USA Rugby Men’s Collegiate All-Americans Suffer Narrow Loss to Oxford University Blues

USA Rugby Men’s Collegiate All-Americans Suffer Narrow Loss to Oxford University Blues

By Doug Coil

The USA Rugby Men’s Collegiate All Americans played the Oxford Unviersity Men’s Blues on Saturday, September 16 at Talen Energy Stadium, outside of Philadelphia. The match preceded the 5pm Aviva Premiership Rugby match between the Newcastle Falcons and the Saracens. The match was shown live via the Rugby Channel, with highlights shown later on NBC.

The first 13 minutes featured back and forth play by both sides. Oxford then had an overlap in which Tom Stileman took an offload and raced down the touchline before offloading to Sam Edgerley, who reached over the line to ground the ball for a try. Conor Kearns then converted for a 7-0 lead.
The All-Americans gathered the restart and had a sustained attack deep into Oxford territory before a penalty allowed Oxford to clear the ball to midfield. The USA attack continued shortly after, as they picked up a loose ball from the Oxford lineout. This attack resulted in a USA penalty kick by Nick Boyer to cut the lead to 7-3 in the 27th minute.
With ten minutes prior to the break, Oxford took their scrum and used quick hands right with Ed David finding a seam. His intended offload to Tom Stileman was intercepted by Cristian Rodriguez, who motored 78 meters for a try in the corner for a 8-7 lead. Boyer’s kick from touch was wide.
The USA attacked again from the restart and a penalty by Oxford had Nick Boyer slotting a penalty kick, increasing their lead to 11-7.
Oxford answered right back moving the ball wide before Andy Saull dove over for a try in the corner. Kearns kick was wide, but Oxford recaptured the lead, 12-11.
With no time, Oxford was penalized and the All-Americans kicked to touch, won the ensuing lineout, but lost the ball forward. Oxford briefly tried to attack within their 22 meters before kicking into touch and taking a narrow 12-11 lead into the break.
Oxford secured the second half restart and marched down to the red zone, inside 22 meters before a knock on gave the ball to the All-Americans 5 meters in defense. The USA was quickly penalized and allowing Oxford to attack from a 5 meter scrum. With Oxford moving forward from the set piece, No.8 Will Wilson grounded the ball for a try increasing the lead to 17-11. The conversion by Kearns was missed.
The USA reclaimed the lead to 18-16 on a try by Matt Jensen and a conversion by Duncan Van Schalkwyk. This was a team try that began with a pop kick that was taken on the run and several offloads later resulted in the try.
The All-Americans had another attacking opportunity from a lineout near midfield. After cycling the ball wide right a Mitch Wilson kick bounced into touch inside the Oxford 22 meters. Although Oxford had several minutes of possession, the ball stayed within Oxford territory. A penlay by Oxford provided another scoring opportunity for the USA, but Van Schalkwyk’s penalty kick was wide.
The ensuing Oxford attack went to within 5 meters of the line, before a penalty by the All-Americans had Kearns give Oxford a 20-18 lead in this seesaw battle.
With six minutes remaining, Mitch Wilson sidestepped around two defenders and the All-Americans were within 22 meters. Multiple phases later, Maciu Kori stepped on the line and Oxford had a lineout inside their 22 meters.
Oxford’s defense was excellent down the stretch, and then the offense was able to wind down the clock. The All-Americans had one last opportunity on attack, but a knock on sealed by USA, sealed the Oxford 20-18 win.
The USA’s Mitch Wilson and Oxford’s Conor Kearns were named Man of the Match for their respective teams.
The match was played with an expanded USA 26 man roster and was a shortened match of about 70 minutes.

Oxford University Men’s Rugby Blues Tour

Thirty one players were selected for the Oxford University Men’s Blues Tour, which left the U.K. on September 8 for two weeks. The touring group flew into Boston, and then traveled down the east coast, visiting Ivy League Universities – Harvard, Yale and Princeton. They will also visit the US Military Academy at West Point and before ending up in New York for the final three days.

The tour consists of three matches, with the Blues beating the 2016 USA Rugby National Club Champion, Mystic River, 31-20 on September 10th. On September 16, prior to the Aviva Premiership match between Newcastle Falcons and Saracens, they will play the the Collegiate All American XV at Talen Energy Stadium outside of Philadelphia. The final fixture will take place on Friday, September 22nd against Old Blue at Baker Athletic Complex, New York, with the kickoff at 7.30pm ET.

