Yet again Spring Rugby served up more weather-related challenges. With late notice that the Bergen Rugby pitch was closed they asked if we could move the game to a Morris venue. With the amount of rain in previous days the Pocono Road field was also closed so the game was moved to Mennen. On what turned out might be the driest pitch in New Jersey the Bergen away game kicked off at home in a cloud of dust. The Morris Lions, in a similar manner to previous games, started quickly with two tries in the first five minutes. Although unable to field a qualified pack meaning scrums were uncontested (negating one of our strengths) Bergen were providing stiff opposition and hit back in the tenth minute with the first try scored against the Lions in the 2018 league season. The Lions responded almost immediately with another try and conversion and after fifteen minutes the Lions led 19 – 7. The remainder of the half provided little opportunity for each side with a tough battle for possession and territory, a number of penalties and neither team adding to the score before half time. The Morris Lions now facing the first real test of the season regrouped at the break and made a couple of interchanges. Going back to the game plan that had proved effective this season the Lions demonstrated some solid rugby. Retaining possession, mixing forward and back line plays with some great handling and attacking skills the Lions added three more tries early in the second half. With twenty minutes remaining in the game the Lions had a healthy lead of 34 – 7. The game was not over and Bergen continued to press also scoring three times before in the last minute the Lions had the final word with their seventh try to secure another bonus point win with a 39 – 22 away victory at home.
Morris Lions High School Boys overcame their first real competitive challenge of the season and now know what it will take to win. Once again grateful for the superb encouragement from all the supporters they were able to maintain their winning start. The team is continuing to work hard together, look to continually improve and push on the path to play offs. Sitting on top of the table at the midpoint of the season the upcoming fixtures will provide the toughest test for the team, starting with our next game at Union.
Who do you play for?