new Mexico tech pygmy rugby
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Thunderbird Rugby Invitational

Tournament photos

Tech Ruggers Roll to Arizona Title
Thunderbird school of global management, Glendale, AZ

     The New Mexico Tech men's rugby club won all four of their matches Saturday in the Thunderbird Tens Invitational in Phoenix. Tech balanced stout defense with an explosive passing and running game to score 131 points while allowing 24.

     The tournament was played on the manicured grounds of the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Rugby tens features fifteen-minute halves in place of the traditional forty minutes played in the traditional fifteen-man version of rugby. Six teams divided into two pools of round robin competition prior to afternoon playoffs for final standings. The host club fielded two teams with other entrants coming from Prescott and Yuma, Arizona, the Anderson Business School of the University of California Los Angeles, and New Mexico Tech.

     Tech's Pygmies arose early Saturday morning to face the Thunderbird Blues in a 9:00 matchup and at 9:02 pacey halfback James Fallt took the last of several passes to score the New Mexicans' first five-point try. Tech went on to a 29 – 5 win as center Marshal Spradley, lock Graham Payne, flyhalf Brock Romero, and then Payne again, all touched down. Romero kicked a brace of two-point conversions to account for Tech's 29 – 5 win.

     Tech scored 26 second-half points to wallop Prescott's Black Sheep 52 – 12 in their second match at noon. Enrique Koerdell scored the first and last of Tech's eight tries, while head captain Isaiah Sanchez, Fallt, Romero, Stephen Albritton, Marshal Spradley, and Jerod Aragon all joined in the feast. Romero and Jordan Fastle combined for six two-point conversion kicks.

     Tech whitewashed Thunderbird's Gold team 24 – 0 in their 2:00 semifinal. Payne scored Tech's first try and assisted one scored by Fallt before Sanchez added two five-pointers in the second half. Romero booted two conversions and Fastle added one. Meanwhile Thunderbird's Blues took the back door to the final following a draw between UCLA and Thunderbird Golds in the opposite bracket.

     The Blues did slightly better against Tech in the final but were still beaten by a 26 – 7 margin. Lock forward Graham Payne underlined his rampaging form with his fourth try of the day while backline stars Romero, Koerdell, and Sanchez also crossed the line. Romero was good on three of four conversion kicks to pad Tech's victory.

     New Mexico Tech will challenge the New Mexico Brujos in Albuquerque this Saturday, March 5. The Brujos are ranked number two in the Rio Grande Rugby Union men's club division. Kickoff is set for 2:00 pm at St. Pius High School.

-Dave Wheelock
NMT Rugby Director

 
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