Wanderers vs. Amoskaeg | Highlights+Match Report

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The Wanderers entertained Amoskaeg on Saturday in the Fall season opener. With both sides usually vying for a position near the top of the standings come the end of the season, it was always going to be a hard fought game and the 90 degree temperatures just added to the tough conditions on the field. As expected, the opening exchanges were fairly attritional, with both sides looking to impose themselves on the physical battle, but it was Hartford’s offloading game which often proved the difference and only some untidy handling prevented them from opening the scoring on several occasions. However, the deadlock was finally broken after 20 minutes when the ball was spread wide to left winger, Anthony Kaponis, who sprinted down the outside to score in the corner. With fly half, Scott Truss, also adding the conversion, the Wanderers had some return for their early efforts. The lead was doubled 5 minutes later when some excellent close quarter offloading and support play from the forwards created a disorganized Amoskaeg defense and center, Kurt Link, was able to pick an angle which took him under the posts for the second converted try (14-0). Hartford were now in the ascendency and it came as no surprise when a third try was added to the scoreboard after 35 minutes by hooker, Sam Brown. Brown was in support to finish off a sweeping move when Kaponis broke deep into the Amoskaeg half and offloaded out of the tackle to Truss, who in turn offloaded on the try line to Brown to score out wide. With Truss converting, the half time scoreline read 21-0 to Hartford. With the heat starting to be a factor, the second half started in untidy fashion, with both sides making uncharacteristic mistakes. With the error count increasing and Amoskaeg determined to get back into the game, the away side began to impose themselves with their close quarters driving play. Hartford managed to defend their line well until 15 minutes into the second half when a clearance kick was picked up in his own half by the Amoskaeg full back, who promptly outpaced and outmuscled his way through the home side’s defense to score near the posts. Despite the missed conversion, Hartford knew they had to up their game if they were to prevent an Amoskaeg comeback and it duly spurred them into action. Soon after the restart an offensive crossfield kick by Truss was fielded by right winger, Long Lin, and his offload found full back Takeem in support and he was able to beat his opposite number to score another converted try (28-5). The Wanderers then scored two further tries through their tireless flankers in the space of 5 minutes, as Amoskaeg’s organization and fitness started to suffer from their earlier exertions to get back into the game. Firstly, flanker Pantcho took a quick tap penalty and broke through to score before the defense could re-allign and, secondly, Matt McPartland ran through to dive on a grubber kick from Truss to score under the posts. With Truss again converting both, it left the scoreline at 42-5 with 15 minutes to play. With the Wanderers using their strong bench throughout the second half, Amoskaeg had no answer by this point in the game and it came as no surprise when Kaponis went over for his second try, following some great running and handling from Ty Kania. Kurt Link added the conversion (49-5). Finally, prop Brian Nugent finished the scoring in the last couple of minutes when he was given space on the outside and sprinted down the left touchline to wrap up an outstanding victory.

Amoskaeg – 5

1. Will Ertel (Brian Nugent)
2. Sam Brown
3. Tom McAuley (Jake Diltz)
4. Brian Sheridan
5. Mike Scanlon (Corey George)
6. Pantcho Stoyanov
7. Matt McPartland
8. Brian Grzelka
9. Mike Knowles
10. Scott Truss (Ty Kania)
11. Anthony Kaponis (DJ Plis)
12. Kurt Link
13. Frank Colaninno
14. Long Lin
15. Takeem Creary / (Nick Vargas)