Men's DI College

Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Monday, 31 March 2014 16:16    PDF Print Write e-mail
Gaels Continue Dominance
Colleges - Men's DI College

St. Mary's topped 100 points for the fourth time in five California Collegiate Conference games this season, beating previously 3-1 San Diego State 102-3 Saturday.

The Gaels have dominated conference play, averaging 95 points a game while giving up fewer than five points a game.

Still, and amazingly, St. Mary's has not clinched first place in the conference. Santa Clara remains 4-0 and should they beat UCSB next week, the final game between Santa Clara and St. Mary's on April 12 will decide the conference champion.

Santa Clara is still the underdog. They may have beaten the same teams that St. Mary's defeated, but three of those games were by razor-thin margins.

Here are the current standings.

California W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
St. Mary's 5 0 0 473 22 451 5 0 25
Santa Clara 4 0 0 118 80 38 3 0 19
San Diego State 3 2 0 149 149 0 3 1 16
Cal Poly 2 2 0 145 73 72 3 1 12
UC Davis 1 4 0 56 253 -197 1 1 6
UCSB 1 4 0 44 237 -193 0 1 5
Sacramento State 0 4 0 46 210 -164 0 0 0

Remaining games:


Sacramento State @ Cal Poly

Santa Clara @ UCSB

St. Mary's @ Santa Clara

Cal Poly @ San Diego State

UC Davis @ Sacramento State

Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Sunday, 30 March 2014 16:21    PDF Print Write e-mail
BYU Wins Battle of Champions over SFGG
Colleges - Men's DI College

PROVO, Utah—Reigning Varsity Cup college champions BYU won a clash of college/club champs as they defeated San Francisco Golden Gate 45-33 Saturday.

On the chase. David Brinton photo.
Linehan scores in the second half. The flyhalf scored 15 points. David Brinton photo.
Bruce Thomas passes the ball for SFGG. David Brinton photo.

The Cougars torched SFGG early, running out to a 31-7 lead at halftime.

"This has been, by far, our best performance of the season," BYU head coach David Smyth said. "San Francisco Golden Gate is a really good team and I’m very happy with the result. That first half was the best rugby we’ve played all year. Our boys played smart and really hard and things opened up for us."

The second half turned out to be a different story for the BYU as SFGG outscored the Cougars by 12 points. Unfortunately for Golden Gate, it was too little, too late as BYU held on for a 45-33 victory.

SFGG actually took an early lead, when Derek Wavomba took a brilliant line, broke through, and linked with Jeff Colata, who set up Volney Rouse for a brilliant try.

The Cougars worked their way back and then flyhalf and captain Johnny Linehan crafted an excellent score, dummying his way through, looping to take the return pass, and then floating a long pass to wing Josh Anderson, who scored in the corner.

Chris Wernli then nabbed a poor offload and returned the interception 50 meters for BYU's next try, and the lead, and then another turnover saw Wernli get the pass and outpace everyone around to the corner.

SFGG worked the phases well and wanted their forwards to exert some measure of dominance, but the turnovers in the backline killed them, Josh Whippy intercepted a pass and raced 65 meters to score under the posts. With the half almost up Jared Whippy cut back through a gap and was in to make it 31-7.

BYU opened up the second half with another try for Jared Whippy, this time set up by a turnover in a ruck and a perfect long pass from Linehan.

Now down 38-7 SFGG charged on and tapped after they got a penalty in the BYU 22, eventually, after bashing at the line for a time, sending the ball wide to Peter Moala for the try.

Gate used their forwards to put BYU under more pressure, and after a series of pick-and-jams they sent it to fullback Tai Enosa, who sidestepped two players to score.

Linehan replied, looping around Jaredy Whippy to take the pop pass and score to make it 45-19. SFGG went back to the forwards, painfully aware that long, slow mauls don't normally overcome 26-point deficits. One promising movements looked to have Mose Timoteo over but he opted to pass and the remaining backs muffed the handling. Better handling and a run from Andrew Coquillard set up Moala for his second for SFGG.

And then SFGG ended the scoring with a well-constructed maul and sub hooker Neil Barrett racing around the unmarked weak side for the try, with Rouse hitting the touchline conversion.

SFGG did not bring their absolute top squad, but it was close. Their midfield was not their regular midfield, and neither was their front row their regular unit. However, while they were unhappy with the turnovers, they didn't give up and kept playing rugby, resulting in 28 second-half points.

"Before the game, we said we were going to go out and play for each other as brothers and it ended up being a really good team performance," said Linehan. "San Francisco Golden Gate has more experience than we normally see. They slowed the game down, were really smart with the ball and played very physical. It really forced us to man up and make big plays."

"Story of our season," said SFGG club president and openside flanker Bruce Thomas. "Coming out flat; skilled team like that is going to punish you for your mistakes. We had an adjusted backline that failed to click in attack or defense in the first half. In the second half we made a concerted effort to keep things tight and use the maturity of the forward pack to break them down - pretty apparent which was the correct game plan. Have to take positives though from everything and we were a different team in the second half - we need to take that momentum in to the game with Belmont."

BYU 45
Tries: Wernli 2, Jo. Whippy, Ja. Whippy 2, Linehan, Anderson
Convs: Linehan 5

Tries: Rouse, Moala 2, Enosa, Barrrett
Convs: Rouse 4

Here is the full game video

Written by Alex Goff    Saturday, 29 March 2014 13:46    PDF Print Write e-mail
Life Holds On to Beat Lindenwood
Colleges - Men's DI College

Life University held off a determined Lindenwood University to win a crucial Mid-South Conference clash 21-17 Saturday at Life.

The game was played in a little rain, and the rain from the previous day made the field a little muddy, and produced more than a few mistakes.

