Spring finally sprung in Southeast Michigan this weekend, unfortunately for the D2 side, it came with a loss to the Chicago Lions 28-36. The Tradesmen raced out to a quick 14-0 lead to start the first half with an intercepted pass by Ish Bazzi, and then a maul off a lineout that was touched down by Joe Bargerstock. It stayed that way until the 22 minute mark when the Lions scored an unconverted try to cut the lead to 14-5. Eleven minutes later the Lions dotted down another converted try to make the game 14-12. The score remained there until half. Coming out of half the Lions picked up their pace of play, the Tradesmen did not. The Lions took advantage of a number of missed tackled, turnovers and penalties by the Tradesmen and scored 3 converted tries in the first 10 minutes of the half to take a 33-14 lead. It was after a yellow card and the Tradesmen were playing down a man that they finally started to play to their potential in the 2nd half. Derek Fraser cut the lead to 12 with 15 to play and with 9 to play after an Emosi Muledovo 40 meter try the Tradesmen found themselves only down 5. The Tradesmen put pressure on and were within the Lions 22 on a couple of occasions, but couldn’t find the try line again. The Lions tacked on a penalty kick with 1 minute to play for the 36-28 win.
The Division III Tradesmen traveled to west Michigan this weekend to take on the Grand Rapids Gazelles. The first 5-10 minutes of the game was controlled by the Tradesmen with phase after phase of solid support and composure. Grand Rapids quickly answered back with strong counter rucks creating loose ball and turn overs. Hard running and missed tackles contributed to GR taking an early lead. Tradesmen answered back by creating space on the ends and dotted down two corner tires over the course of the match. Your boys in blue played a very physical game and showed flashes of great team phase play that will be improved upon and carried through the season. Hats off to GR for a great match!
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