April 2 vs. Fort Worth
Perfect weather and surprisingly fast field conditions greeted the Stormers following a week off for the Good Friday/Easter Weekend. The temperature was a perfect 65 degrees with a noticeable shortage of humidity, a slight wind and cobalt colored sky. Despite nearly 4 inches of rain during the week prior to kickoff the pitch was dry and thanks to the effort of Groundskeeper Willie, John Keller, rolled to an even plane.
Little Rock took advantage of the exemplary conditions by accelerating rapidly to 10-0 Lead in the first ten minutes of the match. Blindside Flanker Kevin Schanke scored 5 minutes in and Openside Flanker Mike Houston scored at the 10 minute mark. Neither of these Tries were converted.
The twelfth minute saw Little Rock Scrumhalf Matt Guest score his 1st try of the day. Winger Blake Blaylock followed that up with a Try followed by the day’s first conversion by Ronnie Parkinson to make the score 22-0. The scoring up to that point were mere appetizers leading up to Andrew Winter’s, Silky, Try. The Tighthead Prop took a pass off the Ruck from the five meter line and with a herculean effort he was able to ram the Gilbert Match Ball unapologetically into the Try Zone. The onerous task was made even more difficult as he lugged several of the opposing players forcibly along for the ride. Parkinson followed with conversion to make the score 29-0. Darren Oliver found the previous feat of strength tough to copy so he just scored on a long loping run. Parkinson added his third conversion of the day for a 36 point lead. Fort Worth scored a very impressive team try as they pushed into the Scoring Column to start the second half with a conversion to make it 36-7. Kevin Ryan replaced Winters at Tighthead in the 43rd minute and celebrated by scoring his first try 7 Minutes later to make the score 41-7. Guest scored his 2nd try of the day in the 54th minute. Parkinson added to his yearly try total by scoring in the 73rd minute to increase the lead to 39 points, 46-7. Win Noble scored two tries in the final 5 minutes of the match to bring him even with Darren Oliver atop the Season Try Leaderboard with 10 apiece. Noble is trying to supplant Oliver as the reigning Season Try Champion. Parkinson converted both of Noble’s Tries to make the final score 65-7.
Overview- The score did not indicate how hard Fort Worth played. They had quite a few bone-crushing hits and they attacked the Rucks with power. The opponents from western side of the Metroplex is a young team and will be a tough team in the next few years. Darren Oliver was Man of the Match for Little Rock.
Narada Jackson was Man of the Match from his Fullback position for Fort Worth. Jackson made what should be considered the best open field defensive play of the year. He was faced with a 4-1, 40 meters from the Little Rock Try Line and he was able to force the attackers into run into Touch resulting in a Line Out favoring his side.