TRUMAN STATE UNIVERSITY RUGBY
Fall 1999 – Match Summaries
Truman defeats University of Missouri-Columbia
Truman finished the fall 1999 season last Saturday (Nov. 6) with a 37-3 victory against the Missouri Tigers in Columbia, MO. Truman was in control the whole, but full credit to the aggressive Mizzou defense for repelling the Truman attack. A total of seven tries were scored by three players; scrumhalf Bryan collected three, while hooker Tim Russo and lock John Neudecker has two each. Unfortunately, Russo’s foot was off and he was only able to convert 1 or 7 attempts. The “Killer B’s” prevailed with a well-played 19-5 victory.
Unfortunately, what appeared to be a sprained wrist for Turk Satterly, turned out to be a dislocated “lunate” bone. Turk’s Dad – an orthopedic surgeon – performed a non-surgical reduction of the disclocation under anesthesia (…he put it back in place without cutting!) on Sunday. Turk will be in a split/cast for about 6 weeks and is expected to be good as new for next season.
Index Article (November 11, 1999) – Index coverage of the Mizzou Game (by Uriah Kiehl).
The Line-up for the Mizzou Match
|1 – Loosehead Prop||Harry Kuan||9 – Scrumhalf||Bryan Lay|
|2 – Hooker||Tim Russo||10 – Flyhalf||Greg Gallagher|
|3 – Tighthead Prop||Brian Newcomb *||11 – Left wing||Martin Garcia|
|4 – Lock||John Neudecker||12 – Inside Center||Turk Satterly|
|5 – Lock||Paul McQuillen||13 – Outside Center||Kevin Byerley|
|6 – Flanker||Chris Gray||14 – Right Wing||Brad Kinnear ***|
|7 – Flanker||Justin Sponaugle||15 – Fullback||Ben Sinclair **|
|8 – #8||Zak Wilson (captain)|
|16 – Reserve||Andy Holmes *||19 – Reserve|
|17 – Reserve||Sam Merritt **||20 – Reserve|
|18 – Reserve||Kameron Ahmad ***||21 – Reserve|
* Asterisks correspond to the players for whom substituion was made.
Truman Alumni extract their Revenge!
The Alumni lost to Truman’s Collegiates in 1998, but they got their revenge with a well-played and well-deserved 25-17 win Homecoming weekend. A big Alumni turnout – 28 Alumni (plus two Alumni Dads!) – made the return trip to Kirksville. 25 Alumni played, making this one of the best turnouts ever, and allowed the Alumni to use substituions!! Truman used 29 players on the day. The format was 4 x 20 min periods with substitutions at each period. The Alumni game is played under the “you scored it, you convert it” rule, which explains why there are so few tries are converted.
Truman notched two first period tries (Bryan Lay and Zak Wilson) to take a 12-0 lead. After both sides made subs, the Alumni opended their scoring on a Mark Dodson try – score at half 12-5. More changes were made in the third period (after the donut eating contest – won by the Alumni!), and the experience of the Alumni relative to the younger “B-side” players began to show as the Alumni posted to two more tries – (Steve Hankins and Mark Dodson – and a surprising conversion from Mark!). The third period ended with the Alumni leading 17-12. Truman subbed in more experienced players for the last period in hopes of recapturing the lead and the glory. However, the Alumni defended well. A Dan Brady penalty goal extended the Alumni lead to 20-12 at 10 min. Truman continued pounded away, but only came away with a single try, thanks to Paul McQuillen (although he whiffed his conversion attempt!). The Alumni closed out the scoring near full-time with an unconverted try by Dave Ethetton. The final score was Alumni 25 – Collegaites 17.
It was a great showing of rugby from some old and not-so-old alums, who clearly still have what it takes to play the game. The skill level of the game from both sides was high, and it was an entertaining game to watch. Highlights included a rousing “haka” from the Collegiates before the match, a “dead ants” line-out that had Guy Hagen so surprised that he knocked the ball on in-goal and over the dead-ball line for a Truman 5-meter scrum, a classic Dave Ethetton knock-on with nothing but space, Johnny Brooks with his “hands in” again (!), and – of course – that propensity to disagree with any call made the referee (yours truly) against the Alumni!! All-in-all, it was a great time and a great time was had by all !
