#11 Missouri held on to upset #6 Saint Louis 20-15 Saturday in what almost became a miraculous comeback. The Tigers got up early via a pair of penalty kicks from Mark Menne and a breakaway try from fullback Aaron Lewis. Saint Louis did manage to get on the board in the first half with a penalty kick, but the momentum was undoubtedly in Mizzou's favor.
The Tigers opened the second half scoring as well, when outside center Brad Henderson found some clear real estate for a try, pushing the visitor's lead to 20-3. SLU, knocked out in the Sweet 16 narrowly by eventual national champs Claremont Colleges in the spring, has been in some pressure situations, and with back against the wall, SLU responded.
The defending Missouri Rugby Union champs clawed back with two tries, one converted, to just a five-point deficit, and SLU threatened to draw the score level right up until full time.
"They were right in our try zone up on our goalline for like five minutes straight, just trying to pound it out doing "slow ball" over and over again," said Mizzou No. 8 and captain Matt Brotemarkle. "We just kept on bashing into them and knocking them back, and at one point I saw the ball on the deck just centimeters from the try line. It was just getting closer and closer."
That was until co-captain Ryan McDonald poached the ball in-tackle and raced twoards midfield, with the ball hoisted above his head in celebration, and cleared it into touch to secure the win.
Mizzou and SLU do battle again this spring in a game that will most likely decide the Missouri title, but with this road win, the Tigers have a little bit of a point cushion.