Spring 2004 Match Reports
Sean Foley named Collegiate All-American
Nick Welchert named Honorable Mention All-American
(Click here for the USA Rugby press release)
Alumni Award for Fall 2004
West Collegiate All-Stars win the 2004 National Championship!
Five Truman players on team (Sean Foley, Tony Giubardo, Tom Tajkowski,
Nick Welchert, and Ryan Worth)
Tom Tajkowski elected Captain for 2004-2005
Sean Foley elected Vice Captain
Post-season playing awards
Seven Truman players invited to tryout for the West Collegiate All-Stars
(Brennan Delaney, Sean Foley, Tony Giubardo, Tom Tajkowski, Nick Welchert, Brian Wilson, and Ryan Worth)
Truman win pair at University of Illinois
The University of Illinois’ Collegiate Tournament lost momentum before it began, going from an 8-team event to a 3-team event in the final week! Truman held true to our word to attend, and played the first two matches of a 3-team round-robin mini-tournament on Saturday. Truman traveled with an 18-man squad that saw everyone get lots of playing time.
In the first match, Truman defeated the host University of Illinois 43-7. Truman put over 7 tries in the effort, with Ryan Worth – playing fullback – scored put over three tries for the “hat trick”. The second match began an hour and a half later, and Truman continued to play strong, beating Northwestern (Chicago) 43-0. Again, Truman racked-up 7 tries, with Sean Foley and freshman wing, Greg Ballard, touching down two a piece. Truman showed good discipline at the tackle and produced some very attractive with many players really beginning to see their gaps, and with support coming hard in depth.
Saturday marked the final match for lock Nick Welchert. He and Kevin Orcutt are graduating in May. In addition, Takashi “Taka-san” Arimura will be returning to Japan at the end of this semester. We are very excited about next year, with the majority of the team returning for the 2004-2005 competitive season.
Special thanks go to Walt and Joyce Walczewski who invited the Truman team to stay at their home Friday night. Not only that, but Joyce prepared a huge breakfast for the team. And, Luke doesn’t even play any longer! Thanks very much!!
Tries: Worth (3), Albin, Schuessler, Foley, Jones
Conversions: Foley (4 of 7)
Tries: Foley (2), Ballard (2), Giubardo, Schuessler, Wilson
Conversions: Foley (4 of 7)
Truman trump MU
Truman traveled to Columbia on Friday, April 9 for a rare Friday afternoon match against the University of Missouri. Mizzou have a new grass-covered field south of the old reactor field location, behind the new tennis center. The pitch is full-size with the same tall goalposts as Truman (theirs are installed … ours are still on the ground!).
Mizzou is much improved and played inspired rugby, pushing hard with ball in hand and playing good defense. Truman appeared to score at the 18 min mark, but it was ruled that Sean Foley didn’t touch the ball down (? … one of several interesting calls during this game). Mizzou cleared and a missed defensive assignment lead to a Mizzou break and a converted try at 21 min. Truman responded by driving down into the MU end, where nice timing lead put Tony Giubardo into a gap and then broke two tackles to score under the posts. Foley converted, and the match was tied. At 34 min Ryan Worth took the ball at pace down the right touch line before cutting inside to score under the posts. Truman lead 14-7. Chris Bell crashed over from inside center right at half, to bring the half time score to Truman 21 – MU 7.
Foley took a penalty goal at 3 min into the second half for the 24-7 lead. Worth broke free for his second try to the match, but the conversion was not good (29-7). MU played with great aggression, but Truman’s defense held through long stretches. Richard Schuessler crashed through at full-time to bring the final score to Truman 34 – Mizzou 7.
Tries: Worth (2), Giubardo, Bell, Schuessler
Conversions: Foley (3 of 5)
Penalties: Foley (1 of 1)
Truman come out on top in Men’s Division II at Ruggerfest
No trip to Westerns – perhaps next year. So we headed to St. Louis (we don’t get a lot of games there) to play in the annual spring Ruggerfest. We had a few injuries and traveled with 20 healthy players, and got some assistance from recent fullback Justin Carley. Sexton had to go to the USA Rugby Board meeting, so the boys were on their own and had to rely on themselves for leadership. It paid off as the team went 4-0 to win the Men’s Division II bracket. The format was a double-round robin bracket, with 2 games each day. Truman started against the St. Louis Royals winning 31-7, and then knocked-off the John Brown University Alumni “A” team 27-0. Going 2-0 put Truman into the finals round robin Sunday with the John University Alumni “B” and the St. Louis Hornets. Truman picked up where they left off, dispatching JBU “B” 22-10, and then the St. Louis Hornets in the finals 29-7.