Dennis D Hawk photo."Yeah we tried very hard to be not as crisp as we should have," joked Life Head Coach Dan Payne. "I don't think the conditions contributed to it. I think it was our play. They bring a lot of good players and a great approach and we're fortunate to get out of here with a W."

The game was a huge battle in the rucks and through most of the first half Lindenwood were more successful in that area, getting very low, and poaching ball or forcing penalties. Mike Gierlach at lock led the defensive effort, and his opposite number for Life, second row Jake Anderson, was also a stalwart.

Lfe began the game camped out in the Lindenwood end, but little knock-ons contributed to them being unable to punch in a try. Eventually, Lindenwood lifted the siege, and pressed. The Lindenwood midfield with James Poli leading the way swarmed the Life backs and hit very hard. Eventually that approach produced a penalty attempt for fullback Lunaile Tshuma, and he slotted the goal to put Lindenwood up 3-0.

It wasn't until 20 minutes in that Life leveled the scores. Life Fullback Joe Cowley sent a penalty kick sailing over.

Life flyhalf Blane McIlroy was the first to really break through Lindenwood's immense defense, and he almost made it to the line on one occasion, only for the follow-up from the Life forwards to nudge the ball forward.

With the ball a little wet, the teams looked to kick more, and both teams made errors in fielding the ball, but Life made more, and seemed more likely to kick directly to Lindenwood defenders. However, the next score still came from the Running Eagles. McIlroy once again sliced through, and then the forwards consolidated, allowing No. 8 Glen Maricelli, usually a hooker, picking and diving over. Cowley was good with the kick and Life led 10-3.

That's how the half ended, and things looked very bad for Lindenwood early in the second half when wing Kolton Nelson was guilty of a rather bad tip tackle on a player who had already passed the ball.

"I knew as soon as I saw it that it would be a red card," lamented Lindenwood Head Coach J.D. Stephenson, who had no argument with the call. "We just had to come together and deal with it."

Cowley slotted three points from that penalty, but Lindenwood held on.

"The nickname of Lindenwood is the Lions, and we talk about protecting the pride," said Poli. "So that's what we did. We protected the pride. We couldn't do anything about being down to 14, so we just had to play."

Still, Life pressed their advantage. A grubber ahead for Cowley on the wing was a 50-50 for Cowley or the Lindenwood defense. But Cowley put a boot to the rolling ball to nudge it in-goal and then dive onto the ball for a try and an 18-3 lead.

Stephenson said that at point his players seemed to run out of steam, but the injection of some subs helped pick up the Lions' game.

First a goofy mistake on a box kick by Life allowed sub scrumhalf Mickey Bateman to race in untouched. Tshuma slotted the conversion to make it 18-10. Tshuma would miss a penalty late, but then as the game approached full time, the fullback combined with several players in a nice series of offloads to put sub prop Marshall Godfrey in for the try.

That made it 18-17. Life did well to keep the ball and get a penalty, which Cowley put over - that movement was all started by a penalty by Lindenwood on the restart - a mistake they didn't need to make.

That's how it ended, 21-17.

"Every time you come here to Marietta, Ga you know you're in for an absolute slobberknocker of a game," said Lindenwood's Stephenson. "Joe Cowley did a great job controlling the tempo of the. But we almost pulled it out in the end with 14 men."

Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Friday, 28 March 2014 17:46    PDF Print Write e-mail
Live Webcast Davenport v Arkansas State
Colleges - Men's DI College

Davenport and Arkansas State's Mid-South match will be streamed live by the host Panthers Saturday at 12:45pm ET. Here is the link.

Below are the highlights from ASU's 15-10 defeat of Davenport earlier this month in Jonesboro, Ark.

Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Thursday, 27 March 2014 00:45    PDF Print Write e-mail
BYU Holds Off Cal Poly
Colleges - Men's DI College

PROVO, Utah-- BYU rugby didn't get off to the strong start they were hoping for in Wednesday night's game against Cal Poly, but the Cougars did finally hold off the Mustangs 37-22 Thursday evening in Provo.

Jared Lowery on his way to score. David Brinton photo.
BYU toughed it out against the Mustangs. David Brinton photo.
Snow day in Provo. David Brinton photo.
Josh Whippy looks for a way through. David Brinton photo.

BYU found themselves down 10-0 in only the seventh minute before righting the ship.

"We didn't start well and then the bad weather came in spoiled any chance of having a free-flowing game," BYU head coach David Smyth said.

It wouldn't take long for the Cougars to turn things around. BYU's Josh Whippy scored in the 11th minute to get the Cougars on the board. Whippy would score again in the first half along with Jordan Lowry and Johnny Linehan to give the Cougars a 24-15 lead going into halftime.

The second half started off cold, windy and wet, but the adjustments made by the Cougars continued to pay off. BYU captain Johnny Linehan scored a try in the 42nd minute to extend the Cougar lead to 31-15. Cal Poly would answer right back with a try in the 48th minute to bring the Mustangs within nine points, down 31-22.

Unfortunately for Cal Poly, those were the last points they saw. BYU's defense tightened up and didn’t allow the Mustangs to score another try for the rest of the game. Linehan would kick two more penalty kicks in the second half as the Cougars held on for 37-22 victory.

"We've got a lot of work to do, but we'll learn from it and keep getting better moving forward," Smyth said.

With the win, BYU moves to 12-1 on the season. However, the Cougars won't have much time to savor Wednesday's victory as San Francisco Golden Gate comes to South Field for a Saturday matchup with the Cougars in Provo for the Champions Challenge.

"We'll spend the week in practice trying to get ready for what we think they'll throw at us," Smyth said. "We'll be back again on Saturday and hopefully things go our way."

Saturday's game will begin at 1:00 p.m. MDT and can be followed live on BYU's YouTube channel.


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