Mega rugby update: Utes, UVU, Brothers in playoffs; Cal left out

BY HUGH BROWN

UTES DEMOLISH WYOMING 97-14

The Utes (10-3) completed their regular season by demolishing Wyoming 97-14 on Saturday in Salt Lake City.

No. 5-ranked Utah is off next week before traveling to California to take on No. 2 St. Mary’s in the first round of the national D-1A college championship on May 5.

During Saturday’s game, the Cowboys (2-4) have a big scrum and like to play a power game, keeping the ball in the forward pack. Utah countered with their own strong forwards and a quick and clever backline.

Spencer Vickery opened the scoring for Utah following great ball movement when he scored a try off loose play within a minute of the start of the match.  Danny Christensen’s conversion was good.

The Ute forwards continued to dominate their Wyoming counterparts when Vickery picked up the ball at the edge of a ruck and bulled in for his second try. Utah again scored off a counter attack when David Barlow was tackled, but not before he made a beautiful pass to Don Pati who broke the Cowboy line for the try.  The conversion made it 19-0.

The next try came when Utah won a lineout 15 meters out and Mike Shepard barreled across the goal line.  With the pack controlling loose play, Vickery put in his third try of the day to make it 31-0 before Wyoming came back with a try and a conversion. Pati got the next try off a quick tap from 10 meters out and Christensen converted.

Scott Metcalf had a quick tap that he off loaded to Pati for Don’s third try of the match. The conversion made it 45-7. Mote Houma then crashed the Wyoming backline and broke through to score. Christensen’s kick made it 52-7 Utah at the half.

The second half was the same as the first. Ty Peterson went in for a try and the conversion was good.  tah took the following kickoff and after a quick recycle Pati broke the defense for his fourth try. Nick Mostyn then scored on a crash ball from Pati.  Christensen’s kick made it 71-7. Barlow made a tremendously hard hit that jarred the ball loose and the Utes recycled to Les Soloai who broke tackles to earn the try.

The Utes next score came when the pack counter rucked and Mostyn stole the ball and passed to Alex Muehle for the try.  Pati got his fifth try when Muehle picked up the ball at the back of his scrum and off loaded to Don who went 50 meters for the score.

The Cowboys kept plugging and scored a try and a conversion before Houma picked up the ball off loose play, put up a beautiful pop kick, and chased it down to score the try between the posts.

With the victory the Utes have won 10 or more games in the spring for the last five consecutive years.

Since 2004-05 Utah’s spring record is 76-24 (.760) and their overall record is 124-26 (.827).  The Utes moved to spring-only play last season.

SANTA MONICA AT UTAH BROTHERS

This past Saturday Utah Brothers defeated the Provo Steelers 41-10 on Saturday for the right to represent the Utah Rugby Football Union in the Pacific Coast Men’s D-1 Club playoffs next week.

Utah had beaten Provo 17-6 in March, but the representative would be decided by combining the scores from the two games according to a ruling by Utah RFU president, Eric Norgate.

The Pacific Coast Men’s D-I Rugby Playoffs will take place Saturday at four locations. Utah Brothers will host Santa Monica. Brother head coach Tim Lewis said he’s hoping to host the game at noon on Saturday in Park City (waiting for the OK from the city).

The Dolphins finished third in the always tough Southern California Rugby Union with a 5-4-1 record.

In other matches, 10-0 Belmont Shore and 7-3 OMBAC will host the 5-2 Sacramento Lions and the 5-2 Olympic Club, respectively.  The East Palo Alto Bulldogs, undefeated in NCRFU play, will take on the Las Vegas Blackjacks at home.

Winners advance to the national championship sweet 16 in Chula Vista, Calif.

UTAH VALLEY IN DII PLAYOFFS

The DII playoffs open this weeked.

At Palo Alto, California Utah Valley University will play Santa Rosa JC and Sierra will take on CSU-Long Beach.

The UVU Wolverines lost to Santa Rosa in the Pacific Coast play-ins, but still qualified for 16-team tournament field.

In Hanover, N.H., Colgate faces Bentley and Boston University plays Towson. In Knoxville, Tenn., Salisbury and Sewanee square off and East Carolina takes on UNC-Wilmington. And in Cottage Grove, Wisc., UW-Whitewater and Central Missouri play as do Lindenwood and UW-Milwaukee.

In the last DII ratings, Lindenwood (11-0) was first, followed by UW-Wisconsin (10-1), Salisbury (13-0), and Utah Valley (11-2).

CAL LEFT OUT OF DI-AA RANKINGS

Sixteen teams have qualified for the DI-AA national tournament and perennial DI champ Cal, having switched to DI-AA after the start of the season, was not one of them.

The pairings: in Palo Alto – Oregon State vs. UC Santa Barbara and San Diego State vs. Santa Clara; in Hanover – Dartmouth vs. Shippensburg and Stony Brook vs. Northeastern; in Knoxville – Tennessee vs. Maryland and Florida vs. Florida State; in Cottage Grove – Wisconsin vs. Missouri and Davenport vs. Texas.

In the April 16 DI-AA rankings Davenport (7-0) was first followed by San Diego State (6-1), Dartmouth (9-0), Florida (14-1), and Tennessee (9-3).

UTAH HIGH SCHOOL RUGBY

Last Monday Herriman edged Skyline 17-15.

This past weekend: Division I – United defeated Lowland 32-3, Snow Canyon downed Skyline 20-7, and Trybe whomped Davis County 71-7.

In Division II – The Cougars beat Wasatch 47-7, Davis downed Cache Valley 34-21, Wasatch defeated Bountiful 57-10, the Flyers beat Pineview 49-5, and Hurricane downed the Las Vegas Rugby Academy 22-6.

The Herriman Mustangs are 5-0 tops in Utah’s Division 1 play followed by Trybe (4-1) and Snow Canyon (4-1). In Division 2, the Cougars (4-1) lead the Northern Division; Orem (3-1) is at the top of the Central; and Hurricane (4-0) leads the Southern Division.

In RugbyMag’s latest rankings, Herriman is third in the nation and Snow Canyon seventh in the Single School High School polls.

In the High School Club rankings, Trybe is fifth nationally and United is tenth.

Two Utah schools are in the top ten of the girls’ high school rankings: Lowland at number eight and the Warriors, at number 10. However, the Warriors defeated Lowland 10-7 on Saturday.

OTHER SCORES                                    

D-1A – Last week Arizona State beat Colorado State 33-9.  This past weekend – West: Air Force downed Arizona State 68-10.  Pacific: St. Mary defeated UC Davis 52-13 and Central Washington beat Cal Poly 60-31. East: In a battle of two teams that were both undefeated in their conference and playing for first place, Army edged Penn State 20-19. Navy downed Delaware 27-10 and Kutztown jumped all over Rutgers 90-10. Mid-South: In a struggle for first place, Life came back from 13-0 to down Arkansas State 17-13 and took the title. Texas A&M defeated Notre Dame 36-14.

Other – A week ago St. Mary’s beat California 20-18, Dartmouth smoked Princeton 50-3 for the Ivy League championship, Florida State defeated Central Florida 22-12, and Florida knocked off Tennessee 22-14. This past weekend Clemson beat Virginia 30-0, Wake Forest up ended Virginia Tech 43-29, and North Carolina State defeated Maryland 22-19.

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