The Orlando Griffins Rugby Football Club (RFC) defeated the Daytona Beach Coconuts RFC on Saturday afternoon by a final score of 26 to 17. While the final victory seems to indicate the Griffins won the match over Daytona by a respectable margin, the match went down to the wire at Lorna Doone Park – the home pitch for the Orlando Griffins.
Orlando intercepted what could have been a game-winning drop kick attempt by Daytona Beach, and succeeded in running it back for a game-ending try. This interception turned what would have been a 20 to 19 win for Daytona Beach into the 26 to 17 victory for Orlando.
Orlando rugger Adam Hyche speaks to the Rugby Examiner about the win
Orlando Griffins rugger Adam Hyche took time on Sunday evening to speak with the Tampa Bay Rugby Examiner about his clubs last-minute victory over the Daytona Beach Coconuts. Hyche breaks his commentary into three sections for Rugby Examiner readers.
Hyche summarizes the first half of play between Orlando and Daytona
On a beautiful day at Lorna Doone Park, the Orlando Griffins RFC delivered a win, but not a pretty one. Daytona Beach came to town with their expansive, quick style and opened the books with a converted try about five minutes into the game.
Orlando recovered quickly, and within five more minutes had a converted try of their own to even the score at 7 all. The forwards struggled a bit to get through the solid tackling from Daytona Beach around the fringes, but the Orlando back line began to make some inroads and fantastic support on the breaks gave Orlando another try to go into halftime 14 to 7.
The match remains tight through most of the second half
The second half saw more of the same form both sides. Orlando struggled to maintain continuity and Daytona Beach kicked often with their speedy wings applying pressure each time. Each team scored a try making the score to Orlando 19 to Daytona Beach 14 with ten minutes to play.
Daytona Beach took over at this point, pushed deep into Orlando territory, and put a drop goal through from about 25 yards out. This brought the score to Orlando 19 and Daytona Beach 17.
Orlando returns Daytona Beach’s drop-kick attempt for a game-winning try
Once again, Daytona Beach collected the kickoff and marched right back down into Orlando territory. The defense tightened up at about the 22 and after several rucks Daytona Beach set up for the winning drop goal.
Kenny Britt led the charge and blocked the kick, gathered, and raced 75 yards the other way to give Orlando a bonus point victory in a game that was much closer than the score belies. The final score was Orlando 26 to Daytona Beach 17.
Both clubs in action again this Saturday
With this win, the Orlando Griffins RFC improves to 4-1-1 on the season. The Griffins travels to Jacksonville this Saturday for another match between two teams in the Northern Division of the Florida Rugby Union (FRU).
Meanwhile, this loss drops Daytona Beach Coconuts RFC to 1-4-0 on the season. The Coconuts will host the Tampa Bay Krewe RFC on Saturday in an attempt to avenge the 39 to 7 loss inflicted by the Krewe at Cuscaden Park in early December.
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