Fall 2004 Match Reports
Fall 2004 Post-Season Playing Awards – (Thanks to the alumni sponsors!)
Outstanding Forward – Tom Tajkowski (Scott Valley, 1994)
Outstanding Back – Sean Foley (Guy Hagen, 1995)
Outstanding Rookie – Brandon Bailey (Brian Beers, 1990)
Most Improved Player – Taurean Johnson (Chris Geisert, 1992)
Allan Chapman Service Award for 2004 – Matt O’Brien (Mike Arnold, 1997)
Eight Truman players on Heart of America Collegiate All-Stars Defeat Texas 21-19 before falling to
Eastern Rockies in finals 15-50. Players: Brennan Delaney, Sean Foley, Tony Giubardo, Kevin Jones, Richard Schuessler, Spencer Smith, Tom Tajkowski, and Brian Wilson.
Brennan Delaney and Tom Tajkowski were named to the All-Tournament team.
TRUMAN PUSH PAST ALUMNI
After a gloomy week of weather and local tragedy, the weather in Kirksville for Homecoming was perfect. It was sunny and cool, and the ground was … not hard. It wasn’t the largest Alumni turn-out in recent years, but the Alumni had a solid team with a great mix of players from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s era teams. The list of Alumni who attended is below. The Alumni included one medical student from KCOM and a guest from the current Truman team. We played 2 x 20 min periods. For the third period, we had the captains of the respective Truman (Tom Tajkowski) and Alumni (Tim Russo) teams select their team from the lot of players. We played a 3rd 20 min period with the mixed teams. Everyone seemed to enjoy mixing it up a bit, especially after the Truman boys had been running a bit wild during the first two periods.
Truman scored their first try in less than a minute as All-American, Sean Foley, touched down between the posts for an early 5-0 lead. Foley missed the drop-kick conversion from directly in front of the posts in the “make it – take it” format. First period tries were also scored by Brian Wilson, Chris Bell, and Brennan Delaney (and none were even close to being converted!). Truman held a 20-0 advantage after 20 min. Luke Walczewski scored what would be the only Alumni try of the day early in the second period, but like everyone else, he also missed the dead-on conversion. Truman then scored four more tries. Captain, Tom Tajkowski, touched-down twice in succession. His left-footed conversion attempts were just wide. Tony Giubardo powered up the middle for a nice try, but also failed to convert. Probably the best try of the day was saved for the end of the second period when rookie second row, Brandon Bailey received the kick-off from the Alumni and went about 70 meters through and around the entire Alumni team to score between the posts. Ironically, Brandon made his drop-kick for the only successful conversion of the day. FINAL SCORE: Truman 42 – Alumni 5.
Prior to the third period, we held our annual “Donut Race”. This year’s rookies and “B” team props, Spencer Smith and Tom Smith, with help from Nadim Sliman, challenged recent alumni Nick Welchert and Takashi Arimura. Both teams managed to get all their powdered donuts into their mouths, but the rookies somehow got them down first to record the auspicious victory!
Nick Welchert and Anit Kumar (KCOM student) scored for the “white” team after the Alumni and Truman teams were mixed.
After the match, everyone gathered at the “rugby house” for food and beverages. We took a few minutes to review how Truman has benefited from Alumni donations in just the past years (e.g., hotel rooms and van charges for away trips, and our new jerseys). It was also time to catch-up on some alumni from who we haven’t heard in while. We had a display of two old jerseys (grey with red and black chest band, solid red and a “Bulls Rugby” jacket) that were recently donated by Alumnus, Richie Floyd (now with the Plano, TX fire department). We also heard the sad news that “Hershey” – Paulie Askeland’s massive chocolate Labrador passed-away recently. Hershey was a Truman Rugby fixture for many years, and while in the ‘Ville he would regularly consumed furniture and whatever else got in his way! Many laughs were had as people recalled some of their funnier times at Truman.
Although there were relatively few in attendance, the Alumni were generous as always with their donations, totaling $1500. Several Alumni contacted me in advance indicating that they would be unable to attend, but that they were making donations.
If you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to Truman Rugby either mail a check for “Truman Rugby” to: Bill Sexton at 1409 East Meadow Lane, Kirksville, MO 63501. Or you can make your donation online using a credit card and following the directions on the Truman website home page. Please be sure to let me know if you make an online donation so I can be sure it reaches the rugby account.
