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South Rises Again

Saturday Jun 13, 2009 in Elite Level Rugby All-Stars

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Glendale, Colo. – Moving up to Tier A of the men’s collegiate National All-Star Championship in Glendale, Colo. Saturday will be the South, as they won comfortably over the Midwest 47-5.

The Midwest started out controlling the game a little better, but really didn’t endanger the tryline much. Instead it was the South that scored first. A long kick into Midwest territory found no defenders to catch the ball, and Clint Whitler gathered the rolling ball and fed Darren Oliver who went over after ten minutes.

South (in red) won a physical game with the Midwest (in yellow). Ian Muir photos.

Four minutes later a huge run by No. 8 Roland Evans set up a series of phases finally capped off by captain and flanker Ben Goff in the corner. Center Dave Caswell capped off another nice movement to score, and added his second conversion for a 19-0 lead after 19 minutes.

The game slowed down after that. The South saw two players sin-binned at roughly the same time, and that helped the Midwest get a shot at coming back. The Midwest was able to score (Colin Tucker) in answer to a South try and it stayed 26-5 for the next 30 minutes.

“We started off strong, but like last time we let our foot off the gas a bit,” said South coach Vince Atkinson. “The Midwest came out of the locker room and turned it up, playing some good physical ball. Obviously discipline was an issue for us.”

Flyhalf Aaron McMaster was outstanding in helping the South weather the 15-on-13 situation, punting the ball deep into Midwest territory.

In the final 20 minutes, buoyed by their subs, the South started to pile it on. The front row each got one and with Ben Mateialona at scrumhalf and McMaster controlling the pace of the game, and Goff a monster in the forwards, the South had little trouble closing out the game.

“We hoped to burn them down a little bit with our bigger, more physical guys, and then bring in the subs around the 60-minute mark to open it up,” said Atkinson. “That’s basically how it went. Those guys we brought in we had full confidence in. They were a little bit more dynamic. I was really happy with our set pieces today. I was worried about the Midwest. We managed to handle them in the scrums and in lineouts.”

As a result the South move up to Tier A for 2010.

The Pacific Coast staved off relegation to Tier B, beating the Mid-Atlantic 53-5.

The Mid-Atlantic will be competing in Tier B in 2010.

In Tier B action in Glendale the Northeast rolled over the Military Collegiates 48-14. The Military side was able to get their first tries of the competition in the final 20 minutes, but were outmatched.

Latest Scores:
Pacific Coast 53 Mid-Atlantic 5
South 47 Midwest 5
Northeast 48 Military Collegiates 14

- Alex Goff © www.erugbynews.com


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