Congratulations to the North Texas Select Rugby team who defeated Belmont Shore 17-5 in a nail-biting match at the LVI tournament in Las Vegas on Friday, January 24th. Not only is that great for Texas Rugby, it is positive for the Texas Select Rugby Program!
The North Texas All-Stars team is still basking in the glow of an unexpected 17-5 defeat of Belmont Shore at the Las Vegas Invitational Jan 24.
Eager to show off what they felt was overlooked talent from Texas, the team played the game to show USA Head Coach Mike Tolkin what they could do, and they succeeded.
Center Kelly Kolberg was outstanding and the Texas players exposed some slovenly Belmont Shore defense early to put them on the back foot.
Later on, Shore worked harder to keep Texas away from the tryline, but they couldn’t get much offense going.
“It was a good test for us,” said Kolberg. “I thought Belmont played some great defense. We as a team want to play the best competition possible and Belmont was the best opposition we’ve played. Lots of credit to Belmont not only giving us this opportunity to play together, but also for giving us our biggest challenge yet as a team.”
Belmont Shore were bigger and very physical, but Kolberg said the Texans took some measure of control in that game.
“Our forwards were great, especially in the lineouts,” said Kolberg. “Our fullback Mike Kenealy had a great game scoring both of our tries. Chad Joseph and our other loosies were awesome at the breakdown turning over lots of ball. Darrah Lynch played a great game at outside center. Belmont stepped up second half and made things a little harder for us.”
North Texas isn’t known to supply a lot of Eagles. The South isn’t, either (except for Life University), and yet a South select side lacking many top Life players won the North American Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) championship, against national teams from the Caribbean and Mexico.
Those are unlikely regions to be carrying the banner for select side play, but perhaps it is logical â€“ they are the regions where rugby coaches and players think there’s talent to be found, but talent that needs to be seen.
“From here we’re ready to take on anyone and would love the opportunity to play the Eagles in a warmup before a test,” enthused Kolberg. “We’d all pay our way to travel wherever to play the best. Unfortunately there aren’t any other all-star teams. Until there is we welcome anyone who wants to take us on.”
Selected for this match are the following players and staff:
|Rodriguez||John Paul||Ft. Worth||Hooker|
|Yerian||Collin||Dallas RFC||Loose Forward|
|Piggot||Lachlan||Dallas RFC||Loose Forward|
|Gregory II||Anthony||Shreveport||Loose Forward|
|Ruiz||Gonzalo||Dallas Harlequins||Loose Forward|
|Joseph||Chad||Dallas RFC||Loose Forward (Captain)|
|Winbush||Bradley||Shreveport||Scrumhalf / Loose Forward|
|Lynch||Darragh||Dallas Harlequins||Center (Vice Captain)|
|Allbritton||Taryn ‘Bear’||Dallas RFC||Wing|
|Robinson||Dean||Dallas RFC||Head Coach|
|Kelly||Joe||Dallas RFC||Asst. Head Coach|
|Ball||Rhys||Dallas RFC||Forwards Coach|
|Craig||Matt||Dallas Harlequins||Backs Coach|
|Jefferies||Jon||Dallas RFC||Asst. Forwards Coach|
|McGregor||Bruce||Dallas RFC||Asst. Backs Coach|