SCORING BY GAME:
Truman 31 – St. Louis Royals 7
Tries: Welchert, Worth (2), Delaney, Foley
Conversions: Foley (3 of 5)
Truman 27 – John Brown University Alumni “A”
Tries: Bell, Tajkowski, Welchert, Foley
Conversions: Foley (2 of 4)
Penalties: Foley (1 of 2)
Truman 22 – John Brown University Alumni “B”
Tries: O’Brien, Foley (2), Pantano, Worth
Conversions: Foley (1 of 5)
Penalties: Foley (0 of 2)
Truman 29 – St. Louis Hornets 7
Tries: Tajkowski, Foley, Carly, Johnson
Conversions: Foley (3 of 4)
Penalties: Foley (1 of 1)
Truman tackle Iowa at home
Truman Rugby dodged the rain that was supposed to hit K’Ville on Saturday, and played some of their best rugby of the season in tackling University of Iowa 48-5. In fairness, it was Iowa’s first game of the season, and they are in early season form, and working to get their game together. Regardless, the ball control and enterprise shown by Truman was inspiring, and some of last fall’s cohesiveness began to reappear. The “B” team (OK, half the “A” team playing again …) went out against a young Iowa team, (that hit like trucks), and prevailed 22-0.
With Westerns out of the picture for 2004, Truman has made a commitment to game and player development. We have a lot of rugby left to play. Saturday’s focus was trying to change our mindset – to get that “winning feeling” back – the knowledge that our team is prepared and capable of winning. Erase any doubts, and don’t just play the game – take it away from the opponent. We need to find the intensity and commitment to support in attack – to renew the sense of “the try’s on” to increase our scoring efficiency. And focus on our defensive commitment – “one man, one tackle”. We seem to have made the first step in this direction.
This weekend marked the last home game for two players – lock Nick Welchert and flanker Kevin Orcutt. Both will be missed in the future, as both have been committed to Truman since their freshman years. Joe Donley appeared on the sidelines Saturday, for the second week in a row. He drove from Louisiana for our final home game, and played hooker in the “B” game. Some things never change – he was intense and hard, taking the ball up into defenders with almost reckless abandon.
Truman took control of the possession from the opening kick-off and quickly moved inside the Iowa 22m. Demonstrating both intensity and patience in recycling the ball, Truman finally moved the ball wide to Ryan Worth for a try in the right corner at 3 min. Sean Foley converted the difficult conversion for the early 7-0 lead. At 18 min, freshman Greg Ballard (in his first start on the left wing) finished off a good movement to score in the left corner – Ballard scores in his first start (not bad!). The conversion was no good (12-0). From the kick-off, Truman began to find holes in the defense and as players hit holes, support came on from depth to keep the continuity of attack alive. An Iowa penalty was converted by Foley at 20 min (15-0). The pressure continued from the ensuing kick-off and Kevin Jones, went over for a converted try (22-0). Five minutes later, Chris Bell hit a gap in the defense to go over under the posts, making for the easy conversion and a 29-0 lead at 30 min. Attacking deep in Iowa territory, Sean Foley put up a little chip kick over the defense into the right corner of the try zone – Ryan Worth beat the defense to the ball for his second try of the day. The conversion was good, and at halftime, Truman lead Iowa 36-0.
A 5 m lineout at 2 min into the second half, lead to a driving maul, and a try for freshman tighthead prop, Leonard Stephens in the right corner. The conversion was no good, and Truman had a 41-0 lead. Iowa made a few subs at half, and made some adjustments and really to stepped-up their game in the second half. A defensive lapse lead to an Iowa try at 15 min (41-5). Truman lost a little momentum in the mid-second half, while Iowa pushed harder and more effectively. Truman put together some good attacking moves, that lead to a linebreak for senior lock, Nick Welchert, who made a nifty inside pass to Foley trailing in support to put him away for the converted try at 35 min. Final score: Truman 48 – Iowa 5.\
Tries: Worth (2), Ballard (1st), Jones, Bell, Stephens, Foley
Conversions: Foley (5 of 7)
Penalties: Foley (1 of 1)
Iowa traveled with 40 players. We made all the subs we had for the “B” game, with a couple of guests, and several players splitting halves. The Iowa “B” team was mostly rookies, and although they were not great rugby players, they were definitely physical. Truman opened the scoring at 7 min with a nice movement that put wing Nyika Kupara over for a try at 7 min. Kyle Kane, playing at fullback, went over at 12 min to bring the score to 10-0. At 22 min of the second half, Tony Giubardo scored and was followed at full-time by a try from guest player, Anit Kumar (a KCOM student who used to play at Nebraska). Final score: Truman “B” 22 – Iowa “B” 0.
