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Monday, 06 June 2011 18:43    PDF Print Write e-mail
Loss Tough, but not End of World for Cal
Sevens - Collegiate Sevens

One of the biggest stories in American rugby this weekend was not who won (although those were stories too), but who lost.

Specifically, when Cal lost to Utah in the quarterfinals of the USA 7s Collegiate Rugby Championship, everyone started talking. How would Cal take it? (Hard, who wouldn’t?). Did you see how it happened? (You can still, on Hulu.com). Utah, despite having won this college 7s tournament in 2010, were underdogs in the match, but unleashed some outstanding attacking play and defended well also to win 21-5.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for Cal, which occasionally loses championships games (rarely, but it happens), but almost never misses the championship match entirely.

RUGBYMag.com caught up with Cal Head Coach Jack Clark after the game, to see how he felt. He wasn’t thrilled, to be sure, but also wasn’t gnawing chunks out of his visor.

“We came into this day thinking there are three or four good rugby teams and we are among them,” said Clark. “[But] We got beat by the better team [that showed] some pretty good patience and got some matchups against us.”

And then we asked the question many people asked us throughout the day:

“Will it be tough to watch rest of tournament?”

“Of course,” said Clark. “We’re highly competitive guys and we wanted to win. But one of the things is, if you’re really a true competitor, you also appreciate losing sometimes. You appreciate that the other team deserved to win.

“We didn’t play awfully well, but we couldn’t put any more into this season than we put into it. It’s not like we’re sitting around with a bunch of regrets. It just didn’t go our way today.”

And certainly the national 15s victory in front of over 10,000 at Rio Tinto Stadium two weeks before hasn’t gone away, and neither has Cal’s participation in a CRC tournament that took an enormous leap forward this weekend.

“I am still looking forward to the rest of today,” he said Sunday morning. “I thought this was a fantastic setting and I am looking forward to seeing what the crowds are. I am kind of a lifer for this game and it’s so great to roll out of Rio Tinto, where we got such a strong crowd, and come into here where we get such a strong crowd. I am just so happy to see college rugby have this type of platform.”

 
Monday, 06 June 2011 08:27    PDF Print Write e-mail
CRC Sunday Box Scores, Top Scorers
Sevens - Collegiate Sevens

USA 7s Men’s CRC Sunday Box Scores and Final Standings:

 

Cup QFs

Utah  21                                               California  5

Tries      Pati 2, Lauti                                         McTurk

Convs    Miller 3

 

Dartmouth  12                                   Penn State  7

Tries      Scott, C Downer                                               Erickson

Convs    N Downer                                           Baker

 

Army  19                                              Texas  7

Tries      Leatigaga, Holder, Geib                 1

Convs    Geib, Holder                                      Mullen

 

Central Washington  5                    Arizona  0

Tries      Stanfill

 

Challenger QFs

LSU  12                                                  Boston College  0

Tries      Ducoing, DeLeaumont

Convs    Bordes

 

North Carolina  19                            Temple  10

Tries      Briffitt 2, MacLennan                      Rasmuson, Jones

Convs    MacLennan 2

 

Notre Dame  28                                                Ohio State  7

Tries      Severyn, O'Connor, Macomber, Ritt        Ebner

Convs    Peterson, O'Connor 2, Ritt                           Ebner

 

Navy  19                                               Oklahoma  0

Tries      Siefring, Bova, Rohrs

Convs    Scovill 2

 

 

Cup Semis

Army 12                                               Utah  7

Tries      Vaha'i, Leatigaga                              Loser

Convs    Geib                                                      Miller

 

Dartmouth  24                                   Central Washington  12

Tries      C Downer 2, Scott 2                         Stanfill, Blair

Convs    N Downer 2                                        Lee

 

 

Challenger Semis

LSU  24                                                  UNC  7

Tries      Allongi 2, Bordes, Levasseur        1

Convs    Allongi 2                                               MacLennon

 

Notre Dame 12                                 Navy  10

Tries      Plantz, Mitchell                                 Bova, Siefring

Convs    O'Connor

 

 

Challenger Final

LSU  24                                                  Notre Dame  0

Tries      Allongi, Ducoing, de Leaumont, Bordes

Convs    Johns 2

 


3rd/4th

Utah      12                                           Central Washington  10

Tries      Taylor, Pati                                          Bates

Convs    Miller                                                    Nichols

 


Cup Final

Dartmouth          32

Tries: C. Downer 2, Brakeley, Jarvis, Lehmann, Abdul-Shakoor

Convs: N. Downer

 

Army     10

Tries: Holder, Geib



 

