Though they were hundreds of miles apart this weekend, the Furies two sides shook off the dust after unexpectedly long winter and an unusually early Ruggerfest, securing two wins on Saturday. The Furies Division 2 side played in their inaugural playoff game at home against the York and Lancaster Thorns, while the rest of the team hit the road before dawn to take on the Monmouth Renegades in Lincroft, New Jersey.
Playing 4 twenty-minute periods, the travelling Furies kicked off in a stiff wind that plagued both teams throughout the game. Monmouth was first to put points on the board, but the Furies responded to tie it up. Two more tries and a conversion despite the wind put the home team up 17-5 at the end of the first quarter. At the half, Monmouth was holding on to their lead 22-10, but the Furies fired it up in the last two quarters, finding holes in the defense, and finishing the day with a 32-29 comeback win. Rookie Tammy Bouma was elected Player of the Match for an overall strong game.
Meanwhile, the Division 2 squad was warming up at Signal Hill in Manassas and preparing to take the field in their pioneer playoff game. The Thorns, showing the kind of heart and resolve that all teams strive for, took the field with only 13 players, opting to fight it out rather than forfeit. It was windy and muddy, but the sun was shining as the Furies took an early 7-0 lead with outside center Jenna Truax touching it down and Captain Suzanne Haggerty sailing a conversion through. Penalties and turnovers on each side had the Furies and Thorns battle for possession, but tries from Moira Smith, Mikey Onwochei, Suzanne Haggerty, and Tess Thorman put the Furies up 24-0 at the half.
Early in the second half, a penalty near the Thorns try line increased the Furies’ lead as rookie, Mikey Onwochei was hammered through the defense by her fellow forwards, touching down another try. Soon, an injury on the Thorns had the visiting team down to 12 players. Taking advantage of mistakes by the Furies, York and Lancaster kicked for points to get on the board 38-3. Connections in the back line got the ball to fullback Rachel Horsey, who stiff armed her defense and made a break to touch it down. The Thorns responded, getting one in on the corner bringing the score to 43-8. Tess Thorman and Elske Tielens made strong runs to add to the Furies lead before the final whistle, ending the game 55-8.
The Div 2 side now has its eyes on the end of April when they will host local competitors NOVA 2 in the Mid-Atlantic Conference Plate Championship. In the meantime, the Furies will welcome New York Rugby Club and Georgetown University in friendly matches this Saturday at Heurich Park.
Match Report by Tara Dunderdale. Photos by Angela Cole.