Looking to make it further than we ever have before, we took to The Rig on what was supposed to be a rainy Sunday afternoon to face the Furness Phantoms of the NFC 2 Central division. With Furness winning the coin toss we would be receiving the ball on the opening kick-off and #6 Lewis Hughes immediately set to punishing them for that decision. Collecting the ball after one bounce, Lewis would take the kick back to house having weaved in and out of pursuing defenders, 7 - 0 Roughnecks, and maybe the tie put to bed if you read into the celebration. And he wasn't done there, scoring the first offensive points of the day as he collected a deep pass from #16 QB Chris Breen in the corner of the endzone making it 14 - 0 in the swiftest of fashion to the Roughnecks. Again slinging the ball down field, Chris this time would connect with WR #18 Rhys Elmslie to make it 21 - 0 as he shrugged off the Phantom's defensive back to secure the catch. With the offence rolling, the defence were barely on the field, doing everything required to stifle the Phantoms' offence, ensuring punts were the order of the day although FS #20 Darren Henderson would make an early interception to get the ball back for the offence.
Early in the second quarter QB #16 Chris Breen would take the ball into the endzone himself, finding a hole along the right side of the offensive line to make it 28 - 0, and TE #85 Rob Hayes wouldn't be far behind him for the Roughnecks, scoring on a 3 yard catch as Chris found him wide open in the endzone to make it 35 - 0. Our 6th touchdown would round out the first half as RB #21 Sean McDonald powered his way in following the middle of the offensive line to make it 41 - 0 with the last of the 6 first half PATs crashing off of the right upright.
With a second half running clock initiated as a mercy rule, the points scoring would slow down in the second half but #21 Sean McDonald got his second touchdown of the day on another typically powerful run, with a second missed PAT to follow, making it 47 - 0. Having not had to run too far on his first score, TE #85 Rob Hayes made up for it on his second, receiving the ball from #16 Chris Breen who rolled to his left to escape the pocket under pressure. Rob would then turn and take ball down the sideline, shedding tacklers and weaving in and out, showing off his wheels to eventually find the endzone on the longest offensive play of the game in the 3rd quarter, with PAT attempt number 8 splitting the uprights; 54 - 0. Lewis Hughes would finish the game as he started it, putting up the final points of the day on an almost carbon copy of his 2nd touchdown. Our #6 came down with the ball in the endzone, as #16 Chris Breen floated the ball over the cornerback. Final score; Roughnecks 61, Phantoms 0.
Ruari Collinson (Interim Head Coach & Offensive Co-ordinator):
"[I'm] very proud of the performance the guys put in [yesterday]. We knew we hard to start fast and be prepared for a Furness side who were coming off a high with a strong win their last regular season game. I thought from the very first whistle we played to an extremely high level and I was very please with the performance on both a offensive and defensive stand point. Credit to Furness - they never gave up and played hard until the final whistle. We now have a lot of hard work and preparation ahead of us as both of the coaches and players aren’t ready for our season to end just yet."
Throwing: QB #16 Chris Breen x5
Receiving: WR #6 Lewis Hughes x2, TE #85 Rob Hayes x2, WR #18 Rhys Elmslie
Rushing: RB #21 Sean McDonald x2, QB #16 Chris Breen
Kick-Off Return: KR #6 Lewis Hughes
PATs: K #4 Stuart Don 7/9 (LS: Graeme Reith, Hold: Grant Travis)
Bud Light MVP: #16 Chris Breen. Chris led the offence up and down the field, setting Roughnecks records for both yards and Touchdowns in the playoffs too. Five touchdown throws and an additional one on the ground made him the obvious choice for the award. Dilly Dilly!
Offensive MVP: #6 Lewis Hughes. Lewis got us up and running with the huge opening kick-off return and set the tone for the whole afternoon. Another two touchdowns and countless special teams tackles would bolster his case for overall MVP but he narrowly missed out to Chris.
Defensive MVP: #23 Phil McCall. Phil was a constant thorn in the side of the Phantoms' offence sealing the edge against outside runs, making tackles in the backfield and ensuring the Phantoms got nothing going all day long.