As 1-0 Norfolk prepares to travel to 0-1 Media, both teams are focused on their defense. Norfolk’s defense is by no means in shambles, as the Blues defeated Raleigh 40-22, but it’s not good enough, if you ask Norfolk flanker Danny Hare.
“We want to mitigate the number of points scored against us,” he said, “not let other teams run up a score late. Instead of winning 40-30, we want to keep it 40-0. We set defensive goals each game and try to make sure we don’t let in those soft tries at any time.”
Media, an extremely high scoring team a year ago, played satisfying defense in their 14-7 loss to the Maryland Exiles, surrendering just a penalty try and a score on the last play of the game.
“As long as we keep the defense the way we did, we’ll be OK,” said Media player/coach Owen Jones. “I think we’ve just got to be smarter rugby players on the offensive end and we’ll do just fine. A penalty try and the last play of the game, we’ll take that any day. We just need the offense to be a little better.”
If history is set to repeat itself, Media needs to concerned about its offensive out put as well, given Media was pounded 69-10 by Norfolk last season.
“On the offensive side of the ball, if we could maybe slow the game down and play a lot more territory,” said Jones.
“I don’t want to go to a South African kicking game, but we want to play the game on their half of the field as much as we can. We’ll take our chances off lineouts and off scrums and moving the ball down the field and just playing in that end.”
Jones missed the Exiles game because of injury. He’ll be back in action at one of the halfback positions this weekend, but his brother Gareth will still be sidelined.