James Chavez of the NMT Rugby Club drives the ball through
New Mexico Tech Rugby Club fullback Isaiah Sanchez breaks away for a five-point try against the Chiles of New Mexico State University Saturday in Socorro. Tech won 33-21. Photos by William D. Colburn
The victory was sweet revenge for Tech, who had taken a 39-6 battering in
The snowstorm that pummeled the state two weeks earlier forced cancellation of an opening scrimmage scheduled with the University of New Mexico Lobos for February 5, and the next weekend was devoted to a pilgrimage by members of Tech’s team to Las Vegas, Nev., where they witnessed South Africa win the U.S. stage of the World Rugby Sevens series.
When it finally came time to play rugby Saturday afternoon, the Pygmies were ready. Ball possession alternated between the teams, but Tech’s ferocious gang tackling and efficient rucking took its toll on their opponents. After nine minutes Tech was awarded a penalty kick 10 meters from the
This was Tech’s first match with a line of backs readjusted after the December graduation of head captain Royce Beaudry and injury to scrumhalf Dustin Webb. Fallt stepped in at scrumhalf and new co-captain Brock Romero played flyhalf (first back in the line) with Marshal Spradley and Enrique Koerdell at centers, Jastin Paul and Lance Hernandez at wings and co-captain Isaiah Sanchez at his accustomed fullback position.
Unaccustomed player combinations appeared responsible for at least two first-half scoring chances being missed yet overall Tech looked dangerous with the ball in hand. Sanchez managed Tech’s second try by running between his centers and taking a pass from Koerdell before speeding 40 meters to score. Fastle, ably filling a vacancy at lock forward, nailed the kick and Tech went to the five-minute halftime break leading 12-0.
Three minutes after kickoff a team effort moved the ball to within 25 meters of NMSU’s line, and Spradley broke several tackles to score on an inspired run. Ten minutes later, Fallt touched down the first of his two scores on a 50-meter gallop up the left touchline. After Fastle neatly converted both tries, Tech held a commanding 26-0 lead.
A lack of match fitness may have allowed NMSU two more scores near full time to make the score respectable at 33-21. The Pygmies will need all their stamina this Saturday when they travel to
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By Dave Wheelock/Tech