Lindenwood Univerity (St. Charles, Mo.), won the Emirates Airline USA Rugby Men’s Division II College National Championship at Rio Tinto Stadium today defeating Salisbury University (Salisbury, Md.) 50-12.
Lindenwood was clinical and Salisbury’s kick and chase tactic didn’t come off as planned as Lindenwood’s back three were outstanding and up to the challenge. Fullback Morgan Findlay and winger Mathius Harris put in some sizzling runs that ignited the Lindenwood attack.
The Lindenwood forwards also dominated the contact area, although Salisbury was very physical in the tackle.
Flyhalf Brendan Davis was largely responsible for the potent Lindenwood offense, putting his runners into space and delivering crisp flat passes that penetrated the Salisbury defense.
Salisbury’s Zach Hayes paid tribute to the Lindenwood team, saying “…They were very advanced with getting the ball wide and we were a man down when we lost our wing and had to put a flanker out there, so that definitely didn’t help.”
Trevor Locke, the hard-hitting and mobile blindside flanker from Lindenwood, earned MVP honors for his performance in the final. Locke was a punishing tackler and always seemed to be in the thick of the action and in support.
Lindenwood’s team chemistry and commitment to team are what helped in the win, according to Davis.
“All credit to Salisbury, they played a very tough game but I think today our boys showed their heart,” Davis said after the game.
“Today from the get go, people like Trevor [Locke] and our captain Joe Shirley, just set the tone and as soon as they start to dominate that [physical] part of the game, you just see the twinkle in their eye and you just want to play harder.”
“In that game we knew that the only way we were going to make it through together was together,” Davis said.
Tries: Schwan, Findlay, Black, O’Neill, Locke, Magee(2), Russell
Tries: Capobianco, Pressman
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