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Tech’s Rugby Women Notch Their First Win

SOCORRO, N.M. March 12, 2012 -- The Queens Rugby Club concluded their two-match home set Saturday against the New Mexico State University Lady Chiles by recording their first bona fide victory since reemerging on the New Mexico Tech sporting scene in 2011. After conceding their more experienced downstate rivals a 21-5 win in the first of two seven-woman matches, the Queens raised their play in the second game to pip State 12-10. Jade Horton accounted for Tech’s 17-point total with three five-point tries and the deciding conversion kick in the second match.

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Jade Horton scores her first of three tries for NMT's Queens Rugby Club against NMSU in Socorro Saturday.

The Queens fielded eight players on a gloomy yet windless first Saturday of the collegiate spring break, enough for a starting “sevens” squad plus one substitute. Although the green-and-gold clad Lady Chiles brought 12 players, the game-time agreement between Queens captain Lynnae Logan and her counterpart was to play sevens to enable the Tech squad to play together rather than borrow Chiles players.

NMSU scored first by stealing a Tech scrum put-in and getting the ball to their speedy wing Taylor McGarry, who added the two-point conversion kick for a 7-0 lead. For their part the Queens achieved relative parity in ball possession but struggled to string together enough passes to breach the defense. Midway through the half Horton, playing prop for the day, foot-tapped from a penalty and ran 15 meters to score her first of three tries. Her drop-kick conversion attempt sailed wide; NMSU 7, NMT 5. The Lady Chiles went to the halftime time break with a 14-5 lead after adding a converted try and added one more on a nice passing movement in the second half to win the first match 21-5.

Dark, low clouds continued to roll in during the second half. The Tech women now took the upper hand in ball possession and expanded their passing attack to isolate NMSU defenders. Symone Armijo, Laura Lane, Willie Desir, and Tonya Ross all lifted their work rates to complement their more experienced teammates Horton, Logan, Michaela Rempkowski, and Lisa Sanchez. Horton notched her second five-point try on another powerful run, but could not convert. McGarry answered with her own unconverted try for State a short time later to level the scores at 5-5.

In the concluding period Horton cemented her Woman of the Match performance with yet another determined run, and as time would tell, sealed Tech’s first win when her conversion kick cleared the bar for a 12-5 Tech lead. Again State answered promptly as Addi Woods broke free and out-legged the cover defense over 50 meters to score. Yet the kick went astray and when referee Clint Richardson’s final whistle blew scant minutes later Tech’s rugby Queens had their first win of the year, 12-10.

– NMT –

By Dave Wheelock/Tech Rugby Director