The Winona State women not only won their fourth consecutive All Minnesota Tournament title, but they did so without allowing a point-against.
Winona started its campaign to the championship with a 31-0 win over North Dakota State. The team focused on sticking to its patterns, and the discipline paid off as freshman flanker Tori Langhans, Holly Edelburgh, Sheree Haslemore, Hilary Pletta and Lily Wellenstein scored tries. Wellenstein added three conversions.
Unfortunately that was the last competitive match of the day for Winona. UW River Falls forfeited due to numbers, so Winona donated players and finished Saturday with a friendly.
Sunday was a different story, and Winona was treated to a semifinal against league rival Mankato State. Although aggression was high on either side of the ball, Winona was able to control the tempo of the game and come out with a 29-0 victory. Wing Jerianne Blau proved incredibly difficult to contain, and the speedster ran in three tries over the course of the match. Langhans and Pletta got their second tries of the tournament, and Wellenstein slotted another two conversions.
Onto the championship match against St. Ben’s, which had knocked off Gustavus in their semifinal. St. Ben’s was able to force some handling errors and disrupt set pieces early on, but once Winona settled down, the scoring opened up. Blau dotted down at the six-minute mark for the first of her two tries, and was followed by Pletta, wing Amy Gradient, hooker Emilee Burkhalter, outside center Dani Koepf and Ashley Nelson.
“Winona’s quick offense is credit to great rucking and very quick ball from freshman scrumhalf Georgia Porter,” Winona assistant coach Rob Thoresen said of the former Midwest U19 players. “And our third try of the game came from all 15s players, as we set up some great forward phases inside the 22 meter before sending the ball wide.”
Thoresen was pleased with the comprehensive win, especially with Mankato on the horizon this Saturday.
DUBAI, UAE – The International Rugby Board has underscored its commitment to delivering annual international Women’s Sevens competition with the first IRB-sanctioned Women’s International Sevens tournament set to take place as part of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens on 2-3 December 2011.
The tournament will be played alongside the men’s HSBC Sevens World Series Round 2 action in Dubai, with the semi finals and finals to be played on the main pitch at 7he Sevens stadium.
The teams to compete in Dubai are reigning women’s Sevens world champions Australia, South Africa, USA, Canada, England, Brazil, China and Spain.
The best women’s Sevens players in the world will be competing for the IRB Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup in Dubai. The cost of staging the tournament and supporting the teams is being managed through direct IRB funding and the generous support of Emirates.
The move, a key delivery as part of the wider IRB Women’s Strategic Plan, is the first step in the IRB’s strategy to develop a new IRB International Women’s Sevens Series, which is planned from 2012 onwards.
This exciting addition to the international women’s rugby calendar is a milestone on the road to Rio 2016, the first Olympic Games for both men’s and women’s Rugby Sevens since the IOC overwhelmingly voted to include the exciting and competitive sport.
The development is also a timely boost for the world’s best women’s teams as they continue their preparations for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow, Russia.
“Ever since the IOC made the historic decision to adopt Rugby Sevens into the Olympic movement from 2016, the IRB has been working with its member unions towards the inception of a Women’s International Series and this competition in Dubai is a first exciting step towards that,” said IRB Chairman, Bernard Lapasset.
“Having hosted the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 for both men and women, Dubai has already proven itself as an ideal venue to cater for both competitions. We look forward to working with the organisers to make the event in December a memorable one."
Richard Vaughan, Emirates' Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Worldwide, said: “It is a great honour to be hosting the first ever IRB Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup in Dubai. The women’s game has come a long way in recent times and while we have been staging women’s matches at the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens for many years, this will be a massive step forward with eight international sides competing in an IRB-sanctioned event.
“I have no doubt this next step towards Rio 2016 will be a great success in popularising the women’s game and the Dubai crowds have plenty to look forward to."
Tickets to the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, which takes place at 7he Sevens ground from December 1-3, go on sale on Monday, October 3. For more information on the tournament, log on to www.dubairugby7s.com.
