On a wet day where ball handling was a challenge, Princeton beat a big and physical Columbia side 40-21. Columbia initially adapted well to the conditions by playing a single-minded game plan of hard runs by their big and talented pack of forwards. Both teams traded tries and conversions in the first half resulting in a 14-14 tie at the break.
Princeton found more continuity in the second half after making a few tactical adjustments. The team found its rhythm and scored a number of well-worked tries. Columbia was always dangerous and, with 5 minutes left in the match, was awarded a penalty try under the posts for continued Princeton transgressions close to their goal line. Princeton came right back and had a great opportunity in the last minute to add to its try count but, on that occasion, failed to connect.
The game ended at 40-21. Princeton’s Man of the Match was PURFC Co-Captain Max Weber, who scored multiple tries and had a great kicking day, making 5 out of 6 conversions.
Princeton also won the B-side match 27-10, a 10’s match due to the limited numbers of players available to both teams. The Princeton B-side was given a hard contest as number of Columbia A-side players also played on the Columbia B-side. Princeton B’s played with good pace and ambition on attack. Our B’s were also very committed in defense, frequently committing multiple defenders to stop the hard charging Columbia forwards. Princeton’s B-side Man of the Match was second row Freddy Hertan.
PURFC player numbers are lower than normal this time of the year. While the team has attracted a number of new recruits to rugby, this season there is a new, highly comprehensive university medical clearance process in place. It will be the third week of October before all our students are fully cleared to play in their first rugby match.
Thank you to Tom Tani for refereeing both our A and B matches.
We wish Columbia all the best for the remainder of the season.