Rice Univ. made the trip up from Houston for this match, since there really isn't any history between the 2 clubs. In reality, the closest thing to history I can think of is that Rice was the very first team UTD faced in our very first game ever 6 years ago. And in that game, Rice beat us good, but we did manage to score our very first try against them, and I still remember it like it was yesterday. Off of a ruck, quick ball was spun out to the Wing (Steven "Sunshine" Hale) where he went to the left side of the pitch, then Captain Nathan Sohadiseni called for the ball, Sunshine gave it to him and Nathan sprinted 50 yards for that epic Try. Ok, enough of the past, let's get back to the present.
Kick off was at 4:33, and both sides went at each other, moving the ball up and down the pitch. It was a real good battle of 2 well coached clubs.
The line up:
1. Caleb, 2. Nicky, 3. Ryan, 4. Connor, 5. Aly, 6. Andrew P., 7. Steven L., 8. Kevin, 9. Michael, 10. Andrew W., 11. Coleman, 12. Chase, 13. Steven M., 14. Eric, 15. Zack
Reserves: 16. John M., 18. Jarvis, 19. Edmund, 20. Will, 22. Yahve, 23. Andrew B.
As I stated, both clubs attacked and defended with good pace, but it was UTD in the 9th minute that got on the score board first, with a Try from Flanker Andrew Palet. It was an interesting play, Number 8 Kevin took a pass from the backs and cut through the Rice defense. Was tackled by the Fullback and while on his back, he passed the ball to (we thought no one was there) Andrew who continued the movement into the goal for his first Try. Others scoring in the first half was Andrew, Chase and Steven M. The first half ended UTD 15, Rice 0.
The second half became a game, Rice fought back to put 10 points on the board, to come within 5 points and getting back into the game. But the UTD defense stood firm and we attacked to get move points in the second half. We managed to get 12 points in the half, with scores coming from Will and Eric both scoring a Try and Andrew W, converting one of those Trys.
And this epic match came to a conclusion, UTD 27, Rice 10. This completes the 2016-17 league season and UT Dallas finished with a 5 win, 2 loss record our best in 3 years and a strong lock on 3rd place before the Lonestar Playoffs begin on March 4th and 5th. Those playoffs will be played at Tarleton St. Univ. in Stephenville, more about that later as I get more details on those playoffs.
After the Rice match, Rice entertained the notion and suited up 7 of their players that didn't get to play, and like wise did UTD. We took the pitch for 2 seven minute halves, with 15 different players playing in those 2 halves it was fun watching them run and tackle, but the real surprise was rookie Weston Ho scoring not one but 2 Trys in his first rugby match of his young career. Well done Weston.