By Brian Lowe, Date: 19/8/12
The New York Knights have secured back-to-back championships with a high-scoring 60-40 defeat of the Connecticut Wildcats in the American National Rugby League championship game Saturday in Fairfield, Connecticut.
The defending champions took a while to gain the upper hand as the Wildcats came out blazing in the opening stanza. Only one try apiece was scored in the first quarter as both teams rallied for control of the game.
In the second quarter, the Wildcats looked to be gaining momentum but as they neared halftime, the Knights struck back narrowing the deficit to two as the Wildcats headed into the break with a 24-22 lead.
Knights head coach Guillaume Cieutat reinforced the need to stick to the game plan during his halftime speech and the pep talk seemed to work as his troops piled on 38 points in the second half to run away with the match.
Andrew Moody continued his try scoring streak notching three tries in a man of the match performance while dual code international Luke Hume proved to be a handful off the bench.
Todd Fisher, Joe Aregueta, Pete Jordan, and Justin Ripley were also among the scorers for the Knights, while Ben Sandgrove was strong in the forwards.
Knights president Rob Balachandran was impressed with his team’s victory and paid tribute to the players on a job well done. As he told WeAreRugby, “It was a great game out there, both teams came out hard. We had a few mistakes which they capitalized on but managed to regroup and finish off the strongest.”
It was a case of missed opportunities for the Wildcats. As player/coach Curtis Cunz explained, “It was close in the first half, but we let them score before halftime and they took the momentum and ran with it.”
The win secured back to back championships for the Knights and their fourth overall title in the AMNRL.
Tries: Andrew Moody(3), Todd Fisher(3), Luke Hume(2), Pete Jordan(2), Justin Ripley, Joe Argueta
Goals: Fisher 9 from 12
Tries: Luke Barron(3), Mike Shacter(2), Matt Walsh, Dennis Schmeiler, Mike Goward
Goals: Walsh 4 from 8