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USA Rugby National Clubs Championships (We have a D3 champion!!)

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  • Aaron Gibson
    http://www.usarugby.org/cgi-bin/02/press/display.pl?releaseId=421 CLUB: Chico Become Men s Division III Champions INDIANA TOWNSHIP, Pa. - June 1, 2002 - Chico
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2002
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      http://www.usarugby.org/cgi-bin/02/press/display.pl?releaseId=421

      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
      points.

      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
      obstruction.

      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
      River goal.
      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
      big
      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
      semifinals.

      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
      aswickard@....

      -30-

      * It should be noted, Eric Pool submitted the writing for this press
      release, which was then edited through USA Rugby Media and Public Relations.
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