Davenport scorched both comers in the rounds of 16 and eight in Blaine, Minn. this weekend.
Like the Buffalo regional, the suburban Minneapolis bracket was marred by bad weather that created a high volume of knocks and scrums. While that would hamper most offenses, Davenport still managed to pile up points, outscoring Kansas State and Minnesota by a combined score of 71-5.
Minnesota played the Panthers closer in the Round of 16 (27-0), but were held scoreless. Kansas State did squeak in a try, and nearly a couple more, but Davenport’s goal line defense was too stingy and the Panthers won 44-5.
“They never gave up. They tried attacking from everywhere,” said Davenport coach Kruger von Biljon of the Wildcats. “We did shut them down a couple of times on our sideline when they were very close to scoring. I think this Davenport team is starting to play as a team together and that showed today against Kansas State.”
Kansas State was bigger than Davenport, but not fast enough. KSU has some speed at flyhalf and on the wing, but across the board, the Panthers were quicker.
“They’ve got some big boys. Their whole pack of forwards were all bigger than ours. Their centers looked like our forwards,” said von Biljon. “I think we were just faster and fitter than them.”
If weather permits, the Panthers want to showcase their speed even more in Stanford at the Final Four.
“We haven’t had any good weather in the spring to play in, so we couldn’t play our expansive game with our backline and our athletes,” added von Biljon.
“My props are very athletic, my locks are very athletic, and we haven’t been able to play the game we want to play. Hopefully the weather is good in Stanford and we can play the type of game that we want.”
Though Davenport scored in bunches in Blaine, von Biljon was most impressed with his defense, and specifically the play of open-side flanker Ryan Hargraves.
“I personally think I have one of the best openside flankers in the country,” said the DU coach. “You won’t believe how this guy gets around the field slowing down ball. He’s just phenomenal.”
Awaiting Davenport May 13 in Stanford is Harvard, who emerged out of the Buffalo bracket.