Western Collegiate Round of 16 – vs. Wyoming
The March 6 draw gave both KU and Truman 2 points in the determination of league standings. The final league standings came down to the KU versus University of Nebraska match in Lawrence on Sunday, March 7. KU defeated UNL by 11-7 (unofficial score). That put Truman into the #1 spot in the Central-North League. This means Truman will host Pool D in Kansas City on March 20-21. Truman Alumnus, Tim Russo, has made arrangements with the Kansas City Blues to host the competition at the Blues’ field at Minor Park in southeast Kansas City (I-435 to Holmes, south to Red Bridge Rd, and east to Minor Park). Truman will be matched against University of Wyoming, with the winner playing the winner of the University of New Mexico – Louisiana State University match.
Despite a lot of hard work and commitment, Truman was not able to pull off a first round win at the Round of 16 in Kansas City last weekend. Wyoming scored early off of a driving lineout to take a 0-7 lead. Truman answered a short time later with some enterprising play, that lead to a Sean Foley penalty goal and close the gap to 3-7. Wyoming has a large team, and the game was very physical. Truman hung tough, tackling hard and challenging for gruond and space. Wyoming went over for their second try to bring the score to 3-12. A Wyoming penalty brought the score to 3-15. However, Truman answered with a converted try from a 5 m Wyoming scrum. Flanker Keven Orcutt busted off the side of the scrum to upset the Wyoming possession, and a hustling Matt O’Brien to touch the ball down in the try zone. Foley’s conversion was good, and the score was 10-15 as the half ended. Unfortunately, the winder conditions resulted in a couple of missed penalty kicks that might have kept Truman closer. Wyoming was creating a lot of pressure off the side of their scrums and in their centers, and much of our possession was taken under great pressure. We did well to maintain possession and attack, but the pressure forced Truman into too many silly mistakes. We also fell out of our rhythm and didn’t utilize any backrow moves or “bangers” to slow their defense, and that permitted Wyoming to come free on defense.
Wyoming drove a lineout in for their second such try at the beginning of the half (conversion no good) to extend their lead to 10-20. Truman increased their attack and pressed hard, but the Wyoming defense held, and when it didn’t hold completely the pressure resulted in many unforced errors resulting in turnovers. Wyoming put up a penalty goal to move to 10-23. However, we were only two converted tries away, and the boys worked even harder. The pressure finally resulted in a line-break for Sean Foley. The conversion was pushed wide by the wind, and the score stood at 15-23 with time to score. Unfortunately, Wyoming’s defense held and Truman could score no more. A final penalty injury time gave Wyoming the 15-26 win, and advanced them to the quarterfinals against LSU who had defeated the University of New Mexico 27-10 earlier in the day.
Tries: O’Brien, Foley
Conversions: Foley (1 of 2)
Penalties: Foley (1 of 4)
Thanks to Truman Alumnus, Tim Russo and the Kansas City Blues Rugby Club who hosted the event on their home field. And Congratulations to Tim and the Blues for posting a dominating 60-25 Rugby Super League win over the Olympic Club from San Francisco, CA on Sunday.
Saturday, March 20
11:00 AM – Match #1 – University of New Mexico – 10 vs. Louisiana State University – 27
1:00 PM – Match #2 – Truman State University – 15 vs. University of Wyoming – 26
Sunday, March 21
11:00 AM – Match #3 – Loser Match #1 UNM – Forfeit vs. Loser Match #2 – Truman
1:00 PM – Match #4 – Winner Match #1 LSU -7 vs. Winner March #2 Wyoming -32
Truman tackles Texas A&M over spring break
It was a long, as in very long, drive. The weather in College Station, TX was overcast and cool. We played Texas A&M on Friday, afternoon. The Truman team continues to improve, and we finally won this spring! Truman 24 – Texas A&M 16.
