I apologize for not being with the lads when they were going through pre-match warm ups. At 1:00pm. and me still being 75 miles outside of Norman, I called Stephen Boeding, talked with him about players there. Then spoke with Captain John Bradshaw and gave him the line up for the match.
I got to the pitch at 2:10 and found that OU had already scored 2 trys and then witnessed a 3rd try. I had a feeling the game might be like this, considering OU is a top division 1 club, and they were playing their second and third side players, but when you practice with the best, it tends to rub off. Which was my reasoning for scheduling a match like this, not to embarrass the lads but to get them used to playing larger clubs and being able to hold their own against anyone.
The line up for the first half:
Props – Erbold Uran and Nate Pyle, Hooker – Alex Chi, Second Rows – Jimmy Chi and Weston Hearne, Flankers – Ben Bales and Mohammad Nadeem, Number 8 – Steven Hale, Scrumhalf– Stephen Boeding, Flyhalf – Vince Dutton, Inside Center Luke Lewis, Outside Center – Cameron Brussard, Wings – Arturo Sifuentes and Alejandro Chinchilla, Fullback – Joe Conaway.
Substitute – Ola in for Steven Hale, Ola played flanker for his very first rugby match. My thought was to get him out there and tackle every OU ball carrier he could catch. And that’s exactly what he did, while being lost out there at times he played very well.
As I stated in the section above the lineup, OU was a bigger more experienced side and they took advantage to every missed tackle we made or if we made contact with an OU ball carrier, he was able to keep his feet and dish off
to one of his supporters. One of the more high lights of the afternoon was watching our forward pack play even
with OU’s pack in scrums. Those forwards did a great job fighting to every scrum and never backed down to the
challenge. But with 4 members of our starting XV missing this gave the other guys that haven’t been able to log
much match time some valuable game experience.
The second half line up:
As far as the forwards go, no changes were made, partly because we didn’t have any other forwards. The back line was now: Scrumhalf – Cameron Brussard, Flyhalf – Vince Dutton, Inside Center – Brian Martinez, Outside Center – Luke Lewis, Wings – Nabe Tessema and Marc Hudak, Fullback – Joe Conaway.
The second half was a much better showing for our guys, Cameron was able to make things happen with his legs, which opened space for Vince to attack. This proved to be the key to our play in this half, with the ball being moved out to our guys with space to attack and good passing, we were able to make into OU’s half a few times. Due to the
physical nature of the game, it did take its toll with some of our guys and I replaced some of them with OU alumni.
One of OU’s alum replacements was Kelton Miller a gifted player who I known since he was a little kid, having played prop against his father back in Southern California. Kelton managed to bring a little life into our guys with his infectious play and tackles. At one point in the match, the referee awarded us a penalty 5 meters from their goal line, Kelton took a quick tap and scored our first try, Vince made the conversion for our first 7 points of the game. A few minutes later, Vince kicked the ball deep into OU territory, with the line out mark about 5 meters from their own goal, they attempted a quick line out, but Alejandro intercepted the quick thrown in and dove in to score our second try of
the afternoon. Vince made his second conversion to give us 14 points on the day.
The match soon ended and while neither coach was keeping score for the match, the referee came to us after the match and told us for what it’s worth the second half score was OU 19 - UTD 14. Both coaches for OU came to me and told me how well the lads had played. They had also done some scouting of us, either by way of contacting clubs we had already played or searched out video on “You Tube” and they felt that Vince Dutton was the best
player on the day. His kicking for territory and ball and running skills were very good and wished that they had him playing for them, but I’m grateful that he’s with me and UT Dallas.
There was a match played after our match and our players were invited to play, but at the time many of them thanked OU but decided to watch, but then out of the blue Arturo walked over to OU and asked to play, then Ola, Marc and Ben went out and played more rugby. After that match, we were invited to OU’s club house for pizza and
refreshments. Our players went and talked with the OU guys and I think everyone had a good day, in spite of whatever the score was.
The University of Oklahoma really liked playing us and would like to continue this and maybe in the near future become a rivalry. So next year, OU will travel to Richardson to play us on our field. Details still need to be worked out. We look forward to playing OU next year and with another year under our belts we will be better.
As I told the guys after the match, they had nothing to be ashamed of, they played hard and each member gave his all on the field. That’s the spirit of rugby, you give your all while the game is on and then you enjoy the company of your opposite after the match. A special thanks goes out to the OU coaches for accomdating us in this match, Kenny Forhand for all his coaching insights in the past and I'm sure the future as well. I appreciate talking with him about rugby on how to improve the game, players and as a coach.