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Michigan Comes From Behind to Beat Iowa 41-29

Stuart Starkweather runs with the ball near the try line.

Stuart Starkweather runs with the ball near the try line.

At the exciting Big Ten’s Weekend Michigan looked to carry the momentum from their big win a week ago into their match against Iowa this past Saturday.

It was a hard fought game with the Wolverines eventually coming out on top, but not without a few scares along the way. Iowa came out of the gate with a strong start and immediately took the lead in the 3rd minute, scoring a short try, capitalizing off of Michigan mistakes. The conversion was no good. Iowa built upon this lead with another try in the 14th minute and a 3rd try in the 21st minute, taking a commanding 17-0 lead halfway through the first half. It was at this point that the Wolverines were able to pull it together and respond, quickly scoring after receiving their own kickoff. Hard runs by the backs and good rucking by the forwards were the highlights of this 2 minute long scoring effort capped off by a tough run by Joel Conzelman as he weaved through the Iowa defense, slipping off defenders. Grady Bridges successfully converted the try. Drew Vecchio added to the Michigan scoring in the 35th minute as he pounded his way through the Iowa defensive line and put the ball over the try line. The conversion was no good however. Iowa wasn’t out of the game yet and a quick strike off a botched kickoff reception by Michigan led to a try to make the score 12-22 in Iowa’s favor at the half.

Chening Duker catches the ball during a lineout.

Chening Duker catches the ball during a lineout.

The second half was all Blue, as Michigan came out of the halftime break looking for points and eager for a victory. Chening Duker got the Wolverines off to a good start with a quick score in the 43rd minute. 8 minutes later, Evan Rourke then tied the game up as he quickly picked the ball out of a ruck and fell over the try line. Bridges gave Michigan the first lead of the day by successfully converting the try and making the score 24-22 Michigan. Ian Etheart furthered the Michigan lead with a tough Scrumhalf sneak, powering his way over the line for the try in the 57th minute.

John Palladino added another try to the quickly increasing Michigan lead in the 63rd minute as well. A great break by Christian Mentzer allowed him to offload to Palladino who sidestepped two defenders en route to the tryzone. Bridges could not convert either try however, making the score 34-22 Michigan. Duker put up his second try of the day for the Maize and Blue in the 76th minute, slipping through the Iowa defense. Bridges converted the try to give Michigan a 41-22 lead. Iowa wasn’t going to roll over and give up as they scored a try in the 79th minute with a conversion to make the final score 41-29.

1. Zach Kendall (Shapiro 64′)
2. Evan Rourke
3. Nick Fehrman (Arnett 15′)
4. Stuart Starkweather
5. Drew Vecchio
6. John Palladino
7. Chening Duker
8. Kenny Andutan
9. Ian Etheart
10. Joel Conzelmann
11. Chris Padmos
12. Christian Mentzer
13. Jared Bosma
14. Mark Borowski (Arevuo 75′)
15. Grady Bridges
16. Brennen Arnett
17. Ben Shapiro
18. Joe Stevens
19. Jesse Fenno
20. Max Arevuo
21. Zack Burns
22. Kevin Linder
23. Vino Ravichandran

Tries: Conzelmann 24′, Vecchio 35′, Duker 43′, 76′, Rourke 51′, Etheart 57′, Palladino 63′
Cons: Bridges 25′, 51′, 76′

B-side scrum vs. Purdue

B-side scrum vs. Purdue

Afterwards, the Michigan B-side teamed up with players from Iowa’s club to take on a Purdue team that consisted of most of Purdue’s A-side. The affectionately named Hawkerines put up a good effort, but the experience Purdue had from playing with one another prevailed and Purdue won the friendly 50 minute match 34-5. It was certainly a fun time, and another great experience for newer players to get valuable time on the pitch. It was also a great way to meet fellow Big Ten ruggers and enjoy the great sense of camaraderie that rugby instills. All in all it was an extremely successful weekend for the UMRFC and one that everyone who made the long journey enjoyed.

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