Severn River Men faced off against an old rival to open up their 2018 Mid Atlantic campaign, as they travelled to Columbia, MD to take on Rocky Gorge (D3). The boys in green and blue lost in heartbreaking fashion, as they gave up the lead in the 75th minute, when Gorge converted the final try of the game to go up 19-17. It was a dismal afternoon with intermittent showers throughout the match, but that didn’t stop either team from playing some very polished and hard hitting rugby. The intense tackling began from the first whistle and did not let up for the duration of the match. In particular, Severn center John Sage set the tone early and often in the first half with some bone rattling shots to the Gorge backline. Although, Sage may have been a little too eager in the tackle for the referee, as he was handed a yellow card in 35th minute for his exploits in defense. The scoring in the first half started with a converted penalty from Erik “Punchy” Dronberger from 27 yards out. Dronberger followed that up with a converted try in the corner after several phases of hard work from the Severn pack. Severn went into halftime up 10-7, but Gorge came out flying in the second half, scoring with in the first three minutes, to go up 12-10. Severn did not let up, with some great runs out of forwards Mike Blimmel and Nick Stratcko, Blimmel had a particularly stylish 40+ meter run straight through the heart of the Gorge defense. Severn went back up via a penalty quick tap try at the 5 meter line, Dronberger found the Gorge defense napping and darted in for the score. He converted the kick, to make it 17-12 Severn. Severn injected some much needed pace into the soggy second half via substitution, with wing Logan Reece and hooker Brandon Kirk coming on and providing an offensive boost to Severn’s attack. It was nip and tuck the whole second half, with both teams bending on defense, but not breaking. A probing kick by Gorge found space in the corner, they were able to recover and, through a few pick and go’s by the forwards, find the try zone with just a few minutes to go on the clock. Gorge was able to sneak the conversion kick just inside the left post to go on top, 19-17. Severn made a valiant effort to get some offense going quickly in the last seconds, but were stopped after a knock on in full time. Man of the match for River was a much contested award on Saturday, with several great performances on the day, but Fly-half Punchy Dronberger and Lock Brad McCarty found the top of the heap, splitting the distinction after the game, with Dronberger earning extra plaudits by providing all 17 of Severn’s points. This week, Severn travel to Northern Virginia to take on Western Suburbs RFC in their second league match of the season at 1pm on Saturday.
Tries: E. Dronberger (2)
Conversions: E. Dronberger (2 of 2)
Penalties: E. Dronberger (1 of 1)