Monday, April 27, 2015

NSCRO Championship Sunday: CMA v SJU 3rd place

NSCRO Men: 3rd Place
Saint John’s University v California Maritime Academy
                                                         SJU player (red and blue) takes ball into tackle                               image: Bob Lyon

 St. John’s University Johnnies banked a brace of second stanza scores on a 26-5 first forty account to secure victory over California Maritime Academy Keelhaulers and 3rd place at the NSCRO Championships in the Infinity Park Rugby Stadium on Sunday. A chill and rainy day for rugby and the Johnnies kept the pill close within and around their sizable forwards group whose maulwork proved fundamentally significant throughout the contest. The Minnesota collegians worked tight forward play in conditions well-suited to slow-flowing mauls and short, pick-and-go thrusts from the breakdown, wearing down and sucking in the Keelhaulers defense until overlap were obtained and then adeptly exploited out wide.
The CMA gameplan of testing the SJU back-three backs with the high hangers were well-played by Johnnies fullback, Sam Olmscheid, and his returning counters deep into Keelhaulers territory enabled St. John’s to setup shop and advance into the CMA 22. Johnnies won their put of a five-meter scrum and 8-man Steven Oczak sliced into goal for a try and it was SJU 5, CMA 0 after 16 minutes of action.
St. John’s scored again when flyhalf Casey Walsh backed himself through a crease into space and fought his way over goal for a touch down converted by outside center, Tanner Hersch: SJU 12, CMA 0 in the 24th minute.
A yellow card for dangerous play to Cal Maritime at minute 25, and three minutes later, a third try for SJU in the form of a well-sold dummy by blindside Ricky Kiley en route for 15 fast and a dot; with Hersch’s additional deuce, 19-nil for the Johnnies.
Bit of footy in the corner with Keelhaulers on attack meant joy for CMA when hooker Shane Bracken, in perfect support of a teammate taken down at the goaline, grounded a skittery jouncing pill and CMA were on the board with tallies of 19 and 5 yet in the Johnnies favorable account.
Backrow lock Oczak got his brace carrying a tackler into goal before touching down a Hersch-completed goal and the Johnnies took a 26-5 halftime advantage into the lockers at referee Marc Nelson’s midway whistle.
SJU tidied up the play for the third-place trophy with a try by lock Benny Bissonette in the 44th minute (31-5) and added the final numbers on the day when Bissonette’s engine roomie, Zach Meuhlenbein, shrugged of a pair of would–be stoppers on his way to a Hersch-completed goal at the hour mark and 38-5 the record at Nelson’s last blast.
            SJU – Try: Oczak (2), Walsh, Kiley, Bissonette, Meuhlenbein; Con: Hersch (3);
            CMA – Try: Bracken

Match Official(s): Marc Nelson (referee); Stu Geiger (ra)

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