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Saint Mary's Big Over Broncos

  

College Men

Saint Mary's Big Over Broncos

Michael Geib photo.

Saint Mary's might have given up 15 points to Santa Clara Saturday, a fact that could give the Broncos some cause for celebration, but in response, the Gaels managed 106 on their way to yet another massive win in a season of massive wins.

Photos Michael Geib.
Saint Mary's rugby v Santa Clara Jan 28 2017. Michael Geib photo.
Saint Mary's rugby v Santa Clara Jan 28 2017. Michael Geib photo.
Saint Mary's rugby v Santa Clara Jan 28 2017. Michael Geib photo.
Saint Mary's rugby v Santa Clara Jan 28 2017. Michael Geib photo.

The Gaels moved the ball quickly and effectively through much of the game, and started off with flanker Alec Barton, who has been on a tear lately, getting a try to open the scoring. The Gaels put on some defensive pressure from the kickoff, forced a turnover, and sent it wide immediately.

Santa Clara showed now signs of letting that try get them down, as they stole the ball in the ruck at midfield and put together a little champagne rugby of their own. Some snappy passing and aggressive support running saw the Broncos reply with a try, and that made it seem we might have a close game on our hands. 

This was true, for a time. After a Saint Mary's try was called back for a forward pass, Chris McDonnell got the final pass in a nice-looking movement to make it 12-7. Santa Clara's defensive front was aggressive, forcing Saint Mary's to be quick with their decision-making and action. The Gaels did move the ball smoothly, especially from turnover ball. 

It was turnover ball that got the Gaels out of trouble, and then Henry Hall took off along the left wing, drew his last man, and passed out to Tommy Wallace who did the rest. That made it 19-7. The forwards surged through for Saint Mary's after that, won a scrum against the head, and and powering close to the line before Mike McCarthy dove in from short range. Meanwhile, Santa Clara had trouble winning their lineouts consistently and that hurt their chances when they got a penalty or tried to launch a first-phase attack.

It became clear it wasn't going to be Santa Clara's day when McDonnell went on a break. The Saint Mary's back tried to pass to his support but the ball was knocked backward and down by a Santa Clara defender. So McDonnell put the boot to it, and chased. The ball rolled and rolled, but the in-goals at the Saint Mary's stadium are deep and it just sort of died there right before the dead ball line. McDonnell didn't stop running and dove down to score a heads-up try. That made it 33-7 with Dylan Audsley's fourth conversion. Audsley then got the next try starts, making a run on the left side, and presented the ball snappily before the ball was sent quickly back to the right. In the backline were props Payton Telea and Henry Hall. Telea just caught and passed, while Hall made a bit of a run before offloading to McDonnell for one more try.

Aufsley was good on the conversion and it was 40-7. And that's how the half ended. In the second half, the game exploded with more points. The Saint Mary's backline running was certainly impressive, but it was all set up by a good forward effort. 106-15 for Saint Mary's, and future opponents should take note.

 

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