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Tacoma to Top of Washington

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Tacoma to Top of Washington

The Tacoma U19 team defeated Liberty HS 29-26 on Wednesday to secure 1st in the Rugby Washington league.

The two teams were guaranteed to be the top two in the league going into the playoffs, so this was as much about pride as anything. Tacoma had beaten Liberty 39-34 in a non-league game. But this game had more meaning. 

"it was a good game, and the better team won," said Liberty HS Head Coach Jeff Candler. "We had a tough time with their big runners and their pick-and-go game. We played well, and we could have done a few things better. We hope to see them again in the playoffs."

Paced by two tries from Noah Wright, Liberty ran out to a 19-7 halftime lead. But Tacoma kept at it and scored twice to eventually lead 24-19. Liberty replied with a try and a 26-24 lead. But Tacoma scored late to win it.

For Tacoma, Xavier Alefaio was very good and they pummeled Liberty on inside runs.

With the result, Tacoma is 5-0, Liberty 4-1-1, and Rainier 3-2. It looks as if Budd Bay has done enough to take 4th with Chuckanut on the outside looking in. Chuckanut had talent (as evidenced by their 24-24 tie with Liberty), but the loss of HS All Americans during the season, and a season-ending injury to one of those HSAA players, Ben Broselle, really hurt them. 

So that would set up a playoff final four of Tacoma v Budd Bay, and Liberty v Rainier, who are the defending state champions.