Undefeated Falcons

Last weekend, the BG club rugby team added to their currently undefeated record in an important pair of games against Ohio State at home.

The “A” and “B” teams handled the Buckeyes, 23-3 and 51-15, respectively. A large crowd of around 500 people came out to watch the games. The Falcons overall record for the fall season is 9-0.

For the “A” side, the game resembled more of a chess match than a rugby game. It was move-counter-move, but in the end the Falcons were able to capitalize on OSU mistakes, while OSU couldn’t do much of anything.

The Falcons kicked more in the match than at any other time in recent memory. According to coach Roger Mazzarella, they had to match up their strengths with the Buckeyes’ weaknesses.

“It takes a club like the Buckeyes a long time to move up the field,” Mazzarella said. “Making them have to cover as much ground as possible takes a lot of time and increases the chance of a turnover error.”

When turnover opportunities presented themselves, mainly poorly set OSU formations, flankers Ryan Bonek and Mark Viviani and prop Bryce Pitney were there to get the ball back.

BG was able to grind out the first half and head into the break with a 6-0 lead. It was a lead they’d never relinquish.

After increasing their lead to 9-0 in the second half, scrum half Zach Williams passed to eight man Rich Hines who then connected with Pitney down the sideline for a score.

Freshman wing Nick Flynn set up another score when he kicked the ball over the defense, setting up a “kick and chase”. The ball bounced perfectly, allowing Flynn to get it back and dive into the end zone.

In a game and against a team that required a lot more kicking than normal for the Falcons, fly half Nick Viviani came up big. Viviani successfully converted two penalty kicks to increase BG’s lead.

The team looked at the games against the Buckeyes as two huge contests for the BG rugby program. Mazzarella said the team was looking forward to the match up for a long time.

“The guys have been pointing to this game since it was put on the schedule at the beginning of the summer,” Mazzarella said. “If we can see that kind of commitment week in and week out, we should do pretty good this year.”

With an undefeated record, the team has a bull’s-eye on their collective back.

“The team has to realize that we’ve set ourselves up as the team on the pedestal,” Mazzarella said. “Everybody and their brother will be dogging us the rest of the season.”

The Falcons will travel to Michigan this Saturday to take on the Wolverines.