Easter Sunday is usually a family day, but for Snake River and Eastside Tsunamis it was definitely a rugby day. Under sunny skies at Pat Ryan Field in SeaTac, WA, Snake River took home the Division II Men’s Club title by beating Eastside 62-0.
From the start, Snake River was on a mission. Never mind they were playing their second game in as many days, which has become a tradition for the Idaho-based squad that has to play in western Washington. When there’s determination within a team that has cohesiveness, it’ll make for a tough opponent on any pitch.
They started off quickly by scoring and converting a penalty kick for an early 10-0 lead. On the next kickoff, Snake River fullback Tyler Moyer showed off his strong leg with a well-timed boot and score to make it 15-0 within the first 15 minutes of the game.
Snake River would once again work the ball down deep into Eastside territory using strong phase play within a balanced attack. Off a ruck, scrumhalf Harley Davidson took matters into his own hands with a quick step and explosive pace for his first score and a 20-0 lead.
For the next 25 minutes, Snake River would find a variety of different ways to score 19 points. Whether it be playing great defense and creating turnovers, supporting the ball carrier on a big run to keep possession and score or just using raw athleticism the score was 39-0 at half.
“Regardless of the score, we are always looking to improve and take our game to the next level,” Snake River coach Phil Bartle said. “We know how tough and physical Eastside can be so I wanted to make sure we kept up our physicality and limit our errors.”
Snake River took those words in stride as the second half was much like the first half. Eastside would put together great phase ball with well-timed picks off scrums and counter rucking to put pressure on Snake River in their own territory.
But Snake River would find a way to create turnovers by taking advantage of a knock-on or playing great defense. Moyer’s leg would get things started for the Boise boys with a penalty kick and drop goal.
Taking advantage of another Eastside penalty, Moyer decided to put his strong leg to use and boot about a 40-meter kick that would sail through the uprights with a lot of room to spare. Next possession, Moyer would position himself right behind Snake River’s scrum and with a crisp pass from Davidson, would put the ball through the uprights with drop kick to make the score 45-0.
Snake River would pile on another 17 points including a late score from No. 8 and captain John Tansey. Moyer would add the kick to seal the deal and take the trophy to Boise.
“I wanted our guys to find their place and what they were playing for because of the sacrifice they’ve been making all year long,” Tansey said. “Winning this is a big step and the start of something good. Now we are going to get on the road and prepare for the next phase and put our best foot forward.”
Up next is a trip to Portland, Ore. for the Pacific Coast Playoffs.