7 Men’s Team’s – Springfield (2), Stl Ramblers (2), KCRFC, Gryphons, Northland
6 Women’s Teams – KC Jazz, SF, Mizzou, Columbia
Gryphon’s Players: Xendy, Lance, Mike Wyse, Lee, 3D, Torrance, Robert, Beau, Sid Wood, Tyler, Canadian Joel, Murdock, Jar-Jar, Zach, Mac, David Golden, Jerry and Juicy + Madison played for the Columbia Black Sheep.
Pool: Gryphons, Springfield, Springfield OB, KCRFC
Match 1 vs Springfield (Gryphons 7-0): We opened the day with a tough physical and highly contested match against Springfield in which we won 7-0. Juicy dotted down under the posts after a good series of ball movement with great support. Was a tough one but we should have beaten them worse had we executed better.
Match 2 vs St. Louis Ramblers – Old Boys (Gryphons 26-14): The opposition was a wily group of experienced veterans with a bit of youth sprinkled across the pitch. Through dominating ball possession early, the Ramblers jumped to a 14-0 lead. The dam finally broke and we regained consistent possession and moved the ball into space. Through good support play, Xendy, Zach ‘The Tank’ Reed (x2), David Golden burst thru for tries. The match was tough and required a total team effort as we gave a few starters some needed rest which would benefit us later in the day.
Match 3 vs KCRFC (Gryphons 36-10): KCRFC was a formidable D2 team that have several skilled players. Unfortunately for them, we controlled the match by maintaining ball possession for the majority of the match. This match defined teamwork, unselfish play, great support, flawless passing, skillful off-loads, team tries, great defense, owning kick-offs. I WOULD CONSIDER THIS THE BEST 20 MIN OF RUGBY THAT I’VE SEEN THE GRYPHONS PLAY IN THE LAST 6 YEARS! Try Scorers were Xendy, Lee, Tyler (x2), Jerry, Devyn (Jar-Jar) and Zach (oops he didn’t actually score since he dotted the ball in front of the posts – LOL!!!!)
Match 4 semi-final vs Northland (Gryphons 28-5) – Again a total team effort that was highlighted by Lee Raney grubbing the ball 55M while under pressure and then offloading to Lance who followed in great support and scored under the posts. Northland was tough, but to be fair – they weren’t in our league or class on this day. Try Scorers: Lance, Jerry, Zach and Xendy.
Tournament Finals Match 5 vs St. Louis Ramblers (Gryphons 24-22) – The final was another tough match against yet another D2 club. We’ve been in finals before (3 weeks prior at Elvis 7’s) but have never been able to get over the hump and come out on top. We started out strong with the 1 st try of the game by Tyler Grant. However, the St. Louis Ramblers battled back and equalized with a try of their own. Xendy then burst his way through to score a hard-fought, physical try. That was followed by yet another try from Tyler to give the Gryphons a commanding half-time 17-7. St. Louis fought hard in the second half and capitalized on some fatigue and a couple poor decisions (ask 3D) to even up score and eventually took the lead 22-17 with 1 minute remaining. The players were able to dig deep, play through the fatigue and won possession of the final kick-off. After a short series, Jerry was able to beat one of the
Rambler forwards around the edge for the tying 40 meter try as time expired. Murdock was then able to convert the center posted conversion to complete the comeback!!!
Coaches Summary: Although we had a few players playing out of position, everyone was able to contribute by stepping up to the challenge and sticking to the game plan. We did a great job of maintaining possession, competing for the ball and running in support. In fact, we hit the rucks hard enough that of the teams actually complained that our rucking was TOO HARD (ask Mote). All-in- all, the club played selfless rugby and no one tried and do too much. It was truly a total team that brought home the championship this weekend! I’m very proud to have been a part of this day and very proud to be an Arkansas Gryphon! An additional cheer to the home team players and fans that cheered us and gave us tremendous support during playoffs and trophy presentation!