Mark Dodson was voted by the Collegiates as the 1999 Alumni Player of the Match, succeeding Dave Goring who was the 1998 Player of the Match. Bryan Lay was voted 1999 Collegiate Player of the Match by the Alumni – reportedly because he played OK, but mostly because he kept (relatively) quiet this year! What the Alumni don’t know is that I threatened Bryan with a penalty everytime he said something! It seems to have worked. I will have to remember that tactic! After the game, the players, Alumni, and friends had a BBQ. Thanks to Mark Dodson for donating a case of bratwurst! Several young players were introduced to such fine rugby traditions as the “bat race”, the “five-man lift”, and a very competitive game of “spoons” (Kevin Hunn never did get it!). Never have I witnessed a group of rookies as dedicated to doing so well as this bunch! Six new players were induucted into the “Zulu” hall of fame (well after dark).
On behalf of Truman State University Rugby, I want to thank the Alumni for their time and committment to Truman Rugby. We are doing our very best of continue the proud leagcy to which each of you has contributed in the past as both players and supportive alumni.
Index Article (October 28, 1999) – Index coverage of Truman Rugby (by Uriah Kiehl).
Truman defeats Rockhurst College 24-21
(October 23) Truman posted an important win over Rockhurst College (Kansas City, MO) last weekend, despite the fact that nine regular starters from the team were playing with the Heart of America Collegiate All-Stars in Ft. Worth, TX. Nine players (plus four reserves) stepped-up from the second side to fill-in and post a big win. There is nothing better for a young player’s confidence than being afforded the opportunity to play at a higher level and realizing that you can do it and win. Tries were scored by Jason Scherfenberg, Chris Gray, Kameron Ahmad, and Sam Merritt. Matt Pieper and Joe Rothermich added one conversion each.
Truman defeats Kansas State in league match 30-10
(October 16) Truman defeated rival K-State in Manhattan, KS last weekend scoring 6 tries to two for a 30-10 win. Neither team was able to convert any of the eight tries due the extremely narrow goalposts, which were impossible to hit in the roaring crosswind. Truman generally outplayed the less experienced K-State team, however, had trouble remaining focused at times. Spirited K-State defense and some sloppy ball-handling cost Truman valuable possession too many times, however, there were some moments in which Truman showed how well they can really play. We need to play mreo consistently better if we hope to get back to the USA RUgby Sweet 16 next spring!
Truman got on the board at 2:25 off a quick tap by senior Bryan Lay. Minutes later team captain, Zak Wilson, surged over from a well-controlled rolling maul from a lineout. Bryan Lay tallied again from some hard forward work from a 5m scrum. K-State notched a try midway through the half for a 15-5 Truman lead at the half. The second half saw K-State pick up their defense, until some wide open running rugby resulted in Zak Wilson rambling the last 30m for his second try of the afternoon. A few minutes later, Andy Holmes drove over from a well-executed front peel from a lineout. Wing Sam Merritt tallied a closing try for Truman. Unfortunately, with little time remaining, Truman got careless at their own 5m scrum and lost the ball only to find K-State with their second try of the match.
In the “B” game, Truman’s younger team lost to K-State’s “B”, composed of a mix of seasoned club-side players and rookies, losing 5-28. However, the game was much closer than the score would suggest and full credit to the Truman “Killer B’s” for a fine, gutsy performance.
Truman ties the Columbia Outlaws
(October 9) Truman tied the Columbia Outlaws over the weekend. The game started off well for Truman scoring a penalty kick three-minutes into the game making it (3-0). Eight minutes later John Neudecker followed up with a try making it (10-0) after the conversion. Due to poor tackling and bad rucking and an overall let down Columbia scored two tries and made it even at half time. In the second half, Columbia scored a try off a penalty kick making it (10-15). Sam Merritt scored in the final minutes of the second half to tie up the game.
Truman takes 3rd place in the 32th Annual Heart of America Tournament
(October 3-4) Truman defeated the University of Illinois (17-8) on Saturday morning (Oct 2nd). In a rematch of 1999’s Western Rugby Union Collegiate Championship, the University of Wyoming defeated (3-34) Truman in the Saturday afternoon semifinal. While clearly disappointed at the loss, the players regrouped to defeat a tenacious Texas A&M squad (28-3) to capture for 3rd place on Sunday morning (10/3). The weather was cold and rainy throughout the Illinois match. And while the rain subsided, the ground remained heavy and slick – conditions that tax the fitness. Unfortunately, for Truman Wyoming received a first round ‘bye’ when Rice University failed to show at the tournament. Truman played well against Wyoming (halftime score 0-15), but Wyoming made a late run, scoring 3 tries and 2 conversion in a seven minute period late in the second half. It was clear that fatigue was a factor. Texas A&M, the top-rated college team in the Texas union, was skilfull and aggressive in their Sunday morning match. Truman held a 14-3 half-time lead. Defense was the big key to the A&M win.
