Kansas Dominates Over Nebraska 50-14 in Snowy Merit Table Match
@ Westwick - Saturday - March 11, 2017
Heavy snow started falling 2 hours before the match and the temperature was right at the freeze point. The snow only began to accumulate as the game went underway. The wind was blowing a light 7 mph out of the NE corner of the pitch and the Jayhawks had that wind to their backs in the opening half.
Although a cold, wet day, this game was a pleasure to watch. The Jayhawks were clearly “up”. They showed up with enough players for more than 2 sides, although there was only the single Merit Table Match scheduled. Nebraska traveled with a team of over 20 players as well.
The cold & wet conditions would make this a day that would test the forwards and the Jayhawks picked a bruiser line up as starters. It was what has become their more usual front row of SPENCER BIRD, NEIL MCCARTHY and DAVID NOBLE, but at lock they inserted JEFF SCHUMAN and his body-double BARCLEY WEST. That meant they had at prop and lock 4 very sturdy players for the scrum downs and bulldozer runs on the loose. – In the last meeting in Nebraska, the Huskers had won and used bigger players on the Jayhawks.
6 minutes – After the Huskers’ kickoff failed to go 10 and a few miscue stoppages of play, the Jayhawks got on the scoreboard. The ball was at midfield and quickly was moved through the backfield all the way to the wing for a score in the left corner. Touches were by scrumhalf JASON FU, flyhalf SAM TANNER, inside center JACK DIENST, outside center ARNOLD DINH and the rookie wing MARK McCLOWSKY. The movement went so well, Dinh was able to actually pause and throw a soft pass to the supporting McClowsky for the easy score.– Its strategically important to show you can pass the width of the field in the initial minutes of a game, because it makes the other team bite on stunts you run later. – AJ LAROCCA’s conversion was wide. - SCORE 5-0 Jayhawks
10 minutes – Jayhawks captain and inside center JACK DIENST raced for a score under the posts. LAROCCA made the easy shot. – SCORE 12-0 Jayhawks
12 minutes – Jayhawks loosehead prop SPENCER BIRD followed a driving run by BARCLEY WEST with another and BIRD scored mid-right of the posts. LAROCCA good. – SCORE 19-0 Jayhawks
25 minutes – Jayhawks 30 meters out on right side of pitch. The ball was worked left to JACK DIENST who crossed the goal on left side, but downed ball by the left post. (Dienst’s 2nd score of match) LAROCCA good – SCORE 26-0 Jayhawks
36 minutes – In a laps of concentration, the Jayhawks interior backfield was picked off at midfield and the trailing Jayhawks wing and fullback weren’t in position to catch the Husker who scored through the posts. – SCORE 26-7 Jayhawks
38 minutes – Jayhawks wing JIM DIRKER was running with the ball along the right sideline 15 meters out. As he was about to be corralled by Huskers, he kicked the ball into goal. The ball took an odd bounce to the right to rest in the right rear corner. Dirker was able to make that swerve to the right and beat the pursuing Huskers with a wet snow-dive onto the ball for a try. Kick was wide. – SCORE 31-7 Jayhawks
5 minutes – Jayhawks awarded a scrumdown 5 meters from the Nebraska goal in the middle of field. The Jayhawks won the hook and kept the ball under the scrum’s feet. The Kansas forwards pushed the Nebraska team backwards across the goal line, where the Jayhawks senior #8 DANIEL BUESCHER dropped onto the ball for the try. Kick was good. – SCORE 38-7 Jayhawks
14 minutes – Nebraska punted down to the Jayhawks goal line and were quickly awarded a penalty kick 10 meters out. They fed their forwards, but the Jayhawks ripped the ball away in the maul and the Jayhawks kicked to touch up field.