A huge thanks to everyone who traveled to Kirksville to support the team, and to all you who support the team but weren’t able to make it this year. It is always heartening to see everyone again, and to see the support for the team. There’s always next year.
(LAST NAME FIRST)
DeCoursey, Sean “Deke”
TRUMAN EDGED BY OU AT FULL-TIME 22-27
Truman traveled to Norman, OK for a Western Rugby Union Central League match. The OU pitch is just about perfect, and the weather was great. Truman opened the scoring just minutes into the match on a nice move to the right corner that was touched-down by freshman wing, Zach Wogtec, after a nice move and feed from Sean Foley. The conversion was no good, and Truman had an early 5-0 lead. Two penalty goals by OU’s kicking machine flyhalf, put OU up 5-6, before OU scored another penalty and an unconverted try to take a 5-14 lead into half-time. Rather than fold, there was a sense of purpose and confidence among the team, and they promptly went to work in the second half. The forwards increased their pressure and dominated the OU scrum, but the OU forwards held tough. Truman pounded on the OU line for long stretches only to be repelled by a staunch defense. Nyika Kupara scored on the left corner as Foley took the defenders inside. The other try was scored by Richard Schuessler who tore down the right touch line with defenders in hot pursuit. The tough conversions were no good, and Truman had a 15-14 lead. Continued pressure resulted in a converted try in front of the posts by Chris Bell, and Truman held a 22-14 lead. However, a break from the OU fullback lead to an unconverted try in the left corner, and OU was back in it at 22-19. A few minutes later, OU flyhalf hit his fourth penalty goal of the day to draw the match at 22-22. Less than five minutes remained, and both teams thought they were going to win. Unfortunately, the Truman defense got bunched up, and OU pushed the ball out wide and they beat the 2 on 1, to take a 22-27 lead that to hold for the last couple minutes of the match. FINAL SCORE: Truman 22 – Oklahoma 27. On the bright side (if there is one), we played extremely well against a team ranked #14 in the nation by GoffonRugby.com. We could have won the game with a little better nose for the try line – we seem to have a real problem scoring tries this season, but I am sure that will change by spring! Lastly, because the loss was less than 10 points, we will get a point in the standings, and we will get a bonus point for having scored four tries again.
Tries: Wogtec, N. Kupara, Schuessler, Bell
Conversions: Foley 1 of 4
Penalties: Foley 0 of 2
Index Article – Oct 21
NEXT GAME: Saturday, October 23 at 1:00 PM – Alumni Game
TRUMAN LOSES a 25-26 NAIL-BITER TO ASU
Truman lost a close one to Arkansas State 25-26 yesterday in a well-played match. Arkansas State, the USA Rugby National Collegiate Division II Runner-Up in 2004, is big and very athletic. Truman, dealing with several injuries and blooding some rookies, may have played a more technically proficient game, but were unable to fully contain Arkansas State. Sean Foley opened the scoring with penalty kicks at 4 and 8 min to give Truman an early 6-0 lead. However, a few minutes later, a turn-over ball and a missed tackle, provided ASU’s left wing all the space he needed to bolt 50 m uncontested for the converted try at 11 min, and a 7-6 ASU lead. At 20 min, Sean Foley and Tony Giubardo executed a nice 1-2 loop to create space for Chris Bell, who sold a nifty chip-kick fake, and then powered between two ASU defenders to score the try. The conversion was missed, but Truman had a 11-7 advantage. A short while later, Truman was attacking within the ASU 22 m, and Foley cut against the grain from some multiple phase possession, to score a converted try at 26 min to push the Truman lead to 18-11. (In order to ensure a second game, the halves were shortened to 30 min, and the halftime score was Truman 18 – Arkansas State University 7.) ASU struck early in the second half after a kick ball was mishandled, scoring an unconverted try just 3 min in (Truman 18 – ASU 12). Both teams were stymied for the next 20 min until ASU took advantage of a Truman error. A clearing kick caught some Truman players accidentally offside. The referee in awarded a “kick or kick” penalty (he later admitted it should have been a “kick or scrum up” option). ASU chipped to touch for a 5 m lineout that they won and drove over in the corner for a try at 22 min. The difficult conversion from the right side was good, as ASU took a 19-18 lead with 8 min to play. Truman pressed and it looked like freshman wing, Karl Guenther (who replaced Greg Ballard, who broke his collar bone earlier in the match) was going to score in the left corner, however he was hit going in and lost the ball forward, giving ASU a 5 m scrum. Truman executed a perfect wheel move, and earned the next scrum put-in. Truman’s pack got the surge and pressed towards the ASU line. As the ASU pack broke apart, #8 Brian Wilson picked and drove over the right side to score and Truman regained the lead 23-19. Foley’s conversion from near the sideline was good. With 3 min to play it was Truman 25-19 over ASU. We just had to contain ASU, however the ensuing kick-off went deep and the ball was mishandled giving ASU a scrum at the Truman 22 m. Quick ball to their backs, and a quick ruck in the mid-field put the ball in the hands of their looping flyhalf who drove through a valiant tackle effort to score on the right side (Truman 25 – ASU 24). ASU’s kicker was again good on the tough right side conversion with no time remaining. FINAL SCORE: Truman 25 – Arkansas State 26. It was a dramatic last 10 min of play, and the Truman players were heart-broken to have lost this nail-biter at home. No one was happy after the match and lessons have to be learned about protecting a hard-earned lead late in the game. The sting of this loss will provide a good lesson for the future. In the “B” game, Truman lent ASU 6 starting players to fill-out their “B” team. Leo Stephens, Truman’s tighthead prop who was playing for ASU “B”, scored the only try of the match as ASU won a 5-0 decision in 15 min halves.
