Savannah 28 – Charleston 40

The Savannah Shamrocks kicked off their 2013 playoffs with a road trip to Charleston to take on the winners of the northern subdivision and unfortunately came up with a loss that was closer than the score indicated.  It was a tough way to close out the season for the Rocks who traveled with only 18 players to their first playoff match in several years.  Early in the match the game plan worked to perfection as the Shamrock forwards dominated set pieces and worked well together to advance the ball down the field with supported crash balls.  The men from Savannah opened the scoring in the 5th minute when 8-man, Greg Woodruff, crashed through the Charleston forwards after several phases (unconverted), making the score 5-0.  Charleston quickly answered back when their fullback made a break through the back line and was able to touch down under the post (converted) making the score 5-7.  Savannah answered back in the 15th minute when Woodruff again had a strong run dragging several Charleston defenders with him across the try line for the score (unconverted), making the score 10-7.  The back and forth 1st half next saw Charleston’s winger scoop up a loose ball and make a couple defenders miss as he was able to break free around the corner and score under the post (converted), making the score 10-14.  Charleston’s forwards began tackling and rucking stronger late in the 1st half and were rewarded when they created a turnover in the Shamrocks half and quickly got the ball out to their backs again for another score (converted) making the score 10-21.  The Shamrocks refused to hang their heads and came right back at the Outlaws putting together more aggressive phases dominate by the forwards who’s rucking and mauling kept the Rocks in the game throughout the first half.  Again the Shamrock forwards were rewarded when prop, Teri Ransome, dove over the line for a score (unconverted), making the score 15-21.  The Rocks kept the pressure on and on the last play of the 1st half made several phases pay off and well executed back line play saw fullback, Kevin McKenzie, touch down for 5 in the corner (unconverted), making the score 20-21.

Halftime: Savannah 20 – Charleston 21

The second half saw Charleston more adept at keeping and making the most of their possession.  After the Outlaws secured their own kickoff and break several tackles a forward was able to crawl in possession of the ball and touch down under the posts for a try (converted), making the score 20-28.  Savannah answered by pushing the ball deep into their own territory and after maintaining possession for several minutes inside the Outlaw 22 were rewarded with a penalty which was slotted through by flanker, Elliott Doyle, making the score 23-28.  The Shamrocks defense was not able to hold out against the pace of the Outlaws back line and again gave up another try when their fullback broke through the like off a well executed play from the back of their scrum (converted), making the score 23-35.  The Shamrocks had several opportunities over the following 20 minutes in the second half but were unfortunately not able to capitalize, including a knock-0n at the goal line after a 60 meter break and a ball which was through to be scored by replacement scrum half, T.J. Fonmanu.  The Outlaws on the other hand, were able to capitalize with a score of their own in the corner by their wing late in the game (unconverte), making the score 23-40.  The Shamrocks showed the will to claw back into the game but simply not enough time remained on the clock as inside center, Charles Campbell, was finally able to make one of his many line breaking runs pay off by scoring (unconverted), making the score 28-40.  The final whistle sounded following the score and the men were frustrated by what might had been for their season but had their heads held high as they know they put a good showing on the field and all 18 men contributed valiantly in the effort.

Final Score: Savannah 28 – Charleston 40

1 Ben Carroll
2 Rick Ventresca
3 Teri Ransome
4 Hank Lux
5 Aaron Glascock
6 Will Garnett
7 Elliott Doyle
8 Greg Woodruff
9 Kamoe Fonmanu
10 Matthew Midgett (c)
11 Bryan Rippee
12 Charles Campbell
13 Johnny Rea
14 Jacob Carpenter
15 Kevin McKenzie
Res John Packard
Res T. J. Fonmanu
Res Matt Dunham