Most Tries: Peter Tiberio, Arizona and Chris Downer, Dartmouth: 8
Most Points: Peter Tiberio, Arizona: 54

Top 5 Points:
Tiberio, Arizona 54
C. Downer, Dartmouth 40
Geib, Army 38
Scott, Dartmouth 30
Holder, Army 28

Top 5 Tries:
Tiberio, C. Downer 8
Geib, Army and Scott, Dartmouth 6
Leatigaga, Army 5

 
Written by Cody Secker    Sunday, 05 June 2011 19:29    PDF Print Write e-mail
New Orleans Upends South Rival for National Title
Clubs - Men's DII Clubs

Hairless man holding trophy is NOLA Captain. Clifton photo

Krewe's final score of the day. Cody Secker photo

NOLA Fans reenacting Mardi Gras after the win. Clifton photo
Chris Swallow photo

You could feel the intensity before the game even began. When the Tampa Krewe and New Orleans took the pitch, it was the perfect setup for a DII title game between the two South rivals. And when the final whistle sounded, New Orleans’s goal had become a reality with a brilliant 27-21 triumph.

From start to finish fans screamed “NO-LA” and “Krewe”, to not only show pride for their teams, but also to show the rivalry goes further than the battle on the pitch. Tampa was the first to crack the goose egg with a punishing try by prop Joe Hilbush and conversion by fullback Matt McGinnis for a 7-0 lead.

New Orleans stayed confident and eventually countered with 18 unanswered points. It started with two penalty kicks and a conversion from winger Mauricio Urrutia. Quickly thereafter, prop Sean Malek used brute strength off of a penalty to get the first try in the 26th minute for New Orleans. Then, just before the half, inside center Patrick Kennedy made an incredible run getting the ball out wide to take the lead and momentum into the half, 18-7.

In the second half, New Orleans began where they left off with two penalty kicks from Urrutia within the first 15 minutes to go up 24-7. However, everyone in the stadium knew the game wasn’t even close to being over. “We knew Tampa was a tough as nails team and we were going to be in a battle for a full 80 minutes, and that’s exactly what it was,” New Orleans head coach Jerry Malina said.

Tampa then showed that mentality by cutting a 17-point deficit into a meager 3 points in the blink of an eye. Such a spin was made possible with Tampa’s depth, showcased by reserve Alex Pellicier finding the try zone in the 60th minute, which McGinnis converted. Less than 10 minutes later, Krewe found its way to the try zone again when reserve Reno Buekes plunged in off of a ruck from three meters out to put Tampa within three at 24-21 after another McGinnis conversion.

However, Tampa wouldn’t be able to cut into the lead again, thanks to a very stingy New Orleans defense that managed to hold their ground when deep behind their own 22-meter. “I told the guys before the game that our defense behind our 5-meter line would be key to winning this game,” Malina said.

When the final whistle blew; hugs, handshakes and tears from everyone sporting “NOLA” gear filled the north try zone at Infinity Park. To be able to not only beat Tampa, but do it at nationals was a feeling of disbelief, according to Malina.

“I was speechless when I looked up at the scoreboard and realized we had just won the national championship,” scrum half and captain Joel McClain said. “We have all worked hard all year long to get here and I give credit to all my guys, they never gave up.”

As a disappointed Krewe exited the field, the champions chanted them off with the deep-toned "Krewe" chant that they'd heard from supporters all game. After one Krewe member had finished showering and absorbing the loss, on his way out of the stadium he poked his head into the New Orleans locker room and said, "way to keep it in the South."

 
Written by Pat Clifton    Sunday, 05 June 2011 21:21    PDF Print Write e-mail
Raptors Outpace O-Club in DI Title
Clubs - Men's DI Clubs

Things got a little fractious at times. Chris Swallow photo
Dewon Reed away. Chris Swallow photo

The DI Men's Club Championship Final, won 20-15 by the host Glendale Raptors at Infinity Park Sunday, provided the drama a championship match is supposed to.

The game was never out of reach for either side, at times both Olympic Club and Glendale looked like they had the momentum it'd take to separate, and players sporting both the horizontal blue stripes and the winged O made hair-raising plays.

The first half provided few points, but had the look of a grappling match between two highly skilled heavyweights.

Olympic Club pressured immediately after the opening kickoff, driving inside Glendale's five-meter line with a series of quickly recycled balls and strong runs, but a mishandled pass stalled momentum and forced a turnover, which nearly resulted in a Glendale try.

Raptor fullback Dewon Reed, the star of Glendale's 51-10 semifinal win over the Boston Irish Wolfhounds, had nothing but green in front of him following the O-Club turnover, but he knocked on a pass that could have put him in for a score, ending the threat. This would be the first of many knock-ended scoring threats.

