A scoreline that does not tell the true story. In these early pre-season matches, Park was looking to evaluate new players, many new to the club, several playing in their first real rugby matches, and pretty much to a man, they with credit. This against a team who played several of their first team players in a second game.
The lack of any meaningful preparation due to weather and facility problems certainly did not help as players were playing together for the first time and there was a definite lack of cohesion and organisation as multiple substitutions were made. Individually, though, there were many pluses for the coaching staff to look back on.
Park went in at halftime only down by a converted try with some very positive performances. Rasmussen, new to the back-row showed a willingness to hunt down barbarian runners and was energetic in the loose. Hartman and Harvey in the centres were both capable strong runners and suddenly Park has much-needed depth at that position.
After an early try from the Barbarians, Park replied with a strong run from Hartman who showed finishing skills diving for the corner. A chip and chase and then an interception as Park were deep in the Barbarian half pushed Park’s opponents back up by two tries but Smithbeck on his debut scooped up a loose ball to narrow the Barbarian lead.
Of the other new players, Davis showed considerable potential, especially defensively, with several solid tackles and an instinct for his positional adjustments.
In the second half, the Barbarians proved too strong as Park put on a string of replacements to ensure everyone got significant playing opportunities. Credit must also go to the veterans Waryjas, Dougherty, McDowell who continued to play on, contributing to their own significant playing opportunities.
There was one final highlight for Park when with his first touch in a rugby match, promising lock, O’Halloran ran a super supporting line to grab a pass from Smith and race through for a debut try. He was an unfortunate victim of the turf as he hit the ground, leaving with a mild concussion but there is more to come as he continues to improve.
Team: David (Waryjas), Schwadron (Mullen), Waryjas (Terhaar), Perrizo (O’Halloran), Dougherty, Rasmussen, McEntee (Koss), McDowell (Smith), Stein, Asmer (Huschen), Davis(Leyman), Hartman, Harvey, Rosenfeld (DeLorenzo), Ehlert (Smithbeck)
Try: Hartman 1, Smithbeck 1, O’Halloran 1