The Yukon boys rugby club defeated the Fort Worth-based club Alliance 17-10 last Saturday on the road.
It wasn’t easy for the Millers. Yukon battled poor weather conditions and didn’t have its full roster for its match south of the Red River. The Millers were without reserve players because of several family emergencies and illnesses.
Senior Jordan Mann went down with a leg injury early in the match, which left Yukon a man down for the majority of the contest.
“This type of physical match is to be expected when you play a north Texas team,” Yukon coach Aric Gilliland said. “Our boys know we will rarely be the biggest or fastest team on the pitch. We have to play tough, be strong and go hard. Our players did that today under difficult circumstances. Xander Burleigh especially was a great example of that. I am proud of the spark his effort brought our team today.”
There wasn’t much action in the first 10 minutes of the match, but sophomore forward Xander Burleigh broke the scoreless tie with a tough run through the Alliance defense into the try zone for five points. Junior center Julian Barrera was successful with the two-point kick to make the score 7-0 Millers.
Alliance answered with a score of its own, but failed on the two-point conversion keeping Yukon in front 7-5.
Just before halftime, senior forward Luke Lombard pushed his way through numerous Alliance tacklers into the try zone for another five points. The Millers failed on the conversion attempt and the score was 12-5 Yukon.
The Millers opened the second half with another score from Barrera on a long run in the open field. Yukon again failed on the conversion attempt and led 17-5.
Alliance got one more score on the board late in the second half, but again failed on the two-point conversion to make the final score 17-10.
“We did have a few silly mistakes,” Gilliland said. “We played a bigger team with more speed. That kind of pressure can cause kids to do things they normally wouldn’t do. We’ve got to get to a place where perfect rugby is second nature, regardless of who lines up across from us. Overall, I couldn’t be more proud of the way these boys played under the circumstances that met them today (Saturday).”
Next up for the rugby boys will be Jan. 26 at Allen, Texas.