April 7th Match Report vs Oceanside Chiefs
– brought to you by Jonas Ramonas, photo courtesy of Jay Coulter
Down 20-21 in the 80th minute to the Chiefs after a Hunter Carter-Rimbach try in the corner, the Old Aztec reserve center Tim Howard lined up all the way on the far right sideline for the all-or-nothing 2 point try conversion to decide the game. The kick sailed high over the up-rights and the OA faithful erupted as both Touch Judges raised their flags to signal a successful conversion. Howard, the hero for the moment, pumped his fist in celebration, and the Old Aztecs breathed a sigh of relief as they had completed a dramatic 11 point comeback.
The celebration was short-lived, however, as in a shocking turn of events, the Head Referee conferred with the Touch Judges & ruled the kick no good. An OA penalty after the kick-off ended the game with the final score 21-20 in favor of Oceanside. The Old Aztecs walked off the pitch stunned, as the loss effectively ended their chances of hosting a home playoff game.
It should be no surprise that the match came down to a wild, last minute finish, considering the two teams’ first meeting this season, which saw the OAs pull off a dramatic 17-15 win with yet another last minute try (thanks Bill Dow!). After the match, Head Coach Jarrod Faul refused to use controversial conversion call as an excuse and cited several missed scoring opportunities for the San Diego side.
Oceanside was happy to avenge their lone loss of the season at the hands of the Old Aztecs earlier this season. The Chiefs bothered the OAs at the breakdown all game, and were able to capitalize on several OA mishaps. The win put the Chiefs in excellent position going forward, and two more wins will secure them a home playoff game.
The Aztecs will now have to play the role of road warriors going forward. However, the San Diego side remains optimistic. When asked about the prospect of going on the road for the playoffs, leadership committee member Mike Deel stressed the importance mental focus, responding, “Clear eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t lose.”.
Some A-Side match photos courtesy of Jay Coulter are available for viewing @ https://www.jaycphotos.com/RugbyFolder/OldAztecsRugby/Old-Aztecs-vs-Oceanside-4-7-2018
April 14th brought the OA’s to AZ to face Tempe …. more details coming soon, but spoiler alert: The men in red emerged from the desert victorious!