Saturday afternoon came, the weather reports prognosticated temps in the mid 60’s, but as usual those were wrong. The temperatures dropped and the rugby gods were determined to make teams work a little harder on this day. Parking for our upcoming match with SMU was a total nightmare. New construction on the President George Bush Library still going on and making upgrades to the Moody Coliseum, but everyone managed to find their way onto the pitch.
Due to scheduling issues SMU had requested that the match be moved back to 3:00pm, which we had no problems with and we were ready to go. SMU on the other hand was struggling to find the numbers to play. SMU coach and I had discussed before the match a number of options in order of getting this match under way, but just before the official kick off, their coach informed me that the game will go on, but it will be a played forfeit. Meaning UT Dallas wins 27 to 0. This will be the official score on record, and since the game was still going to be played. Bear and I decided not to inform the lads that they had already won the match, but wanted them to go out and earn their victory.
The line up:
1. Erbold Uran, 2. AJ Paradowski, 3. Nate Pyle, 4. John Bradshaw, 5. Weston Hearne, 6. Mohammad Nadeem, 7. Jimmy Chi, 8. Ben Bales, 9. Cameron Brussard, 10. Vince Dutton, 11. Arturo Sifuentes, 12. Ola Banwo, 13. Chad McDonald, 14. Alejandro Chinchilla, 15. Joe Conover.
Reserves: Luke Lewis replaced Ola for the second half, Otto Wilkinson (Hooker) replaced Mohammad (AJ went to Flanker) in the 50thminute, Brian Martinez replace Arturo in the 50th minute, Matt Bolivar (Wing) replaced Vince (Brian moved to Flyhalf), Alex Chi replaced Erbold in the 60th minute, Ryan xxx replaced Nate in the 77th minute.
Kick went off just after 3:00 and both sides testing each other between the 20 meter lines. But it was SMU that struck first taking advantage of having their Grad Students playing in this match (the reason for the forfeiture) attacking the younger UT Dallas players. The SMU hit us again and again, scoring 2 converted Trys before we could get on the board. At one point in the game your UT Dallas Rugby Club was down 21 to 5 in the middle of the first half. But as our motto states “this team never quits”. We mounted a charge to get back into this match. Trys were scored by Alejandro, Cameron, AJ scored 2 Trys, Vince converted 3 out of 4 and added a Drop Kick. SMU also added a Try and a drop kick and the half ended in a tie score 29 each.
The second half began with both sides picking up where they left off, except it was now going to be UT Dallas who set the pace. With constant pressure on both the SMU forwards and backs, we were able to capitalize on a number of mistakes made. In the second half UT Dallas found themselves crossing the goal line a 4 more times. Cameron added another Try, Ben, Chad also scoring and AJ completing the hat trick with his 3rd Try of the afternoon. Vince was only able to convert 1 of the 4 Trys. Meanwhile SMU wasn’t done yet either they managed to score 2 Trys and
converted both, their second Try of the half was scored in the corner but the referee felt he had too much conversation from UTD players and awarded the conversion to be attempted between the sticks. A valuable lesson learned by the men in Green and Orange, you can’t influence the ref after he’s made his call. The match ended with UT Dallas putting up 51 points to SMU’s 43.
This was a good win for us due to the fact that we were missing 4 of our starting XV and 2 backups out due to injuries. Those players all stepped up and played very well and I’m really proud of each and every one of them. This match also brought out the best in everyone Captain; John Bradshaw became more vocal and showed great leadership in guiding his team-mates. AJ who’s been on a drought from scoring found his way back into goal 3 times.
The Lonestar Conference Rugby Championships will be held at UT San Antonio on March 2nd and 3rd. As I get details on where the match will be played and the times, I will post them on this web site.
Since this was our final league match of the season, we will have the next 2 weekends and await the final standings for the Lonestar Conference. As it stands now, we’ll be the number one seed out of the north and will face the number two seed from the south. Right now it’s too close to determine the number 2 seeds from the north and south respectively, especially since they
still have another week of league matches to play.
With our number one seed we will play the number 2 South seed. Winner will play on Sunday in the