15 minutes – A Husker prop broke free at midfield and was able to get past the Jayhawks deep wing and fullback for a score at the left post. The kick was good – SCORE 38-14 Jayhawks
30 minutes – Jayhawks had a lineout on right side of field 20 meters from the Nebraska goal. The Jayhawks won the ball and turned the lineout to a maul. Then BARCLEY WEST emerged with the ball and broke for the goal near the posts. West was stopped, but his fellow lock JEFF SCHUMAN continued the driving attack to score under the posts. DIENST made the conversion kick. – SCORE 45-14 Jayhawks
35 minutes – Jayhawks were again swarming the Nebraska goal. Prop SPENCER BIRD bulled in to score (his 2nd try of the day), downing the ball mid-left of the posts. Kick was wide. – SCORE 50-14 Jayhawks
Commentary – It’s a testimony to this club that on a sloppy, cold day that they can muster 50 points of offense. It’s hard to handle the ball. Controlling the time of possession is a key and the Jayhawks controlled the ball for most of the game accept for a stretch mid-way in the 2nd half. There was a Facebook post earlier in the week about a 1970 snow game. You guys rallied to play some hardnosed ball on a miserable day. You did the jersey proud.
Jayhawks prevail over Nebraska 50-14 in Merit Table Match @ Westwick in Snowy Conditions
Ball control in the forwards and consistent backfield play allow KU to dominate most possession time.
Full game summary and photos tomorrow.
Don’t Miss a Snow Game
This Saturday’s match is forecast to be a snow game. Some of the Jayhawks’ finest games have occurred in these conditions and this Saturday could be a chance to create another great memory for the Jayhawks storied program.
Pictured is the Aspen Ruggerfest Final from September 1970. The Jayhawks were a pure undergrad college side at the time and met the powerful men’s club, the Denver Barbarians. This was no fluke appearance. The same squad of Jayhawks had advanced to the semifinal of the same tournament in 1969 and were a seeded team in the 1970 bracket. The Jayhawks advanced to the 1970 finals through a full field of teams who came from as far away as Indianapolis to San Francisco.
It started snowing the morning of the semis & final and the last game was delayed as side and goal lines were swept of snow. The game was played in white out conditions where a ball punted high into the air would lose visibility and then come back into view.
This photo taken by alumni JOHN BROWN is one of my favorites in the whole history of the Jayhawks. The Jayhawks are on the right and their names are legends. Front to back they are GREG ALLEN (hooker), DAN MARTING (lock), SKIP QUIMBY (lock), JACK KLINE (flanker), RAY DITIRRO (prop), MARK “Mushy” MULLINS (#8), and KIM “Ewo” EWONUS (flanker).
These were all very hard boys; every single one. – For proof, look at all the bloodied faces of the Denver Barbos in the lineout. The Jayhawks were literally beating the hell out of the players of a powerhouse club in a huge game.
The game was a 0-0 tie at half and the game was decided by a single field goal made by the Barbos. It remains one the Jayhawks greatest matches, even though a loss.
So don’t stay home for this Saturday’s match because of the weather. Sometimes great memories are made that get recalled 47 years later.
Jayhawks Club Side Falls to Columbia Outlaws by 1 Point
@ Columbia, MO, March 4
Beautiful weather for the day with a steady wind blowing into the NW corner both halves.
KJRFC brought 32 players, several of them playing in what would be a first game, to play a mixed team (made up of both college and club players).....We played one full game plus a full 40 minutes for a third half.....all Jayhawks get to play.
First game sees KJRFC falling to the Outlaws 12-11.
Two penalty goals are landed by A.J. LAROCCA in the first half. Outlaws score try in first half......Outlaws 5, Jayhawks 6.
Second half sees both teams scoring trys, with the only difference being Outlaws successfully convert....12-11...... KU try to freshman forward and reserve front row to DAVID NOBLE.
We had TRENTON TAYRIEN, a rookie, playing the key position of fly half who had never played rugby before. We had guys that were playing different positions than they had played before....The game was successful in Coach MATT SCHWARTZ’ view in those facts, even though the score said otherwise.
Third half was a loss by the score of 10-5.
Next up – Jayhawks college side plays the HOME OPENER against University of Nebraska in Merit Table at 1:00 this coming Saturday March 11. Game at Westwick Rugby Complex in Lawrence which can be mapped on Google. A minor parking fee per auto is the official cost of entry. Come out and support the Jayhawks!
KU Rugby - Spring 2017 Pre Season Report http://conta.cc/2lvh6J6
Westwick Rugby Complex, E 1094 Road, Lawrence, KS, United States 66047