“The touring party is a blend of youth and experience, with nine returning Blues making the trip, alongside two undergraduate Freshers, five experienced graduate players in scrum-half Sam Edgerley, centre Dom Waldouck, flanker Andy Saull, lock Lisi Fifita, hooker Ed Elvin and wing Dan Moor and seventeen returning players looking to impress Kearns and Head Coach James Wade.”

USA Rugby Men’s Collegiate All-Americans: 1 Kevin Sullivan (Cal) 2 Peter Malcolm (Wheeling Jesuit, Austin Elite Rugby) 3 Estevan Florez (Life) 4 Matthew Jensen (BYU) 5 Jeremy Lenaerts (Central Washington) 6 Connor McNerney (USNA) 7 Alec Barton (Saint Mary’s) 8 Maciu Koroi (Life) 9 Nicklas Boyer (Cal) 10 Duncan Van Schalkwyk (Life) 11 Cristian Rodriguez (Lindenwood) 12 Zachary Young (Arkansas State) 13 Brady Gent (Davenport) 14 Marcus Tupuola (Notre Dame College) 15 Mitchell Wilson (Life) 16 Alex Maughan (Life) 17 Chance Wenglewski (Linenwood) 18 Brian McKellar (Penn State) 19 Chad Gough (Utah) 20 Holden Yungert (Saint Mary’s) 21 Theodoros Terezis (Indiana) 22 Gardy Lebon (USNA) 23 Jake Lachina (West Point) + Hugh McAllister (Wheeling Jesuit), Blace Walser (Arkansas State), Vetekina Malafu (Kutztown)

Oxford University Blues v Collegiate All Americans: 1 Lewis Anderson * (Trinity) 2 Ed Elvin (St Hugh’s) 3 Kieran Ball * (Trinity) 4 Lisiate Fifita (St Edmund Hall) 5 Hugo McPherson (Lady Margaret Hall) 6 Andy Saull (Kellogg) 7 Will Thornton * (Lady Margaret Hall) 8 Will Wilson * (Keble) 9 Sam Edgerley (St Catherine’s) 10 Conor Kearns * (Jesus) Captain 11 Dan Moor # (Christ Church) 12 Alex Hogg * (Keble) 13 Dan Barley (St Edmund Hall) 14 Tom Stileman * (St Peter’s) 15 Ed David * (St Hilda’s) 16 John Aaron Henry (Somerville) 17 Noah Miller (St Peter’s) 18 Michael Gorry (Jesus) 19 Charlie Pozniak (St Benet’s Hall) 20 James Beaufils * (Exeter) 21 Tom Kershaw * (Worcester) 22 Thom Foster (Keble) 23 Dylan McGagh (Magdalen)
* Denotes Blue, # denotes International

Oxford University Men’s Rugby Blues Touring Squad

Kieran Ball * (Trinity), Lewis Anderson * (Trinity), Michael Gorry (Jesus), Ben Parker (Brasenose), Noah Miller (St Peter’s), Ed Elvin (St Hugh’s), John Aaron Henry (Somerville), Charlie Pozniak (St Benet’s Hall), Lisi Fifita (St Edmund Hall), Hugo McPherson (Lady Margaret Hall), George Warr (New), Rob Menzies-Wilson (Magdalen), Ollie Adams (Lady Margaret Hall), Jimmy Beaufils * (Exeter), Will Thornton * (Lady Margaret Hall), Sam Miller (St Edmund Hall), Andy Saull (Kellogg), Will Wilson * (Keble)

Sam Edgerley (St Catherine’s), Tom Kershaw * (Worcester), Thom Foster (Keble), Conor Kearns * (Jesus), Tom Dyer (St Edmund Hall), Alex Hogg * (Keble), Dom Waldouck (Kellogg), Seb Haddock (St Edmund Hall), Dan Moor # (Christ Church), Tom Stileman * (St Peter’s), Dan Barley (St Edmund Hall), Robbie Fraser (Corpus Christi), Rob Quinlan (Jesus)

* Denotes Blue, # denotes International




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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant