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Furious George vs NexGen

Recaps, Tournaments

The Endless Summer Wraps Up in Vancouver

Thursday night laid out a gorgeous summer evening as if on a picnic cloth. The Klahanie rugby club grounds, nestled in tall cedars, practically glowed in the sunset. The audience shuffled into the clubhouse seating and ordered up frosty libations. It all had a very genteel summer pastime atmosphere. The NexGen tour bus trundled up, and the all-stars poured out, and as the sun dipped behind the trees, the show began.

The game began with crisp offense on both sides, Furious and NexGen traded finesses. The Monkey was the first to break, with a cheeky blade from Collins into an open pocket. We solidified the lead with a second break, and closed out the first half with a comfortable 8-6 lead, starting the second half on offense. It was a well-executed start, and it put us in a position to command the rest of the game.

But we did not score that first point of the second half. As a matter of fact, NexGen scored six in a row without reply. It was a replay of that inexplicable disease that plagued us on Sunday at CUCs. A sudden rash of execution errors and outlandish throwing decisions repeatedly handed the disc back to NexGen. And NexGen capitalized, running up to a score of 8-12 in what seemed like a heartbeat.

I was called onto the offensive line (this is usually a course of last resort), and was joined by Doyle, who curtly asked the assembled monkeys, “Well, are we embarrassed enough yet?” No matter where you draw the line, no one ever says, “No, I think I could stand a little more.” And so we attempted to mount yet another classic Furious George comeback bid.

The Monkey chipped away at the lead, even rolling three breaks together from 10-14 to 13-14. And on that last point, the one we needed to force overtime, we scrambled around the field on our switch-poach junk, frantically trying to confuse NexGen into handing us the disc one more time. But NexGen had woken up and realized that the Angry Monkey they were now facing was different from the one that had given up six points earlier, and they played patient, intelligent offense, switching positions frequently and looking for small gains. Finally, they clinched the win on an easy continuation defeating Vancouver with a score of 15-13.

Obviously, consistency is the Monkey’s current challenge. On the bright side, we know that we can play to the very finish, but we’ve lost ourselves in that middle stretch too often lately. We will have to address this problem in time for the Labor Day Championships.

Alex Davis

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