Mega rugby update: Park City Haggis are on the roll, Utes and Cougars ranked in top 10

BY HUGH BROWN

PARK CITY HAGGIS CRUSHES DENVER

Park City defeated the Denver Harlequins 62-22 in a DII Eastern Rockies rugby match this past Saturday. The victory gives Haggis a 9-0 league record.

Next Saturday Haggis travels to Colorado to take on the Glendale Raptors in a “showcase” match. Ryan Fletcher directed Park City’s flowing attack from flyhalf while Tom Nielsen had a strong game out of second row. Chris Welch drew ooohs and ahhhs from the crowd with a number of vicious hits. Chet Blasucci also played a great defensive match. Don Pati scored multiple times and Nick Mostyn was outstanding in the front row. Park City has excellent depth this year as their seconds also posted a victory over the Harlequin B side.

COUGARS RANKED No. 3, UTES CHECK IN AT No. 9

Utah is  ranked 9th in RugbyMag’s D-1 College latest rankings. The other top 10 in order are: California, Life, BYU, St. Mary’s, UCLA, Arkansas State, Navy, Central Washington, and just behind the Utes, Kutztown.

VARSITY CUP TICKETS AT RIO TINTO

The Varsity Cup championship game will be played at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on May 3. Discounted tickets to this match, which will feature two of the better university rugby sides in the United States, can be found on the web at VarsityCup.us/tickets.  The tickets include access to the 2014 Rugbypalooza, the Utah Open and fan festival.

BYU PICKS UP 2 VICTORIES          

BYU hosted Cal Poly last Wednesday and came away with a 37-22 victory after trailing 10-0 early in the match. The win improved the Cougars record to 12-1. On Saturday BYU looked great as they defeated San Francisco Golden Gate 45-33 in the Champions Challenge, pitting the reigning college champions against the defending men’s D-1 club champions. BYU led 31-7 at the half.

OTHER SCORES: Mar 29-30 – Arizona over Arizona State 51-38; Life over Lindenwood 21-17; Wheeling Jesuit over Michigan State 17-7; South Carolina over Tennessee 39-27.

EAGLE 15s TO WORLD CUP

The United States’ fifteens traveled to Uruguay on March 22 for the first of a two game Rugby World Cup Qualifier series. The Eagles did not look good in the first half as they fell behind 19-6 at the intermission, but they battled back and actually took a 27-22 lead with 26 minutes to play before settling for a 27-27 tie.

The United States prevailed 32-13 in the second leg of the qualifier played near Atlanta, but the final score was not indicative of the toughness of the win. The Eagles trailed 13-3 after 45 minutes, but dominated the rest of the match. With the victory the United States advances to the 2015 Rugby World Cup where they will be placed in Pool B with South Africa, Samoa, Scotland, and the Asian champion (most likely Japan).

EAGLES’ SEVENS IN HONG KONG

The United States opened the Hong Kong Sevens this past Thursday on a strong note, defeating Samoa 26-12. On Friday the Eagles lost a close contest to Scotland 15-10 in a match played in a pouring rain and then dropped a well-played game to New Zealand 17-7.  Their 1-2 pool record placed the U.S. to the Cup quarterfinals thanks to their point differential in pool play.

Unfortunately, Saturday was not kind to the Eagles as they lost 17-5 to Fiji and then dropped a 24-19 decision to South Africa in the Plate semifinals. Still the U.S. earned 2 IRB points to distance themselves from Portugal and Spain and close on 12th place Scotland in the yearlong standings. New Zealand won the Hong Kong sevens with an impressive 26-7 win over England.

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