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Impressive Start in Utah with Ra Puriri Tournament

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Impressive Start in Utah with Ra Puriri Tournament

Snow Canyon and Herriman battles it out.

The Ra Puriri Tournament was a huge success in St. George, Utah, giving teams from Utah and Arizona multiple game opportunities.

The games were, for the most part, competitive and the standard high for so early in the season.

Ra Puriri Tournament Scores:

Snow Canyon 24, Olympus 5
Layton Christian 27, Mountain Ridge 12
Herriman 29, Genesis 0
Rhinos 37, East 5
United 27, Red Mountain 14
Red Mountain 20, Herriman 17
Snow Canyon 21, Layton Christian 5
United 25, East 7
Genesis 31, Mountain Ridge 5
Rhinos 37, Olympus 5
Layton Christian 29, Red Mountain 17
Snow Canyon 12, Herriman 5
Genesis 39, East 22
Rhinos 27, Mountain Ridge 5
United 34, Olympus 0

The most anticipated match of the day was probably Snow Canyon and Herriman. Before kickoff, Snow Canyon Head Coach Michael Puriri, who will be retiring from coaching at the end of the season, was honored with a haka performed by many of his alumni, and was recognized by Utah Youth Rugby for his contributions to the game’s growth in the state of Utah. Herriman also recognized Puriri with a jersey presentation.

The match itself was a defensive battle. Herriman struck first toward the end of the first half with a 30-meter run for a try by lock Isaiah Caover off of a bad lineout throw. The conversion was no good, and Herriman led 5-0.

Snow Canyon, playing in the slightly warmer part of Utah, has been able to get a little bit more game time before the tournament. This was shown in Snow Canyon's better unity and some indiscipline on the Herriman side. 

Snow Canyon was quick to strike back with a try off of a quick tap from flyhalf Ben Beckstrand. His conversion attempt was no good, and it looked as if the halftime score would be 5-5. But, with no time left on the clock, Snow Canyon outside center Ian Becker broke free for a big run from inside his own 22 that set up the Warriors just outside Herriman’s 22. Several phases later, prop Nalu Loo caught an offload and ran the remaining 22 meters untouched for the try. Beckstrand’s conversion was good, and that gave SC a 12-5 lead at halftime.

The second was purely a defensive battle. Both sides spent much time inside their opponent's half, but solid defenses from both sides made the second half one that kept everyone in attendance on the edge of their seats. No points in the second half and Snow Canyon came away 12-5 winners.

"It was very good to see Snow Canyon fight for a good win for Coach Michael," said Herriman Coach Jeff Wilson.

These games sometimes had teams field younger players to test then before the season started. So every result should be taken with that in mind regardless, the Salt Lake Valley Rhinos impressed with three convincing victories on the weekend, outscoring East, Olympus, and Mountain Ridge by a combined 101-15. United, with wins over Red MOuntain, East, and Olympus also put their hand up.