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Written by Alex Goff    Saturday, 03 March 2012 19:30    PDF Print Write e-mail
Stanford, Santa Clara Shake Up NorCal
Colleges - Men's DI College


Santa Clara University made a statement Saturday, defeating Sacramento State 37-26 to secure 1st place in the Northern California D1-AA college league.

Hooker Ryan Falvey scored three tries and prop Chris Falvey added one, as did flanker Tim Ohara in a match that vaulted Santa Clara to a 2-1 league record.


"We came out with great intensity," said Ryan Falvey. "We focused on starting off well and it was the first 20 minutes that set the tome."

Meanwhile Stanford got their first victory of the league season, coming back from a 19-7 deficit to score two tries and two penalties in the second half and beat Chico State 27-19.

"It was an improved performance," said Head Coach Matt Sherman. "They guys have been working very hard. We have eight underclassmen playing and five who are in their first year of rugby. We have good athletes but have to deal with skill breakdowns and tactical mistakes. But it was good to get a win."

Wing Orefeo Tagiuri scored two tries in the match that returned Stanford to contention.

This ends the first half of the season, and with so many close games, it's still anybody's league to win.


No. California DIAA College
Club W L T PF PA Diff BT BL Pts
Santa Clara 2 1 0 117 81 36 3 1 12
Sacramento State 2 1 0 81 86 -5 1 0 9
Chico State 1 2 0 89 101 -12 2 1 7
Stanford 1 2 0 61 80 -19 0 1 5


 
Written by Alex Goff    Saturday, 03 March 2012 18:58    PDF Print Write e-mail
Air Force Puts on Jets Late
Colleges - Men's DI College


The Air Force Academy made it a Service Academy sweep as they overcame early deficits to beat Arizona 44-21 in front of a big crowd in Tucson, Ariz. Saturday.

With the local military doing a flyover and the weather enticing the fans, the game was perfectly set up for the Arizona Wildcats to showcase some outstanding rugby.

Air Force flyhalf Pat Murphy helped Air Force come back from 21-13 down to win 44-21. Numina Photo.This they did for about 60 minutes, but a fit and speedy Air Force team put the game away late.

Arizona fell behind early 13-0, but stormed back with two tries to lead 14-13. At that point, Head Coach Dave Sitton thought the kinks were worked out and the Wildcats had it under control.

“We looked good and seemed to have it in hand,” said Sitton. “We scored again and led 21-13. Then we started making some pretty inexcusable errors and gave the game away.”

“We knew we had to take care of the ball,” added Air Force Coach Joe Muehlbauer. “Dave has a well-coached team and they would punish us if we turned the ball over. That’s what they did. But our fitness showed – the players have been working really hard at that – and I think the guys who have been playing 7s turned it up a notch.”

Air Force exploded for 31 points in the latter part of the game to win. Muehlbauer said he was pleased with the overall effort, but mentioned sub flanker Ken Kinderwater, who energized the Zoomie effort when he took the field, scoring two tries and playing good defense, as well.

“Overall, though, it was just guys doing their jobs,” Muehlbauer said.

 
Written by Alex Goff    Saturday, 03 March 2012 18:21    PDF Print Write e-mail
Coaches, Pati Reflect on Classic in SLC
Colleges - Men's DI College


SALT LAKE CITY - Sophomore fullback Jake Anderson slotted the go-ahead penalty kick for the Golden Bears with no time remaining as California beat Utah, 23-22, Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium. 

Don Pati goes in for Utah's first try. John Shepherd photo.
It was a physical clash for both sides. John Shepherd photo.
Utah prop Mike Shepherd looks for a way through and gets attention from Cal lock Pat Coleman. John Shepherd photo.
Cal (including flanker Jack O'Beirne) kept coming, but Utah held them to one try. John Shepherd photo.

Anderson made all three of his attempts after taking over the duties midway through the second half from flyhalf Alex Aronson, who subbed out after converting three of his six attempts.

Replacement forward Alex Muehle had just given Utah its only lead in the contest with his try before Utah was whistled to set up Anderson's gamewinner from 45 meters on an angle into a stiff breeze.

"Utah was every bit as good as we thought they might be, especially at this venue," said head coach Jack Clark. "It was pretty clear that they were more physical than us, but needless to say, we're happy to achieve the victory."

