Rugby: Crushing Loss Kills Playoff Hopes

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Charlie Kain-Williams
Contributing Writer

The Dons faced off against the University of the Pacific Tigers in a fight to the finish.  USF put pressure on the Tigers early, with Dons flyhalf Joe Burson-Ryan scoring a try within the first few minutes. After UOP answered with two tries of their own, captain Myles Fenwick put the Dons back on top with two penalty kicks, which gave them a lead of 13-12 at halftime.

The game was flagged with a high number of penalties, and this would prove costly to the Dons. On every infraction, defensive players must retreat 10 meters, which allows the offense to run a quick play and force the defense off sides.  With three minutes to go and the win in sight, the UOP scrum half quick tapped the ball and caught the Dons off-guard.  He broke the defensive line, which was still retreating, and no one could catch him as he weaved his way into the end zone for a try.

Now down 6, the Dons made a final push to claim victory. Things looked good with the Dons coming out of the huddle with a steal. Just 22 meters away from glory, USF committed a penalty, and the UOP scrumhalf was off to the races again. The result was a crushing 26-13 defeat, which stole the team’s hope of its first playoff berth.

With two games left, the Dons are ready to come out fighting at Negoesco Field. This coming Saturday the Dons face off against Humboldt State.  It is bound to be a good match as HSU is no easy opponent.  With almost no injuries during this weekends game the Dons will train hard all week and be ready to put on a good show. Kickoff will be at 12pm.

Photo Credit: Charlie Kain-Williams

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