Charlotte, NC. — Atlanta Old White defended the south title by defeating Chattanooga 20 to 10.

The match was hard fought on both ends but with Nooga and Old White with 19 and 17 hours rest, respectively, the match was full of errors and penalties. Both teams were definitely not at 100%

Old White was outstanding on defense in the first half shutting down Nooga including couple of close opportunities. Jamie kicked a penalty along with a first half try.

OW leading 10 to zero, the lead was extended with another penalty by Jamie. However in the middle of the 2nd half, Dan was sinned binned. Nooga made a come back effort by scoring 2 consecutive tries cutting the lead. With 6 minutes left, Adam added an insurance try all but sealing victory to old white.

Old White now has 13 days until the next match against the Northeast Champs, with the fitting name of the New Haven Old Black. This monochromatic match will be held in Pittsburgh.

HT 10-0
FT 20-10

Min Cho
President Atlanta Old White RFC

Match Report:

Charlotte,NC — Atlanta Old White reached the USA Rugby sweet 16 level by defeating Charlotte RFC 35-32. It was by far one of the most exciting and roller coaster match that has been held in the South.

The weather was absolutely perfect and both teams were eager to get under way.

The opening 5 minutes started off with Old White dominating possession in the attacking end. But just like couple of weeks ago, Atlanta was not able to capitalize. Charlotte however did by being rewarded a penalty. In the ensuing lineout, Charlotte executed a perfect maul from 15 meters out and score the first points of the game. The match was going in similar fashion to the last time these two teams met. (Charlotte winning 48 to 6)

Undeterred, OW decided this match would follow a different path than the previous encounter by scoring one of the most spectacular tries you would see, amateur or professional. In the attacking zone around the 22, a ruck from phase play was formed. OW had 3 backs on the right, weak, side against 4 Charlotte defenders. Flyhalf Adam Vrahnos chipped over the defensive line toward the covering wing. At that point it was a jump ball between wings. Andy Britt won that ball touched it down to put OW on the board.

That score was followed up by an outstanding individual effort by scrumhalf Lea Kaufusi. Lea recovered a lose ball deep in the OW attacking zone weaving through a couple defenders for OW’s second try.

OW would tag on another try in the first half with Center Rico Rosa receiving a pass from Jamie Gasparella, who created the opportunity for the score.

Charlotte converted a penalty as time expired cutting the OW lead to 19 to 8.

The second half started off with OW with a penalty kick by Jamie extending the lead. However, Charlotte immediately answered with a try of their own cutting the lead down to 1 score.

OW answer this with a try by David Winiarczyk from a broken play. With Atlanta up 14 with 25 minutes to go.

Like all good teams, Charlotte came storming back. Scoring the next two tries. The lead for Old White was now 2 points with 9 minutes to go. The momentum had definitely shifted. Old White seemed gassed and Charlotte looked like the fresher team.

Atlanta converted a penalty with 7 minutes pushing the lead to 5. Charlotte would respond quickly with a try at the corner tying the match at 32 all. The conversion was no good from the difficult angle. 2 minutes was left. At this point it appeared Charlotte could create the chances to win the game.

With no time left, OW committed a penalty at midfield. At this point there was some confusion as the referee blew the final whistle. However the game cannot end with a penalty. So the match resumed as the final play. Instead of going for points, Charlotte decided to tap and go. They maintained possession around midfield for about 3 to 4 phases but the play of the game happened when Adam poached the ball giving possession to OW. After one phase, Charlotte was called for a side entry penalty. Atlanta made the immediate decision to go for the win. The mark was 45 meters from the post dead center. Long kick specialist Metro Dave line up for the kick. And without hesitation, nailed a perfect strike, splitting the uprights that would of been good from 55 meters. Making the Final score 35 to 32

Old White will play Chattanooga at noon for the USA Rugby Southern Region Championships and a ticket to the Elite 8.

Min Cho
President Atlanta Old White RFC