Queen City Rams Pulls-off a Resounding Comeback to Defeat the Laramie Lumberjacks
QUEEN CITY RAMS 48 – 27 Laramie Lumberjacks Match Report 10.6.2018
Deti Stadium, Laramie Wyoming
A cool and dreary day was in store for the Queen City Rams as they headed north to do battle with our league opponent from neighboring Wyoming, the Laramie Lumberjacks. The day was very overcast with a threat of rain or snow throughout the match. It was breezy with the wind coming out of the east. The field was grass and had proper lines outlining the rugby pitch. The field was a bit narrow and hilly; but, a fine track for the battle. The Lumberjacks were confident, and they were talking the “talk” before the match. Captain Hayden Kinnear brought the boys out in their Orange and Black jumpers. He won the toss and decided to go into the wind the first half defending the west try line.
For much of the first half saw the Lumberjacks on the front foot building a substantial lead. The second half was a different story as Captain Kinnear and the other team leaders rallied the troops for a resounding comeback victory.
City took the opening kick-off and started to march down the field. However, a mishandling error gave the ball to the Lumberjacks who immediately started to wield their own offensive pressure. A ruck infringement was called on the Rams by Referee Charles Jones and the Lumberjack Scrumhalf Alexander Knowles made them pay for their indiscretion, putting through the penalty goal to give the Lumberjacks a 3 – 0 lead at minute 2 in the match.
Laramie had the “Men in Orange and Black” on their heels for most of the first half. Missed tackles were also a bane for City throughout the first half. One such missed tackle saw the Lumberjack Inside Center Taniela Lolohea go on a 50-meter jaunt through the City defense to dot down under the post. Scrumhalf Knowles added the extras to give Laramie a 10 – 0 lead at the 13th minute mark of the match and a continual confidence in their game.
The Lumberjacks continue the assault on City; but, the Rams defense stiffen to hold the “Men in Blue” at bay. Referee Jones spotted a holding on to give City the ball. A series of penalties gave the Rams new life as they marched down the field via the penalty kick. Finally, the ball was placed into touch by Flyhalf Lewis McKissick at the 5-meter line. The drive was called by Captain Kinnear for which the City forwards executed well to drive over the line for Flanker Steve O’Malley to dot down for the Rams’ first points. The conversion sailed wide in the wind; but, City cut into the Laramie lead at 10 - 5 at the 30th minute.
Lock Forward Matt Hurley took the ensuing kick-off in air. The Lumberjack Outside Center hit Matt while still in the air and earned a yellow card for his efforts. This, however, did not deter the “Men in Blue”. Continuing their assault on City line saw Winger Bobby Watkins break free for another long-distance run and another 5-pointer for the Lumberjacks. Scrumhalf Knowles split the uprights for the extras and the Lumberjacks open their lead to 17 – 5 at the 35th minute.
The first half ended much as it had been throughout the first half with Laramie on the front foot and City grasping at straws.
The second half started much like the first half ended with City on the back foot. Inside Center Lolohea once again broke free to score his second 5-pointer on the match. The conversion kick sailed wide and score line became 22 – 5 at the 42nd minute of the match.
Captain Kinnear and Flyhalf McKissick had seen enough and gathered the troops in the middle of field to have a “heart to heart” with the boys and the rally began. From deep in their territory Flyhalf McKissick launched a huge kick downfield. Winger Bobby Haynes applying the pressure caused the Lumberjack Winger to knock-on. The ensuing ruck was poached by Hooker Luke Porter to start the movement. The pill placed into the hands of Outside Center Kaine Dimech and the Londoner powered his way through to pay dirt. Flyhalf McKissick added the extras and City cut into the lead at 22 – 12 at the 45th minute.
City took the ensuing kick-off and began to march down the field by finally working the game plan and keeping good possession of the ball. The City Forwards working hard got the pill into striking distance. No. 8 James Jimenez executing a “pick-n-go” crashed over for the try. Inside Center Scott Trench took over the kicking duties and split the uprights for the 2-pointer as City reduced the deficit to 22 – 19 at minute 54.
Now it was time for Queen City to get on the front foot and applied the pressure to the Lumberjacks. The City Forwards applied good pressure at scrum time giving the Lumberjacks dirty ball. The ensuing ruck was once again jackaled by Hooker Luke Porter. Recycling good possession led to a long break by replacement Flanker Matt Williams who was finally chased down by the Laramie cover defense. Matt gave a beautiful off-load to a supporting Hayden Kinnear. Hayden weaved and bobbed his way over for the first of his two tries. Trench split the uprights for the extras to give City their first lead for which they would not relinquish at 22 – 26 at minute 62.
