Fox Valley 50 vs Oconomowoc 27
The Maoris returned home this week to face off with the next of their Wisconsin opponents, the men of Oconomowoc. The day of the match was unseasonably hot and as is typical for the home field, a stiff breeze blew from the south. The Maoris fielded a first XV featuring three new starters, Abe Duran, Cody Lee and Alec Hafeman all had their run-on debut. This match also saw Peter Banks take over the role of Captain from Ron, and it was an auspicious start to his tenure.
The first half of the match would see the Maoris take advantage of that strong St Charles breeze, with Ryan Crawford executing an effective tactical kicking strategy that put the Oconomowoc full back under immense pressure. The scoring did not get going until Oconomowoc lost a player to the bin ten minutes into the match. Fox Valley took made full advantage of the extra man scoring two converted tries, one by new captain Peter Banks and a nice long distance try by Danny Glade.
Oconomowoc did work their way into the game scoring next to bring the score to 14-5 at the 25 minute mark, but the Maoris quickly took control again when Scott Leadbetter went over the line to score four minutes later. The Maoris would continue to rack up the points with a Ryan Crawford Penalty goal, and another converted try, this time by John Ellington. The men from Oconomowoc stayed in the game by getting a try right at the end of the half. Thanks to the 100% accuracy from the boot of Ryan though the first half score saw Fox Valley with the game well in hand, 31 to 12.
The second half scoring opened with Oconomowoc, with the wind now to their backs, kicking a penalty to work back into the game. However the impact subs, Gil Hildebrand, Conor Doyle, and Pavol came off the bench and kept the Maoris firmly in control – Fox Valley put in two quick tries through Gil and Luke Dahleen shortly after the substitutions.
In spite of the heat and having no substitutions the boys from up north refused to quit, scoring another try at the beginning of the final quarter of the match. The Maoris bench continued to join the fray and make key contributions, as replacement center Mike Ackerman scored at the 69th minute. Oconomowoc’s spirts never faded though, and they would get their just reward. They scored the important fourth try in the final minutes of the match securing the bonus point and not leaving Illinois empty handed.
Man of the match Honors went to Danny Glade, not only did Danny score a great try, he put in the hard work of chasing down all of Ryan’s kicks and really helped Fox Valley keep the pressure on and maintain the territorial advantage.