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Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Tuesday, 15 April 2014 19:04    PDF Print Write e-mail
Varsity Cup Round 1 Video - Utah v Air Force
MultiMedia - Game Footage


Varsity CupFull game footage of the Varsity Cup 1st round game between the University of Utah Utes and the Zoomies from Air Force.

Check out more about the Varsity Cup at varsitycup.us.








 
Written by Jackie Finlan    Tuesday, 15 April 2014 14:02    PDF Print Write e-mail
NOVA, Philly Advance to MARC Final
Clubs - Women's Clubs

The Mid-Atlantic held its semifinals for the women's DI clubs last weekend, and now only NOVA and Philadelphia remain for the automatic berth to the National Conference Championship on May 17-18 in Pittsburgh. City rivals Philadelphia and Keystone battled each other for bragging rights, and the result mimicked that of the regular season - a 68-5 victory for Philly. NOVA posted unprecedented numbers, downing James River 111-0.

NOVA scored 19 tries against James River. (Chelle Schneider photo)

It's been a difficult build-up for the Virginia side, which has battled canceled games during its pre-season, but the top-ranked team came into playoffs well prepared.

"Our players worked really hard over the winter to get ready for the playoffs, and we have more starting caliber players than we do starting spots, so we have to find ways to get everyone as much playing time as possible," NOVA coach Brian Walker. "We see it at practice each week and it carried over throughout the game. Everyone wanted to show what they could do."

And NOVA certainly made a statement, sending 10 different players over the line for 19 tries. All of NOVA's starting backs scored at least one try, led by inside center Emily Blease, who touched down four scores. The forwards accounted for five tries, while flanker Rachel Primo hit eight conversions.

"The score was a bit surprising," Walker said. "We have a very good attacking club but I can't recall a total like that before. We prepared very seriously for them. They scored almost 50 against Keystone recently and you never know how the makeup of a team will change over the winter, so we were very focused and not looking past this game for a minute.

"All credit to James River," Walker added. "I think they were missing a number of starters and played a number of less experienced players, but they never gave up. It was a clean hard fought match on both sides with very few penalties."

Both sides were missing some personnel, with standouts Erica Cavanaugh (NOVA) and Sam Pankey (James River) absent due to national team duties in Canada.

"Not having Pankey's physical presence on defense greatly hurt the visitors, who only traveled with 17 players," Walker noted. "A lot of our work at practice this spring has revolved around defense, and that is what we tell players we want to see when they ask about how to move up. Show me you can tackle and you want to play defense and as long as your basic skills are good we can teach you offense."

The MARC championship between NOVA and Philadelphia will occur on April 26 in Wilmington, Del. The second-place team will move onto the National Conference Championship play-in and compete against the Midwest's #2 team (which is looking more like Chicago after last weekend's results) on May 3.

 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Tuesday, 15 April 2014 14:42    PDF Print Write e-mail
Gonzaga HS Wins Jesuit Classic
School Age - Boys


The #3 Gonzaga Eagles of Washington, DC bested #14 St. Ignatius of Cleveland by a score of 31-10 in a well-played match to secure their 5th consecutive Jesuit Rugby Classic Championship on a sun-drenched day in Alexandria, Va on Sunday, April 13.

Gonzaga v St. Igantius Sunday. Christopher Newkumet Photography;
Gonzaga v St. Igantius Sunday
Gonzaga v St. Igantius Sunday

It was a chalk final as both clubs handily won their two matches on Saturday to win their respective brackets and set up this first ever meeting between these two venerable Jesuit institutions. Gonzaga defeated McQuaid Jesuit 52-0 and Loyola Blakefield 50-0 to advance while St. Ignatius  beat Georgetown Prep 25-12 and Fordham Prep 15-3 securing a spot in the final.

