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Barons lock up playoff opportunity

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As of last week, the Brooklyn Barons rugby team had locked up a playoff birth. Their seeding was dependent upon two factors: their final regular season game with North Jersey and the Hudson Valley versus Danbury matchup.

Playing in their very first home game in Brooklyn, the Barons did nothing to ensure that they would hold onto the number two seeding. Unfocused, unmotivated, and outmanned, North Jersey wore down the Boys of Brooklyn to a final of 17 – 0. The Brooklyn Barons left this game in a state of uncertainty, as they could only wait to hear the outcome of the Hudson Valley vs. Danbury game to know their playoff seeding.

On the brisk and windy evening, Saturday night, the Barons hosted North Jersey at Kaiser Field in Coney Island. At the start of the game, Brooklyn had two key starters out with minor injuries (Laurindo Da FB Costa and Keith Weiss FH), three more injured within the first 20 minutes (Matt Dixon Prop, Matt Loomis FH and Toby Tornay IC), and one more in the second half (Garrick Anderson FL).

Plagued with injuries, the Barons had to make many substitutions and some players were required to play out of their normal position. They fought well, but lack of discipline and confusion took control by the second half.

North Jersey (NoJo) played some very sound rugby, and had very minimal mistakes. NoJo came into this game needing a win to secure a playoff birth, they were focused and played mistake free rugby. With that formula it’s tough to lose. They seized their first opportunity midway through the first half after a Brooklyn penalty (The Barons lack of discipline has made the most penalized team heading in the playoffs). NoJo ran a penalty play and touched the ball down in a corner for a controversial try, the conversion was missed and the score remained 5 – 0 until the conclusion of the first half.

NoJo scored its second try in very similar manner to its first, after a Brooklyn Barons penalty, yet this try was rather clear. NoJo kicked for touch and won the ensuing lineout. After a series of rucks managed to find an area of the Brooklyn defense outstretched and with a strong run punched it in for the try; again the conversion was missed (10-0. The final try for North Jersey again resulted from a series of penalties against Brooklyn; conversion good (17-0). With score 17-0 and Brooklyn had nothing left. A few desperate plays and frustration mounted, as the unfocused Barons played themselves out of any chance of mounting a comeback; turnovers and penalties was essentially the story for the Barons.

In an abbreviated B side game, the Barons improved upon the sloppy play marginally, and it proved to be just enough. The Brooklyn Defense held strong throughout the game. After a series of tight forward play, Aubrey Almond received a pass and through shear will, dove fully stretched out to score the only try of the night for Brooklyn; conversion good (7-0). As the half ended, so did the power to the lights. Therefore, Brooklyn was triumphant with a final score 7-0.

With the regular season officially completed, we are proud to announce that the Brooklyn Barons RFC have secured the second seed in the Division III Met NY Union playoffs. This is a major accomplishment as this is the inaugural season for the Barons. The Barons (2) will host Hudson Valley (3), as Danbury (1) will host North Jersey (4).

As second seed in the playoffs, the Brooklyn Barons will need to refocus and be more disciplined, if they have any expectations of playing for a Championship on November 1.

Barons Brewing Co., Australia’s largest Independent Craft Brewer, is a major sponsor of the New York-based Brooklyn Rugby Union Team, The Brooklyn Barons. The team is part of the New York Metropolitan Rugby Football Union (NYMETRFU). Coach Michael Haynes (NZ) selected an international line up of players including Kempis McLean who has previously played at an international level with Trinidad and Tobago.

Captain of the Brooklyn Barons, Geoff Gordon, has previously played with Saratoga NY, Penn State, and Albany. He also brings years of experience to the team.

Scoring Detail:

Tries: A. Almond Conversion: G. Gordon (1/1)

Forward of the Match – John Murphy

Back of the Match – Geoff Gordon

Team: Aubrey Almond, Garrick Anderson, Bill Bendelow, Brian Benito, Lawrence Blaber, Zach Bubolo, Matt Butler, Edwin Cintron, Matthew Dixon, Josh Ferrell, Alan Foster, Geoff Gordon, Mitch Hochberg, John Illari, Justin Knight, Matt Koegler, Pierre Leleuch, Matt Loomis, Josh Magnas, Kempis Mclean, John P. Murphy, Tommy O’Connor, James Russo, Nick Stevenson, Aaron Taback, Toby Tornay.

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