ERRFU U19s Take 3rd All Star Title
Tuesday Jun 30, 2009 in Women Youth
Although losing US U20 flyhalf Brie Barto (above) in the final was a big loss, ERRFU had the depth to hold onto the win.
Glendale, CO – Following the US and Canadian anthems, Eastern Rockies and Manitoba took the pitch for the fifth iteration of the National Girls' U19 LAU tournament. Scoring concluded one minute into the second half, and two-time champion ERRFU claimed its third title with a 10-7 win over its Canadian visitors.
“I am so proud of these kids,” ERRFU coach Karl Barth said. “They were up against it most of the weekend and despite missing several key players, they showed heart and character, and really stepped up.”
The Rams were missing several West U19 and US U20 players – whether due to injury or unavailability – and ended up starting four from the projected first XV in the final, while playing four U15s.
As occurred the day before, when the US Women took on Canada on the same pitch, the finalists’ national anthems sounded throughout Infinity Park. Manitoba took the first lead, notching a try after their tighthead crashed over the line from a five-meter penalty; eight man converted, 7-0.
ERRFU suffered a huge blow when US U20 flyhalf Brie Barto was stretchered off the pitch with a neck injury. After a long delay, ERRFU returned to the pitch for a 20-minute defensive stand, but the defense never broke.
ERRFU’s diligence was rewarded. After forcing a missed kick and two blocked kicks from the Canadians, ERRFU launched a back row play that, after three pick-and-jams, sent openside flanker Victoria McClesky into the corner for a try. Fullback Devyn Lane tied it up with a difficult sideline conversion, 7 all into the half
One minute into the second half, Lane added a penalty to ERRFU’s tally, 10-7.
Manitoba had what appeared to be three or four kickable penalties but chose to keep the attack in hand. The final whistle couldn’t come soon enough, as the Rams were down a man (sin bin) in the closing minutes, and the defense was scrambling to keep Manitoba out of the try zone. ERRFU managed to force a knock-on, and referee Charlie Haupt blew the final whistle to end the championship.
Barth was full of accolades for his young players. “Victoria McClesky was great in the lineout – winning, stealing and spoiling. Captain Mackenzie Lewis was a pillar; Barto awesome; 15-year-old flanker Rosa Foth and flyhalf (later scrumhalf) Emy Griffith were outstanding. Center Kelly McKenna had some huge hits; Devyn's boot was outstanding at finding space or touch and relieving pressure; and winger Jessica Garriott was singled out as player of the game for her strong runs, great kick-chasing, and almost flawless defense.”
In the third place match, Northern California edged Oregon 22-17, and Minnesota topped Washington 27-14 for fifth place. Washington’s coach staff, however, was replaced last minute and that greatly affected player availability.
1. Erin Goodell (Summit)
2. Aby Bundy (Fort Collins)
3. Becca Lohrenz (Summit)
4. Sierra Fairfield-Smith (Western); Bobby Bouchard (Summit) @ 24m; Sara McMannus (SWARM) @ 56m
5. Theresa Cameron (Regis Jesuit)
6. Rosa Foth (Summit)
7. Victoria McClesky (Chaparral)
8. Mackenzie Lewis (Chaparral) – capt.
9. Brie Barto (Summit); Hannah Towle (Ranch Rugby) @ 40m; Delaney Piper @ 50m
10. Emy Griffith (Summit)
11. Katherine Sutton (Douglas County)
12. Kelly McKenna (Douglas County)
13. Emily Spangler (Colorado)
14. Jessica Garriott (SWARM)
15. Devyn Lane (Chaparral)