Quins Downed by Penalties

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Exiles Pit 2

Sione Tapu advances the ball agains the Exiles this Spring. Mr. Tapu is the current club president.

After a close first half and a red card early in the second, the Norfolk Blues scored four unanswered tries to beat the Pittsburgh Harlequins 38-15. The Blues traveled over 400 miles to Pittsburgh for the Harlequins’ first match under new head coach Ludovico Martin. Using a stingy defense and taking advantage of Pittsburgh being a man down, Norfolk shut out the Harlequins attack in the second half to win.

“The first half was a little frantic,” said Norfolk Head Coach Chris Porter. “We were too pumped up. In the second half, we calmed down. We got the first jitters out, calmed down, and just rolled from there.”

The scoring started in the 13th minute when Pittsburgh’s captain Nick Koon converted a penalty kick after a hands-in the ruck call. Norfolk followed with two tries in the 17th and 24th minutes by eightman Cecil Garber and flyhalf Jake Humphrey, respectively. Humphrey converted the first try, but missed the second making the score 12-3, Norfolk.

Pittsburgh responded in the 28th minute after a scrum, as flyhalf Tyler Hollingsworth scored via 20-meter run following a pass from scrumhalf Jason Ewing.

About four minutes later, Pittsburgh was again on the doorstep of Norfolk’s try line. After multiple penalties, the referee awarded Pittsburgh a penalty try for repeated infringement. Koon converted the kick and the half ended, 15-12 in favor of Pittsburgh.

A try by flanker Fred Wintermantel and a Humphrey conversion helped Norfolk retake the lead, 19-15, to open the second half.  Soon after, Pittsburgh was red-carded for a high tackle and was unable to recover from there. Norfolk prop Jimmy Smith scored two tries (both converted by Humphrey), and Garber added another to complete the second half shutout, 38-15.

“Within the five minutes of the second half, we exploited an overload and we put our loosehead prop Jimmy Smith in for his first try of the day,” said Porter, describing the turning point in the game. “When we did that, it lifted everybody up.’

“This was the first match we had the whole team playing together. They did a good job,” Martin said reflecting on the loss. “Unfortunately, in the second half, we were playing with 14 players because one of our players got a red card. Norfolk had really strong backs. We didn’t have any good, quality ball.”

– See more at: http://www.rugbytoday.com/clubs/red-card-undoes-pittsburgh-norfolk-wins-big#sthash.aIC9SsdK.dpuf

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