The Detroit Tradesmen beat the Indianapolis Impalas 41-26 Saturday to add to their undefeated record. And despite the fact that it wasn’t the prettiest way to win a rugby match, the score and being able to move on with a victory were the most important parts.
The game started off very well for the Tradesman as the squad showed its balance in the forward pack and backline. Causing constant disruptions in the opposing rucks and limiting their turnovers with steady ball movement, the Tradesman got going with an early score to set the tempo.
That moment was shortly lived when the Impalas countered with a score of their own to make things interesting. Back and forth the game went; both teams not showing any signs of backing down and tempers flaring. A total of three yellow cards handed out by the sir in the first half for infringements and back chat (2 for the Impalas and 1 for the Tradesman).
After things settled down, the Tradesman scored four more times before the half for a total of five scores, all by different players; Andy Dauser, Matt Metz, RJ Miller, Ben Wendt and Jeff Ryan with fullback Adam Saad converting two kicks. The Impalas scored just before the half to give them confidence in a slightly lopsided 29-12 match.
“We had a decent first half, nothing that really jumped out as a major concern, but fairly consistent,” Tradesmen Coach Jed Elley said.
In the second half, the Tradesman looked like a completely different team, but not in a good way. Whatever the Tradesmen could do to let Indianapolis back into the game and give them back any confidence, they did.
“We came out flat and let Indianapolis start the dictate the pace of play,” Elley said. “We strayed too far from the game plan and gave Indy too many opportunities to get back into the game.”
The Impalas scored early in the second half to pick up right where they left off and spent most of the second half on the attack. About midway through, coach Elley was seeing too much fatigue from his starters and brought on the bench for a good chunk of the second half. And it worked.
Led by Mohammed Daher and Steve Roche, the Tradesmen scored twice in the second half and got a conversion from Saad to solidify their second win of the season 41-26. Coach Elley said a win is a win, but there is still a lot of work to be done should they want to be competitive towards the end.
“We had too many mistakes in the second half due to fatigue which will put a lot of emphasis on conditioning in the weeks ahead,” he said. “I could go down the list of things we need to work on, but the bottom line is we need to shore up the small things to be consistently competitive. “
The Tradesmen go on the road this weekend against Columbus, followed by a bye week and then a rematch with the Impalas, which is on the road as well. Detroit won’t return home until the end of the month against Columbus.
“The talent and potential is there, we just need to find a way to bring it all together for a full 80 minutes,” Elley said.