Tech Men Drop Closing Rugby Match

SOCORRO, N.M. November 15, 2010 – The New Mexico Brujos Rugby Club handed New Mexico Tech a 31-14 season-ending loss Saturday in Socorro. The Brujos, featuring five former Tech players, rang up a 24-7 halftime lead on the strength of four five-point tries and a pair of two-point conversions. The hometown Pygmies scored one try in each half, both converted by emerging placekicker Jordan Fastle.

The fall 2010 lineup of the Tech Pygmies rugby team

Meanwhile four members of the New Mexico Tech Queens Rugby Club also saw weekend action in Arizona against the Tucson Lightning. Attached to New Mexico State University's Lady Chiles, Andi Buckel led the charge by scoring two of the three tries scored by the New Mexicans in two matches, both narrowly won by NMSU. Participating from Tech were Christina Navarez, Alicia Billy and Jade Horton.

Ideal autumn conditions in Socorro saw the Brujos enjoy an equally sunny start as backs and forwards combined to control the ball through several phases of tackles. Within two minutes the Pygmies were whistled for a defensive penalty and the resulting kick into touch (out of bounds) gave the visitors a lineout (inbounds) opportunity. An accurate lineout throw enabled the Brujos to advance the ball along their backline and the Tech defense was breached, allowing former Pygmy Tory Tadano to touch down a try in the opposite corner.

The senior side collected their second try at 18 minutes in much the same way, taking advantage of some suspect Tech tackling to score on the outside. Tech seemed to have no answers as the Brujos ran their advantage to 24-0 with two more tries run through the center of the students' defense.

Defending again in the last minute before the halftime break, Tech prop forward Stephen Albritton stole the ball in a tackle and passed to Royce Beaudry, who flipped it to co-captain Jerod Aragon. The speedy flank forward bolted past the defensive flank and sailed some 80 meters to touch down between the Brujos' uprights. Jordan Fastle's conversion kick was good and the home team trailed 24-7 at the half.

Tech salvaged some pride by matching their opponents with seven second-half points and carrying the majority of play into the Brujos' end of the field. The visitors struck first through Tadano's second try, a tackle-breaking run through dense traffic. Fifteen minutes from full time, Beaudry, on course to graduate this December, tallied his last try as a Pygmy undergrad. Beaudry's option of a high kick from a penalty situation paid off as he sprinted ahead and collected the ball to score between the posts. Fastle's successful conversion kept his goal-kicking record perfect at four over two matches.

The men's club finishes their fall season with a record of 6-9. In addition to Beaudry, forwards Roosevelt Theodore and Jake Smith expect to attain their degrees in December. The Pygmies will recommence formal practices with the opening of classes January 18 in preparation for the spring 2011 season.

By Dave Wheelock, NMT Rugby Director