Led by five tries from former University of Wisconsin standout Andrew Hanske, the Wisconsin Rugby Club rambled over the St. Paul Jazz Pigs 60-26 Saturday, to move to 8-0-1 and remain in 1st place of the Midwest DII Western Conference.
Rookie Chris Bauch opened the scoring for Wisconsin on a beautifully executed chip-and-chase, before Hanske thundered over for his first, and then his second. Whirling Dervish Patrick Burmeister scored Wisconsin’s bonus-point try just before halftime to give his side some breathing room, taking the score from 17-12 to 22-12. Burmeister would score again just before the final whistle.
Bauch added a try in the second half, and Garrett Donath got one, as well, while Hanske dlistered the Pigs for four in the second period. Miles Jobke added six conversions.
While it was an entertaining outing for Wisconsin, it was also marred by some defensive flubs that helped lead to four St. Paul tries.
“We took a less than ideal margin lead into halftime, but we showed immense effort just as we did vs. Wilmington [in last spring’s DII National Championship match] with a great second half surge to put the game out of reach,” said WRC Head Coach Adam Thimmig. “I was really proud of the resolve of the guys coming out of halftime.”
Wisconsin has one more game to go to finish unbeaten – they tied one match, against Bremer County. They are in a commanding position to finish 1st in the Western Conference, and will soon be looking across the aisle to the Eastern Conference, where …
… the Detroit Tradesmen did the necessary, beating Dayton 27-12 to move to 8-1 and stay just ahead of the equally victorious Eastern Suburbs.
“Overall we’re looking good, but the guys have been disappointed in some areas of play during the season,” said Tradesmen coach Jed Elley. “We came down from DI and expected to compete, but the guys have done well and worked hard. We have a bunch of young players who have made an impact.”
Notable among the youngsters is 19-year-old center Ahmad Harajily, who is physically imposing for someone so young, and was playing with the team last spring as a high-schooler. Joe Bargerstock at No. 8 and scrumhalf Stuart Roche have also contributed on a team that has already clinched 1st because their upcoming fixture with Michiana is expected to be a forfeit.
Midwest-West Schedule and Scores
Midwest-East Schedule and Scores
DII Club Standings