Binghamton Looks Strong In Win
Binghamton Looks Strong In Win
For its first Liberty Conference game, the Binghamton Men’s Rugby was hosting Colgate University, on a bright and sunny day ideal for rugby but with the heat as a potential factor impacting players on both sides.
Lead by its captains Ashkon Assemi and Brandon Healy, Binghamton was able to present a full A-side squad with the return of some starters, and the addition of wing Sean Greer who was making his first start. On the Colgate side, a younger and less experienced squad nonetheless exhibited a lot of dedication and spirit all game long.
Despite the heat, the same qualities dominated the game on both sides of the ball. Thanks to its forward pack, that consistently impacted plays through its physical presence, Binghamton was able to provide its back line with a steady stream of good balls to exploit throughout the game. After about fifteen minutes of going back and forth between the two teams, Binghamton struck first by sending its inside center Greg Lenane behind the line, with a successful conversion by B. Healy.
Binghamton then relied on its forward pack to score again twice, once quickly after the first try and thanks to a collective effort punctuated by No. 8 Brian Burke, then through its blind-side flanker Bill Cusack, both converted by Healy.
Despite that strong start from Binghamton, Colgate never gave up and was able to successfully bring the ball behind the line a few minutes later through a collective effort, and that try was also converted.
With about ten minutes left to play, a lack of discipline disrupted the game on the Binghamton side, and it led to a team-earned yellow card addressed to the captain B. Healy after repeated warnings from the referee.
Despite losing its flyhalf, the Binghamton squad turned things around and strongly finished up the first half of the game by sending winger Rory O’Riordan in the try zone (no conversion), putting Binghamton up 26 to 7 at halftime.
In spite of some substitutions, the second half started the same way for the Binghamton squad, with the forwards putting a lot of efforts in to keep securing good balls for the backs to play. Thus, barely three minutes into the half, inside center Lenane scored again, and with a successful conversion by Healy.
About five minutes later, Colgate saw its own efforts logically rewarded by a try and a successful conversion. That try also temporary derailed Binghamton game plans, and Colgate really pushed to try to score again, but this time – and also for the remaining of the game – with no positive outcome.
The Binghamton squad then went back to the basics of the game, and still relying on its dominant forward pack, allowed the backs to score again through blindside winger Greer, with Healy once again converting it.
A few minutes later, and after a couple of tactical substitutions the Binghamton squad didn't slow down its pace, O’Riordan scored his second try of the day after evading a series of tackles. That try was also converted by Healy.
The same Healy then scored his own try on an opportunistic play and after a long and solitary run, originating from a big defensive effort from Binghamton along the touch line and inside its own 22 meters (no conversion).
Despite a score already largely in favor of Binghamton (52 to 14), and with less than 15 minutes remaining in the game, the players never showed any sign of slowing down. Their efforts were then rewarded by two more tries, one by Greer (his second of the day), and the other one by fullback Conor Horan, both converted by Lenane, putting the final score at 66 to 14 in favor of Binghamton.
Among the players on the Binghamton side who should be particularly mentioned, B. Healy – despite his yellow card – was a huge positive factor in the capacity of the squad to maintain its level of application and fighting spirit; in addition to the 17 points he scored throughout the game. From the forward pack, the constant activity - both on offense and defense - from open-field flanker J. McKenna should also be noted, for he kept his team moving forward from the first till the last minute of the game.