Nick-of-time win for the Falcons

[attach]1587[/attach]Ryan Lobert’s 30-yard try in the dying seconds of Forest Hill’s rugby match helped propel the Falcons to a 12-7 victory over Newtonbrook North Stars.

It was a story of hard fought defences April 29 as both senior boys rugby team made a number of goal line stands.

Long, sustained drives were common in the opening half, but some unforced errors ended those charges.

In the second half with the score knotted 0-0, Newtonbrook picked up a fumbled pass and marched in to take an early 7-0 lead including the convert.

Despite being down, Forest Hill wasn’t about to quit.

After a short clearing attempt down the field by the North Stars, Luca Pallattella picked up the ball and juked his way down the pitch, where he passed the ball to teammate Jay Goldstein, scoring unscathed to tie the game at 7-7, after a Lobert convert.

Falcons coach Jeff Naylor said though his fledglings showed some grit their experience did not take flight on the field.

“It is extremely frustrating because we have been practicing since December and we have played probably 15 games up to this point, where Newtonbrook has played three,” he said. “So you would hope they would have some composure and realize the game is 80 minutes long and points can happen at any point in the game.”

With under a minute to play and facing their first blemish on a 2-0 record Forest Hill’s creativity soared. Lobert managed to put some space in between himself and the defenders after another Newtonbrook clearing attempt.

The seam that opened up for Lobert allowed him to fall into the end zone as time had expired for the 12-7 victory.

“We knew we weren’t playing our best and we hung our heads for a little bit,” Lobert said. “We were able to pull everything together to keep our perfect record alive.

“We dug deep and put the pressure on in their end. They had a clearing attempt, I picked up the ball and saw some space, ran with it and we ended up scoring.”

Forest Hill’s ability to overcome the adversity while making adjustments on the fly allowed them to improve to 3-0, but Naylor wants to see a better effort.

“This was definitely a wake up call for our guys,” he said. “I think they were in shock a little bit by how much pressure Newtonbrook put on us and we were lucky at the end to win the game.”

Now that the Falcons have found the trick to comebacks, Naylor believes the key to the team’s success will be finding balance.

“It’s just living on that fine line between playing a tight enough game to keep the errors down, but playing a loose enough game that the creativity isn’t taken away,” he said. “Playing on that razors edge between creativity and tightness, our fundamentals let us down, but we still had some vision left in us to get that game winning try.”

Lobert agreed.

“It shows that even though we are down in the beginning, we can pull through,” he said. “We know we aren’t the type of team that loses it right away, we will fight our way to the end.”