Cal led 11-0 at halftime thanks to a try from Anthony Lombardo and two Aronson penalties. But the Utes felt they had a shot.

"We just needed to regroup," said Utah scrumhalf Don Pati. "We came into the game wanting to focus on defense, and we knew we had to do that and take care of the ball. We knew if we did that, good things would happen."

Pati scored a key try to make the score 11-7, taking a gap, as he does so well, and putting his team back in the game.

"The forwards set that up; they did all thye work to make it happen," said Pati. "I felt we needed to score right away."

They did that and then defended doggedly.

"The boys defended really well," added Pati.

Outside center Tonata Lauti added another try for Utah, and although the Bears' backline managed to initiate breaks behind the Utah defense, the Utes did not yield another try before sub No. 8 Alex Muehle put the Utes on top with two minutes remaining.

"We had to take care of the ball, and we did a good job of that, but not at the end," said Utah Head Coach Blake Burdette. "We couldn't keep it and they got the penalty and won. There are no moral victories. The guys played well - a big improvement over earlier games - but we didn't win a game we felt we could have. We held Cal to one try, but couldn't win it, and I guess that's what it comes down to."


Cal 23
Tries: Lombardo
Pens: Aronson 3, Anderson 3


Utah 22
Tries: Pati, Lauti, Muehle
Convs: Christensen 2
Pens: Christensen


 
Written by Alex Goff    Saturday, 03 March 2012 18:36    PDF Print Write e-mail
Navy Outstanding in Defeat of Rutgers
Colleges - Men's DI College


Navy expected a stern test from Rutgers this weekend in the D1-A college opener for both programs, but in the end it turned out to be an incoming tide for the Midshipmen, as Navy rolled 64-3.

“I think we were flattered a bit by the score,” said Navy Head Coach Mike Flanagan. “But I was pleased. Our guys played well. We played very well defensively and it was that defense that produced turnovers that led to tries for us.”

The Naval effort was led by the back row of Seamus Siefring, Andrew Eubanks, and Spencer Wilson.

In the backs, freshman Gonzaga HS product Jack McAuliffe started at flyhalf and was outstanding.

“It’s rare that we get these kids,” Flanagan said of high-profile high school rugby players (McAuliffe was a High School All American) who make the Naval Academy their first choice. “But we’re getting more and we’re excited t have him.”

Flanagan praised his players for sticking to their defensive pattern, especially seeing as the only game time they’d had was a scrimmage with the Norfolk club. The players were eager, and being too eager could have led to problems.

“I think they were just tired of hitting each other,” Flanagan said.

If there was one criticism of the Navy effort, Flanagan said he’d like to see some better work on their offensive pattern. On counter-attacks and in open space they were good, but constructing offensive moves from scratch, he said, “needs work.”

 
Written by Alex Goff    Saturday, 03 March 2012 17:19    PDF Print Write e-mail
Last-Second Kick Takes Cal Past Utah
Colleges - Men's DI College


Fullback Jake Anderson slotted a clutch penalty to put the University of California just ahead of Utah and propel the Bears to a dramatic 23-22 victory over the Utes Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Goalkicking was key to this match, as Cal missed a couple of key kicks - starting flyhalf Alex Aronson missed one kick and hit the post on another. But Aronson also kicked some important points, as did Utah's Danny Christensen.

Aronson opened the scoring with a penalty eight minutes in, and then Cal scored a try - their only one - two minutes later to lead 8-0. Aronson slotted a goal midway through the first half and Cal led 11-0 through to halftime.

But it was still close, and Utah showed their ability to score from anywhere. Scrumhalf Don Pati split the midfield to score under the posts, and with Christensen's kick the score was 11-7. Christensen and Aronson traded kicks to make it 14-10, and then, after Aronson was subbed off, Anderson took over the kicking duties, propelling Cal to a 17-10 lead.

But Utah wasn't done. Tonata Lauti punished Cal out wide to make it 17-15, and after another Anderson penalty, Utah took the lead for the first time when the forwards piled over with the ball in hand. Christensen's conversion made it 22-20 with time winding down. 

Then with almost no time left, Cal got another penalty. Anderson was true with his kick, and Cal won, barely, 23-22.

 


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