Around HS Rugby
Around HS Rugby
Some Boys HS results of note around the nation.
The big one, of course, was Okapi over Woodlands. In a very tight game neither team scored until the 20th minute. For both teams, this was something of a shocker. Woodlands generally scored at least 40 in every game and they often score early. For Okapi to hold them scoreless until the 26th minute was surprising.
Same went for the tourists. Okapi has topped 50 points in three of their last four games.
The Wanderers scored their first try 21 minutes in. Woodlands answered with a penalty at 26 minutes. That was it for the first half. A try from wing Lucas Staggs, with Neel Menon's conversion made it 10-8 Woodlands with 44 minutes gone.
But Okapi got one over nine minutes later. That was it, 15-10 Okapi. It's a bit of an astonishing result but certainly a good showing by Okapi as they looked to play outside their region.
More about this here: Okapi Downs #1-Ranked Woodlands in Texas
Also playing outside their region was De La Salle out of Northern California. They toured Louisiana, beating Brother Martin 93-5 and Jesuit New Orleans 50-5. DLS also visited the World War II Museum and went on a swamp tour.
"First tour since Covid and loving every moment of it," said DLS Head Coach Derek Holmberg. "We met some great kids and coaches and feel grateful that we play a sport which is more about the culture than wins and losses."
Jesuit New Orleans Head Coach Adam Massey was complimentary of the Spartans team.
"They are the best high school team I've seen," said Massey. NOLA Jesuit were a bit unlucky, added the coach, saying that slightly better execution and maybe the odd bounce of the ball might have produced a few more times. But, he added, "the outcome would never be different. They beat us 20 out of 20 times."
The Highlanders are actually in New York but were a Rugby New Jersey team for some years (this happens in some areas where a team is near a border and a population center in the other state). Highlander shifted to Rugby NY this year but retain a rivalry with teams such as Morris.
They have already played and beaten Union County (NJ) 26-12 and this time ran into a very solid Morris team, which beat them 33-12.
Highlanders had very strong forwards and scored three tries through the front row against Union.
The game started with very physical plays from both sides. The teams matched each other blow-to-blow. Morris took the first blood with Aviv Eshel scoring near the corner flag. Some minutes later Highlanders answered with a converted try to take a 7-5 lead. It remained that for a time with both sides unleashing ferocious defense.
Although Morris had more scoring chances, they couldn't finish because Highlanders were defending so intensely. But finally 20 minutes in center Oliver Sadler burst through. That try was followed quickly by captain Oliver Acuna-Casey and wing/scrumhalf Tiyaan Pillay going over and, with Sadler converting all three, Morris led 26-7.
Second half adjustments saw Highlanders ramp it up and powered over off a lineout. With Morris getting into penalty trouble Highlanders were able to hold Morris out and camp out in the Morris half.
Backed to their goalline, the Morris defense held. Both sides continued to battle until the very end. Near the end of the second half, Sadler ran hard off a lineout and got close to the line. After a penalty for not rolling away, Morris sealed the game with a quick tap and flyhalf Sebastian Occhino touched down near the corner flag. Sadler converted and it was 33-12.
Also playing an out-of-state team, Delbarton hosted Bishop Hendricken out of Rhode Island. In a game that ended 15 minutes early due to lightning, Hendricken rode their powerful-running midfield to win 21-5.
SFGG recorded an impressive win in British Columbia 14-3 over Shawnigan Lake. St. Ignatius comes back from Japan 2-2 against several of the top HS teams in that country. East HS of Colorado beat Bixby 33-5 in a short trip to Oklahoma.
Rugby NY got going and Syracuse beat Orchard Park behind three tries from lock Nicolas Ricciardiello. Flyhalf Brendan Carroll logged 18 points for Canisius HS as they beat Fairport 48-20. Also in Western New York Kenmore beat Corning 35-22 with center James McNeil Jr. scoring three tries.
Nearer NYC Pelham won comfortably over Harvey School with flyhalf Leo Venables scoring twice in a game in which several different Pelham players got over the line.
The final weekend saw one game canceled and one a forfeit. It didn't really matter with regard to the standings. Okapi is the #1 team and so the other six are playing for a spot in the semis. The matchups are: #2 Boca vs #7 Tampa; #3 Key Biscayne vs #6 Wellington; #4 Jacksonville vs #5 Cardinal Gibbons. While Boca and Key Biscayne are probably favored in this, the #4 vs #5 game is wide open (they played April 1 and it was a 19-14 Gibbons win).
Herriman rebounded from their loss to East HS with a big win over Mountain Ridge (Officially 50-5 as Utah Youth Rugby limits posted winning margins to 45 points).JOsiah Dunn scored three tries and converted eight for 31 points. Carson Grundy scored two tries.
East HS followed up on their win with a victory over Olympus 38-10. Layton Christian put in a strong result 38-30 over Brighton.