(Photo courtesy http://www.iurugby.com)
Okay, okay. I missed reporting the 73-5 shellacking the Buckeyes perpetrated upon the Spartans of *ichigan State last week (November 2nd) at Fred Beekman Field. But in my defense, I was shellacked myself under some table in Westchester County. But that’s for another day….
The Buckeyes made it to the Big Ten Championship played at Fortress Stadium in Obetz, which borders on the Southern end of Columbus (not far from where I grew up). The match up was against the Indiana Hoosiers who had handed the Buckeyes their only loss of the season back on September 27th in a torture-tunnel battle 27-20.
The brutality in this one marched well into the first half with no one scoring, but both sides offering their version(s) of pain-delivery. Finally, Indiana on a “nice” power-push rammed the ball beneath the posts for a try. Their kick wasn’t any good and they took a well-earned lead 5-0.
8-man Nate Heister on a punishing run as Ryan Bradfield finishes off the dazzle is in for the score. Conor Forrestal’s after kick is good. The Buckeyes take the lead 7-5 as the half ends.
The second half is panning into a completely different narrative. Indiana threatens early on their first two possessions following sloppy Buckeye play but wind-up with nothing to show. But their surge would certainly not end without any dividends. Indiana scores in the corner off a 5-meter scrum. Their kick is no good and they take the lead 10-7 over the Buckeyes.
The Hoosiers aren’t throwing in the towel … scoring again on a counter from a Buckeye kick – putting in slam-dunk on the ground between the posts. The conversion kick is good. Indiana takes a 17-7 lead with 32 minutes on the clock.
Indiana scores yet again as the Buckeye’s motivation seemingly sours. The kick is no good. The Hoosiers are now up 22-7.
Wow – yep! Again! Indiana pounds the ball across the goal for a brutal try. The kick again fails. Indiana is now flourishing as their “man-pride” soars. They are up 27-7 with 20 remaining.
Again, with less than 10 to go Indiana runs in a try with a good after kick making it 34-7.
This will be the final score. Indiana wins the Big Ten Men’s Rugby Championship in Columbus (or actually Obetz) in a powerful statement. It would be the Buckeye’s second loss of the season both at the hands of the Hoosiers of Indiana.
Next week in Columbus the Buckeyes will take on Penn State to finish off the season (Yes, Penn State is NOT part of the Big Ten in Rugby). Then it’ll be off to the NCAA D1A Rugby Championship (so we await to see who’ll be matched up against our Scarlet and Gray)…
Off to Beekman Filed next week and the Nittany Lions.