St. Louis DIII Playoffs - Final vs. Outlaws

Hornets vs Outlaws - 04/15/2018.

Brutal conditions faced the Hornets and Outlaws in the final of the D3 playoffs.  A sloppy field combined with freezing temperatures were not conducive to champaign rugby.  The Outlaws came out with intensity, using their big forwards to get over the advantage line and made inroads downfield.  Neither backline could establish themselves much with the slippery ball and muddy turf conditions.  The Outlaws opened the scoring with a penalty kick after 10 minutes to make it 3-0.  The Hornets were losing the battle of attrition with a mounting injury toll coupled with the fatigue from yesterday’s previous tough game catching up to them.  Downfield kicks from the Hornets showed the Outlaws back 3 good in counter-attack, with a particularly elusive fullback.  Sustained possession lead to a try down the left hand sideline for the Outlaws to make the score 8-0 after 18 minutes.  The Outlaws were good about retaining possession, with the referee allowing more time for ruck ball placement in the wet conditions.  This secured them another penalty which was slotted over at the 27 minute mark to extend their lead to 11-0.  Similar circumstances saw them granted another penalty which was converted at the 37 minute mark to make the score 14-0 to the Outlaws at halftime.  With the season on the line both teams came out firing to open the second half. The Outlaws made a break down the left hand touchline and a kick through which looked like it would go over the dead ball line, ran perfectly parallel to the touch line and stayed inbounds.  The Outlaws fullback touched it down just about as it was about to roll dead to secure a fortuitous try.  Touch sideline conversion sailed wide to make the score 19-0 to the Outlaws after 43 minutes.  The rest of the half saw the Hornets throw everything at the outlaws, but their stout defence combined with the terrible conditions were not favorable for mounting a comeback.  With the combination of fatigue, injuries, and some just plain old bad luck, the Hornets could not claw their way back into the game.  A consolation try came to Pato from a quick tap after 72 minutes with the conversion narrowing the gap to 19-7.  The last few minutes saw the Hornets rallying but cut down by some untimely penalties. Congratulations to the Outlaws on a well-deserved victory and good luck to them as they take on Wichita in the next phase of the playoffs.  The Hornets can be proud of their season and look forward to coming back stronger next year.

Score – Outlaws = 19, Hornets = 7 (Pato try; Zac conversion)

Scrums – Hornets = 10/11 (91%), Outlaws = 14/14 (100%)

Lineouts – Hornets = 4/9 (44%), Outlaws = 5/9 (55%)

Penalties – Hornets = 12, Outlaws = 10.