(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
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.
PHOTOS FROM THE MATCH
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
Return to Main Page