GRR on X  GRR on Facebook GRR in Instagram GRR Vimeo Library GRR on YouTube RuggaMatrix America Podcasts Support GRR on Patreon

D1A Eastern Bracket Playoff Games: Eastern Update

irish rugby tours

D1A Eastern Bracket Playoff Games: Eastern Update

Navy vs UMW. David Hughes photo.

Here's the latest from the D1A playoffs in the Eastern bracket.

Navy scored early, gave up a try on a chargedown, and then kept the pressure in winning 41-7 over Mary Washington.

The Mids scored off a short lineout throw less than three minutes in, with hooker Jake Beitia charging over. The lineout had come as a result of a penalty for an intentional knock-on, for which UMW was yellow-carded. Wing JD Bengston slotted into the middle of the backline off a scrum move and took the next one into the corner. Then a high ball from Landon Opp was caught on the run by Drew Baublitz and he was gone for about 48 meters. UMW answered with that chargedown—captain and No. 8 Lloyd Stephens got off the line quickly and blocked the kick. Wing Aiden Hayward sped in to touch it down, and center Sebastian Schefferman converted to make it 17-7.

Center Jake Cornelius picked up from the ruck and cruised in untouched. That try was converted by Roanin Krieger, and he added a penalty goal to round out the first half 27-7. UMW's defense held firm for much of the second half, but after the 70th minute a kicking exchange ended with Opp mountain a counter-attack, the forward consolidating at the tryline. The ball was quickly sent to Krieger who broke through to score.

Moments later a run and grubber by Max Smith set up Ryan Hotaling for the final try. Krieger logged 16 points as Navy advanced 41-7.

Full Game Here>>

Life found themselves behind late 17-14 against Army in a slobberknocker in Georgia. But a late try put the Running Eagles up 21-17 and they sealed it with a penalty 24-17. Life opened the scoring 11 minutes in, working the phases inside the Army half but not exactly threatening. Then a thundering run from Logan Ballinger and an offload off the deck produced a try for center Philani Simamane. Hard running from Army forced Life offside and Jonny Haley smacked it over to make it 7-3. Life came back to camp out in Army's 22 and off a penalty-to-lineout and a peel move put Ballinger over.

Bradley Crane converted to make it 14-3. But Haley responded by guiding a kick through the uprights for another penalty goal. 

And as the first half was coming to a close Dominic Tianga burst through from his own 22, lofted a high kick, regathered, and almost scored. He was stopped, and in fact Life did superbly well to get back onside. Eventually, however, they were penalized and Haley took the three points to make it 14-9 at halftime. About nine minutes into the second half a powerful Army scrum forced another penalty and Haley once again put it over the bar. 

SO now it was 14-12, with all of Army's points coming from Haley's boot. But finally the Black Knights broke through. Off a lineout about 36 meters from the Life tryline, Army ran a decoy maul and then attack the open side. Center Benji Kemp sold a nifty sidestep and took off. Haley missed the conversion, but Army had the lead now 17-14 with 18 minutes to go.

The game then was one of field position. Both teams worked hard to play in the other's end of the field. Life finally spent a long period inside the Army 22 and forced a penalty. From there it was a simple matter of mauling to the line and seeing hooker Sean Lenzsch dive over. Crane converted and it was 21-17. Crane added a penalty later on, and Life had survived.

Full Game Here>>

Arkansas State and Davenport met at ASU's Curt Huckaby Field in a clash of #4 and #5 seeds. An early Warrick Day penalty goal, from 47 meters out, opened the scoring. and a marginally shorter kick for Day made it 6-0 at 14 minutes. Playing with the wind ASU was able to spend most of the game inside the Davenport half. But the Panthers' defense was outstanding.

But the penalties started to come and Arkansas State ran a tap move that opened the door for Evan Roode to charge over. Day converted and it was 13-0.

Points, however, would be very hard to come by. Davenport continued to defend with power and it was only their indiscipline that offered scoring chances. As the first half ended Day had two 49-meter attempts at goal. He missed the first, but with no time left in the first period, put the second one over for a 16-0 wind-aided lead.

Naturally the second half would be a different story. Davenport looked to gain territory by breaking tackles, and they did that, working their way into the ASU 22 before the ball was shipped wide to Joe Bennie, who scored on the wing. Back came Davenport. Under pressure ASU infringed, and a tap penalty from lock Saul Pitout saw the big man power his way over. Christiaan van der Westhuizen uncharacteristically missed the conversion and it was 16-10.

Arkansas State's defense came to the fore and pinned Davenport in their half for a long period. But finally the Panthers got in scoring position again, got a couple of penalties, again, and while Pitout was stopped on his charge, the ball was sent quickly to another big man in Tamuka Kambani, and he was in under the sticks. Conversion good, and Davenport led 17-16 with about 10 minutes to go.

Having had almost not look at the tryline for the second half, ASU found what they needed. Fullback Ned Madden broke through and was almost away all by himself. He found Roode in support, who kept the movement going. Eventually Davenport infringed, and off a lineout the Red Wolves ran the phases before scrumhalf Francesco Gallia popped and inside pass to Roode, who dove over. It was a brilliant showing from the Scholz Award nominee. Madden converted (Day was in the sin bin), and it was 23-17 with less than four minutes left. That is how it ended ... a classic match between two heated rivals.

Full Game Here>>


Lindenwood hosted Mount St. Mary's in the last Eastern game of the day.

Alejandro Martinez Tapia scored from close-in, taking advantage of the MSM defense worrying about Eduan van Heerden and going himself. Byron Forword converted. Both teams had forays into the opposing 22 but the defenses held. The Mount St. Mary's scramble defense, especially, was very good. But finally a turnover for Lindenwood led to hooker Christipher Wallace setting up fullback Jared de Jager. Forword's brilliant conversion made it 14-0. 

Somehow MSM held on to keep it only 14-0 at halftime. Lindenwood had to fight for every chance. Ten minutes into the second half a nifty backline move off a scrum put David Cathcart in space and he beat two men to curve around and under the posts. Forword converted and it was 21-0. Cathcart got his second after a clearance kick from the Mount rolled dead, giving Lindenwood a scrum way back in the Mount St. Mary's half.

But it must be said that Mount St. Mary's, while they had few good scoring chances, defended unceasingly. They had virtually no good field position and spent the vast majority of the game without the ball, but they kept to the task. Lindenwood, against another opponent, might have put up 80 points. Mount worked too hard for that.

Lindenwood 26 Mount St. Mary's 0. 

Full Game Here>>

So the Eastern Quarterfinal matchups are:

Navy at Arkansas State
Lindenwood at Life