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Rugby Team Defends Title At Flagstaff 10s Tourney

Rugby Team Defends Title At Flagstaff 10s Tourney

 

October 11, 2017

 

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The New Mexico Tech R.F.C. repeated as Flagstaff 10s Collegiate Champs on Saturday, Oct. 6.  The Flagstaff 10s tournament is an annual event featuring competitive divisions for men’s, women’s and college teams.

NMT played three matches during the day, winning each.  It was not an easy path, though, as the NMT ruggers found themselves trailing by 14 points in two of their three matches. 

NMT’s began the day versus Northern Arizona University, as NMT continued its winning trend.  NMT came out strong, taking an early lead which they held until the final whistle.  Final score: NMT 21-NAU 0.

The next two matches, however, tested NMT in several ways.  NMT faced UNLV, another much larger college that boasts a large and athletic side. UNLV scored three quick tries to take a 17-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the 50 minute match, largely the result of early Tech mistakes and poor tackling. Tech did not buckle. Instead, the Techies kept their composure, rattling off seven unanswered tries for 43 points.  Tech walked away with its second victory of the day 43-22.

Tech’s final match against the Thunderbird School of Global Management “Tbirds” also proved to be its most challenging of the day. Like UNLV earlier in the day, the Tbirds (consisting of both current students and alumni), took an early 14-0 lead over NMT through a well-coached and disciplined forwards-based attack. When Tech had the ball, it had trouble breaking a very well organized Tbird defense. At the half, the Tbirds were in the lead 21-7 over Tech.

“We were a bit worried about retaining our title at the half,” coach Brent Nourse said. “But instead of dropping our heads or panicking, we simply talked about our key performance indicators, refocused our attention to our style of play, and went back onto the field.” 

In the second half, Tech held the Tbirds scoreless while also scoring four tries (for 26 points) of their own, securing the win as well as NMT’s title retention.  Final score:  NMT 33, Tbirds 21.

Although the day was physically and mentally tough, NMT Rugby left Flagstaff with another victory for the season. 

Scrumhalf Logan Blake said, “Well … my whole body hurts, for starters. But more seriously, we learned a lot about our team. Twice the team was faced with difficult circumstances being down multiple tries, but heart and determination gave through to victories over Tbirds and UNLV."