A big thanks to the alumni (Busold, Kozemski, Gilsinn, Hirth, Hagen, Askeland) and supporters (Paul Hirth, various parents, and members of the Outlaws) who braved the nasty weather to cheer on the boys. Your support is always appreciated!
The Tournament Roster
FORWARDS: Zak Wilson (Captain), Harry Kuan, Benji Tinnin, Brian Newcomb, Kevin Hunn, Tim Russo, Tony Sauceda, Andy Holmes, Paul McQuillen, Martin Garcia, John Neudecker, Justin Sponaugle, Chris Gray
BACKS: Bryan Lay (Vice Captain), Greg Gallagher, Kevin Byerley, Turk Satterly, Matt Peiper, Brad Kinnear, Sam Merritt, Ben Sinclair, Greg Avery, Jason Scherfenberg
Truman State University 31 vs. County Rugby Club 10
Saturday, September 25 at 1:30 PM – Wyandotte County (September 25) Park, Kansas City, KS. Truman defeated County Rugby Club, a men’s division II club, from Kansas City, KS this past weekend 31-10. The team put on a remarkable defensive performance which frustrated the more experienced men’s team. Notably, the forwards played extremely well in disrupting the County attack and showing great discipline in defense. Truman struck first when junior fullback, Ben Sinclair, exploded through the tackle line for an impression 30 meter romp at 17 minutes. Tim Russo’s conversion was good for a 7-0 lead. Truman struck again five minutes later, when junior wing, Brad Kinnear, took a perfect feed from Sinclair and raced 20 meters to the left corner (conversion no good) to take a 12-0 lead. A Truman infraction lead to a County penalty and a 12-3 half-time lead.
Truman’s extra fitness work and focus on continuity last week provided big rewards as the County team began to look weary. Four minutes into the second half, Truman pressured the County try line, and Turk Satterly (junior center) powered off a nice pick from sophomore flyhalf Greg Gallagher to a nice try (conversion good – score 19-3). County held Truman out for the next 20 minutes, before Ben Sinclair busted loose 40 meters for his second try of the afternoon – a beautifully executed 9-10 loop with fullback in – there was no stopping him! Conversion was good and Truman had a 26-3 lead with 20 minutes to go. County drove over for a converted try at 26 mintes (26-10). Greg Gallagher closed-out the scoring off of a brilliant pick-up and drive by sophomore flanker, John Neudecker. The conversion was no good, and Truman lead 31-10 to the finish.
Special credit to the entire Truman forward pack who brought their game to a season high level. Especially, sophomore flanker, Justin Sponaugle, who aggressively kept the County backline under pressure all day. Also, the backline – implementing new strategies from last week’s practices – were extremely effective at attacking the County defense and identifying and using their running space.
In the “B” side game, the young Truman team faced Northland RFC, a new men’s team, with considerably more experience. The “Killer B’s” played valliantly in losing to a better side 0-43. Not a great result, but some great experience! The future of Truman Rugby always rests with the young players and their experience.
Truman defeats KU in first league match of year 38-19
(September 18) Truman’s young squad played well enough to secure their first win of the 1999-2000 season over long-time rival KU. Truman was lead by captain, Zak Wilson with two tries, and Tim Russo, with a try and 4 of 6 conversions. Also contributing to the scoreline were Ben Sinclair, Brad Kinnear, and freshman Kevin Hunn, who scored one try each. Truman’s squad featured only eight players from last spring’s first XV who went to the national championship quarterfinals. There were many bright spots and many young players are demonstrating that they can compete.
The downside on the game was the let up by Truman in the second half which allowed KU to score 19 points – the most by a KU team against Truman since 1994. The hard ground, heat, and injuries to captains Wilson and Lay (and their replacement), no doubt contributed to the letdown. And while a win is always good, Truman’s play was not up to standard. The coaching staff and captains made it clear that things would have to improve if another trip to nationals is planned for next spring. Everyone is looking forward to Tuesday’s practice when conditioning will take center stage for part of practice!
Index Article (September 16, 1999) – Coverage of the first weekend of play for Truman Rugby.
New Captains elected for 1999-2000 seasons
Senior forward Zak Wilson was elected Team Captain for the 1999-2000 season, and senior back Bryan Lay was elected Vice Captain. Both players have been regular members of the Truman first XV since they began playing in their freshman year, and both bring experience and leadership to this young Truman team.
Index Article (September 2, 1999) – Preseason article about Truman Rugby