Glendale got on the board first when Olympic Club was pinged for the match's first penalty. Ata Malifa slotted the kick.

Olympic Club stole the ensuing kickoff, forcing Glendale into a panic and a penalty, allowing O-Club flyhalf Keegan Engelbrecht to draw the game level.

Glendale then again squandered a scoring chance, which was made possible by a bobbled Olympic Club pass, by throwing one of their own forward just five meters in front of pay dirt.

O-Club pulled ahead when Reed called mark after a clearance kick and the Raptors opted to tap and run instead of clear their lines. O-Club turned them over and were rewarded with a penalty kick after Glendale infringed in the process.

Reed, this time managing to secure possession, made his first big line break of the day, but when he deferred to a teammate, the ball eventually found its way into flanker Bradley Winbush's hands, and he was thrown into touch, ruining another try-scoring opportunity.

Glendale wouldn't leave O-Club's end of the field empty-handed, however, as prop Mike Tafel hit a difficult penalty from near midfield to level the score at 6-6. Tafel took over the kicking duties after a Malifa penalty sailed considerably errant.

"Haven’t kicked since the Malifa brothers came on, but I’ve kicked before with every team I’ve played before," said Tafel. "I haven’t kicked for 6 months until today and didn’t know I was going to have to until just before the game. But I’ve done it so many times before; it’s just like riding a bike."

Tafel's kicking would prove a factor in the overall equation, and his first penalty was impressive, having just enough power to clear the crossbar.

Glendale saw three more line breaks go unrewarded the next several minutes, and Olympic Club quietly crept up by two scores, both of them Englebrecht penalties, giving the San Francisco team a 12-6 lead. The first was at full time of the opening stanza, and the second was shortly after intermission.

O-Club then made its first big mistake, kicking to Reed and not tackling him.

"They got a lot of firepower in their backline," said O-Club coach Ray Lehner of Glendale. "We really had to contain it, and I don't know if you can keep the lid on that pot forever. They broke out a couple times and it hurt us."

Reed gained most of the yardage on the long try-scoring play, the first of the match, but wing Dustin Croy actually touched it down to secure the five points, or at least that's what referee Chris Henshall determined. Video review is inconclusive, but it appears Croy may have lost the ball before forcing it into the turf. Nonetheless, the points were awarded, and Tafel's conversion was made, giving Glendale a 13-12 advantage.

Eight minutes later, Croy finished off his second try of the day, also a long-range, backs-driven score, which Tafel converted to put the Raptors up 20-12.
Twice Engelbrecht had shots at post after that score. An inferior kicker may not have gone for points, but Engelbrecht did. Both missed. If either attempt had been successful, O-Club's fate may have been different.

The middle third of the field, worn down by bearing the brunt of the day's action, became the stage for a late-game slug fest. Thumping tackle after crushing ruck entertained the Infinity Park crowd for the final 15 minutes. Malifa delivered several of those thumps, including a pair that could have warranted a card for failure to wrap.

But it was Olympic Club's Carl Hansen, the former NFL defensive tackle, who would be binned. Hansen slammed his bulky elbow into Mike Kenyon, long after the No. 8 had kicked the ball, drawing a warranted yellow card in the 73rd minute which put him on the bench for the remainder of the match.

In the 78th minute, Engelbrecht hit a penalty of similar difficulty to those he'd missed earlier, drawing O-Club within an unconverted try. With 14 men, O-Club drove into Glendale's end of the field, but the personnel disadvantage proved insurmountable, and the final whistle blew with Glendale still ahead, making them the 2011 DI champs.

Reed, electrifying on the weekend, was named the game's MVP. He missed the Sweet 16 because he was confined to the state of Colorado by a court-issued ankle monitor stemming from driving with a suspended license. The monitor was taken off the week following the Sweet 16, but Reed felt as though he owed his teammates an MVP performance after being absent in Chula Vista, Calif.

"All the credit goes to my teammates and stepping up with a man down. They played two hard teams in the Provo Steelers and Belmont Shore and came out with a victory, got me here, got us all here, and we got the championship," he said.

"I threw the team on my shoulders, did everything the coaches told me. We knew Olympic Club was going to throw multiple defenders at me, but I have experience playing in that area with the Sacramento Lions. So I knew their game plan already, so my feeling was to get the ball and get it to the hands of our other fast guys and I knew we would win the game."


 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Sunday, 05 June 2011 18:46    PDF Print Write e-mail
Glendale DI Champs
Clubs - Men's DI Clubs

Glendale Raptors have won the DI club championship 20-15 over Olympic  Club.

More to come ...

 


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