Jayhawks Rally Late But Lose to Oklahoma
OU 22 – KU 19
October 31, 2015 at Westwick
The Jayhawks came into the game ranked # 28 and Oklahoma was ranked # 22. Both clubs sit atop their respective unions. The match was not for any sort of union position such as a Merit Table Match in the Heart of America and in the whacky world of rugby, they call a match like this a “friendly”… It was hardly that.
The Jayhawks ongoing practice of doing a heavy rotation of players in featured matches paid off. There were a number of players not available who played against Missouri last week and yet the Jayhawks side remained strong.
The field had some areas of standing water from the over-night rains. It was a cloudy 56 degrees with a light 10 mph wind blowing out of the northwest corner of the field. KU kicked off with the wind in their face.
3rd Minute – The Jayhawks were called for an offside. Oklahoma was awarded a penalty kick on the Kansas 22 meter line, in the center of the field. The Sooners elected to go for a field goal and made the rather easy shot with the favoring wind. SCORE Kansas 0, Oklahoma 3
10th Minute – Sooners were awarded a penalty kick 5 meters from the Jayhawks goal line. The Sooners bunched their big forwards who then ran up to the ball just as it was toed and handed to them. The Jayhawks held off this anvil-smash play and ended up kicking the ball back to midfield. The Sooners had several more opportunities to run this same play throughout the game and the Jayhawks held them off on every single attempt. It was some great tackling by the Jayhawks.
13th Minute – Sooners won a scrum close to the KU goal line and a Sooner got across the line, only to be tied up before he could down the ball. Sooners won another scrum and ran several phases until they scored through the posts. The conversion kick was easily made. SCORE Kansas 0, Oklahoma 10
20th Minute – Jayhawks had a lineout 5 meters from the Sooner goal line. RYAN RUSSELL threw to MATT HARMON and Harmon pounded the ball across the line in the right corner (see photos). AJ LaROCCA’s kick was wide as he kicked directly into the wind from the sidelines. SCORE Kansas 5, Oklahoma 10
25th Minute – Jayhawks called for a high tackle close to their own goal line. Sooners’ penalty kick was another forward drive that failed to score.
30th Minute – Jayhawks called for reaching into a ruck. Sooner were given a penalty kick 30 meters from KU’s posts on the right side of the field. Although that made the attempt for 3 points straight down wind, the kick went wide.
39th minute – Sooners had a lineout on Kansas’ 22 meter line. KU won the lineout, but lost the ball on a bad pass near their own goal line. An Oklahoma player kicked the ball into the Kansas goal and fell on it right of the posts. The conversion kick was good. SCORE Kansas 5, Oklahoma 17
Halftime – Jayhawks now have wind to their backs.
12th Minute – Sooners given a penalty kick 10 meters from the Jayhawks goal. They elected to again attempt the bunched forward drive and again the Jayhawks stuffed the charge. In the ensuing ruck, the Oklahoma scrum half began stomping into the ruck on a prone Jayhawk. Both sidelines erupted with calls about the rough play and Jayhawks sophomore hooker RYAN RUSSELL was having none of it. He retaliated by charging around the ruck and shouldering the Sooner off his feet, knocking the wind out of the OU #9. The ref whistled the play dead and sent Russell off on a 10-minute yellow card. The Sooner player was not called. The Jayhawks would play a man-short, while Russell did his penalty time.
18th Minute – Oklahoma got close to the Kansas goal line and ran attacking phases until they scored left of the posts. The kick was pushed to the right by the wind. SCORE Kansas 5, Oklahoma 22
20th Minute – The ball was fed to Jayhawks fly half DANNY BUTEYN who uncorked a booming punt diagonally down field that traveled with a tailwind deep into the Sooner end of the field, near the Jayhawks left sideline. The Sooner fullback recovered it from the ground, but as he turned up field he was smothered by ARNOLD X, the Jayhawks wing. Arnold pried the ball from the Sooner’s hands and galloped for a try left of the posts. AJ LaROCCA’s kick was good. SCORE Kansas 12, Oklahoma 22
21st Minute – The Jayhawks DANNY BUTEYN did a repeat and boomed a punt deep and to the left sideline. This time the Sooner fullback misjudged the bounce of the ball and actually dove over and past the ball on the ground without touching it. Jayhawks outside center DYLAN FLOYD was closing in fast and running shoulder to shoulder with his inside center SAM TANNER. Floyd kicked the ball towards the Oklahoma goal line. Sam Tanner scooped it up and scored a try left of the posts. AJ LaROCCA’s kick was good and Jayhawks had put 14 points on the board in 1 minute of play. SCORE Kansas 19, Oklahoma 22
The final minutes of the game had the Jayhawks and Sooners moving up and down the length of the field. Both clubs realizing the game was very much on the line. In the closing moment, Jayhawks inside center SAM TANNER had the ball and ran to midfield. He cut right towards his sidelines and made a scissors pass to Jayhawks wing AJ LaROCCA. LaRocca was contained and the Sooners booted the ball to touch as time expired.
FINAL SCORE Kansas 19. Oklahoma 22
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