For the first time in the era of coach Don Corwin, Mizzou Rugby has won both the 15’s and 7’s championship in the same year. Mizzou Rugby won the 15’s title back in March, finishing conference play with a 6-1 record. The Tigers qualified for the D1AA Spring National Playoff with the conference title. This past Saturday, Mizzou 7’s went 5-0, beating Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Iowa State, and in the final, Kansas State, on the way to the 7’s Championship. The Tigers’ stingy defense led the way into the championship, only allowing 12 points in their first 4 games.
In the final, against Kansas State, Mizzou jumped out to a 12-0 lead with two tries from wing Nick Romano. K St answered back before halftime with a try of their own to make it 12-5. In the second half, K St answered again to tie the game at 12. On the final play, freshman Danny Hahn put a grubber towards the corner into the arms of the oncoming Romano, who then dished to Pat Halloran. Halloran pinned the final defender and made a the final pass to the supporting Adam Cooley, who finished the team try as time expired. The Tigers won 17-12 and finished 2018 as conference champions in both 15’s and 7’s.
Mizzou will accept the bid to play in the College 7’s National Playoff in Denver May 18-19.
The Tigers were tested late, but held on to beat Kansas State 36-24
It’s a bit unusual that one of the most important matches of the year comes in the first conference game for each team, but the game between Mizzou and Kansas State was a rematch of last year’s most highly contested Heart of America game, and the number 1 and 2 finishers in the conference. The scoring started as the Tigers ran a set piece from inside their own half, in which flyhalf Gareth Jones read the defense and dropped the ball inside to wing Nick Romano who beat the fullback for the score. Later, Jones swang the ball wide to inside center Adam Cooley, who freed Romano for a long run, then offloaded to the oncoming Cooley for a long score. The Tigers carried a 14-0 lead late into the half, until the Mizzou forwards pounded ahead repeatedly near the goaline, eventually freeing up flanker Daniel Simon to dart between two defenders for the score. The Tigers had momentum going into the half with a 21-0 lead.
Kansas State worked their way back into the game with some gritty forward play and good field position set up by Tiger mistakes. The K State forwards punched in a try from close to make the score 21-5, but the Tigers answered back scoring off a maul from lock Jacob Walls. Two consecutive tries by K State forwards shrank the lead to 26-17, putting them back in the game. After driving the field pushing them in close, Mizzou flyhalf Jones quickly slashed around to the weak side, received the pass from scrumhalf J.T. Schlegel and snuck between two defenders for the try. Kansas State won another kickoff and scored from the centers positions to make it a one score game, 31-24. With only a few minutes remaining, Mizzou got the ball back and controlled possession well. A break from the wing gave the Tigers what they thought to be another score, but being called held up caused a 5 meter scrum. A backline set piece freed fullback Danny Hahn who dished to Pat Hallaron for the try to put away Kansas State with the 36-24 win.
Next week Mizzou travels to Lindenwood-Belleville to take on one of the country’s hottest teams right now.
Spring 2017 Season Mizzou Rugby Awards:
Forward MVP – James Glavin (Jr. 8-man)
Back MVP – Adam Cooley (Jr. Inside Center)
Impact Player – Mickey Watson (Sr. Flanker)
Rookie of the Season Award – Jacob Walls (Fr. Lock)
Most Improved Player – Corey Bach (So. Lock)
J.T. Schlegel and James Glavin
Mizzou’s notches win against Brown, drops to FSU in semifinal
As the 2016-17 Heart of America Conference Champions, Mizzou Rugby traveled to Spartanburg, SC to compete in the East Regional of the USA Rugby National Tournament. Slated as the #2 seed in the bracket, the Tigers faced off against #3 Brown University out of the Ivy League.
Mizzou’s offense started hot with fullback Kellen Shockley taking a long try for the score to ignite the scoring. After getting another score from wing Nick Romano, the Tigers allowed a try to the Brown offense, but it did not stop the Tigers’ backline attack. Adam Cooley at the inside center scored three times while flyhalf Gareth Jones, Romano, and Shockley all each notched one more try. James Glavin at the 8-man position scored on a nice break, and the Tigers got help from a late score from freshman reserve Dylan Maher. The Tigers ran wild to take care of Brown 55-17, advancing into the National Semifinal.
The next day, the Mizzou team dealt with some injuries and sickness but their offense was slow to start and couldn’t seem to find open running lanes amongst a fast approaching FSU defense. After suffering from a yellow card, the Tigers barely had the ball the entire first half and were down 10-0 at the half. In the second half, the Tigers were plagued with penalties and yet another yellow card and looked exhausted trying to stop the FSU attack. After having a James Glavin try taken away, the final whistle sounded at 35-0.
Although disappointed with the result in the national semifinal match, the Tigers were proud of their work this season as the final four is the farthest any Mizzou team has even finished before.