Kutztown defeated Bowling Green 46-11 Saturday in the American Collegiate Rugby Championship semifinals in Kutztown, Pa. Bowling Green actually led 11-10 at halftime and the Falcons were within a score well into the second half before the Golden Bears pulled away.
Kutztown struck first five minutes in when outside center Bruce Dolan went 35 yards on third-phase ball. Dolan failed to convert his own score, leaving KU up 5-0.
Bowling Green responded with two penalty kicks in the first 16 minutes to take a 6-5 lead. The Falcons then added a pick-and-go try from point blank range to extend the lead to 11-5 at 29 minutes. Kutztown flyhalf Brad Frederick scored a try at 35 minutes off a 10 yard break to pull the Golden Bears within one. Niku Kruger missed the conversion, leaving the score 11-10 to BGSU at the break.
Kutztown comes out determined at start of second half with focus on staying disciplined within their game plan. Kruger slotted a penalty to put KU in front 13-11 early, and Dolan scored his second try from 20 yards out to extend the lead to 18-11.
KU flanker Matt Frederick added a pair of tries in the 65th and 69th minutes to put the Golden Bears up 32-11 and the game away. Fullback Trent Hensley chased down a grubber kicked by wing Gareth Lourens for a try in the 75th minute, and lock Mike Lawrenson closed the scoring with a short yardage try to tease the final score line.
Kutztown’s key to success was the tenacity displayed by coming off of the defensive side of the gain line and continuously taking away Bowling Green's attacking space. The Golden Bears opened up the game at the 60-minute mark as the very large Bowling Green side appeared to tire.
“Bowling Green is an excellent side and played very well throughout the match,” said Kutztown coach Doc Jones. “The final score is not indicative of their skill and how well they played.”
KU will now meet rival Penn State in the ACRC final – a rematch of a one-point win over the Nittany Lions Oct. 12. – Dec. 7.
Tries: Lawrenson, M. Frederick 2, Dolan 2, Hensley, B. Frederick
Cons: Kruger 4
Bowling Green 11