USA Rugby National Clubs Championships (We have a D3 champion!!)
CLUB: Chico Become Men's Division III Champions
INDIANA TOWNSHIP, Pa. - June 1, 2002 - Chico capped off an undefeated season
by dominating Clinton Muddy River for a 27-5 victory at the USA Rugby
Division III Men's Club Rugby Championships today in Pittsburgh.
From the opening minute, the California-based Chico Mighty Oaks controlled
possession, field position and scoring opportunities.
"Throughout the entire season we have worked on ball possession and coming
up quickly," Chico Head Coach Matt Fahy said.
Although Chico virtually spent the entire first half in Clinton's end of the
field, it took more than 20 minutes for the Oaks to convert advantage to
However, the first scoring opportunity came just four minutes in, when
fullback Regan Dulfer missed a penalty goal attempt. It was Dulfer's only
miss of the afternoon however. He nailed all three following conversions and
also made penalty goal attempts in the 69th and 75th minutes.
Three minutes after Chico's first scoring attempt, center Drew Torrez broke
through the Muddy River back line and set up a four-meter scrum, but the
scoring opportunity went to waste when the Oaks were penalized for
On the ensuing kick, Clinton pushed Chico across midfield for the first time
of the match. Muddy River mounted something of a threat during the 12th
minute, but was turned back after a knock-on was called.
The Iowa-based Clinton squad had trouble mounting an offense throughout the
match, in part because Chico was quicker to the breakdowns.
"This team exposed our weaknesses. We weren't getting to the second phase
rucks," Clinton Head Coach Bob Picchiotti.
Chico broke through in the 22nd minute, when winger Will Hite scored the
first try of the match. The try was set up when Greg Lynch, the Oaks number
8 picked up off a scrum and sent scrum half Nick Becker off on a long run to
within 10-meters of the Muddy
The Mighty Oaks then used a strong tactical kicking game to pick up a second
try about 10-minutes later, when Torres made a tackle to sweep the ball away
from a Clinton back. Fly half Beau McSwain completed the 60-meter foot rush
with a try to put Chico ahead 14-0 at the half.
Picchiotti, the player-coach, pulled Muddy River back into the game by
scoring a try off a penalty kick at the 42nd minute.
Yet any momentum Clinton may have mustered was erased two minutes later when
McSwain executed a picture perfect up-and-under. Center Mitch Jagoe put a
hit on the Clinton player receiving the kick, which left the ball free for
Torres to pick up for the try.
"We had a high sun, so I said, 'Hit that pop kick,' and he must have put it
up 30 feet in the air," said Fahy, who coaches the Mighty Oaks along with
former Eagle Greg Schneeweig.
The victory gave Chico, which finished fifth in the Division III
Championships last year, a 19-0 record for 2002.
The Division III match was the first of three USA Rugby National
Championships being decided this weekend at Founders Field, the home pitch
of the Pittsburgh Harlequins.
In other matches today, San Mateo (Calif.) defeated Back Bay (Calif.),
27-16, and Austin (Texas) beat Hayward (Calif.) 41-24, in the Division I
In the Division II semifinals, New Haven (Conn.) defeated San Fernando
(Calif.) 34-20, and South Side Irish defeated Newport 39-13.
USA Rugby, founded in 1975, is the national governing body for rugby and is
a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International
Rugby Board (IRB).
For more information, or if there is a problem with this transmission,
please contact Allison Swickard, USA Rugby media and public relations
coordinator, at (719) 637-1022 ext. 218 or via e-mail at
* It should be noted, Eric Pool submitted the writing for this press
release, which was then edited through USA Rugby Media and Public Relations.