Jayhawks Beat USA Division III Champions on their Home Field
Last Saturday Sept 12th in Wichita Kansas
The KJRFC opened the fall season with a dramatic 27-22 win over defending DIII National Club Champion, Wichita Barbarians RFC. The field conditions in Wichita were the best ever for their field and the weather was a warm 82 degrees for kickoff. The Jayhawks traveled with 28 players, 3 coaches and our trainer WENDY BACH (who earned her keep by keeping players on the field with glue and tape). The Barbarians had 29 players on the sideline and about 50 fans. About 20 parents and friends came to support the Jayhawks. DANNY LAYLICH, SEAN ROTHWELL, and JERRY JONES were the alumni representatives on the sidelines.
The game started with Wichita in control the first 15 minutes with good ball protection using their big forwards and trying to punch a hole in the defense. But the Jayhawk defense held strong, lead by the fierce tackling of sophomore captain MATT HARMON (hooker), MAX PALMER (sophomore flanker), newcomer and Australian exchange student MARTY BROWN (inside center), and “Man of the Match”, sophomore JOE CONNOR (flanker). In the 25th minute Wichita scored a penalty kick from the 30 and 8 minutes later the Wichita fullback, team captain, Steve Wright dummy passed through the defense for a 30 meter try under the posts. The kick after was good for a 10-0 lead for Wichita with 10 minutes left in the half.
With more good defense, KU was able to get a turnover and after 5 phase play with everyone involved. In the 37th minute of the half, MARTY BROWN chipped a soft kick through from the 20 and our wing, junior DAVE MARR streaked down and touched it down in the corner just ahead of the Wichita defender. The conversion kick was wide. Score: 10-5 Wichita.
KU took the ensuing kickoff all the way for a try. The kickoff was received by RYAN HARRIMAN (freshman all-state high school 2nd row from Florida) who broke through 1 tackle and dished to MATT HARMON who broke 3 open field tackles and had 3 tacklers on him before he passed to DAVE MARR who offloaded at the Wichita 5 meter line to sophomore 2nd row, BEN ANDERSON who scored the try. The conversion kick was wide.
HALFTIME SCORE: 10-10.
The second half opened with Wichita scoring a try 5 minutes in and coming back to score another try and a kick to put Wichita up 22-10 with only 10 minutes gone in the second half. KU rallied and the game was played back and forth for 20 minutes with both teams coming close to scoring. Then with 10 minutes left in the game, the fitness and grittiness of KU showed-up. DAVE MARR had his SECOND try of the game as he finished a hard 30 meter run after multiple phases. Score: 22-15. Then KU scored on a nice grubber kick along the ground from substitute hooker KIERAN HENDERSON that was scooped up for a finishing run by SAM TANNER (sophomore wing). SCORE: 22-20. Then 2 minutes later LUKE BUESCHER (freshman #8 who came in as a sub) scored with no time left after a massive team effort with multiple players keeping the ball alive. The kick was made by MARTY BROWN.
FINAL SCORE: KU 27- Wichita 22.
It was a great opening game for the Jayhawks. They did very well in the lineouts and scrum downs and played outstanding defense. In the end, the fitness and tenacity gave the Jayhawks the victory.
A lot of new players were able to play in the “B” match and it looks like there will be a lot of competition for starting positions this year.
1. Grant Lechtenberg
2. Matt Harmon (sub Kieran Henderson)
3. Griffin Hastings
4. Ryan Harriman
5. Ben Anderson
6. Joe Connor
7. Max Palmer
8. Dan Buescher (sub Luke Buescher)
9. Tommy Wakim
10. Danny Buteyn
11. Sam Tanner
12. Marty Brown
13. Ryan Russell
14. Dave Marr
15. Riley Botz
Westwick Rugby Complex, E 1094 Road, Lawrence, KS, United States 66047 --- Mail to: The Kansas Rugby Foundation Inc. P.O. Box 1182 Lawrence, KS 66044