90° F Wednesday, July 26, 2017

By Charles Vermont
Westlake Picayune Contributing Writer

Chap rugby fans watched their team dominate the Alliance team from Dallas in the last home game of the season Saturday.

Alliance got on the scoreboard first with an early try coming off of a stolen pass. However, that just seemed to wake the Westlake side up, and they then responded with 40 unanswered points to put the game away in a 47-17 win.

The Alliance side was full of big, aggressive players but they were no match for the speed, skill and fitness of the Chap ruggers. An unrelenting attack and very impressive rucking by the Westlake forwards kept the Alliance forwards moving backwards and giving up ground. When the Chaps forwards weren’t pounding the ball against the overmatched Alliance forwards, scrum-half Justin Brown was taking the ball from loose play and attacking Alliance with slashing runs that resulted in three tries. Flankers Brian Keenney and Carson Klubnick added a try each.

The Westlake backline also played well, with outside center Chris Canter getting two tries off powerful runs, one of them coming off of a beautiful break away by Charlie Schwan. The scoring was rounded out with some nice kicking from Alex Rees who made six out of seven conversion kicks.

Coach Jason Spodick, was happy with the play of the team.

“After not playing for a couple of weeks, we were a bit rusty, but that early try by Alliance woke us up,” Spodick said. “I was impressed with how the boys responded to being down early. If we keep on improving, we are well positioned going into the state championship tournament at the end of April.”

Forwards coach James Lowrey was also impressed with the Chaps’ play.

“The boys played with a very high level of energy,” Lowrey said. “The rucking was very well done, and our tackling kept their big forwards out of the try zone.”

The Westlake junior varsity team continued its undefeated season by pounding the Lake Travis JV team 32-10. Tthe second side has dropped only game this season, and that was to a varsity team from Allen High School.

In a somewhat sloppy but spirited match, the Chaps JV team spread the tries around as both the backs and forwards had three tries each. Flanker, Jackson Cantrell had two tries and Daniel Basset, Alex Fulkerson, Robert Slack and Charlie Person added one try each. Corin Wakefileld had a conversion kick.

Backline coach Aaron Cahoon said, “The way our second side keeps beating up on other teams is a clear indication of the depth of our rugby team. It is a good sign for our future.”

Westlake plays St. Thomas Friday in Houston. The Chaps lost to St. Thomas in the state finals in 2012.
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