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Written by Alex Goff    Friday, 11 November 2011 20:43    PDF Print Write e-mail
7s Team in Camp
RUGBYmag Premier - Exclusive News

The USA 7s team has assembled today, November 11.

 
Written by Jackie Finlan    Friday, 11 November 2011 20:00    PDF Print Write e-mail
All Blues' Defense Wins WPL Semi
Clubs - Women's Clubs

Defense and finishing were major factors in Berkeley’s 17-7 win over San Diego in the Women’s Premier League semifinal. The Surfers had tons of possession throughout the match, but wasn’t able to convert those opportunities into points until the final minutes of the game.

Vix Folayan's two tries helped Berkeley to the win over San Diego. (Bill English photo)

As for the near-shutout, “I really wanted it for our defense,” Berkeley coach Kathy Flores said. “Through the league, we didn’t play as well defensively as I would have liked. We worked on it, and they did a really good job of bringing it around.”

Defense was especially crucial in the first quarter, as San Diego took it Berkeley hard. The Surfers found themselves in scoring position a couple of times, but a penalty here, knock-on there ended those threats. After 30 minutes, neither team had breached the tryline.

“We knew it was going to be really tough against San Diego,” Flores said. “We both have really fast backs, and we have forwards who want to play the ball. We knew we were going to be evenly matched. Our game plan was to take it in the middle, then move the ball out wide, but San Diego did a very good job of slowing our ball down.”

Up against their tryline, Berkeley received a penalty and the ball found inside center Jill Whitfield. As Surfers fell off tackles, Whitfield eventually offloaded to Folayan around midfield. The Eagle wing outpaced her pursuers for the first of her two tries, 5-0. In general, it was difficult to work the ball wide, as the fierce winds manipulated the crispest of passes. But when Folayan got her hands on the ball, she did good things with it.

Into the second half, the All Blues found themselves within striking distance once again, thanks to a linebreak from flyhalf Ashley English. Wing Irene Gardner helped the team inch closer, and after a couple of pick-and-goes, Katie Chou dove over the line for the try, 10-0.

Folayan notched the final Berkeley try after forcing missed tackles and spinning off of defenders. On the whole, Berkeley found more success with its finishers and were able to turn possession into points. Their tough defense forced turnovers and penalties, even though the All Blues were also plagued by a high penalty count.

San Diego Marea Blue prevented the shutout with only minutes remaining, juking her way in from 10 meters out. Kirstin Hartos kicked the conversion for the 17-7 final.

“It was one of those ‘If we make it out alive’ kind of things,” Flores said. “I can’t speak for [San Diego coach] Richie [Walker], but I assume it was the same for him.

Flores wasn’t happy with the penalty count – some of which she admitted the team deserved, and others that arose from questionable management of the tackle area when the All Blues were attempting to poach the ball. But overall, the All Blues coach was pleased with the performance.

“We’re hitting our stride. We’re where we want to be,” Flores said. “Offensively, we could have done a few more things, which we’ll have to change for the Amazons. But our defense is where we want it to be.”

Flores took in the Amazons v Beantown match, and admitted that the players have a few things to work on if they expect to be prepared for Twin Cities’ physical forwards.

But the All Blues are tough, too, as they proved against their toughest competition this year. It should be a great match between the Zons and All Blues this Sunday.

 
Written by Alex Goff    Friday, 11 November 2011 19:26    PDF Print Write e-mail
Empire 7s Details Set
Sevens - Collegiate Sevens

The Empire 7s, the final qualifier for the national college 7s tournament, has confirmed its list of teams and schedule.

Hosts Stony Brook and the US Naval Academy headline a 12-team bracket, while Temple, currently leaders in Eastern Penn, and Iona, which tied Stony Brook with a 5-1 league record this fall, are also top seeds in their pools.


 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Friday, 11 November 2011 19:58    PDF Print Write e-mail
Aardvarks Leading in New Mexico
Clubs - Men's DII Clubs

The Albuquerque Aardvarks have wrapped up their fall games with a 36-17 defeat of the New Mexico Brujos in Rio Grande DII club play.

The victory saw the Aardvarks improve to 3-0-1 in league play and first place in the Rio Grande DII club league.

The Brujos came out hard scoring first with a try by Robert Cupp. The Aardvarks responded with a try by Francisco Rosario to tie the ballgame. But the Brujos answered as their talented wing, KC Martin, slice through for a try to make it 12-5.

The Aardvarks came out motivated in the second half, scoring 31 straight points before Martin scored again for the Brujos.

Curtis Chaffin claimed 16 points for Albuquerque with two tries and three conversions.

This weekend’s clash between Albuquerque and the El Paso Scorpions could well decide whose top in the league.


