Life University defeated the Bermuda national team 41-5 Saturday in a Rugby World Cup qualifier warmup for the Bermuda squad.
Bermuda got a lesson against a tough, physical Life side that featured their best collegiate and club players in an open-sub game. The Bermuda squad will now move on to play Paraguay in the World Cup Qualifiers. Paraguay beat Columbia, Peru and Venezuela to set up a one-off match to see who moves on to the next round of the Americas qualification.
Life was led by Cornelius Dirksen and Tui Osborne, who notched two tries apiece, and Joe Cowley, who kicked 11 points.
"I think the aim for both teams was accomplished," said Life Director of Rugby Dan Payne. "We were happy to host them and hopefully we helped them in their preparation for their match with Paraguay in a few weeks. Our guys have already, obviously, started talking about how we MUST repay Bermuda with a visit to them."
Payne had special praise for Dirksen.
"He provided strong cover on several kicks that resulted in positive turnovers that resulted in points for us, he came off the wing to support the ball very well when needed and, obviously, contributed by scoring two tries himself," enthused Payne. "He's a player that will definitely continue to draw attention and recognition with his play as he continues to move up and play at higher levels."
But it was an early fall game for both, and Payne said there's plenty to improve for his squad, as well. But it's likely Payne will have been watching, in his role as a national team assistant, the performance of Benny Mateialona, Chris Headlee, and Cameron Dolan, among others.
Tries: Dirksen 2, Dolan, Osborne 2, Van Rensburg
Convs: Cowley 4