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Kingfishers, Aquinas Strong In Kansas

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Kingfishers, Aquinas Strong In Kansas

Kingfishers' ability to recycle against a tough KC Jr. Blues pack saw them through.

Upstart school team the Kingfishers of St. Martin's Academy is back making noise once more after beating the Kansas City Junior Blues 42-7 on Saturday.

The Jr Blues started strong, testing the Kingfishers backline defense. But the defense held and once the Kingfishers got the ball back they started to work the phases with the forwards busting up ahead and the backs getting their chances to go wide.

The breakthrough came at about five minutes in when flyhalf Ian Taylor faked sending the ball wide and instead took it up himself. He was gone for 60 meters and a try.

That opened the door for Kingfishers to press the attack. Scrumhalf Nate Jones ran a snappy attack and Taylor continued to work his backline nicely. With a hard working forward pack recycling ball (especially as the Jo Blues were contesting every ruck), it was 20-0 by halftime.

Kingfishers Rugby: Who Are These Guys?

The Jr Blues started the second half aggressively and started to use their kicking game to gain territory. That worked nicely to set up a try for the Kansas City team, but that was it as Kingfishers showed their fitness and their commitment to defense. The relentless defensive pressure broke the dam and the Kingfishers scored five more tries in the last 25 minutes.

Three of those tries came from wing Joe Klaasen, while up front No. 8 Keoni Thorp kept the Kingfishers going forward and prop Charlie Hickey was a force on defense and in the rucks.

"It was a physical match against a well-organized team," said Kingfishers Head Coach Adam Taylor. "The Jr Blues really pushed the Kingfishers to be great in order to come away victorious. It was the most complete team game the Kingfishers played yet this season."

Aquinas Gets Shutout

Also in the Kansas/Missouri region, Independence beat the Liberty Jays 19-15, and St. Thomas Aquinas beat Liberty North 55-0.

For Aquinas, it was a bit of a rusty performance, said Head Coach Tim Kluempers. But, he added, "they figured it out. If we can carry this momentum into the games coming up we'll be alright."

Connor Elliswas player of the game while the scrumhalf-flyhalf combination of Nick Jurczak and Chandler Mogren were very effective. Forwards Brick Kluempers and Ryan Yankovich secured ball nicely as Aquinas controlled things well.

Right now, it looks as though Aquinas and Kingfishers are on a collision course in Kansas.