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Tech Ruggers Handle NMSU 34-17

SOCORRO, N.M. February 22, 2010 -- The New Mexico Tech Rugby Club scored six tries to beat New Mexico State University 34 to 17 Saturday and claim the Rio Grande Rugby Union collegiate title. The win propels the Pygmies into a February 27 Western Union playoff rematch against Colorado School of Mines.  Last year the Miners beat Tech 28 - 17 in Golden.

Tech’s Blaine Trujillo (left) and Joaquin Roibal (facing camera) react to a loose ball at a lineout in the Pygmies’ 34 -17 victory over New Mexico State University. 

New Mexico State kicked off into a steady southwest breeze at the Tech rugby field. The Pygmies went straight to work and within three minutes of play had their first five-point try, a kick and chase effort between co-captains Royce Beaudry and Isaiah Sanchez.  Dustin Webb converted Sanchez’s try with a kick for an early seven point lead.

The Chiles struck back with a converted try four minutes later when No. 8 Wes Woods barged over for a try after picking up the ball from the rear of a scrum on Tech’s five meter line. At seventeen minutes, Tech’s No. 8 Graham Payne duplicated Woods’ tactic near midfield. Payne passed to Webb who sent the ball out to the back line where Beaudry and inside center Nick Aldape ran in support.

Aldape hit Beaudry’s pass at pace and there was no stopping the big center over the remaining 30 meters. Webb’s conversion attempt was blocked and Tech led 12-7.  Five minutes before halftime Beaudry bagged his own try after a series of passes between several Tech backs including Aldape, Marshal Spradley and Enrique Koerdell. But Lute Stierman kept NMSU in touch with a try just before the halftime whistle. Webb leapt high to block the conversion kick and Tech led 17-12.

Early in the second half a Tech runner was stood up in a tackle 25 meters from State’s line and a handful of players from both sides closed around the ball. Tech’s hooker Blaine Trujillo snatched the ball and sliced through three defenders to score between the posts to make Webb’s kick easy. State answered with a second try by Woods fifteen minutes from full time to cut Tech’s lead to 24-17.

The Chiles seemed fatigued and Tech took over. First, Enrique Koerdell, who had moved from wing to flanker, touched the ball down after a lineout near State’s line and then as the clock wound down, replacement scrum half Seth Daly’s long pass found try machine Isaiah Sanchez with running room on the outside. The conversion kick attempt was missed, but the final whistle less than a minute later sealed Tech’s 34-17 victory.

Captains Royce Beaudry, Isaiah Sanchez and Jerod Aragon named Blaine Trujillo Tech’s man of the match, while A.J. Ambrose, Jastin Paul and Jacob Smith made their rugby debuts. A win in Colorado this week will send New Mexico Tech to the Western U.S. Rugby Union championships in Baton Rouge, La., the last weekend in March.

-- NMT --

By Dave Wheelock/New Mexico Tech Rugby Director