Brujos 17
Tries: Martin 2, Cupp
Convs: 1

Albuquerque 36
Tries: Chaffin 2, Paffet, Britton, McBride, Rosario
Convs: Chaffin 3



 
Written by Jackie Finlan    Friday, 11 November 2011 19:21    PDF Print Write e-mail
Zons Advance to WPL Final
Clubs - Women's Clubs

One of the best games of the day during the women’s Premier League and DI championships in Virginia Beach occurred during the WPL’s tier 1 semifinals. The Beantown vs Twin Cities needed all 80 minutes before deciding who was heading to the final Sunday, and the Amazons secured their spot with a 29-25 win.

Stacey Bridges led the Amazons to a win over Beantown.

“Everybody came through, nobody got hurt, and we won, so I’m happy as hell,” Amazons coach Roger Bruggemeyer beamed after the win. “At this point in the season, if you win, then you’re happy.”

The first 10-15 minutes was a little disjointed for the Amazons, and Beantown took advantage. The Boston side went up 5-0 early on after flyhalf Kelly Seary sent a lovely kick ahead to the five meter. Beantown ended up stealing possession from the subsequent lineout and dove over for the try.

Beantown maintained a lot of possession, and although Twin Cities were getting nice linebreaks from centers Braaten and Lynelle Kugler, the Zons couldn’t get on the board. That is, until the 35th minute. Flyhalf Rebecca Radtke noted the heavy sliding defense, got her shoulder passed her tacklers, and hit Sylvia Braaten bursting straight through the line before offloading to wing Kaelene Lundstrum to finish off the effort, 5-5.

Twin Cities kept the momentum going and right before the break, and from a scrum in Beantown’s territory, lock Stacey Bridges dove over for the try, 10-5.

“Stacey Bridges was a monster out there,” Bruggemeyer said. “She was textbook on our second and third strikes off of breakdowns. Our weakside flanker, Morgan Johnson, really stepped up, too. Everybody was playing well—and you have to. If you have a weakness, then the other team will burn you.”

There the half ended, and where it also began. The Zons scored again when Kugler muscled her way into the try zone (15-5). Beantown then mounted a great comeback, which would eventually see them take a five-point lead.

“We had some defensive breakdowns, which were hard for me to figure out,” Bruggemeyer reflected. “They discovered something, so every time they got the ball, they were taking advantage of us.”

Beantown went on to score three consecutive tries. The first came from wing Sally O’Mally, who played tremendous defense and had some nice breakaways down the line. She finished off a series that began with a long break from Katie Dowty. Center Amy Daniels kept the ball alive after the tackle, worked it back to Dowty, who passed to O’Malley for the finishing sprint to the corner. Emily Jones hit the conversion, 15-12.

Daniels found herself behind the gainline, and an errant pass saw the ball land in her hands. She tore into Zons’ territory and hit Dowty in support. The fullback held off Kugler for about five meters before falling over the try line, 17-15.

Beantown took the lead on a very lucky bounce. Seary’s penalty kick to touch fell short but landed in unmarked territory. The flyhalf chased down her kick and it landed safely in her grasp while on the full burst. One fend later, and Beantown’s fourth try of the day saw them up 22-15.

Zons tied it back up when it converted a long goalline attack into a dive-over try, which fullback Dez Markovich converted. Beantown marched it back downfield,as O’Malley and Dowty worked another linebreak to the 22 meter. As the ball worked back toward the middle of the field, Seary slotted a pretty dropgoal for take the 25-22 lead.

“That was a beautiful dropgoal,” Bruggemeyer said. “I was worried that our younger players were going to get down on themselves and react to being scored on. But the players came and battled through that.”

As the minutes wound down, the Amazons held onto possession and marched toward Beantown’s 22 meter with a series of pick and goes. After a few attempts to attack the fringe, the ball worked to Radtke, who streaked across the defense, then fed Lundstrum coming in on an angle. She struggled through a couple of defenders and dove over for the winning points. Markovich added the extras for the 29-25 lead. A minute later, the whistle sounded.

“In terms of long-term growth of players, it’s good to play in a tight game,” Bruggemeyer said. “To work all the way through a game like that and actually get the win does a tremendous amount for their confidence.

“I’m really happy the way the forwards stuck to our pattern,” Bruggemeyer continued. “They played a nice physical game, which you have to do against Beantown. I wasn’t happy with our scrummaging but Beantown’s a good team, and we’ll work on that tomorrow.”

Bruggemeyer remained at the field to watch the Berkeley v San Diego game, which the All Blues won 17-7. He sent his players to the hotel for ice baths and more recovery, and looked forward to an evening reviewing All Blues’ film. Sunday will be an epic day for the Zons, who will be playing in their first WPL final.

 


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