Maryland Exiles take down HOCO
In extremely difficult weather conditions, the Maryland Exiles defeated a very tough Howard County team
In freezing temperatures and under the lights at Atholton HS, the Maryland Exiles played a very tough and physical Howard County team. Howard County demonstrated that they had done a lot of work with their forwards, especially in the tackle area. They fronted up and showed us that they would be no easy team to put down.
Exile mistakes in the first half gave the Hurricanes lots of possession and quality field position, and the host team attacked our defense for the first ten minutes of the game. Morgan White and Claude Ayo had huge games for Howard County, and both sliced through our defense in the middle of the field. In front of our posts however, the defense held and when we got the opportunity we were able to capitalize straight away. Penalties and continued possession from quality lineouts led to Team Captain Tristan McAlister going over following a penalty and Quinn Freeman was able to convert the difficult penalty.
The second try shortly before the half was one we have been building to all year. The ball went wide to the backs, who tried to turn the corner on the defense. Noah Lucas and Nick Costa were unable to get the easy score, but they were able to recycle the ball and the forwards did damage driving the ball up the middle of the field with hard physical runs. When the opportunity presented itself, Tristan McAlister straightened his line and went straight through the Hurricanes defense for his second try of the game. Halftime: Maryland Exiles 14 -- Howard County 0
In the second half, the line speed increased dramatically, and Howard County were on the back foot trying to get things moving forward the rest of the match. Buck Rogers went in to replace Michael Boyd and Jacob Stern replaced Logan O'Connell, as the Exiles continued the pressure. Joseph Zarrelli had the first opportunity, and he converted on a counter-attack that was outstanding. Unfortunately, our forwards were judged to have been offside, and the try was taken off the scoreboard. However, it demonstrated how dangerous we can be and how important it is for every player on the team to improve their Rugby IQ.
Quinn Freeman had been hurting the Howard County defense with hard runs the whole game. After our line speed created another turnover, and straight hard runs by river yearwood and James Hodge in the middle of the field created space wide, Quinn was able to touch down in the corner. Although the conversion was wide, the momentum had clear swung our way. New players like Jack Kelly got in the act, starting to go forward instead of sideways. A desperate clearing kick by Howard County was sent through the hands, and nice step and change of direction led to an opening for Haarvard Hansen to touch down near the posts. The conversion kick was good, and the Exiles were looking forward to more opportunities to press Howard County's defense.
However, it was at this moment the lights went out and we were completely left in the dark. The game was called early and there was no extra period for our reserves to get on the field. Final: Maryland Exiles 26 -- Howard County Hurricanes 0
Howard County were gracious hosts and treated us to pizza after the game. The team made short work of the food and thanked the Hurricanes for the hospitality.
Next Game: We have a 1:00 pm KO at Baltimore Poly. This is a Rugby Maryland League Fixture. We then have two games (A and B) against Downingtown. This is a Mid-Atlantic Premier League Fixture. It is important to note that the fixture has changed location. It is now at 27 South Patterson Park Avenue at the Utz Stadium in Baltimore. Please be there kitted up and ready to warm up at 12:00 noon.