BRFC improve to 4-1 (2-1) with complete performance over Needham
Belmont High School
April 15, 2014
Playing in less than ideal conditions, with a strong, biting rain, coming off a physical road loss last week and missing 3 starters, Belmont put in their most complete performance of the year thus far defeating Needham High School 38-10.
With pack captain Pat O’Connor unavailable, starting #3 Mike Oprian out with the flu, and staring fullback Peter Berens recovering from injury Belmont moved pieces around and experimented with the lineup and the results speak to Belmont’s depth & flexibility.
In an effort to shore up the scrum & set pieces two players got their 1st XV debut starts in the front row – senior George Donovan & junior Deshawn Frederick. Both played admirably and consistently and their strength in set piece created a strong platform for Belmont’s attack.
The scoring began in the 5th minute after a period of sustained pressure from Belmont, which began off a strong run and offload by #8 Barrett Lyons. Lyons, playing in his senior season, capped off the strong start with his first of four tries on the night.
Belmont took a quick lead, 12-0, after another period of pressure and the first 10 minutes seem to be Belmont’s strongest of the season. But Needham, playing in Division 1 this year for the first time, used their clever flyhalf, all state selection Auggie Coll, to dink, attack, and ask questions of Belmont’s defense. The Rockets were able to capitalize and with the conversion Belmont’s lead was cut 12-7.
But Belmont would not be deterred and Lyons got his hattrick in the first half.
At the break the home side was up 19-7.
The difference this night was Belmont’s commitment to the ruck and stability in the set piece. Senior Devin Morris was Rodman-like in the lineouts, disrupting ball and stealing Needham’s throw in.
In the second half Belmont clamped down on defense, only giving up a penalty to the visitors. While on attack the Belmont’s backline opened the game up. Even in sloppy conditions the home side looked to offload and take risks. Often they paid off perfectly.
Needham looked to use the wind to their advantage in the 2nd frame, hoisting the ball in the air at least 10 different times. Each time the ball was taken confidently by fullback Luke Gallagher. Playing out of his natural position on the wing the junior was steady-Eddy in the wind & rain and countered with panache and daring.
Belmont were able to run in another 3 tries in the 2nd half and fresh legs ensured Needham would not be able to threaten the lead again.
Belmont now enter April break with renewed confidence. Two non-league matches next week will afford the 1st XV some needed rest for the home stretch which see a challenging home encounter with Boston College High School (April 30) & then traveling to the always dangerous St. John’s Prep (May 5).
Final Score: Belmont 38 (19) Needham 10 (7)
Tries: B. Lyons 4, D. Chan, J. Niles
Conversions: P. Campbell 4
Conversions: A. Coll
Penalties: A Coll