The men’s team battled back and forth all day, first falling behind 7-0 after an early try from Rockaway’s fly half, and then answering with two first-half tries from Mario Avocato and Craig Mackenzie, along with two successful conversions from Gennaro Anzalone to lead 14-12 at halftime.
Following two successful penalty conversions and an additional second half try from Rockaway, Brooklyn narrowed the lead to 23-19 after a phenomenal acrobatic diving try by Toby Tornay with just minutes remaining in the game. The conversion attempt was missed by Anzalone.
Brooklyn attempted one final surge against the staunch Rockaway defense in the final minute and a half, but it proved to be too little too late as the whistle sounded and the home team prevailed.
Meanwhile, the Brooklyn women traveled north to face the Hartford Wild Roses Women’s Rugby Club. The competition proved difficult, but Brooklyn’s strong defense kept Hartford from scoring on several occasions.
Hartford went up 3-0 early with a penalty conversion. Shortly thereafter, they added the game’s first try, but missed on the conversion attempt, going up 8-0.
It was then Brooklyn’s turn to get on the board when veteran center Hanna Campbell intercepted a Hartford pass and returned it to make the score 8-5. Kyla Maxwell added the conversion just before halftime to trim the lead to 8-7 at the break.
The second half scoring came predominantly from the Hartford side, going up 18-7 before Brooklyn’s eight man, Sarah Bepko, was awarded a penalty try due to an illegal high tackle.
Erika Hernandez added the conversion to bring Brooklyn within four points. However that was all the scoring the Brooklyn women would add in the second half, as the Hartford women held on to secure the win at home.
Next on the schedule for the men is a trip to Montauk on Saturday, September 20, for a 1 p.m. matchup. At the same time, the women will host the Beantown Rugby Club in Brooklyn.