The Santa Fe Rugby Club regained their balance to capture third place in the 48th annual High Desert Classic tournament in Albuquerque Saturday. Los Santos looked sluggish in a 24-5 opening-round loss to the Steelers of Provo, Utah, but came from behind to beat El Paso Scorpions in their second match 24-19. Santa Fe then scored 17 unanswered second-half points to beat Albuquerque’s Brujos 27-10 in the consolation match. Hosts Albuquerque Aardvarks took out the Steelers 24-7 in the championship game.
A select team from Tempe won the women’s division with a convincing 38-5 victory over Albuquerque’s Atomic Sisters. Tempe utilized a strong running and kicking game in the win.
In the third-place match, Santa Fe went into halftime knotted 10-all with the Brujos before catching fire to win going away. Center Earl Smith and wing Frank Marchi touched down first-half tries and Santa Fe ratcheted up the defensive pressure to shut down the Brujos in the second half. Speedy wing Mateo Cardiel added two tries to Santa Fe’s ledger and Marchi closed out the scoring with a weaving 70-meter run.
Los Santos now await the Southwest Rugby Union’s 2021-2022 Covid-interrupted schedule. Training sessions continue at Santa Fe’s Municipal Recreation Complex.
October 16, 2021
Santa Fe Rugby Club Dispatches El Paso at Home
The Santa Fe Rugby Club fed and refreshed their old rivals El Paso Saturday, but not before upsetting their guests’ plans with a 47-45 victory. The hard-hitting Scorpions have provided stiff competition for the capital city team since the El Paso team’s formation in the mid-1970s.
Five-point try (touch down) scorers for Los Santos included former New Mexico Tech standout Isaiah Sanchez, former Albuquerque Aardvark Mateo Cardiel, Jake Covington of Las Vegas, NM, Ryan Means, Rainer Ball, and team captain Ryan Weir. Center Jaime Terrazas’s after-try conversion kicking (two points) proved to be the deciding factor in the contest.
Santa Fe Coach Richard Morris, who represented his club in the 1980s on the Western U.S.A. Union select team, praised his team, a dynamic combination of developing rugby players and streetwise veterans. “It’s challenging to have such a blend but everyone got playing time. The synergy turned out well and the players were in the mood to play rugby.”
Los Santos travel to Albuquerque’s Bullhead Park on Oct 30 for the 50th Annual High Desert Classic Tournament. The team welcomes beginners as they prepare at the city’s Municipal Recreation Complex on Caja del Rio Road.
Northern Arizona Tens 2021
The Santa Fe Rugby Club posted a one win, two loss record Saturday at the Northern Arizona Tens tournament in Flagstaff, Arizona. Los Santos dropped their opener to hosts Landsharks 33-19, jumped to an early lead over the Phoenix Rugby Club before coasting home 33-22, and lost to highly-regarded Red Mountain of Mesa, AZ 15-5 in the nightcap.
Tens rugby is a variation of the traditional 15-player game. Flagstaff’s 40th annual gathering featured both women’s and men’s teams.
Five-point try scorers for Los Santos included the dependable Isaiah Sanchez, first-year man Adam Jobes, Jake Covington, and team captain Ryan Weir. Jason Osborn was singled out by Weir for his determined tackling and support in attacking phases.
(Team captain Ryan) Weir praised his young team of developing rugby players. “They played as well as I could have hoped, especially in the last match against perennial contenders Red Mountain.” Los Santos are coached by former Western Rugby Union captain Richard Morris.
Santa Fe’s Los Santos Rugby Club dropped the championship match of the 38th annual Santa Fe Tens tournament Sunday to the Albuquerque Aardvarks, 21-17 at the Municipal Recreation Complex. The Santos beat the eventual winners 24-14 in the pool round, where they also beat Albuquerque’s Brujos 19-17 and drew 24-all with El Paso’s Scorpions.
Tucson’s Old Pueblo Lightning won the women’s division in similar fashion by avenging their pool loss to Atomic Sisters of Albuquerque in the final, 14-10.
Second row Jason Osborn opened the men’s championship by scoring his first-ever try for the Santos, and Cory Micander added the two-point conversion kick for an early 7-0 lead. But the Aardvarks answered with two converted tries to snatch a 14-7 lead. Speedster Justin Stallworth streaked home after a loose pass from the visitors but an unsuccessful conversion left Santa Fe trailing 14-12 at the half.
Albuquerque scored the next try to take a commanding 21-12 lead with 10 minutes remaining. Micander then uncorked a signature play of deception to produce a 75-meter try for Jake Covington, but it was too little, too late to prevent Albuquerque’s 21-17 victory.
Old Pueblo Lightning Tucson
Loss to AS 17-12
Atomic Sisters 3-0
POOL ROUND (3):
Brujos Win 19-17
24-24 Draw EP Scorps
ARC Win 24-14
SF 11 pts v ARC 10
Championship: SF RFC vs Aardvarks 17-21
Aardvarks @ SF, June 19, 2021
Submitted by Ryan Weir, SF capt.
Saturday June 19th the Santos hosted the Aardvarks. Aardvarks came loud and proud and jumped out to a 15-0 lead in the first 30 minutes. Santa Fe answered with a try to keep the score close. Halftime whistle blew with Aardvarks up 15-5. But not before the home team received a yellow card for one too many high tackles.
The second half was a chippy 40 minutes. The aardvarks scored a try early in the half with Santos still down a man. Things got out of hand in the last 20 minutes and your final score was settled with the aardvarks posting a 45 to the home team’s 12. On the positive side Santa Fe was able to give a couple guys their first live rugby playing experience. Thanks to the fans who came out to support.