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Rugby Club Wins Division II National Championship

RADFORD -- The Radford Men's Rugby Club defeated Utah Valley State College 25-14 Saturday in Palo Alto, Calif., to win the Division II Men's Collegiate national championship.

Radford jumped out to an early lead when senior captain Shane Halse scored a try in the first minute of play, after a pass from senior Caleb Williams. They extended their lead just a few minutes later when wing Mark DeStafney scored a try in the corner of Utah Valley's goal.

Midway through the first half, RU went up 15-0 when junior Ryan Penglase fell on a loose ball in the Utah Valley goal after Radford's forwards pushed the Utah Valley scrum back into their goal. Two minutes later, Williams broke through the Utah Valley defense and ran 60 meters for a fourth Radford try. They added a fifth score with 10 minutes left in the half when senior Matt Montgomery took a pass from senior Max Vokes and sprinted in to make it 25-0 at the half.

In the second half, Radford threatened to score on several occasions but Utah Valley's aggressive defense kept them out of the try zone. Utah Valley's strong inside running in the second frame helped them close the gap to 25-14 but that was as close as they could get as RU held on for the win and the championship.

The match was attended by dozens of relatives of Radford players and several Radford alumni who made the trip to California to watch Radford win its second Division II national championship in five years. Coach Mick Turk also led the squad to a title in 2003.

In the photo: The 2008 Division II National Champion RU Rugby Team.

May 3, 2008
Contact: Chad Osborne (caosborne@radford.edu; 540-831-7761)

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