Spring Hill College Spoils South Alabama Rugby Debut

November 1, 2010 · By · Filed Under Rugby 

The University of South Alabama Rugby Football Club kicked off its inaugural rugby season this past Saturday at Spring Hill. The weather was perfect and the match was well attended. The Jags started out with some impressive defense pressure to pin Spring Hill deep in its own territory. Penalties hurt the inexperienced South team and field positioned changed. The Jags played with their backs to their own goal line for the next several minutes.  Big tackles by inside center Kye Cole and flanker Jayvon Jackson kept Spring Hill from scoring. The offense finally broke through and scored a try approximately 10 minutes into the game. The conversion was missed putting Spring Hill up 5-0.

The next 25 minutes saw back and forth action with hard running and crushing tackles by both squads. Outside center Gabriel Torres had some long runs but the Jags were unable to capitalize. The Jags best chance to scored came on a penalty play near the Spring Hill goal line. After several phases the Jags were again penalized and Spring Hill was able to move down the field.   The opposition was able to put together a good series of phases and score again with just 3 minutes remaining in the half. The conversion was missed again.  The score at half was Spring Hill 10, USA 0.

The second half saw several substitutions by each team. The Jags were heavily pressured by the more experienced Spring Hill players. Strong team defense and tremendous personal play on the part of the Jags kept Spring Hill from scoring for the first 20 minutes. Then the dam broke. Spring Hill was able to score 3 more tries in the final 20 minutes to blank the Jags 31-0.

In the spirit of rugby an additional 20 minute period was played at the end of regulation so that all members of both teams could get substantial playing time. For the Jags, scrumhalf and captain Ruben Lugo led the team with his good play.  And prop forward Scott DeGraw, locks Jonathan Orso and Hayden Haynie were the Ironmen of the day playing the entire 100 minutes. Although there were many great tackles and very few missed tackles the defensive award, or “The Hammer” (for best defensive performance) goes to the outside center, #13 Gabriel Torres. He was a force around the park all day, and managed to disrupt the attacking team’s momentum. Man of the match had several great attacking runs only to be stopped by the third and fourth tacklers at the last lines of defense, he found daylight several times by picking up and running off the back of the scrums, he distributed the ball well and as captain he set the pace and provided a good example for his teammates to follow.  Man of the Match was scrumhalf #9 Ruben Lugo.

The team practices Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 pm on field #4 at the intramural fields. All students are welcome to join the team. For more information please visit the website www.southalabamarugby.com. Go Jags!


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