The Nightmare seemed to come alive after this, and kept possession through numerous phases of play. A penalty on Eureka near their own 10 meter mark gave an opportunity for the forwards to crash through the try line, with senior prop Kyle Mitchell ultimately putting the ball down in the try zone with an assist from 8-man Jake Burnett. Flyhalf Diego Silva converted the kick to bring the Nightmare within 5 at the close of the first half.
The boys kept the momentum going to start the second half, and took advantage of Eureka leaving the last man in the lineout open. A good throw from hooker Victor Leon sailed to the back of the lineout and into the hands of Jake Burnett, who made a bruising run close to the try line. Scrum-half Gabriel Elizondo capitalized by picking the ball off the back of the ensuing ruck and crossing the try line. Silva converted the kick to give the Nightmare a 14-12 lead. Eureka stepped up the effort after this score, and again the Nightmare’s own mistakes kept them from increasing their lead. After the Nightmare turned the ball over, Eureka organized an effective attack and drove down the field; but a stolen ball in the ruck in the 53rd minute, followed by a well-timed kick from Silva, provided some breathing room. Flanker Preston Robinett was able to take advantage of Eureka’s misplay on the kick to make a long solo run into the try zone. Silva converted again to make the score 21-12.
Eureka answered by keeping the Nightmare on the defensive and backed up in our own end, and finally punched through in the 67th minute with some passing along the backline. Unable to convert the kick, Eureka came within a try of overtaking the Nightmare with only a few minutes remaining. A strong effort by the forwards helped the Nightmare maintain possession in the final minutes, and Burnett put the match away with a pick from the back of the ruck after the forwards drove down to Eureka’s end. Silva was not able to convert the kick, but the try was enough to give the Nightmare the victory, with a final score of 26-17.
It was a hard-fought victory for the Nightmare, but mainly because of the boys not playing to their potential. As Coach Stevie stated, it was more of Marilyn Manson match instead of a Marilyn Monroe one. The margin of victory easily could have been much wider. We have a lot of things to work on, but fortunately we have plenty of time to do so with a bit of a break before we take on Columbia on April 1. The boys will continue to work on fixing simple mistakes and playing as a unit.