This past Saturday, the Division 1 Mystics lost a tough battle against Glendale RFC at Pine Banks and the Division 2 Mystic Barbarians were knocked out of the playoffs with a loss against Morris RFC.
The Division 1 team hosted Glendale RFC, the reigning Pacific Rugby Premiership champions, at Pine Banks in this year’s highlighted match and the match lived up to its hype. Out of the gate, the Mystics pressured Glendale inside of their 22. This hard play resulted in a penalty conversion attempt which wing Spike Armstrong was able to slot giving the Mystics an early 3-0 lead. Minutes later, the Glendale #8 was assessed a yellow card, but Glendale was still able to score an unconverted try while a man down. About 7 minutes later, Glendale capitalized on phase play are drove over for another unconverted try extending the lead to 3-10. The Mystics fought to minimize Glendale’s lead and was successful when Armstrong slotted another penalty. Glendale then came back downfield and scored another unconverted try in the corner extending the lead to 6-15. In the final minute of the first half, the Mystics found themselves deep into Glendale territory. Wing Vini Daley got his hands on the ball and blasted over for a try. Armstrong remained perfect with the conversion and the Mystics were down 13-15 at the half.
Coming out of the half, both team’s defenses held and battled in the heavy rain. Armstrong’s reliable leg gave the Mystics the lead about 20 minutes into the half when he slotted his third penalty conversion on the day. The Mystics now had the 16-15 lead. However, Glendale worked their way down the field after a Mystic yellow card. They then picked off a 5 meter scrum and score with a conversion retaking the lead, 16-22. The Mystics battled hard and pressured Glendale, but they could not break Glendale’s defense. Glendale held onto the lead winning the match 16-22.
Over in Albany, the Mystics Barbarians were competing in the National Sweet Sixteen round against Empire Champion Morris RFC. Back and forth play due to tactical kicking kept both teams off the scoreboard early into the match. About 15 minutes into the match, Morris opened the scoring with a penalty conversion leading 0-3. While the Mystics couldn’t capitalize offensively, their defense played hard especially deep into their own territory. Neither team could score a try and Morris led 0-3 at halftime.
Early into the second half, Morris pressured the Barbarian defense and scored an unconverted try extending the lead to 0-8. After a missed penalty conversion for the Mystics, Morris intercepted an errant pass and scored uncontested with a good conversion. Morris now led 0-15 after the try. Finally, the Barbarians found themselves on the scoreboard when scrumhalf Matt Charest quick tapped on a penalty and dotted down a try. Fullback Duncan Wood came on for the conversion and narrowed the deficit to 7-15. The Barbarians yearned for another try and competed hard against Morris but they could not penetrate the defense and could not add more point to the score. The final whistle blew and Morris won the match 7-15 effectively eliminating the Barbarians from the playoffs.
Division 2 will be back in action this weekend for the NERFU Cup defending their third consecutive NERFU regular season championship. Division 1 will also be fielding a team in the final weekend before the National Semifinals matches.
Division 1 Mystics will be playing against NYAC in the Elite Eight on May 20th. Contingent on a win, the Mystics will then play in the Final Four match the following day, May 21st. We hope all of Mystic Nation will be able to attend the match and support the Mystics in their National title defense!
5/13 – 5/14 (SAT – SUN) D1/D2 NERFU Cup (Newport, RI)
5/20 (SAT) 1:00 pm: Division 1 versus NYAC (National Semifinals Elite Eight)
5/21 (SUN) 1:00 pm: Division 1 versus TBD (National Semifinals Final Four)