PHILADELPHIA, PA – All of the action of the 2015 CRC Men’s Cup Quarterfinals was recapped here as it happened. Perhaps the only surprise was Arizona squeaking past Arkansas State. Beyond that, the games went as expected. In the semi-finals, it will be Life v Cal and Kutztown v Arizona. Things are setting up for a rematch of last year’s final.
Quarterfinal #4: Cal v Michigan
We know who was expected to win this game. It started as expected and Anthony Salaber took the early try from Cal’s first possession. 7-0.
Andrew Battaglia scored after Cal won the ball back from the restart. 14-0. Jake Anderson off to a good start with conversions.
Michigan get their first chance after Cal’s lineout was not straight. It was Cal who came away with the ball, though. Michigan was physical, but they made some poor passing decisions inside their 22. Their inability to get out of their 22 ended with another try for Battaglia. 19-0.
Nick Boyer scored Cal’s final try of the half to bring the score to 24-0.
Second half try scorers for Cal: Miles Honens…and that was it. The last five minutes of the match were a bit of a slog for both sides.
Michigan never seemed to get into the game. Jesse Milne gave Cal good restarts with Jake Anderson competing well to win the ball back.
Cal 31-0 Michigan
Arizona had the first crack at attack, cleanly taking the first kick and then winning a penalty from the breakdown. After Arizona was taken into touch, Arkansas State had their first chance. They played noticeably deeper in attack than the other teams so far this morning. Some back and forth play saw good handling from both sides, but ended with a knock on by Arkansas State. Some more back and forth and then Alex Goff got the ball on the wing and had enough pace to go around the last Arkansas State defender, and it was 5-0, Arkansas State.
Arkansas State’s restart did not go 10, but Arizona was not able to make much of the ensuing possession. From an Arizona scrum at their own 22, they shifted it wide. Kyle Rogers looked like he might be away, but Dylan Carrion made a good sweeper’s tackle. Conor Cook was shown a yellow card after the hooter, and then Mike Baska got one. A bizarre few moments.
Arizona ended the half with a poor pass going into touch. 5-0 at the half to Arkansas State.
The first scrum of the second half saw Arkansas State winning a penalty. They won their lineout, and then a penalty from the next breakdown. This managed the clock while they were short two players. Arizona only got their hands on the ball after the two minutes were up on the yellow cards and Arkansas State had their full side back. Quick play after a great counter ruck out Arizona inside the Arkansas State 22 and Kyle Rogers scored the try under the posts. 7-5, with Arizona in the lead.
With less than a minute to play, Arizona won a penalty, which they kicked into ouch. There was a knock on called at the lineout. Arkansas State had the scrum after the hooter. They won that cleanly, but the Arizona defense was up to the task.
Arkansas State played like a team filled with confidence that they could score from anywhere on the field. At the key moment, though, they didn’t.
Arizona 7-5 Arkansas State
Quarterfinal #2: Indiana v Kutztown
Indiana started the game with a deep kick. Kutztown muffed their first possession with a knock on only after a phase or two. Indiana won the scrum, put some pressure on, won a penalty, and then scored after taking the penalty quickly. Bryce Campbell with the try. 5-0 Indiana.
A Kutztown mistake gives the ball right back to Indiana at the restart. A good run by Nu’u Aaiva helps get Kutztown out of some trouble, but Kutztown have a promising phase killed by a knock on. Indiana had the ball inside the Kutztown 22 again, but Robert Stortz was left unmarked and sprinted 60 meters before being caught. Kutztown kept the ball and Aaiva is the try-scorer. 7-5, Kutztown.
KU stole a lineout at the hooter, and from that possession, Jonathan Sage scores out wide. 12-5 at the half.
Kutztown keep the momentum rolling with a try for Stortz 30 seconds into the second half. The Kutztown fans have officially woken up. But Indiana is not done. Some great skills by players like and decision-making led to a score for Teddy Terezis. This score came directly from the possession Indiana “won” at the restart. 17-12, still with Kutztown in the lead.
Kutztown responds in kind with their own try from the possession Stortz won from the restart. Alex Faison-Donahue is the wheels at the end of the movement, and it was 24-12. Brad Frederick won the ball back for KU at the next restart, and seconds later it was Duke Makina crossing for Kutztown. 31-12.
Indiana took the next restart cleanly, but was quickly shoved into touch.
Indiana had a great day yesterday, but did not have enough today. If Kutztown can get good restarts and conversions from Niku Kruger, they will be tough to beat.
Kutztown 31-12 Indiana
Quarterfinal #1: Life v Navy
Navy was 3-0 yesterday, while Life was upset by Indiana.
The Life fans were not put off by the early start!
Navy started the game with a good kick from Dakota Raymond. Navy contested possession and ended up winning the penalty. After almost two minutes of Navy possession, Life won the ball back at the breakdown. Good patience from Life led to a line break by Conor Mooneyham to put play into Navy’s half for the first time. Blane McIlroy took the ball from the base of the first scrum, went weak, and there were no Navy defenders quick enough to catch him. 5-0 to Life.
Life put the restart deep, conceding possession. A handling error by Navy, though led to a Life 5 meter lineout. Navy under all sorts of pressure from the lineout. A pass ruled forward gave them the scrum 5 out. They were not able to get the ball out of the 22 and with a turnover from the breakdown, Mooneyham scored the second life try. 10-0 LIfe.
Navy handled the next restart better and they had a spell of possession near midfield. They lost possession after Jack McAuliffe made a good run but then had no support and ended up popping the ball from the deck to a Life player.
The second half started with Life again putting the ball deep into Navy’s territory. Life won a penalty and opted for the lineout, but Navy spoiled. Raymond made a great break, covered 60 meters, but was caught by McIlroy. Raymond did get the offload away to John Ruck, but he didn’t have the pace either. The Navy movement ended with a Navy knock-on 5 meters out. Life then won a penalty after the scrum and relieved pressure with a good clearing kick. Life was then able to ratchet the pressure up with another score for McIlroy. 15-0 Life.
Navy had another passage of good possession. Garrett Smith had half a chance on the outside, but just didn’t have the pace. However, the game ended with a try got McAuliffe.
Life’s plan was clear: rely on defensive pressure to force mistakes, and then pounce. It worked.
Life 15-5 Navy.
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