Jefferson City is hosting the 2016 Boys Rugby State Championship Games on May 7-8, 2016 at Dwight T. Reed Stadium on Lincoln University's Campus. Volunteers are needed throughout the weekend. Please sign up below. We look forward to seeing you on the pitch at 8 teams from across the State of Missouri come together to battle for the Missouri Youth Rugby State title.
On Saturday afternoon the Nightmare took the field against the St. Louis Mustangs. The boys
were aiming to build on last week’s win and looked to be in for a challenge. The Mustangs
traveled with large numbers and looked ready to play, but the Nightmare brought the pressure
early. Senior captain Andrew Bennett opened up the scoring in the 3rd minute after some strong
phases from the forwards brought the ball all the way down the field. That was quickly followed
by another try in the 6th minute from scrum-half Jordan Kemple, who picked the ball off of the
back of a defensive ruck and made a great 60 meter solo run. The kick was converted by flyhalf
Jose Estrada, giving the Nightmare a 12-0 lead.
The Nightmare continued to apply pressure to the Mustangs’ defense and came close to adding
another try, but the Mustang defense stood tough and held the ball up in the try zone two times.
Center John Curley was finally able to break through the defense in the 22nd minute for a try. The
kick was converted by Estrada and the Nightmare had a comfortable lead of 19-0. The Mustangs
fought back quickly though. With a Nightmare player down with an injury, the Mustangs drove
over the try line for their first score of the match in the 27th minute, cutting the Nightmare’s lead
down to 14. Not to be outdone, the Nightmare answered quickly. A strong return by Estrada off a
Mustangs kick set up Bennett for a pick off the back of the ruck in the 30th minute. The half
ended with the Nightmare leading 24-5.
The Nightmare started the second half just like the first – coming out strong and keeping the
Mustangs on their heels. A steal by Kemple set up a great phase of passing all the way down the
field by Kemple, junior Sean McGrail, and Yunil Jeon, finishing with Jeon scoring the try in the
39th minute. This was quickly followed up in the 46th minute with a great bit of support from
several players. Styles Fountain started it off with a strong run, Kemple followed suit, and
Bennett finished it off for another try.
At this point in the match the Nightmare were showing some fatigue. The Mustangs took the ball
off the kickoff and drove right down the field, taking advantage of a lack of defensive line from
the Nightmare. The Mustangs managed to squeeze through a gap in the defense for their second
try of the match in the 48th minute. The Nightmare seemed to wake up after this, and in the 52nd
minute Bennett stole the ball in a defensive ruck and ran in for his 4th and final try of the match.
This was followed quickly by Kemple in the 56th minute when he picked the ball off the back of
the scrum. Estrada converted to finish out the Nightmare’s scoring for the day. The Mustangs
caught the Nightmare napping in the 59th minute and scored off a quick-tap penalty. The
Nightmare slowed down their attack for the remainder of the match, and both sides continued to
go back and forth without gaining much ground. Final score: Nightmare 46 – Mustangs 15.
The return of the MMA players and a focus on a faster pace of play seemed to be a huge boost
for the Nightmare. The attack was strong throughout the match, though a bit chaotic. The defense
held firm for the most part, but setting up the defensive line and moving forward will need
improvement. We’ll continue to work on these things at practice this week. The next match is
our first District match of the season and is at home this Saturday, April 2, in Jefferson City
against Park Hill United. Kickoff is at 1:00pm. See you all there.