In a scrappy match played on a beautiful breezy day, the Chicago Griffins defeated Columbus RFC Saturday, 36-19.

            The match was tooth-and-nail to the end, with Griffin scrumhalf Luke Stringer getting a red card for an alleged punch during a wild scuffle at the Columbus try line late in the game. 

Although Columbus scored first with a try in the corner, the Griffins came back in the first half with great passing in the back line and aggressive attacks by the forwards.

            Two tries by Griffin fullback Toni Falatau early in the game gave the team momentum to keep a tough Columbus squad at bay, putting the team up 17-5, including a penalty kick by flyhalf Joel Conzelmann.  Center Matt Crabtree scored another try with five minutes left in the half and Conzelman kicked the conversion. Columbus came back, scoring a try from a scrum at the Griffin 22. The conversion was no good after the Columbus kicker moved and John Luhrsen rushed him, finally tapping the ball off the tee.  Midwest Referee Enrique Alvarez allowed the play, agreeing that the kicker moved.

            At the half, it was Griffins 24, Columbus 10.  In the second half, a series of penalties against the Griffins gave Columbus the opportunity to score on three kicks, putting the Ohio club within five points. The Griffins scored again, missed the conversion, giving the club a lead of 29-19. With five minutes left, the Griffins scored again with another conversion by Conzelmann. Final 36-19.

            It was Family and Friends Day for the Griffins RFC  and its affiliated clubs in the Chicago Rugby Club – Condors, Silverbacks, Sirens and Frogs.  The Condors lost a tough match to the Rockford RFC, 38-26 and the Silverbacks fell to the Indianapolis Impalas. The Sirens obtained a forfeit as the Rockford women’s club did not field a team. The Frogs-Rockford Old Boys score is not yet in. 

            Many thanks to the CRC for putting on a great cookout and all-around first order rugby event.  Thanks to Griffin Old Boy Buzz Frank, who subbed in as grill master for the CRC cookout. Buzz agreed to be grill meister for future Griffin home games. Other Griffin Old Boys at the scene included John Metzger, Jay Rizzo and Ed Michals. 

            The Griffins travel to Cincinnati to play the Wolfhounds RFC in their next Division 1 match on Saturday, Sept. 29.  The Griffins will play the Lions on Saturday Oct. 6 at home