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All Americans Win Tour Opener

Friday Jul 31, 2009 in Elite Level Rugby National Teams

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The All Americans started well, putting pressure on from the kickoff and turning the ball over. Center Duncan Kelm opened the scoring with a try in the corner, which flyhalf Keegan Engelbrecht converted.

Moments later Engelbrecht made it 10-0 with a penalty. The flyhalf was in the thick of it about ten minutes later, as well, lofting a sweet kick out to the wing where his Cal teammate, Dustin Muhn, was there to gather and score.

Up 17-0 the All Americans gave one back, as the Stellenbosch Markotters pounced a loose ball after a kick for their first try. 17-7. The Americans replied immediately, with USA U20 captain and All American lock Cameron Dolan picked off a pass and rambled in for the try. 24-7 with Engelbrecht’s conversion.

Stellenbosch managed to secure their defense for the rest of the half, and went into the locker room at Danie Craven Stadium a bit shell-shocked down 24-7.

But they came out determined to change it all, and a chargedown on an All American clearance kick produced a score for the hosts. 24-12.

But Dolan was again the man to reply, catching a long throw on the lineout and refusing to go down as he scored his second the make it 29-12.

But Stellenbosch wouldn’t go down easily. A snappy try brought it to 29-17 and a lineout-and-drive made it 29-24 with time ticking down.

With the game in danger of slipping away after so much good work by the tourists, the All Americans delivered the killer blow. Strong defense held Stellenbosch and the forwards turned the ball over, allowing sub prop Mike Shepherd to move ahead and then feed Muhn. The USA 7s prospect showed his pace and elusiveness in beating four defenders for his second try to make it 34-24. The conversion was good, and the All Americans held on 36-24.

It was a good start for their tour of three games. The Markotters are the fourth side of Stellenbosch, consisting of resident students 18-21, with a couple of club players thrown in on the bench. According to former USA wing and Stellenbosch alum Riaan Van Zyl, “if you make any of the top four teams at Stellenbosch you are doing very well as a player.”

Van Zyl was on the Stellenbosch 1sts for two years.

With the Argentina Jaguars now out of the four-team competition slated to be part of this tour, the schedule changes somewhat. The All Americans will play South African Universities August 5, as scheduled, and follow that up August 8 with a rematch at Boland stadium in Cape Town.

All Americans 36
Tries: Dolan 2, Muhn 2, Kelm
Convs: Engelbrecht 4
Pens: Engelbrecht

1. Mike Su’a (BYU); 2. Eric Barrett (Central Michigan University); 3. Ross Silverman (UC -Santa Barbara); 4. Cameron Dolan (Life University); 5. Tom Katzfey (St. Norbert College); 6. Steve St. Pierre (Captain) (BYU ); 7. Rich Herbert (Cal-Poly); 8. Roland Evans (Arkansas State); 9. Benny Mateialona (Life University); 10. Keegan Englebrecht (California); 11. Dustin Muhn (California); 12. Hunter Leland (Texas A&M); 13. Duncan Kelm (San Diego State); 14. Alex Ross (San Diego State); 15. Blaine Scully (California)

16. Nardus Vessels (Arkansas State); 17. Mike Shepherd (Indiana University); 18. Casey Rock (Texas A&M); 19. Paul Bester (Life University); 20. Chad Clark (St. Mary’s College); 21. Dylan Lubbe (BYU); 22. Kyle Grossheider (Life University)

Stellenbosch Markotters 24
15. Lance van Wyk, 14. John Uys, 13. Byron Booysen, 12. Buys Wiese, 11. Marchant Genis, 10. Raven Rademeyer, 9. Prieur de Jager, 8. Andries Lesch, 7. Hannes van Wyk, 6. Rory Button, 5. Dave Smith, 4. Marinus Pretorius (Capt), 3. Stefan Slabbert, 2. Shaun Esterhuyzen, 1. Jac Pieterse.

Reserves:  Richter Rust, Erik Burger, Rocco de Villiers, André Bezuidenhout, NM Kritzinger, Theunis Kotzé, Heinrich Toerien. 

Coach:  Sarel Potgieter




- Alex Goff

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