On Saturday, October 8th, the Village Lions hosted the Monmouth women’s rugby team at Randall’s Island. Often a closely-contested match, this was no exception, and although Monmouth kept the lead for the entire match, the Lions had periods where they looked to be the more threatening team offensively. Silent Force Amanda Manu made her presence known on the wing, where she delivered some stellar crunching tackles and was able to show her pace, as well as her rapidly increasing knowledge of the game. Positive tackling was a focus for the Lions leading up to the game, and Coach Mike Barry also commended fullback Kristen Geurnier and flanker Sam O’Brien on stopping oncoming players behind the gain line defensively.
Monmouth opened the scoring with a forwards try in the 8th minute, which the fullback converted. The Lions appeared to have the territorial edge for much of the first half, but were unable to get inside Monmouth’s 22 very often (not to mention the try zone). Monmouth scored again in the 27th minute; try was scored on a nice run by the wing after a series of Lions penalties, the fullback again converted (14-0, Monmouth). The Lions were able to answer back before the half, when scrumhalf Emmarie Etheridge exploited an unguarded blind side by the touch line and set up prop Sari Warren to trundle over from close range. At half-time the score was 12-5, Monmouth in the lead.
The second half saw the Leonas renew their defensive focus, and tighten up lines and communication channels to halt Monmouth’s forward momentum. Monmouth continued to dictate the terms in the scrums, and although the lineouts were evenly contested, the Lions will want to strengthen their set-piece play before facing Monmouth again on November 19th. Another try by Monmouth in the 70th minute by the wing dampened the Lions hopes for a win, but was unconverted. The Leonas were also frustrated by numerous penalties, which disrupted their flow of play and led to a yellow card for second row Erin McGee late in the game. Down a man, the Leonas then lost wing Wen Toh to a broken fibula in the 72nd minute. Regaining momentum was tough, but the Lions were able to string together some phases and threaten in Monmouth’s half. In the 76th minute, Woman of the Match Sam O’Brien showcased her trademark strong running with a try from about 20 meters out through traffic, which Margo Smith converted. The Lions tried to tie up the game in the waning minutes, but Monmouth were able to hold a firm line on defense and protect their lead to the final whistle.
Final score: Lions 12 – Monmouth 19
Lions XV: Emily Kunsman (Works 40’), Alli Baer, Sari Warren (Cutler 59’), Desiree Vodounon (Anita O. 59’), Erin McGee, Tricia Stanley (Berridge 59’),Sam O’Brien, Sierra Cutler (Stanley 59’), Emmarie Etheridge (Smith, A. 60’), Aislinn Smith (Smith, M. 60’), Jo Hayes (Toh 60’) (Ray 72’), Victoria Dushku (McCalla 40’), Megan (Canada) Banford, Amanda Manu, Kristen Geurnier
Subs: Quin Works, G. Angela Corpus, Anita Okoye, Liz Berridge, Ari Ray, Chantal McCalla, Margo Smith, Wen Toh
Tries: Warren, O’Brien
Conversion: Smith, M.
Woman of the Match: Sam O’Brien
Silent Force: Amanda Manu