Tries: Bell, Foley, Wilson
Conversions: Foley 2 of 3
Penalties: Foley 1 of 1
Index Article – Oct 14
NEXT GAME: Saturday, October 16 at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (2:30 PM)
NOTE: It was good to see Truman Rugby Alumnus Matt “Lars” Strickland on the sideline for the match. Matt is teaching high school physics in Eureka, MO and coaching the high school rugby team there. It appears that one of Matt’s young players may be joining the Truman ranks in fall 2005.
TRUMAN NIPS OSU 13-10
Truman hosted a tenacious Oklahoma State team and held on for the 13-10 Central League victory. It was a low scoring affair marked by good defense and halting offenses. Neither team seemed to get on-track and both defenses were aggressive, producing lots of turn-overs and some dynamic counter-attacks. OSU opened the scoring with a penalty goal at 8 min, and missed a second 10 min later. OSU pressured Truman and spent a large part of the first half camped inside the Truman 40m. OSU held a 0-3 lead until 30 min, when Sean Foley leveled the score with a penalty goal. (Halftime: Truman 3 – OSU 3) After the break, Truman seemed a bit more cohesive, and Foley broke through at 48 min to convert his own try and give Truman a 10-3 margin. Truman missed penalty kicks at 50 and 57 min, before Foley connected with a 30 m drop-goal to move the score to 13-3. Another missed penalty at 77 min, provided motivation for OSU who kicked their game up a notch – they were not willing to quit. Strong pressure from OSU resulted in a converted try at 82 min to bring the score to 13-10. OSU attacked and Truman defended to the final whistle. It was a close match with two evenly matched teams. FINAL SCORE: Truman 13 OSU 10. (Worthy of note is that Sean Foley accomplished a feat not often achieved – he scored the “cycle”, with a try, conversion, penalty and a drop goal in a single game.)
Conversions: Foley (1 of 1)
Penalties: Foley (1 of 4)
Drop-Goal: Foley (1 of 1)
Index Article – Sept 30
OSU traveled strong, bringing a full second team to match Truman’s full second team for 35 min halves. Truman scored 12 unanswered points on tries by Leo Stephens (converted by Michael Paddock) and Mark Stephenson. However, OSU struck back for an unconverted try and a penalty before half, for a halftime score of Truman “B” 12 – OSU “B” 8. OSU scored an unconverted try 8 min into the second half to take the 12-13 lead. Both teams worked hard, and OSU’s speedy wing “Valentine” clinched the match for OSU just into injury time. FINAL: Truman “B” 12 – OSU “B” 18.
TRUMAN TACKLE UNL 51-3
Truman State Men ran out an 8-try performance against rivals the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in a Western Rugby Union – Central League match. Flyhalf Sean Foley directed traffic all day, varying the points of attack with passing and kicking, while the backrow of Tom Tajkowski, Taurean Johnson, and Brian Wilson roamed the pitch making tackles, stealing possession and picking up four tries between them. Fullback Ryan Worth continued his stellar play scoring a couple of very nice tries, including a 50 m gallop up the middle of the field on a huge double-miss pass from Foley. A lot of good work was accomplished up front as Truman scrum put UNL under consistent pressure, and forced turn-overs. Inside center Tony Giubardo relished braking to push beyond the tackle line to set attacking platforms in UNL territory.
