Page 1


Rugby Weekender Major League Rugby – By the Numbers

Round 8: 1

the points differential in Austin as Elite held a 16-8, two-score lead through the hour mark, yet were unable to maintain that advantage as Seattle SeaWolves came back to record the 20-19 victory, despite 14-points from the toe of the Austin numbers guy, flyhalf Timothee Guilliman, on four impeccably-struck penalties and conversion of the try by breakaway forward, Ross Deacon ; ‘Wolves groundings by: outside center Will Rasileka (’24), wing Sequoyah Burke-Combs (’47), and second row Taylor Krumrei (’63); Canadian international Brock Staller replacement kicker for Seattle, #10 Will Holder, 1-from-3 on conversions, 1-of2 penalties; travelers from 1-to-2 on the table, because…


first forty scores from Raptors flyer Harley Davidson (‘6, ’13 - and ’47 also to make for the hat-trick) and 17 in the account of “Magic” Max De Achaval, Glendale #10, who counted the full circuit with a try, a dropped goal, a penalty and a conversion (3); a grounding also by homeboys hooker, Dylan Fawsitt (‘27), against four trys from SabreCats: wing Josua Vici (’38), lock Matt Trouville (‘58), and a brace of second stanza groundings by Al Elkins (‘65, ‘71) made for the record of 37-24; both clubs got the four-try bonus point, the Glendale extra enabled Raptors to reclaim the ordering seat at the MLR table;


the try differential, 6-3, as San Diego Legion recorded the lone road win of the round with trys by: hooker Pat Blair (‘9), outside center Ryan Matyas (’23), inside center Anthony Salaber (’40), Nick Evans (’43), wing Taku Ngwenya (’54) and Nathan Silvia (‘67) against three

by NOLA Gold: wing Tim Maupin (‘5), fullback Cameron Troxler (’49), flyhalf JP Eloff (’61) made for the record of 37-24; Upcoming Round 9: • •

Utah Warriors (16) v (12) NOLA Gold 2pm MST, Saturday: a good derby; everyone looking to position themselves into the playoff frame now; Glendale Raptors (29) v (29) Seattle SeaWolves at Infinity, 7pm on Saturday: this for every marble in the box, first place at table, first seed in playoffs, etc.; much beautiful truth revealed by the end of this one; Bang, bang-bang-bang! San Diego Legion (16) v (18) Austin Elite: 6pm, Sunday: if Utah beat NOLA, then whoever loses this one will drop out of playoff position; Bang, bang-bang-boom!

USA men’s Eagles clashed with the national rugby team of Russia on Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Numbers 19 and 15 in the World Rugby Rankings at kickoff, both will be in attendance at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

It was 96° in the shade… REAL HOT!… in the shade, and the United States of America men’s Eagles 15s side was into denial: they denied their opponents, Russia Rugby, possession; they denied them territory, they denied them points, but most importantly of all, Eagles denied the Bear the gain line. For after an initial period of instability that resulted in a couple of Bear scores, the action was all about Eagles and the effect of their flashing, slashing front claws as they celebrated our game with the greatest offensive Test output in USA men’s history. From the first Garryowen hoisted by returning (from European professional duty) flyhalf AJ MacGinty, to the final grounding by fullback Blaine Scully at time, Eagles produced formidable sequences of accomplishments that increased dramatically in effect and duration as the match progressed. Flankers Hanco Germishuys and John Quill were as cannon shots from sets and breakdowns, engaging and containing Russian movement in their backfield, well shy of the golden gain line. Hooker Joe Taufete’e displayed the work rate of a flanker, fetching and getting, providing brilliance, often feeding into the backline as the Bear scrambled, rear-legged to defend. However, all wasn’t smiles and backpats in the early goings. MacGinty hoisted a lofty query and the US chaser was deemed to have contacted the Russian collector while that man was yet in air, and penalty for the Bear. Flyhalf Lurii Kushnarev drilled the ball to touch and Russia had a lineout toss, inside Eagles 22. That won and spun to three-quarters line and half dozen softening phases later, wing Mikhail Babaev snatched the pill from breakdown inclose the goal and dove across for the touch down converted by Kushnarev and it 7-nil Russia in the fifth minute. Russia were looking smart in the opening stages and United States were looking for answers. And they got them in the form of what Austin Blacks coach Tane Jericevich calls, “the offensive tackle,” which is

one whereby the tackler makes the stop and creates a scenario wherein the ball can be turned over. Quill, Germishuys and Taufete’e were master technicians at this during the course of the match. It was the US first strike as inside center Paul Lasike broke the Russian line and brought action down into the Bear business district, 10 meters from goal. A series of crashing pick-and-goes by the US forwards set up the Eagles first touch down and honors to Taufete’e as he grounded for tallies of 7 and 5, yet in Russian favor, after 12 minutes. Russia increased its lead with a sticksplitter by Kushnarev from 46 meters out directly in front of the posts. Eagles would stake themselves to an advantage they would not relinquish just after midpoint in the first forty as Quill blasted through a pair of Russian roadblocks en route the Promised Land, and with MacGinty providing an additional deuce, 12-10 USA at minute 21. USA got another in short order as a MacGinty-Taufete’e-MacGinty transference opened a lane for Lasike to exploit and his crossing, dot and the MacGinty plus two made it 19-10 at ’25. Kushnarev slotted a dreamy shot from near touch, 30 meters out and 19-13 after 28 minutes of blistering pace from both XVs. MacGinty notched a penalty at ’35 and 22-13 for USA then. Russia were contesting the pill at every opportunity from kick off to set piece to breakdown in a lively show of sport and Eagles returning same. A Russian clearance that didn’t was gathered by Eagles scrumhalf, Glendale Raptors Shaun Davies, at Russia’s 10 meter line and that canny and elusive strider proceeded to thread a zippy line into the Bear business district and breakdown. Swift service along the three-quarters therefrom spread the Russian defense so that Taufete’e, infilling, was able to burst for the line to cross and adjust the placement of touch down for the MacGinty conversion and 29-13 at minute 38. Eagles got the final shout in the half as flyer Marcel Brache described a loopy path to goal and it was lads to lockers for hydration and instruction with a scoreline of 34-13 for USA. Russian territorial kicking bearing fruit on occasion and the short p-n-gs effective, but consistency, continuity and possession all favoring hosts just now. Brache got his brace after the re-start when Russian cover bobbled ball capture: MacGinty added the extras; 41-13 in the 43rd minute. Replacement Nate Augspurger dotted next for the States, finishing fast after filling adroitly: +2 by relief flyhalf, Will Magie: 48-13. A grounding by backrow lock, Cam Dolan, and the aforementioned last try by captain Blaine Scully, both made seven by Magie, and USA had recorded a famous 62-13 win to open their summer campaign. Scoring: USA – Try: Taufete’e (2), Quill, Lasike, Brache (2), Augspurger, Dolan, Scully; Con: MacGinty (4), Magie (3); Pen: MacGinty; Russia – Try: Babaev; Con: Kushnarev; Pen: Kushnarev (2)



Sugarloaf Lodge and Marina, Florida Keys… C-A-L-M… with bonefish!

Bluewater Rafting, Maui, HI… no question

Rugby Weekender 6 11 18  

Rugby Rap of USA v Russia; Major League Rugby BtN

Rugby Weekender 6 11 18  

Rugby Rap of USA v Russia; Major League Rugby BtN