforting with 62 minutes of rugby left to play. Boston brought that strong dose of reality when their winger made Albany pay for a missed tackle on the outside, and with the conversion, Boston narrowed the lead to 3 at the half and had the momentum going into the second.
The late first half try was certainly the wake-up call Albany needed to re-double their efforts and went back to their forwards to string together multiple phases to eat up time and turf. Nine minutes in Albany got their lead back out two scores when scrumhalf Kristin Bonomo dove for the try, just making the line. It was 15-7 with 31 to go.
Albany kept the match under control by keeping up the pressure offensively and preventing the Boston back three from making it to the end of the field. With less than 20 minutes to go, the Albany forwards notched their third push-over try of the day when prop Shannon Wallace wrestled the ball to the ground for another 5. This time the Kos conversion was good and with the 15 point lead, Albany knew they had a chance as long as they kept containing the Boston offense for the next 16 minutes. The club got back to their attack as most often the best defense is a good offense and with 5 minutes to go Albany put the seal on their victory when Nicole Vidro burst thru Boston’s line 10 meters out and found the try zone once more. The Kos conversion capped the scoring for the day and the final whistle blew with the score Albany 29- Boston 7.
With the a successful 3 game winning streak at home under their belt, Albany packs their bags for a two game road trip. First up: an undefeated Atlanta squad that has been blowing through the rest of CR3.
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Albany's competitive DII women's rugby club.