Three Undefeated in NCRC
Three Undefeated in NCRC
The Western Washington Vikings opened up their Northwest Collegiate Rugby Conference with a 49-7 defeat of Oregon Saturday.
Played at WWU’s Harrington Field, the game dropped Oregon to 0-2 and raised WWU to 1-0. Western played well despite the heartbreaking loss of Louie Henson, the team’s captain and powerful try-scoring prop. He is out for his senior season with a knee injury.
“All fourteen other players will have to step up to help replace Louie,” said WWU Head Coach Paul Horne, who slotted in two new players at prop this week.
WWU had a more solid pattern and plan of attack than the Ducks and it showed in the scoreline. With the young Vikings team building their knowledge and their depth, they are looking in good shape to challenge once more for the conference title. Senior flyhalf Nick Salamano continues to play well and wing Oliver Daugherty is very pacey. The Chuckanut rugby product went to Simon Fraser University to play football, but transferred back to his hometown of Bellingham, Wash. to play rugby at Western Washington. He scored two tries on Saturday, as did Britt Parkland.
“It was a good day for us,” said Horne. “We’re playing pretty well. We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores still. We’ve got some good backs, and being able to play U20 games in British Columbia during the fall has really helped us.”
Meanwhile, the team actually leading the NCRC is the University of Washington Huskies, who improved to 4-0 with a 39-19 defeat of Western Oregon.
UW left some starters home and had to battle with an improved and physical WOU team. UW led comfortably at halftime, however, and held on.
Psalm Wooching was once again in the mix in the scoring, touching down there times, while Zakir Butte, Ronnie Motta, Josh Rayburn, and Korey Neuhs all scored one. Jack Stimson added two conversions.
The game was played in cold and varied conditions, including a hail storm.
Meanwhile, Washington State moved to 2-0 with a convincing defeat of Gonzaga 63-7. Kyle Vermeulen scored four tries and Anthony White two, while Nate Freimund, Joey Malloy, Adam Pacheco, and Drake Sanders all touched down for the Cougars. Sean Power added four conversions.
There’s still much to play for in this conference. While Washington is now more than halfway through the NCRC season, Boise State is yet to play a conference game, and WWU has six more games left. UW still has Western, Boise State, and WSU to play.