Using the wind, the City put in a long clearing kick into touch. The ensuing line-out was stolen. After two phases of recycled ball, Flyhalf McKissick hit a hard-running Flanker Williams who burst into the opening. Not to be deny, Matt crashed over the chalk for a 5-pointer. Once again Trench added the extras and the “Men in Orange and Black” extended their lead to 22 – 33 at the 66th minute.
From the ensuing kick-off, McKissick boomed a long clearing kick. The ball landed in the arms of Flyhalf Sutton Willis. Unfortunately, Sutton was able to return the length of the field for the try as the cover defense was once again porous for City. The conversion sailed wide as the Laramie cut into the Rams’ lead at 27 – 33 at the 69th minute.
A couple minutes later, Hayden moving over to No. 8 executed a pick and go from the base of the scrum. Powering his way down field breaking tackle after tackle. He was finally tackled, and the Lumberjacks were whistled for not rolling away. Center Trench lifted the kick over the
crossbar for the penalty goal and the “Men in Orange and Black” increased their lead to 27 – 36 at the 73rd minute.
Executing a scrum play, the City Forwards went to work. Three phases of recycle ball saw the pill distributed to Flyhalf McKissick. Lewis stepped and fended his way towards the line and finally breaking free to cross for the 5-pointer. Trench once again split the sticks for the extras which brought the score line to 27 – 43 at minute 77.
Not done, Captain Kinnear put the exclamation point on the match. From a scrum deep into their own territory, Hayden picked from the base of the scrum and burst down the paddock. Carrying defenders along the way, shedding would-be tacklers, powering his way through, and finally breaking completely free; Kinnear raced the 75-meter for his second try and the final points of the match. The conversion just missed; but, the comeback was complete, and the Queen City Rams had the victory at 27 – 48 as Referee Jones blew the final whistle.
Congratulations to City on a resounding comeback and win! Three cheers to the Laramie Lumberjacks for a hard-fought match. They had City on their heels in the first half. Their side is greatly improved. A 3 – 0 league record. Captain and Flanker Hayden Kinnear garnered the Man-of-the-Match for his tireless efforts all around the field, carrying the team on his back, and his two tries. Next week are D3 and D4 matches in Boulder.
After match thoughts from Forwards Coach and Captain:
Forwards Coach Charlie Haupt: “For the majority of the first half they dictated the match to us and they did a fantastic job of that. Our tackling was poor. I think Hayden and the other leaders can take a lot of pleasure and satisfaction out of how they rallied the team during the adversity. We could have easily let go and allowed them to win; but, the boys dug deep and refused to give up. I was proud of the side of how they stuck to the game plan and finished the comeback for the win.”
Captain Hayden Kinnear: “Once again, a tale of two halves. The boys were slow coming out of the gate and for the first half. We certainly were on the back foot. But, we pull it together in the second half to work as a unit. We had the cardio, physicality, and the ability to work as a team to put points on the board to win the second half and the match. I am very proud of our team and this win.”
First Color War Team Winner Sylver Romero: “This was a hard-fought win for sure. There were twenty- three men playing together to comeback as we did. A complete team win.”
Queen City (48): Chris Cummins, Luke Porter, Andrew Yarbrough, Joe Olivetti, Matt Hurley, Hayden Kinnear, Steve O’Malley, James Jimenez, Tim Flynn, Lewis McKissick, Mike Anderson, Scott Trench, Kaine Dimech, Bobby Haynes, Sylver Romero; INTERCHANGE: John Vivirski (40), Ed Doka (51), Dustin Clark (54), Charlie Keener (54), Matt Williams (60), Jon Wicklund (69), Kevin Chiu (77).
Tries: O’Malley (30), Dimech (45), Jimenez (54), Kinnear 2 (62, 79), Williams (66), McKissick (77)
Goals: McKissick 1 from 2, Trench 5 from 6
Laramie (27): Benjamin Marks, Kevin Hennebry, Aaron Ivie, Michael Olson, Stephen Cheney, Derek Ogren, Brian Summerall, Timothy Mendoza, Alexander Knowles, Sutton Willis, Bobby Watkins, Taniela Lolohea, Cody Jerabek, Joe Paumer, Christopher Rumple: INTERCHANGE: Alexander Hanify, Keith Gross, Joshua Gerlott, Dillion Levi, John Pope, Dylan Tucker, Josh Langford, Jerry Looney
Tries: Lolohea 2 (13, 42), Watkins (35), Willis (69)
Goals: Knowles 3 from 3, Summerall 0 from 1
Man-of-the-Match: Hayden Kinnear
Scoring sequence: 3 – 0, 10 – 0, 10 – 5, 17 – 5, 22 – 5, 22 – 12, 22 – 19, 22 – 26, 22 – 33, 27 – 33, 27 – 36, 27 – 43, 27 - 48
Penalty Count: 13 - 8
Yellow Card: Cody Jerabek (31) – Hit on player in the air
Referee: Charles Jones