Norfolk shutout Media 27-0 Saturday to improve to 2-0 in MARFU play. Though an impressive score line, it pales in comparison to the 69 points the Blues hung on Media last season.
“They have a lot of new, younger players. They’ve got a new flyhalf who has a phenomenal boot, but they have some new young players and they played some tough D,” said Norfolk player/coach Chris Porter of Media.
“They were hitting us hard, going after us, playing the typical Media we used to know. When we put the points on them last year it wasn’t the team we used to know.”
Norfolk’s size eventually wore down smaller Media.
“They’re just big. Big and fit,” said Media’s Owen Jones. “Norfolk is the full package. Everyone is big, they’re in shape, they can run and every tackle hurts.”
Though Porter commended Media for their defensive performance, his side has conceded just seven points in 160 minutes of rugby so far this season.
“That was the one thing we all sat down and decided -- defense is what we wanted to focus on, going after it and putting people down and not letting them score tries,” said Porter. “We’re really preaching that not letting them score points controls the game, so we’re pretty happy with that aspect of the game.’
Leading Norfolk’s defensive charge was flanker Danny Hare, who captained the Blues Saturday. “Our regular captain wasn’t there today, so Danny got to captain to the team and he stepped up his defense and just his leadership of the team by example,” Porter added.
With the loss, Media falls to 0-2 having lost to Maryland last week. But with Owen and Gareth Jones yet to step on the field and a seemingly easier schedule ahead, the Philadelphia-area team is optimistic.
“It’s not a bad 0-2. Norfolk is definitely the team that’s going to be in top four and maybe even just the top team,” said Jones. “Maryland is always around the top four, and for us now it’s just a matter of going through the rest of the teams. Every team we have left are teams we know well and teams we know we can beat, so we feel very confident in the position we are.”