We took a total of 18 players to College Station, after withdrawals for a variety of reasons. We had to move some people around. Some “B” players proved they are ready to move up. We even taught a rookie back to play loosehead prop and boost in the lineout … and he did great! We won all but one of our lineouts, and we played amazing defense.
Truman pressured from the opening kick-off, forcing a TAMU penalty at 2 min. The kick was wide, but the pressure was there. At 12 min, TA&U worked their way down the field. A blocked kick inside the Truman 22 m resulted in a converted try for TAMU (Truman 0 – TA&M 7). Another penalty goal at 24 min put TA&M up 0-10. Truman was playing well, however, and pressure created a break for flyhalf Sean Foley, who converted his own try to put Truman back in it, at 7-10. TA&M got another penalty goal at 34 min to take their lead to 7-13. Chris Bell, playing fullback, broke the tackle line, and off-loaded to inside center Tony Giubardo who scored. The conversion was wide, and the halftime score was Truman 12 – Texas A&M 13. Besides overall better cohesiveness and execution by Truman, the hallmark of the first half was the defense.
The team was excited at half-time, and the players realized they were executing better and that they were in this game. They were convinced that they could win the game. Kevin Orcutt came on for Tyler King, who has been playing great at blind-side flanker. Also, Mu Kupara came on for his brother, Nyika Kupara, at left wing.
Truman came out aggressively in the second half, and continued pressure Texas A&M. Foley missed to long-range penalties at 5 and 6 min, before Texas A&M’s flyhalf hit a nice drop-goal. This pushed their lead to 12-16. At 18 min, Truman executed a driving lineout from about 10 m out, before rookie loosehead prop, Joe Pantano, touched down. The conversion was wide, but Truman had gained a 17-12 lead. A blocked Texas A&M kick lead to a converted try for Foley at 31 min, to give Truman a 24-16 lead. Final score: Truman 24 – Texas A&M 16.
PHOTO: Truman Rugby at Texas A&M
Tries: Foley (2), Pantano (1), Giubardo (1)
Conversions: Foley (2 of 4)
Penalties: Foley (0 of 3)
Truman play to a draw against KU
Truman battled against a much improved and aggressive KU Collegiate this weekend to a 13-13 draw. Despite the heavy rain earlier in the week, the high winds did a nice job of drying things out! The game was a defensive battle with great attacking and tackling on both sides, with many forced turnovers. Truman was missing several starters due to a variety of reasons, and had to make some adjustments that took us into the reserve bench. To a man, everyone gave their all and contributed to the outcome.
With the wind at their backs, KU continued to push the ball into the Truman end. Truman repelled continuous KU attacks inside their 22 m. When in possession, it was difficult for Truman to clear the ball into the gale-force wind, and it was difficult to get out of our end. KU opened the scoring with a penalty goal at 29 min to take a 0-3 lead into the half-time.
Truman also used the wind effectively keeping KU on their back foot and playing in their end. Sean Foley slotted a penalty goal at 47 min to level the score at 3-3. KU responded with their second penalty goal at 11 min to retake the lead 3-6. The play was fast and aggressive, but despite several chances, Truman was unable to finish scoring their scoring opportunities. Finally, after pounding at the KU line through several phases, Foley elected to kick a drop-goal from about 20 m, to equalize the score at 6-6 at 71 min. KU showed great resolve and put together several strong attacking phases, which resulted in a line-break and a converted try at 74 min. It looked bleak. However, to their credit, Truman was not to be denied, and we drove back into KU’s end where Tony Giubardo took ball on the full at about the 40 m line and exploded past and through several would-be tacklers to score at 80 min! Foley put over the tying conversion from right of the posts to tie the match at 13-13 (now that was a nail-biter…). A KU penalty attempt at 43 min (in injury time) went right, and the game ended in a 13-13 draw.
Conversion: Foley (1 of 1)
Penalty: Foley (1 of 2)
Drop goal: Foley (1 of 1)
Truman Rugby humbled by University of Nebraska
The University of Nebraska Men’s Rugby made sure Truman didn’t get too cocky this spring. Nebraska took at 19-5 halftime lead, and stretched it to a 36-7 drubbing in the confines of Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. UNL also won the second side match 15-5 to make it a clean sweep. Truman’s only scored came just before half-time when scrumhalf Richard Schuessler scooped up a loose ball from a scrum and who wove his way through several defenders to score in the corner. Foley’s conversion clipped off an upright and slipped through.
