Tuesday, March 15, 2016

South Panthers Fall Short In Savannah

By David Conyers

The USA South Panthers needed just another 5 minutes of play to complete a major comeback in Sundays Savannah premier final. Trailing 15 nil at the break from five long range penalties by the disciplined Cleveland Crusaders selects, the Panthers fought back to trail just 14-18 on the siren.
The game started poorly for the Panthers as continual unforced errors and a 9-1 half time penalty count hampered any real progress for the first stanza. The South created some nice line breaks but was unable to capitalize on the opportunities. Both teams displayed impeccable defense during this stage of the game.

The second half opened with more opportunities to the south but again some poor decision making not to effectively clear their line resulted in continual Cleveland pressure for twenty minutes. The south were able to finally unleash some back line attack and fly half Lucas Baistrochi found a nice gap in close after a great charge to open the south account at 7-15. Another penalty kick from Cleveland extended the lead to 18-7.

Take the jump to read more.

With just 5 minutes left on the clock the South found some much needed field position and an excellently weighted kick from Baistrochi in behind the defense saw Charlotte winger Zac Blalock meander his way through to touch down under the sticks. A quick conversion, and the come-back unfolding at 14-18.

The Cleveland team kicked deep and the south were forced to run any opportunity to beat the clock, this pressure finally told and a knock on resulted, and the end of the match.

The feature of the weekend was the strong defensive pattern the south employed and consequently they conceded just one try for the tournament.

For the South, fly-half Lucas Baistrochi was voted best for Charlotte, ably assisted by Zac Blalock who threatened the defense all day with some strong runs, captain Ron Omondi also led an incredible defensive effort. No8 Dan Stokes continued his form from the back of the scrum to cap off a great tournament.

The Panthers play host to Bermuda International in Atlanta on May 7, before hosting Cayman Islands in Miami in June as part of their 2016 program.


  1. So what I'm reading is that you didn't even see this game. The south committed penalties in their half the whole game that led to 7 shots at goal so the Cleveland Crusaders (a men's club, not a select side) just had to play conservatively for the remainder of the game. Thank you for writing a hype article about the team that lost.

  2. Article was submitted by USA Rugby South as a final summary of their weekend, they're good about sending releases out about what they do. I'm sure Cleveland would be welcome to submit a game report.