AA's Lose Tough One to NZ Universities
31 Jul 2008
This article was written by USA Rugby. Please visit their site at www.usarugby.org
BOULDER, Colo. – The Collegiate All-Americans lost the final game of their New Zealand tour, 26-5, with a tough match against New Zealand Universities at the Basin Reserve, in Wellington.
Playing into a strong gale, the All-American Team faced a stern examination of their defense in the opening minutes of the game. With sharp handling and a powerful pack, New Zealand opened the scoring with a penalty in front of the posts.
The rain and wind grew in strength and standing water on the ground made footwork difficult and missed tackles lead to two converted tries.
The All-Americans then took control of the ball and possession which resulted in a try for Matt Byrd which was then disallowed by the referee.
On the stroke of half time, New Zealand scored again and the All-Americans arrived at half time with a 26-0 scoreline.
The second half saw pressure from the All-Americans. Territory was dominated by the forwards, but numerous opportunities were thwarted by a resilient New Zealand defense. As the game progressed, the All-Americans grew in confidence and were rewarded with a try of their own following good work by the forwards, a chip to the corner by Marco Barnard and a chase for the corner that was won by Blain Scully.
“This was a significant improvement on the previous performances,” said USA Rugby’s CEO and President of Rugby Nigel Melville. "The forwards gave an outstanding performance in the loss and through driven line-outs. The backs created position through their kicking and the defense improved as the game went on.
“The tour has been a test of the players’ character and skills. They have been great ambassadors for USA Rugby and will continue to develop into excellent rugby players if they take on board the lessons learned in the last three weeks,” Melville said.
“The New Zealand Universities were a strong team. Four of the current All Blacks came from the University ranks, and I am sure that many of today's players will follow in their footsteps,”
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1. Seth Strauss (Life University); 2. Joseph Welch (University of
California – Berkeley); 3. Tony Lewis (University of Nebraska at
Omaha); 4. Patrick Danahy (Stanford University); 5. Hayden Smith
(Metropolitan State College of Denver); 6. Paul Jesseman (University of
California – Berkeley); 7. Steven St. Pierre (Brigham Young
University); 8. Roland Evans (Arkansas State University); 15. Colin
Hawley (University of California – Berkeley); 14. Dustin Muhn
(University of California – Berkeley; 13. Marco Barnard (Kutztown
University); 12. Kevin Swiryn (C) (St. Mary’s College of California);
11. Matthew Byrd (University of Utah); 10. Keegan Engelbrecht
(University of California – Berkeley); 9. Zachary Triplett (University
of California – Berkeley)
16. Conor Coyne (St. Mary’s College of California) replaced Swiryn;
17. Jacob Grubbs (Arkansas State University) replaced Strauss; 18.
Joe Fontana (San Diego State University) replaced St. Pierre; 19.
Tommy Pasque (University of Colorado) replaced Evans; 20. Jordan Kohn
(University of Arizona) replaced Triplett; 21. Maximo DeAchaval
(University of Colorado) replaced Engelbrecht; 22. Blaine Scully
(UCLA) replaced Muhn.