Half-time: Truman 22 – UNL 3; FINAL SCORE: Truman 51 – UNL 3
Tries: Worth (2), Tajkowski (2), Wilson, Stephens L., Schuessler, Delaney
Conversions: Foley 4 of 8
Penalties: FOley 1 of 1
Index Article – Sept 23 / Article at RugbyRugby.com
UNL traveled with only about 20 players, but they willingly returned to the field to provide a “B game for Truman. Unfortunately, UNL experience was too much and they exploited our “Killer B’s” for 38 unanswered points. The score is sometimes not the most important barometer of success. For the “B’s”, the imrpovement in overall performance since last week’s debut was noticable. They ran harder and straighter, scrummaged and tackled better, won lineouts, and generally showed great steps forward! Perhaps the best example of heart and sheer enjoyment was the look on Cole Muett’s face after he scooped up a ball and ran smack into a tackle, then played the ball back for his support – just like we talk about in practice … oh yeah, Cole is the smallest guy on the team!
NEXT GAME: Saturday, September 25 vs. Oklahoma State University at Home in Kirksville.
The first match of the season is a true test of mental toughness and experience, especially when it’s hot. Truman fielded a team of returning players from the spring season against Mizzou in the season opener. After an unseasonably cool summer, the heat index rose last Saturday making it tough on everyone. Truman was effective at controlling the attack and retaining possession for the first 25 minutes. Junior flyhalf Sean Foley distributed the ball well and Truman recycled the ball well to create pressure on MU’s defense. Truman’s first try came at 2 minutes when sophomore wing Greg Ballard went over in the left corner. Foley’s conversion just missed and Truman had an early 5-0 lead. Fullback Ryan Worth drove over between the post at 10 min dragging two defenders, for the converted try (10-0). Foley slotted a penalty goal at 14 min to take the score to 15-0. Right wing Mu Kupara took a bump to the nose, and his brother Nyika went on as a blood-sub and was immediately the benficiary of a nice movement to the right that resulted in Nyika scoring a try in the right corner. Mu came back on after the missed conversion, incredulous at his bad luck (20-0)! Several minutes later, MU relieved pressure with a kick to mid-field. Truman’s back-three covered the kick, but MU had too many defenders and an ill-advised pass went right to a streaking MU player who scored beneath the posts (20-7). Not five minutes later, MU gathered up another spilled Truman ball and took the ball 50 m for the center-post try and conversion. HALF-TIME SCORE: Truman 20 – MU 14
Truman made some subtle adjustments at half, and committed to better ball control, and a more “go-forward” appraoch. Truman scored at 1:05 of the second half when Worth scored his second try of the day between the posts (27-14). Truman began to find a rhythm and created consistent offensive pressure. Truman pressured an MU 5-m scrum, taking the ball against the head, #8 Brian Wilson drove over the tryline for his first score of the season (32-14). From a 5-m Truman lineout, Taurean Johnson linked and the drive was on leading to a try and conversion from the right hash marks (39-14). At 19 min, center Chris Bell pushed inside the MU 22 m, when Sean Foley hit off his hip at pace to go in untouched. Foley converted his own try for a 46-14 lead. A penalty goal at 25 min and converted tries from Wilson and Worth (for the “hat trick”) closed the scoring at 63-14.
Tries: Worth (3), Wilson (2), Ballard, N. Kupara, Johnson, Foley
Conversions: Foley 6 for 9
Penalties: Foley 2 for 2
Index Article – Sept 16 / Article at RugbyRugby.com
Truman’s “B” team featuring 10 players who were playing their first game lost to a combined MU A & B team by a score of 8-21. Flyhalf Michael Paddock converted a penalty mid-way through the first half to give the “Killer B’s” a 3-0 half-time lead. MU was able to score twice in the second half to take a 3-14 lead before second semester prop, Joe Pantano touched down to bring the score to 8-14. Truma “B” pushed hard for the win, but it was MU who closed out the scoring with a converted try full-time to win 8-21.
Conversions: Paddock 0 for 1
Penalties: Paddock 1 for 1
Saturday, September 18
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
1:30 PM “A” and 3:00 “B”
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
Spring 2004 Post-season playing awards