By Damian Flint, Date: 10/9/12
The USA Tomahawks have taken a 1-0 lead in the Colonial Cup Series, securing a 28-24 defeat of a fast finishing Canadian Wolverines side, at Lamport Stadium in Toronto.
The Tomahawks were first to get on the scoreboard when a 5th tackle kicking option was regathered by Sean Taylor, and he crossed for the opening try. Todd Fisherâ€™s conversion was successful and the USA took an early 6-0 lead.
A penalty for a high shot deep inside the Wolverines half gifted the Tomahawks with another point scoring opportunity. Fisher slotted the penalty kick and the lead was extended to 8.
The Tomahawks appeared to be building momentum and when Dustin Umeda crossed over out wide for his first try of the night, the Canadians were down by 12.
A Forty â€“ Twenty kick on the ensuing set of six laid the platform perfectly for Matt Walsh to cross over for the Tomahawks and there were troubling signs for the Wolverines early on. The conversion was unsuccessful and the score remained 16-0.
The first half appeared to go to plan for the Tomahawks as they took their opening lead into the half time break.
The Wolverines came out firing in the second stanza, opening the scoring courtesy of a Jamie Lester kick that resulted in a Tomahawks error. Tony Felix was on the spot to regather and the deficit was reduced to 12. The conversion was unsuccessful by Robinson and the score remained 16-4.
Back to back tries to the Canadians courtesy of Chalmers and Bylund put the Wolverines behind 16-14, and the pendulum appeared to be swinging.
Dustin Umeda was once again in the thick of the action for the Tomahawks. The electrifying speedster produced a dazzling long range try to add to the highlight reel as he crossed for his second try of the match. Fisher added the extras and the USA took a 22-14 lead.
Fresh off a scintillating season in the AMNRL, New York Knights custodian Todd Fisher continued his try scoring form crossing underneath the posts for the next four pointer. He converted his own try and the Tomahawks appeared to have regained the upper hand, charging back to a 28-14 lead.
The Wolverines werenâ€™t out of it yet as the seesawing affair in the second half continued. Center Three -Quarter Geoff Bylund notched his second and third tries in the dying stages of the match for the Canadians. But it wasnâ€™t enough as the Tomahawks hung on to win game one of the three match series with a 28-24 victory.
Tomahawks Coach Marcus Vassilakopoulos was full of praise for his troops after the match. As he told WeAreRugby â€œ It was a great effort from our guys tonight, each and every one of them.â€
The slow start to the second half was also a talking point. â€œ We came out flat in the second half and they put three tries on us.â€ Despite the lack of focus at times, the Tomahawks Coach was able to identify some positives to come out of the second half. â€œWe were able to hit back with two tries of our own. It was a sensational effort.â€
Game two of the Colonial Cup Series between the USA and Canada will take place on September 22nd, at Varsity Stadium in Fairfield, CT.