April 7, 2014- The trip to play the Queen City Frogs was a quick three hours, and the Black and Blue traveled with many veterans and young player looking to come away with a win against a growing rival in Queen City. The pregame speech by Sam DiFilippo set the tone for the day. It was simple, leave all the bullshit in Fort Wayne and play rugby.
The game started with a Queen City kick that saw Chuck Geyer’s first run of the day. A back and forth battle, for the first ten to fifteen minutes or so, soon turned into two quick scores for Queen City. The first try was a struggle for Queen City, it took about seven or eight cycles for them to break into the try zone from within the 22. The stand was a very positive moment for Fort Wayne, despite points being scored. At the kick off, Queen City broke through the middle and it looked like a quick try. The player was eventually brought down and then a penalty stopped the play. Queen City took a quick go but the player was met at the line; then the whistle blew and The Frogs were given a penalty try.
It was time for Fort Wayne to act quick and respond with a try of their own. Josh Boyanowski and Matt Mangan took the game on their shoulders and ran through the Queen City defence numerous times. It was only a matter of time before one of them was going to break free and score. Josh was the first to strike, and he cruised to a try on the right of the field; his first try and The Black and Blue’s first points. Kevin Hastings made the conversion kick, he was two for three on the day. With the score 12-7, The Black and Blue received the ball and again and proceeded to drive the ball down the field, but lost possession and gave up a very contested try. Josh Boyanowski took the ball toward the end of the half and cruised down the left side of the field for his second score of the game, 14-19 at the half.
The second half was a defencive battle and Fort Wayne was fighting to even the game. James Sendo and Jim Burns were tough in the middle and frequently met opposing players at the line. Queen City would drive, but The Black and Blue played tough defence and meters were tough to come by, especially through the middle. A combination of things helped Fort Wayne. Pressure from coming up as one on defence led to The Frogs mishandling the ball more often than not; another strength of The Black and Blue was communication throughout the game.
Obviously tired of playing defence, Matt Mangan decided to tie the game with a try; a great run on the right side of the field, 19-19. The rest of the game was a battle back and forth with Queen City keeping position about 60 percent to Fort Wayne’s 40, but Fort Wayne was playing rock solid defence allowing no tries in the second half of of the game. With the game winding down and Queen City within five meters of scoring, The Black and Blue stepped up and shut down the Queen City offence, they went through five or six cycles numerous times without scoring. Then to end the game, a penalty was called and Queen City took a penalty kick to win 21-19.
The Fort Wayne Black and Blue have a lot to be happy about with their showing in Cincinnati; great defence and communication were key to keeping the game close, while awesome efforts put points on the board. The game also showed The Black and Blue’s weaknesses. With effort and conditioning Fort Wayne can be successful, we are getting better and more competitive with every practice. We have veterans that take the time to make sure things are done right, and we have young players that are learning about the brotherhood that bonds us to the game. We are better after this loss because we did many things right, no one can say that we did not want to win that game. We competed hard and came up short, but we can’t create a habit of losing. “If you can accept losing, you can't win,” Vince Lombardi. We can’t be satisfied! Stay hungry for winning and it'll come. Toledo in two weeks, lets show them that Youngstown was no fluke.
Bleed Black and Blue