The match began with a sobering moment of silence for Alex Behr of Clinton Muddy River Rugby Club, who tragically lost his life in a car accident the previous week. Each team recognized Alex with their #7 jerseys, and took arms with one another for the moment of silence. It was a small gesture with a big reminder; that no matter what team we play for, we’re all brothers on and off the pitch, and here for one another whenever called upon.
As for the game itself, the wind was stiff out of the south, but the temperature was a breath of fresh air compared to the weather leading up to the weekend bout between the Omaha GOATS and the division leading Bremer County Bucks. The first half was a back and forth affair, with the Bucks beginning the scoring by putting together a methodical, organized drive down the pitch. The GOATS answered quickly by breaking through the Bucks line with lots of support. After a Bucks penalty near the goalline, Jaco Visser added to his try total for the year with a thunderous score through the defense. The next sequence, the Bucks would turn the GOATS over and capitalize. Omaha would respond and steal a kickoff and march right back down to their goal line before the Austin Pangelinan would dive over the pile for a scrum-half score. The next GOATS possession, an unlucky slip in the backline would hand the Bucks’ inside center an easy pick and score. Omaha would do the rest of the scoring that half, as the defensive pressure from the GOATS ratcheted up a notch and allowed the ball to be kicked and picked up by Austin Pangelinan for another score in the corner. Andrew Markham would strike a solid ball from 42 meters out before half to put the home side up 27-19. Unfortunately, with the wind going against them the second half and some injuries, the GOATS weren’t able to find paydirt in the 2nd half, and Bremer would go on to score 20 unanswered second half points. It was the GOATS grittiest match of the season, and the loss would leave a bitter taste as it felt that one might have gotten away from them. Credit the Bremer County Bucks for digging deep with a solid second half performance on the defensive side, never really allowing the GOATS to attack past their half. Spirits were high post-match, and the 40th Anniversary Celebration pressed on with stories and camaraderie.
Thanks to our family, friends and fans who attended our home matches this season, and those that provided canned and boxed goods for our Hunger Heroes Food Drive for the Open Door Mission!