The USA have had to turn around from one World Cup match to another in four days, and Canada will have to do it now.
It’s something that all lower-tier teams have to deal with, but that doesn’t mean they have to like it.
USA Captain Todd Clever certainly made it clear in his body language that he didn’t like it. With his words, he was careful.
“It hasn’t been ideal,” Clever said. “It was about getting the body right from the last game and then preparing for the next game.”
Which is very difficult to do when you have one day for recovery and one day for a light workout and captain’s run, leaving one day, just one day, for a full training session.
Compare that to New Zealand, which has gaps of seven or eight days, or Australia, with gaps of six to eight days.
Would it instead make sense to have all teams play with gaps of five days, except when they have a bye, meaning many teams would also have a ten-game gap. That also is imperfect.
Certainly Rugby World Cup learned the lesson of having long periods of dead air from 1999, but Tier II teams are still frustrated that they, which are perhaps least positioned to handle two tests in five days, have to turn around so quickly.
"It makes me laugh,” said Crowley. “The tier two nations only have four days' turnaround and tier one has seven or eight days.”
But, he added, “it is what it is. We knew that this is what it would be like when the draw came out."
Whangarei - Canada captain Pat Riordan praised his side’s “awesome” performance in overcoming Tonga 25-20 in their Pool A encounter at Northland Events Centre on Wednesday.
Tries in the last quarter of an hour from number 8 Aaron Carpenter and wing Phil Mackenzie helped Canada come back from 13-20 down, maintaining their 100 per cent record against Tonga in Rugby World Cups.
Riordan’s pride in his team’s tenacious effort was evident. "That was awesome, I'm so proud of the boys, the guts they showed,” he said.
The hooker admitted there was little time at the interval to dwell on Tonga’s revival. "I was too busy getting my head stitched up,” he said.
Canada had to battle to wrest the initiative from Tonga after two tries from Siale Piutau had helped the Sea Eagles to a 20-13 lead midway through the second half.
Piutau crossed just before half-time and again on 53 minutes to register the first brace of tries by a Tongan player in a Rugby World Cup.
Canada led 10-7 at the break thanks to second row Jebb Sinclair’s 13th-minute try, after DTH van der Merwe scythed through and fellow centre Ryan Smith delivered the scoring pass, plus a conversion and penalty from full back James Pritchard.
Piutau's first try, converted by full back Kurt Morath, brought Tonga back into contention just before the break, and Morath leveled straight after the interval with a penalty.
James Pritchard replied almost immediately before Piutau’s try, converted by Morath, took them 17-13 ahead.
As the second half wore on Tonga began to find more shape to their play and another Morath penalty took them 20-13 ahead.
However, Carpenter powered over the line on 67 minutes after good work from Conor Trainor to leave the sides poised at 20-18, before Mackenzie's try and Pritchard's conversion took the Canucks clear.
"We knew at halftime that we didn't have enough points with the wind against us. But we managed to come through - got over the line in the end,” said Canada Head Coach Kieran Crowley. "It gives us confidence and self belief that we can get over the line. Two or three years ago, we would have lost that today. It gives me confidence that they can nail it. The strength and conditioning guys have done an excellent job in that area. We'll see how their recovery technique is."
Crowley was especially pleased with the scrum.
"To perform like that on a world stage is amazing,” enthused Crowley. “If we had regular competition, I don't know where these guys could go to."
"After every game we win, I think I say this is the proudest moment,” added hooker and captain Riordan. “It's the culmination of all our hard work."
James Madison and UW-Whitewater will take each other on Sunday at 10:30AM ET in USA Rugby's DII 3rd/4th consolation game.The game is livestreamed below or here on RUGBYMag's YouTube channel. Read more...
The ACRA Women's DII championship game between Notre Dame College and Winona State starts Noon on Sunday, Dec 8, 2013.It will be live webstreamed below or on RUGBYMag.com's Youtube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/RUGBYMagazine1 Read more...
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