Thursday, October 30, 2014 · 2:09 p.m.

Banner day for rugby at Montague Park

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Winger Steven Jones waits for the ball to cycle out of the scrum. (Photo: Staff)

Saturday at Montague Park proved to be a banner day for two of Chattanooga’s rugby teams.

The newly opened city park hosted a high school match, two men’s matches and a collegiate match, as well as a last-minute match between Nashville Women’s Rugby and Lee University.

On the senior level, Chattanooga Rugby Football Club’s Division II side—Nooga Red—bested Nashville Rugby Football Club, continuing its perfect season with a 35-0 victory.

The club’s Division III side—Nooga Black—struggled against the Nashville Posse and suffered a 27-0 loss. 

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Women’s Rugby team won its first matrix match of the spring season against the University of Alabama 38-24.

The high school match, originally scheduled to be a contest between Chattanooga Wolfpack and Polk County, was played as an eight-on-nine game with a mix of Chattanooga and Polk County players.

The rugby glossary

—Match: Game

—Pitch: Field

—Matrix match: Competitive game played for standing within the division

—Try: Score worth five points

—Conversion kick: Kick worth two points

—Penalty kick: Kick worth three points

—Rugby pitch dimensions: No more than 100 meters long by 70 meters wide

Nooga Red earned its win through a combination of unrelenting offensive pressure, strategic kicking to keep the ball and Nashville’s limited possession time within the Music City team’s 22. 

The second half saw a more successful push from Nashville to put Chattanooga on defense. Ultimately, however, the committed defense presented too solid a wall to allow for a Nashville score. 

Flyhalf Luke Collins, outside center Hoyt Watson and flanker Abner Casavant each scored one try, while wing Nick Bateman put up two tries. Adding the threat of Nooga Red’s kicking talents, fullback Wiley Davis totaled 10 points with two conversions and two penalty kicks.

Eight man Pat Flynn was named Man of the Match.

Nooga Black began its match with an assertive defense. The team’s habit of bunching around the breakdown rather than protecting the entire width of the pitch opened up the wide side for Nashville’s first try.

The Chattanooga team managed to shut down offensive attempts up the middle of the pitch, thanks to inside center Juan Weller, who held Nashville from scoring in the second half.

Winger Evan Castellano came close to scoring Nooga Black’s only try in the second half before being brought down by an ankle tap tackle.

Up next, Nooga Red will vie for another win against the Birmingham Vulcans at Montague Park on Saturday, March 2 at 2 p.m. Nooga Black takes a weekend off before playing the Nashville Posse again in Nashville on Saturday, March 9.

Preceding the men’s Division II game this weekend, the Chattanooga high school team will play McMinn County at 10 a.m.

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