October, 25, 2015
Kutztown Gains Homecoming Rugby Win Against Army
Photos: University Logos
It was homecoming for Kutztown and the Kutztown sideline was lined with supporters for this key D1A Rugby East match. About 500 people were able to watch a match that did not disappoint in its intensity and thrilling competition. Men’s and Women’s rugby players, alumni, community members and University staff gravitated to view this key match.
Kutztown entered the match ranked 6th in a recent D1A Rugby Poll, while Army was ranked 7th. Kutztown was undefeated at 6-0, while Army was 5-1. Records aside, this match could win the Rugby East title for Army or be another step toward a potential title for Kutztown.
Army had the first significant attack and Mitchell Sanderson dived in for a try from a ruck close to in goal. Thomas Del Pino converted and the Black Knights had a 7-0 lead. 4′
Kutztown was able to narrow the gap from a Jordan Ghyzel try in the corner. Devon Somma conversion was short and the score was 5-7. (8′)
Wesley Hartmann broke through the defense and was tackled 2 meters from scoring. Army was able to thwart this attack, as Kutztown did not have the support. The resulting penalty for not allowing the ball to be played, allowed Army to clear.
Kutztown was able to attack again as Alex Faison-Donahoe off loaded a pass to Trent Hensley who ran 40 meters for a try. Once again the try was not converted. (10-7 Kutztown, 22′)
This match was a battle with huge hits, excellent defense and at times, being able to find seams while attacking. Army would answer back four minutes later with an Andrew Irwin try. Del Pino converted again and Army regained the lead. (10-14, 26′)
Kutztown would excite the crowd next, as Devon Somma off loaded to Vetekina Malafu, who weaved down the pitch for a try. Jonathan Sage took over the conversion attempt and slotted the kick. (17-14)
The final score before the half resulted from a 15 meter Lineout where Jordan Ghyzel touched down for a second try from a rolling maul. The score at the half was Kutztown 22 and Army 14.
Note, for the last score prior to the half, Kutztown was able to take advantage of a yellow card to Army’s Logan Weiland, who was sent to the bin for repeated Army high tackles by Leah Berard. Leah is one of the leading referees in the World and it shows how important this match was with her assignment as referee.
After repeated attacks from both teams, Army was able to close the gap with a second Andrew Irwin try. His try resulted from an Army 5 meter scrum. Del Pino converted again and the score was now 22-21. (68′)
Only another minute later, Alex Faison-Donahoe would attack reaching to 5 meters. A ruck and a rolling maul later resulted in a try by Johan Van Wyk. The conversion was wide left. (27-21, 69′)
Army was defending well, but a penalty from a ruck infraction, resulted in Andrew DeColi advancing the ball and Wesley Hartmann picking after a ruck for an unconverted try. (32-21, 70′)
Soon after, Kutztown would attack again as Trent Hensley advanced the ball to midfield. David Snead cleared 22 meters and finally after several rucks, Johan Van Wyk scored another try. Sage converted for a 39-21 lead. (75′)
Army would get another try though, as Harrison Farrell took a quick tap off a penalty and scored the final try. (78′)
The final score was Kutztown 39 and Army 26.
Both teams left it all on the pitch. They played valiantly and excited the crowd with an outstanding performance.
With the win, Kutztown moves to 7-0, while Army is 5-2. Kutztown still has two D1A Rugby East matches that remain against West Virginia and Penn State. The Rugby East title is still at stake for Kutztown. Army has concluded its Rugby East season and has one remaining match in two weeks against their Academy rival, Air Force.
With the Kutztown win, they also get the albatross off their back, as this is the first time in their history that they have won against Army.
Another match after the Rugby East season ends is likely for Kutztown. The ACRC Bowl Series will be held in Rugby Athletic Center, Charlotte, NC on Nov. 22-22, 2015. Twenty four College teams are participating.
Kutztown Lineup: HC Gregg “Doc” Jones Starters: 1 Johan Van Wyk 2 Maxim Bennett 3 Andrew DeColi 4 Evan Anderson 5 Nick Hohlt 6 Dillon Smith 7 Jordan Ghyzel 8 Wesley Hartmann (c) 9 David Snead 10 Devon Somma 11 Vetekina Malafu 12 Jonathan Sage 13 Robert Stortz 14 Alex Faison-Donahoe (c) 15 Trent Hensley Reserves: 16 Oliver McCullough 17 Joe O’Shields 18 Angel Santiago 19 Murphy Lill 20 Sam Devine 21 Jason DeNofa 22 Sean Montgomery 23 Troy Scott
Army Lineup: HC Matt Sherman Starters: 1 Donny Goff 2 Logan Weiland 3 Ammon Tuimaunei 4 Mitchell Sanderson 5 John Sproul 6 Ryan Manion 7 Andrew Irwin 8 Peter Basnight 9 Harrison Farrell 10 Thomas Del Pino 11 Luke Heun 12 Cameron Hargis 13 Andrew Borer 14 David Huff 15 Torran Raby Reserves: 16 Dominic Mori 17 Ryan Moshak 18 Adam Szott 19 Sean Berry 20 Jack Ireland 21 Nolan Hedglin 22 Andrew Fargo 23 Hayden Cross