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Aquinas Turns Heads At Lindenwood Tournament

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Aquinas Turns Heads At Lindenwood Tournament

St Thomas Aquinas at the 2020 Lindenwood Tournament. Mark Jurczak photo.

St. Thomas Aquinas is flying high after this weekend's Lindenwood Tournament, as the STA varsity beat both Single-School #7 Penn HS and HS Club #11 Germantown.

On Saturday, Aquinas held off Penn 13-10 in a game where Penn struggled to avoid penalties. Penn almost scored in the opening couple of minutes, but Aquinas held on and got out of trouble. Two Penn conversion attempts hit the post. One Aquinas penalty attempt hit the post and caromed over.

"That game was in the balance until the end, and could have one either way," said Aquinas Head Coach Tim Kluempers. "We kept a little bit more possession and did a little bit better with our field position."

Penn, playing their first game of the season, looked like a team playing its first game of the season. Aquinas, having already played and beaten Bixby out of Oklahoma, was a little bit more polished. They also got a snappy performance from flyhalf Sam Masterson, who did well to control field position during the game.

On Sunday, Aquinas played a Germantown that beat Woodlands last week and had already rolled past the Kansas City Blues 43-15. 

It was a clash of styles, and Aquinas came away 27-21 winners.

"Germantown are big and are athletic and they run right at you," said Kluempers. "Our boys are not the biggest, but they stepped up defensively and met them on the other sie of the gain line."

Quick to the breakdown and skilled with ball in hand, Aquinas stole ball repeatedly and put together some well-constructed attacking movements.

"The forwards tackled well and launched on defense," said Kluempers. "They set the platform for the backs and also scored some, so they got the reward for their hard work."

Prop Dionte Brown was named player of the game against Penn, and lock Bobby Pierce. But it was a strong team effort overall. 

Now Aquinas looks ahead to a tour of Ireland with Irish Rugby Tours. The trip, Kluempers said, will be a combination of rugby training, game time, team bonding, and cultural experience.

"We are takin 80 people," said Kluempers. "We’re hoping to get pick up some new tricks with the coaching sessions, play some good rugby, and play against a different style of rugby."