Guess what? At the nine minute mark Chico State Men 14 Sac 0! Guess what happened next, never mind, cause I’m about to tell you!
In a game that saw our seniors playing their final game on the Wildcat Rugby Pitch, it also saw 4 lead changes and one tie during the course of play.
We welcomed back senior William Kendrick in to the starting lineup coming off of broken ribs yesterday and it paid off immediately! Kendo took a crash ball from fly half Mike Keane and raced through traffic for the first try of the day. Keane slotted the kick and CSR is up 7-0 in the first 6 minutes! 3 minutes later, the defensive philosophy that we had been working on for the past two weeks (coming up flat, hard and fast) created the next score! Fullback James McIntosh intercepted a pass and out ran Sac to the try zone dotting the ball down under the posts and Keane kicked it through giving Chico the 14-0 lead I mentioned above 9 minutes in to the match!
I’m not sure what happens mentally at this point….!?
Somehow the Chico defense forgot all tackling abilities! Sac kicked off and we turned it over almost immediately and they ran straight through the defense with a couple of offloads scoring their first try making it 14-7. Five minutes later, SAME THING! Tackling, tackling, tackling! Those that know me know how FRUSTRATING that is! 14-14! Sac got a penalty kick to take their first lead on the day at 17-14 just about at 20 minutes in to the game. I can’t tell you I remember the next score much, a little numb at this point, but I know it was Sac and I know they converted the try going up 24-14 23 minutes in.
8 man Mike Morello got Chico back in the game at the 29 minute mark taking a ball on a hard hitting run to the try zone! With Keane’s conversion, the score was Sac 24 Chico 21! That is how the half ended. All in all great half!
The second half saw Sac score at the 50 minute mark making the score 29-21. Then things got interesting. A repeat infringement yellow card sent Chico flanker Zack Trap (ZT) to the sin bin. (This coming from our ref that really ONLY SAW CHICO DOING ANYTHING WRONG. This was more than just my opinion by the way.) Something happened to the boys when this happened, Chico scored not one, but two tries being down a man and actually recaptured the lead at 35-29 with 23 minutes still to play. Tries were scored by a bouncing ball which landed straight in wing Pat Boal’s hands which he took the house and Keane came on to convert pulling within a point, 28-29. Next up was Morello again, taking a hard charge to the try zone that took the lead at 35-29.
ZT came out of the sin bin and we were able to hold the lead for 11 of the 22 minutes but Sac scored and took the lead 36-35. We played the next 8 minutes back and forth, but we really only had one really good opportunity to score and somehow a poorly executed weak side move and a ball that went to touch put the game away for Sac. They took the lineout and, again, numb at this point and not really remembering the sequence, kicked or drove the ball down scoring another try which they failed to convert, making the final score Sac 42 Chico 35.
TWO WORDS – KILLER B’S!!!!! At the end of this day these guys will have outscored their opponents from Sac by a combined 118-22! They simply came out of the gate offloading from the tackle, running hard and hitting harder! Who would have thought that one of our hardest hits this season would have come from a scrum half……great job Potato! Today we saw tries from 9 different players, two of those having 2 apiece. Daniel Pevear (who is that? Chubs) had two tries and Ryan Lopes had 2 as well. Also scoring were Brandon Johnson, Matt Zarchin (Potato), Doug Holecheck, Zack Davis, Jeff (JP) McKinley, and Maxx Caveney. You notice there are only 8 names in this email. God knows what happened as to why I didn’t write down the last name, but I failed to do so. Truly sorry for whoever scored this try and I didn’t write it down. PLEASE, someone, fill in the gap for me so I have it correct! The score at the half saw Chico up 41-0. It was like a machine!!! We made quite a few subs going in to the second half and still outscored Sac 24-17 making the final score on the day 65-17!
All in all, a good day on the pitch for Chico State Men’s Rugby. A lot of players stepped up today. We saw great things from quite a few. We have a bright future that is for sure! And as always, as the boys break down the day, IT’S A GREAT DAY TO BE A WILDCAT!