Binghamton Barbarians 17
Syracuse Chargers 36

(BB Wire) September 30, 2001 by Staff Writer

Too much patience.  Too much possession.  A tale of two halves told by Syracuse at the expense of visiting Binghamton to the tune of a 36-17 victory for the home side.

A game Binghamton Barbarians team arrived at JR’s field (the bar’s name this week) in Syracuse on a gorgeous fall day perfect for rugby (or just sitting around, for that matter).  And the match started out well enough for Binghamton, with both teams exchanging some good moves and hard hits, gauging each other and settling down for the long haul.  Syracuse notched the first points through a penalty in front of the Barbarian posts.  This was to be a hallmark of the match, as Syracuse made Binghamton pay for every infraction committed within the Charger kicker’s range.  For the record, the man made every penalty kick and missed only one conversion.

But Binghamton replied quickly with a break by flanker Ryan Koseski around the blind side.  An unerring pass after committing three Charger defenders put Binghamton’s winger in under the posts for the Barbs’ first try, which Koseski thereafter converted for the Barbarians’ first lead, 7-3.  The Chargers’ backs cruised down the field in response, and a penalty try was awarded after it was ruled that there had been an intentional knock forward by Binghamton in their try zone.  Syracuse retook the lead, 7-10.

Binghamton rumbled back up field, taking the fight inside Syracuse’s 22-meter line, where Barbarian flanker Mike Hill charged through some weak tackling to touch down for Binghamton’s second, and final, try.  Another Koseski conversion put the score at 14-10.  Three Charger penalty kicks and one drop goal later halftime arrived, with Syracuse leading at the break 14-22.

Throughout the first half Syracuse demonstrated a great deal of patience waiting for the game to come to them and taking their points when and where they could.  Binghamton was penalized on an inordinate number of occasions, and the Chargers made them pay for nearly every one.  The Barbarians took advantage of the breaks that came their way, but they were few and far between.  In the second half, such breaks would be as desert mirages.

The Binghamton forwards did a good job securing possession at breakdowns and in holding their own during set play and the lineout – previously a Barbarian weakness – became a strength, but injuries, affecting the entire Barbarian team even before kick off, took an even greater toll as the match progressed.  Losing their starting hooker and lock, and with one prop playing through illness, the pack nevertheless made their presence felt, especially at the goal line, where they prevented at least three certain Syracuse scores through relentless defense.

The Barbarian back line, minus their starting fly half and fullback, saw precious little ball during the second half, and most of that coming through broken play or in counterattacks.  Thus, relegated to defensive duty, they stood their ground against wave after wave of Charger attacks, allowing few through.  But given ball and a sliver of daylight, Binghamton’s backs gained ground and challenged the Syracuse line on several occasions, especially during the first half.

Syracuse controlled the ball for much of the second half through some brilliant, rampaging play and with not a little assistance from the referee.  The Chargers made their greatest headway in the second half through blind side breaks, with their flanker and number eight coming around on the weak side in a crushing tandem.  In such a fashion did they score the try that put the match away.  Ryan Koseski added a penalty kick for the Barbarian effort, but Binghamton trotted off the field 17-36 losers.

Following an uninspiring B-side tilt, during which two more Barbarians met with injury (and a session which was churlishly demanded by the home side of an already undermanned Binghamton club), the Barbarians packed it in and went on their way.

Binghamton did well during the first half of this match, keeping pace with the Chargers and threatening their goal line on several occasions, putting away scores from long distance through the backs and in close with forward play.  That injuries and the absence of key personnel played a key role in the defeat is obvious.  But even with players utilized in unfamiliar positions and injuries rampant throughout the match (and, so far, the season), the Barbarians showed flair and ability, and there’s every reason to believe that, with the return of players following recuperation, Binghamton can consolidate and make a run as they near the end of the first half of their 2001 season.


Ryan Koseski puts winger Andreasen away...

For the Barbs first try!

Follow the bouncing ball

Ryan Hrebin leads the counterattack

Matt makes a break to the blind side

The ball goes in!

Syracuse blunts another Binghamton charge

The Chargers mauls an unfortunate Barb


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