The match did not disappoint as both squads came out determined to set the tone early. With a strong wind at their backs and some solid forward play, the Wildcats from Cleveland were able to control the ball early on and finally drew first blood with a try to take a 5-0 lead 13 minutes into the match. That lone score held up for the remainder of the half much to the chagrin of the increasingly uneasy Gonzaga crowd and the delight of the visitors who were becoming excited over the possibility of an upset over their more highly ranked opponent  on their home pitch.

The second half brought the wind to the Purple Eagles and they took immediate advantage when a long kick by senior scrumhalf Jimmy Ronan pinned the Wildcats deep in their own territory. Gonzaga senior Lock Kevin Beins was able to steal the lineout and after several nice phases senior Hooker Tommy Rippert was able to knot the score at 5-5. Ronan's conversion then gave Gonzaga their first lead of the afternoon at 7-5.

St. ignatius quickly answered on a breakaway to wrest the lead back at 10-7. After several minutes of play in the St. Ignatius side of the field, Ronan connected on a 38 meter penalty kick to again knot the contest at 10. The wind and some timely kicking allowed an increasingly aggressive Gonzaga 15 to slowly begin to assert their will in the contest.

An Ignatius effort to stem the tide with a kick was thwarted when senior fullback Stephen Beckerly counterattacked and offloaded to junior wing Cam Bohlander, who then chip-kicked and chased the ball down for a try and a 17-0 lead following a Ronan conversion. Ronan then proved he is a threat to run as well as he touched one down following several series of well executed rucks by the Gonzaga pack, and then made the conversion for good measure and a 24-10 lead. Finally Beins, who had a stellar afternoon as a jumper both gaining possession and disrupting the Wildcats, got into the try zone after a maul and push on the final play of the contest. Ronan's conversion provided the final margin and a well earned championship victory. The Eagles will get a boost going forward with the return of Junior All American Ben Cima and Jack Iscaro as well as football standout Reggie Corbin.

Gonzaga won the JV division and Wimbledon College UK won the freshman bracket. The entire weekend, the proceeds of which benefitted the Washington Jesuit Academy, was a celebration of all that is good in our sport both on and off of the pitch.


 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Tuesday, 15 April 2014 15:50    PDF Print Write e-mail
Bowling Green Keeps Rolling in MAC 7s
Sevens - Collegiate Sevens


Bowling Green continued to be the lead club in the Mid American Conference 7s season as the Falcon rugby teams swept all five matches in Saturday's  MAC Rugby Sevens Tournament held at BGSU.

Bowling Green was dominant with a young squad.The Falcons defeated Ohio University 29-0, Central Michigan 41-5, Cincinnati 33-0, Western Michigan 31-14 and in the final, Northern Illinois 24-5.

In an ominous note to the rest of the MAC schools, the seven players that started the final match included a single senior and junior and two sophomores and three freshmen while the rest of the 12-man squad featured three more freshmen.

Leading the Bowling Green attack were freshman wing Adam Regini and flyhalf Teddy Terezis, who between them scored 69 of Bowling Green's 157 points.

Regini scored five tries with his most important coming against Western Michigan in the tournament semifinal. With BG leading 19-14, Regini reeled off a 75-meter jaunt up the sideline to break open the game. Bowling Green eventually won 31-14.

Terezis 44 points came on four tries and twelve conversion kicks while directing a Falcon attack that swept the field from side to side.

"I'm sure from the stands this all must look pretty easy," said BG rugby director Roger Mazzarella. "It has been anything but that. Every other week we have had to switch from 15s to 7s and back again. It has been tough on the players to make the adjustment as well as put in the additional practice time."

"Defense wins games and that is where we really shined this weekend," added head coach Tony Mazzarella. "The guys stepped up and challenged the opponent ball carriers, forced throwing errors and more importantly put people on the ground if they decided to hold on to the ball."

In the final, wing Steve Fritsch opened the scoring with a try only to see it matched by Northern Illinois. From then on though, the Falcons methodically continued to add to their lead against a talented but obviously tired Husky squad. Regini added a late first half try and Terezis conversion gave BG a 12-5 half time lead.

