Battle Til the Bitter End

I find myself in my office on a Saturday, so I’m quick scanning the Saturday’s A Rugby Day super e-mails.

Sounds like those games yesterday were awesome, especially the Beantown – New York match.

Could we see Beantown take out Berkeley?

And for our Canadian friends, thanks to Sara for letting us know the Canadian Women’s National Team beat Wales 25-3.

Here’s the official recap from USA Rugby on yesterday’s Women’s Club matches!

Beantown Kicks Out New York to Face Berkeley in Senior Women’s Club Championships
For Immediate Release
November 9, 2007

SANFORD, Fla. – In a nail-biting finish, Beantown was propelled ahead off the foot of flyhalf Kelly Seary to edge out defending champions New York and earn a spot against the Berkeley All Blues in the 2007 Division I Senior Women’s Club Championship match on Sunday, November 11, 2007.

The New York Women drew first blood in the physical match, capitalizing on a penalty kick in the fifth minute, but Beantown responded with a try from Amy Daniels and Kelly Seary conversion in minute 11 and another five points from Melanie Denham after 23 minutes. New York’s Tyshawn Henry notched the team’s only try before halftime to bring the score to 10-12.

The skilled teams continued to battle up to the game’s final minutes when a quick run from New York’s Allison Price and subsequent Maura Weikman conversion brought the game to a 17-17 tie. With the clock winding down, Beantown pressed for another chance to score and found it with a last minute drop goal from Kelly Seary that brought the score to 20-17 in the closing minute.

“We’ve played New York two times previous this season, so we know them very well. We know what they did to hurt us in the past and both we thought we could have won both of those games but we didn’t take good enough care of the ball,” Beantown Coach Jan Rutkowski said following the match. “That’s what we really focused on today and I think it made a big difference.”

“Our forwards were ferocious. I’ve heard people say that we’re small and not tough enough. They’re undersized yes, but awesome. If you think they’re not going to bring it, you’re making a big mistake,” she added.

The 2006 runner-up Berkeley All Blues squad advanced to the championship after running past the Twin Cities Amazons. Berkeley started its scoring drive with a penalty kick and continued to build momentum. Sara Bakker was the lone scorer for the Amazons, closing the gap within five at the half. Berkeley ran in four more tries by the end of the second half; however, the team could not connect on any conversion attempts to finish 30-5 over the Twin Cities squad.

Oregon Sports Union (ORSU) dealt Philadelphia a loss in the first consolation match of the day. ORSU shot out to an early lead over Philly following a breakaway try from San Juanita Moreno. Although the Philadelphia team continued to push back in the intense match up, they witnessed a swift team effort which put ORSU up another try before powering through tough defense for a try of its own near the 30-minute mark. Moreno blazed in for another ORSU try and Ramey Marshall made the extra points to put the Jesters up 22-7 in the minutes leading up to the break, but Philly gave an extra surge, charging back with a Vanesha McGee try and conversion from Emily
Tunney.

ORSU continued to build on its lead in the second half, touching down three more tries before the final whistle. Philly’s McGee and Sheara Williams notched away at the ORSU lead with a try a piece after the break; however, it was not enough before the final whistle blew with a score of 41-24.

In game two, Keystone emerged with a win over the Atlanta Harlequins to advance to the fifth place match against ORSU on Sunday. Keystone led 8-0 heading into the break but Atlanta’s Pat Neder narrowed the gap to just three points nearly 20 minutes into the second half. The Keystone team refused to back down, answering with a try from Olivia Nigh and Kirsten Ahrendt kicking the extras for a 15-5 final.

Championship play resumes on Sunday at 9 a.m., when ORSU meets Keystone for a chance at fifth place. Philadelphia and the Atlanta Harlequins square off for seventh at 9:30 a.m. and the Twin Cities Amazons play New York at 11 a.m. The 2007 Senior Women’s Club Champion will be crowned following the 1 p.m. match between Berkeley and Beantown.

For more information on the Division I Senior Women’s Club Championships and the USA Rugby Championship series, please visit http://www.usarugby.org or contact Jenna Anderson at janderson@usarugby.org.

Perhaps tomorrow, I’ll be able to watch the games on the web. Perhaps.

ADDED: Via eNewsRugby, this interesting factoid (subscription required for the full article, but no new news in it):

Beantown will face Berkeley Sunday for the national title. This is their first national final since 2001, when they capped off three straight finals losses to Berkeley. The last time Beantown won a national championship was in 1996 when they beat the All Blues in Chicago.

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Filed under Canada, D1, Final Four, senior

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