The Longhorns traveled to Annapolis, Maryland to take on a very disciplined Navy squad. Texas, rattled and full of yips, could not come together and overcome dialed-in Navy. Navy capitalized on Texas and sailed away with a 64-10 victory.
The first half was full of physicality. Both forward packs sized up one another with banger after banger; crash after crash. Navy pounded in a try at the seven-minute mark to put the first points on the board. Texas tried to answer with a dangerous attack of their own, but Navy’s blitz defense met the attack and shut it down early.
The Midshipmen were able to tack on two more tries before the Longhorns answered with one of their own in the 33rd minute. Going with a quick tap off of a penalty, Texas was able to shift past an unprepared Navy defense and get the ball to freshman #10 Steven Taylor, who fought his way in for 5. Having missed the conversion, Texas went in to the half down 26-5 after Navy powered in to the tryzone one last time.
Despite going in to the half down 21 points, Texas walked in to the locker room with their heads held high. Vice-captain John Boudreaux confirmed this following the match. “I was pretty pumped about how we performed in the first half. We were competitive and physical, and it was only a few basic errors that were letting us down.”
Navy comes out fast and hard, showing no signs of just playing a very physical 40 minutes of rugby, and punches Texas in the mouth with an 8-man pick off to score off of a defensive scrum three minutes in to the second half.
Texas, still showing signs of fight, held off a very dangerous Navy offense for 15 minutes before the Midshipmen break through and score putting them up 35 points at the 55-minute mark.
Shortly after Navy capitalizes on a Texas handling error and breaks through for a 55-meter try by Navy #6.
Texas fights through the deficit to put 5 for points on the board. Captain Peter Hyams sells a dummy and breaks through dragging two defenders across the try-line to put it down in the corner at the 62-minute mark.
The Midshipmen were able to push past the Longhorns to end the match 64-10.
Though the score suggests a complete wipeout the Longhorns were successful in many facets of the game. Texas put together several quick, dangerous attacks and came up hard on defense. Handling errors and bad offloads are what killed majority of their attacks. Navy capitalized on these errors and kept Texas on their heels with their physical blitz defense.
This was the final match for several Longhorn players. Senior loose-head prop Ekongi Yancy told us after the match, “It has been an honor to be a part of UT rugby the past 4 years. I have seen us evolve from just another club in Texas, to one of the top 8 teams in the nation. Watching the entire team fight until the final whistle, especially the younger guys, highlights the changes the club has gone through in my time here. While I’m sad to go, I am so excited that rugby at UT hasn’t even come close to its ceiling.”
Of the several leaving us, Captain Peter Hyams is one of them, who will be heading back to England shortly after the semester ends. “It has been an honor to play in burnt orange and particularly to lead the team onto the field. I’ve tried to represent the side and University in the right way and couldn’t have asked for more from my experience. I am very excited to transition into a supporter of UT Rugby because the future is so bright.”
Texas rugby would like to thank all of these players for their countless hours of commitment and for all the burnt orange they have bled for the club. We are especially thankful for graduating senior Danny Camara, who overcame many administrative challenges as club president to get Texas where they are now.
Now that the 15s season has ended, the Longhorns begin their 7s training on April 22nd. The 7s team, led by Head 7s Coach Jacob Liberman and Assistant 7s Coach Mickey Johnson, will be traveling to Philadelphia May 31st to compete in PPL Park in the 2014 Collegiate Rugby Championship. Stay tuned for updates!!