In the second half Fritsch again scored after stealing a ball in a tackle and running 75 yards. Sweeper Nick Ross finished the scoring with a 35 yard burst up the middle and his conversion kick finished the at 24-5 giving BG the championship.

Miami took the Consolation Bowl title with their only losses coming to tournament runner up Northern Illinois 22-17 in pool play and in the quarter finals to Western Michigan 17-12. The Redhawks beat Ball State 28-5, Cincinnati 26-10 and Central Michigan in the bowl title match 19-0.

Central Michigan was widely praised as the most improved club in the conference. After failing to win a single match in the fall, the Chippewas beat Ohio University  24-5 and Ball State 14-5 to earn a berth in the consolation title match against Miami.


 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:57    PDF Print Write e-mail
Tonga Breaks USA U20 Hearts
National Teams - Age-Grade Men


Tough-tackling Tonga knocked out the USA from the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy final, winning a 28-22 thriller to take the top spot in Pool A Tuesday.

Power Sport ImagesAsian champions Japan topped Pool B with a resounding 37-12 victory over second seeds Canada and will meet Tonga in the final on Saturday.

Tonga scored two tries in each half to collect the requisite four tries needed to give them an invaluable bonus point which pushed them to 10 points, equal with the US who also collected a bonus point for finishing within a seven-point loss margin. But the Pacific Islanders topped the pool on the head-to-head result.

The match ended in some confusion with the United States players thinking they had done enough to secure a final berth – believing a superior point differential would see them through - but they were wrong as the tiebreaker was head-to-head, not points difference.

"Praise to God for giving us this victory," said a delighted Tongan head coach Feao Vunipola. "Our defense was rock-solid and our fitness was superb and these were the two key ingredients behind the win."

Scrumhalf Siaosi Tonga scored the first try for the Tongans before Patelisio Oneone, who began the game at flyhalf but then switched to scrumhalf after an early injury to Siaosi Tonga, maintained the pressure. The USA could only manage two Ben Cima penalties, and then Mosese Latu twisted the knife further with a drop goal just before halftime to make the score 16-6 for Tonga at the break.

Cima put the USA closer with another penalty, but Jarom Halo's try extended Tonga's lead to 23-9 with Latu's conversion. Cima kicked another penalty for the USA but then Haini Moala scored at 66 minutes to make it 28-12. The USA finally got a try, with Titi Lamositele going over with ten minutes left. Cima hit the conversion and then a penalty.

That made it 28-22, enough for a close-loss bonus point, which, the USA team seemed to think, would tie them with Tonga on total points (true), and put them ahead on points difference (true, but irrelevant). Tonga wins the pool because they beat the USA head-to-head. Georgia beat Hong Kong 21-8. Had the Junior Lelos scored one more try, they would have won the pool instead of Tonga or the USA.

It was a remarkable turnaround for Tonga, the fourth seeds, who began the competition with a 34-10 defeat at the hands of Georgia, but then bounced back hammering hosts Hong Kong 39-16 before inflicting the first loss on the fancied United States.

"We started the tournament slowly and our fitness was lacking in that first game. But we have kept on improving and today everything fell into place, especially our defense which was the key," Vunipola said. "The US was ranked number one but I felt they played their final last week when they met Georgia who they thought was the team to beat in our pool. We came in as the underdogs."

"It is very disappointing to go out in this fashion but we couldn’t get any early rhythm into our game and we failed to control and protect that grey area – between the halfway and our 22. That cost us," said USA coach Billy Millard. "To be within touching distance and not go through to the final on Saturday is a huge disappointment."

As disappointed as the USA might be, Canada has to be even more gutted, as they finished bottom of Pool B with a 0-2-1 record.

Final Day: Saturday April 19
7th/8th Hong Kong v Canada
5th/6th Georgia v Namibia
3th/4th  v Uruguay
Final Tonga v Japan

 


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