Truman looked flat from the outset, and despite many moments were we fell into a productive rhythm, we never really got going. Nebraska showed significant improvement over last fall. They have size and speed. Their defense was aggressive and effective in shutting down our attacking options. On the Truman side, we looked flat and struggled to maintain possession through phases with too many knock-ons, poor passing and poor decision-making. In short, Truman looked very ordinary. Unfortunately, we lost rookie center Andy Samson who torn a ligament between his collar bone and sternum, and will be out for at least six weeks.
With the Central North title on the line, Truman has to perform at a much higher level next weekend in their final league match against KU to have any hope of finishing at the top of the competitive pool, and hosting the regional competition in Kansas City on March 20-21.
Conversion: Foley (1-1)
Index Article – March 4, 2004
Oklahoma State take Truman’s season opener at end
Truman opened their season with a trip to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK. With the weather just beginning to warm-up, Truman had only two outdoors practices in ice and mud before heading south. The weather in Stillwater was good – too good, as it got up to 65 degrees. The Truman players clearly looked to be affected by the warm conditions, while OSU who have been playing regularly since early January looked energized. Truman lead the entire game, despite poor-decision-making and many unforced errors, that resulted in turn-overs instead of points. With three minutes expired in injury time, OSU pushed a try over in the right corner to take the match 20-19. Truman rebounded well in the second side match, winning 31-12 but it was small consolation.
Try: Bell, Giubardo, Worth
Conversion: Foley (2-3)
Penalty: Foley (0-1)
Index Article – February 26, 2004
Current and Former Truman Player at the NASC Championships
Current Truman players, Sean Foley and Tony Giubardo, were invited to play with the Western Rugby Union Senior Development Team at the National All-Star Championship (NASC) in Orlando, FL last weekend (Dec. 5-7). Foley also got some reserve playing time in the senior match against Mid-Atlantic on Sunday. Former Truman player John Tarpoff played for the West Seniors and Matt Strangeway played for the Southern California Seniors. Doug Bratcher, who played on the Southern California team that won the championship in 2002, is recovering from neck surgery and was an assistant coach and manager of the Southern California Seniors. Lastly, former Truman Bullets players, KJ Abel (West Women) and Sara Corcoran (Midwest Women) were there as well. Sara scored the winning try for the Midwest Senior women as they won the women’s NASC championship match.
2004 OFFICERS AND CAPTAINS ELECTED
The fall banquet was held early this year so that team captain, Joe Donley could attend. Joe got called up to National Guard duty and will have to miss his last semester at Truman (he was supposed to graduate in May 2004), and forego his last season of rugby. Joe was presented an engraved mug on behalf of the team, and everyone made their goodbyes.
With Joe’s departure, the team needed to elect a new captain. Brian Wilson (junior #8) was elected, with sophomore flyhalf, Sean Foley re-elected as vice captain. Elections were also held for officers for the 2004 school year. Chris Bell, who was elected president mid-term in 2003, was re-elected president. Several young players were elected to officer roles; with Kurt Albin being elected treasurer and his little buddy Brennan “Buck” Delaney elected to handle public relations. Jeff Wright was re-elected to handle field preparation and equipment, in absentia, on the basis of his sound performance this past fall.
|Club Officers Elected for 2004
President – Chris Bell
Treasurer – Kurt Albin
Field and Equipment – Jeff Wright
Public Relations – Brennan Delaney
|Captains Elected for Spring 2004
Captain – Brian Wilson
Vice Captain – Sean Foley
Playing awards were also announced for the Fall 2003 season. Brian Wilson and Sean Foley garnered Outstanding Forward and Back, respectively, reflecting the team’s opinion of their contributions and supporting their election as captain and vice captain for 2004. Leonard Stephens, a freshman prop (and no relation to Kyle Stephens) who had never played previously, took the Outstanding Rookie Award. Most Improved went to junior scrumhalf Richard Schuessler, who really stepped-up his game this fall. Joe Donley was presented his second consecutive Allan Chapman Club Service Award, reflecting his hard work on behalf of the club as treasurer for two years, and captain for the past three seasons. Joe’s leadership on the field will be missed. Lastly, in the unofficial category of “Player who inspired you most”, Tom Tajkowski was the leading vote getter, although many names were offered.
*** Fall 2003 Awards ***
Most Improved Player
|Allan Chapman Service Award||Joe Donley||OPEN|
Joe Donley (Captain 2002, 2003) has been called up to the National Guard, and will miss his final semester and the spring 2004 season.
Index article about Joe Donley