Utah Valley should have home field advantage Friday at Rio Tinto in Sandy, Utah, as the Wolverines’ campus is just a half-hour drive from the stadium, and they’ll likely need it.
UVU gets the unsavory task of playing Lindenwood, the first-year varsity juggernaut from St. Charles, Mo. that’s unbeaten against college competition in its short history. The Lions beat UW-Milwaukee 43-5 and defending champs UW-Whitewater 27-15 to reach the semifinals.
In the regular season, Lindenwood trounced every college team they faced, including Indiana and DI-AA playoff-bound Missouri. In their win over Whitewater, all 27 of Lindenwood’s points came from two players -- flyhalf Brendan Davis and fullback Morgan Findlay. Davis, an Aussie, and Findlay, a Kiwi, combine for a dangerous set of legs and feet.
“I think they kick and chase quite often. They attack in the backs. I think our defense is going to be a huge part of our results,” said UVU coach Clint Wilson of Lindenwood. Wilson says he’s been working with his back three a little extra going into this match.
“I’m real comfortable with our deep three. We’re actually really comfortable in the counter-kick game. All of our guys are pretty good.”
The counter attack, and general open field play, is actually an area where Utah Valley excels.
“I think our strength is in our open-field attack,” said Wilson. “Our guys are dangerous from anywhere on the field, and especially in the open field, so I think that’s where we play best at -- in multiple phases and in the open field.”
UVU, which struggled with injuries earlier this season, is as healthy as its been all year, despite losing Cameron Loser to a broken leg earlier in the playoffs. If anyone is going to knock off Lindenwood, it might as well be a healthy UVU side playing in front of a friendly crowd.
The Charlotte Tigers and Charlotte Catholic claimed state titles in North Carolina this past weekend.
The Tigers took the HS club title 15-13 over Raleigh, while NC State Final, while Charlotte Catholic won 45-19 in the single-school final over the West Meck Hawks.
The Tigers defeated Raleigh Rattlesnakes on Saturday led by captain Zander van Schalkwyk and vice captain Anthony Santelle.
This was the second state title in a row for the Tigers (previously known as South Mecklenburg).
The Tigers scored first with Anthoney Santelle diving over early. Michael Saunders capped off excellent work by the forwards to give the Tigers a 10-0 lead.
Raleigh came back in the first half with a try just before the break.
The second halve was a real battle with teams fighting for position, and sometimes making some silly handling errors.
The Tigers scored a well-deserved try through Smiley Malloy diving over the line after an impressive run.
Raleigh were given a penalty in the last seven minutes and took points to make it 15-8. That put the Rattlesnakes within a converted try.
After holding off the Tigers in their 22, the Rattlesnakes came back with a try from a kick and chase. The try was in the corner, however, and they couldn't get the difficult conversion over. The Tigers held on 15-13.
Charlotte Catholic won their game more convincingly, downing West Meck 45-19.
CHARLOTTE CATHOLIC WINS 4TH STRAIGHT NCHSRA HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP. The cougars defeated the West Meck Hawks 45-19 to retain the NC State High School Championship Cup.
“We tried to build our game structure this year to where we can adjust to what the other team is doing,” Cougars coach Brendan Keane told the Charlotte Observer. “But we talked this week about needing a team effort to beat West Meck, because they have a few incredible individual players. If we play as a team, we can be successful. If we try to play as individuals, we were never going to win.”
BERKELEY - California will resume its developing Rugby Sevens program when it travels to PPL Park outside of Philadelphia to compete in the Collegiate Rugby Championship 7s starting Saturday, June 2, in pool play against Army, Navy and Notre Dame.
Elimination rounds in the 16-team tournament continue Sunday, June 3, with coverage both days on NBC TV and NBC Sport Network from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. PT.
"The CRC has become the signature weekend in college rugby," said head coach Jack Clark. "Our players really enjoy the event and we feel as a team fortunate to be included."
The winner of the tournament receives the Pete Dawkins Trophy, named for the three-time Oxford Blue and Rhodes Scholar who also won the Heisman Trophy as a gridiron halfback for Army at West Point before a decorated military career that ended with his rank of Brigadier General.
This will be Cal's third trip to the CRC 7s, which features the same version of the game that returns as a medal sport to the 2016 Summer Olympics. Cal players helped the USA win gold at 1920 and '24 Games, and two recent alumni, Colin Hawley and Blaine Scully, are current members of the U.S. National Sevens team under contracts financed by the United States OIympic Committee.
All four teams in Pool D - the Golden Bears, Black Knights, Midshipmen and Fighting Irish - also participated in the 2010 and 2011 tournaments. Cal advanced to the final of the 2010 CRC 7s before losing in overtime to Utah in Columbus, Ohio, then traveled to Philadelphia in to defeat Ohio State, LSU and Penn State before falling to the Utes again in the quarterfinals.
The Sevens format features seven-minute halves (with 10-minute halves in the championship final), three-man scrums and a wide-open style on the same-sized pitch as the 15s code of the game. The rules are otherwise the same as 15s with two notable exceptions: all conversions are taken as drop kicks and the team that scores makes the ensuing kickoff to restart play (just as in gridiron football).
The rest of the field at the 2012 CRC 7s includes Mid-Atlantic local teams Penn State and Temple joining Wisconsin and Life in Pool A, returning 2011 CRC 7s champion Dartmouth grouped with regional squads Delaware and Maryland and Florida in Pool B, and Arizona, North Carolina State, Texas and Oklahoma in Pool C.
Among all the other teams in this year's CRC 7s, Cal has only played four of them before in Rugby Sevens, beating Arizona, Dartmouth and Notre Dame in 2010, and Penn State in 2011.
With plans to create a three- or four-tournament slate for Rugby Sevens in the fall portion their 2012-2013 schedule, the Bears will carry an 8-2 (.800) all-time record at the CRC 7s into the 2012 edition. Twenty-five student-athletes have been vying to make the squad in training sessions scheduled around their exams and graduation schedules.
A healthy percentage of the Rugby Bears' travel roster looks to be comprised of freshmen and sophomores, including first-year player Andrew Battaglia. Sophomore Jake Anderson is on a trajectory to make his first CRC 7s appearance after an end-of-year injury in Cal's 15s finale, while fellow second-year Paul Bosco had his 7s debut at last year's event.
Several of the Bears' upperclassmen would also be making their CRC debut at the 2012 event, including Brad Harrington and Ahmed Chehade. Anthony Lombardo would be at his second CRC 7s after missing selection for the 2011 tournament with injury, while Alex Aronson will attempt to return to the 2012 tournament after struggling with injury during day one last year.
The squad is likely to be anchored by Seamus Kelly and Danny Barrett, who together have made 15 of the 20 possible appearances between them in CRC 7s history. Barrett has been on the mend following surgical repair that ended his spring early and his fitness still has a ways to go, while Kelly, who emerged as Cal's captain in 2012, is the team's all-time top try-scorer in 7s.
PRP Weekly - Alex Goff looks at last week's games in the Pacific Rugby Premiership, and examines a little more closely one factor that helped Denver win, and one player who helped Glendale win. Alex also looks at some of the US-trained flyhalves in the PRP - something the American game needs - and t... Read more...
Video highlights of the Week 6 PRP match between Olympic Club and Santa Monica.The two teams have struggled to find victories this season, but have been very competitive despite the losses.Played March 8, 2014 at Santa Monica. Read more...
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