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NMT Defeats Albuquerque Club In Inaugural Night Game

NMT Defeats Albuquerque Club In Inaugural Night Game

 

September 27, 2017

SOCORRO, N.M. – The New Mexico Tech Rugby Club defeated the Albuquerque Brujos on Saturday night under the lights at the Socorro Soccer and Rodeo Complex 28-21.

Both sides gave the 100-plus fans 80 minutes of action, pitting power against finesse and speed.  Fortunately for NMT, finesse and speed won the night.

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Freshman Dane Robergs carries the ball forward after an offload from Sophomore J.R. Hart.

 

The Brujos looked to use their superior size to their advantage, repeatedly attacking the corners of the rucks with their bigger forward pack.  Although the Brujos’ rumbling attack did yield some success, the home team displayed good tackling technique and defensive shape held the Brujos to three tries.

Team captain Tanner Graham summed up the night, “Despite the Brujos being the physically bigger team, we stayed composed on defense. At critical times in the match, we pressured them to make mistakes. When we had the ball, we attacked them out wide where they were weak. Our young pack of forwards is maturing quickly, and our backline is starting to come together nicely. Because we had a good number of subs, we were able to try many backline combinations during the match and each man did his job and held his own.”

Four different players scored for NMT: Dillon Thomas, Nigel Ruckhaus, Graham, and Javier Koerdell. Each of Tech’s four tries resulted from trust in their game plan – set up in the middle, and attack the wings.

Everson Cruz “had a monster game in the lineouts,” said Coach Brent Nourse.  “He stole at least three lineouts from the opposition, which is not an easy task.”

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NMT captain Tanner Graham fends off the Brujos fullback.

 

NMT also saw the continued development of scrumhalf Logan Blake and flyhalf Dillon Mann.  "Clinching a victory was even more impressive considering that Tech's scrumhalf and flyhalf are both fairly new to the position. They did look a bit unsettled in the first half, but once they got over their initial nervousness, the offense became very effective,” said NMT professor and rugby veteran, Dr. Taylor Dotson.

The event itself was also noteworthy.  The City of Socorro and NMT partnered to bring a Saturday Night event to the City’s new Soccer and Rodeo Complex.  More than 100 fans from both the school and the community enjoyed the event, which was catered by both Fat Man and Little Boy Grill and the Capital Bar. 

“Socorro residents were stopping me on the way to concession stand to tell me how great it was to have a Saturday night sporting event like this. Tech's rugby team has traditionally been one of the best and most exciting in New Mexico. It's fantastic to be finally showcasing them for the town's benefit," Dotson said.