The Wisconsin Rugby Club defeated Lincoln Park RFC 22-14 to complete an undefeated 2013 calendar year, in which WRC won the DII National Championship. Wisconsin finished the fall 9-0-1, with the lone draw being with Bremer County.
Saturday's match was a contest of possession and aggression, with penalties coming from both sides in the scoreless first 30 minutes. The hitting was fierce, and the battle at the breakdown was testy as Lincoln Park had a player binned for repetitive infringements early on. The WRC failed to turn opportunities into points until a solid dummy and running line from fly half Miles Jobke put the WRC on the board.
Soon thereafter, Jobke offered a swift offload to Center Mike McEvilly, who stormed through three Lincoln Park defenders for a try, which brought the score to 14-0 going into halftime.
Staunch defense and a quick-tap try scoring effort by Flanker Kyle Malaney put the WRC up 22-0 midway through the second half.
"We saw some great efforts today from (Miles) Jobke and (Mike) McEvilly (Try scorer in his starting debut),” said Wisconsin coach Adam Thimming. “Destructive work in the set piece from Jim Sturm and the entire forward pack contributed to the 22-14 victory. Our goal this season was to be the smartest and fittest. In 9 out of 10 games, we achieved that goal."
The Wisconsin Rugby Club heads into the winter stanza with the top seed in its Midwest region and will host a playoff match in mid April.