The Scottsdale vs Tucson game on Saturday had everything. The anticipation, the build up, the trash talk, the game intensity and the players effort who left it all on the field made for one of the most entertaining weeks of rugby in Arizona so far this year.
Scottsdale Rugby club: established in 1984 is one of the well known social rugby clubs in Arizona. The club has produced numerous competitive rugby teams and is home to a few well known local rugby players like Ted Brand (who is now a youth coach) and others who helped shape the rugby scene in Arizona so far. Over the past few years the club has been rebuilding their team. This past summer they did a great job recruiting great talent and were able to bring on a few former D1 rugby players and a new coach Big Horse to help them out.
Tucson Magpies: established in 1980 the Magpies are the premiere men's club in Tucson Arizona. They have a long winning history in their division and are one of the best known clubs in Arizona. Due to it's good style of play and winning record against most clubs, the Magpies tend to be on everyone's "must beat this year" list. As result every game they play is intense and no club takes them lightly. This year the club got a huge boost by gaining head coach Adolfo "Dolfo" Sanchez. Dolfo joined the club as a coach officially this past summer. Former Red Mountain player, he has a great understanding of the game and what it takes to build a winning club. He had a great deal of success as a player and it looks like he will have an equally great coaching career.
Everybody was excited to see the 2 clubs go at it on Saturday. We had two of the oldest clubs in the state, both with great tradition and records in Arizona rugby, with new coaches ready to make a statement and both with some of the most dedicated fans in the state.
The build up for the clash was even better. Fans from both sides took to social media the previous week to express their confidence in their beloved clubs. From analysis and debates, to bringing up old scores and current player highlights, turning this into one of the most anticipated games of the year leaving everybody in the Arizona rugby world eager to find out who will be the victor.
The game was tense from the second these clubs took the field. Everybody on both sides of the fields were focused and eager to take the field and prove their team is the better team. The whole stadium had a tense atmosphere and you could tell from the get go this game was going to be a dog fight. And LET ME TELL YOU, it definitely was!
The Scottsdale Blues came out hard and wasted no time making their presence known thru hard hits from their forwards and big runs from their backs, The Blues were able to put up the 1st points on the board through a great run from their back line. Scottsdale was able to control most of the 1st half and the game was a very close one going into the 2nd half. Half Time score Blues 12 Magpies 7
The 2nd half WAS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT STORY. After making the necessary adjustments the Magpies came out strong and looked like a brand new team. The forwards were strong at the breakdown and were able to maintain possession. The scrumhalf - to fly half connection improved and as a result the Magpie's experienced fly half was able to put his team in motion and start marching down the field aggressively . Their efficiency exhausted the Scottsdale team who gave up a total of 31 unanswered points. FINAL SCORE: Magpies 38 Scottsdale Blues 12 .
It was one of the hardest fought games of the year and everybody that took that field was ready to play. There was great rugby played by both sides and both sides had great plays, spectacular hits and entertaining attacks that satisfied a loud and excited crowd who got exactly what they came to see. Lucas Agasse, the Magpie outside center #13 stood out from all with great kicks, precise passes and an overall a performance above everybody else's. He was one of the main factors for his clubs win and he was crowned MAN OF THE MATCH. The game was a great one to watch and it made for a great day of rugby. The 2 sides will meet again on March 25th in Scottsdale for a rematch. We cant wait to see you there!
Below are a few interviews and pictures from the game for your entertainment.
THE PICTURES ARE FREE TO DOWNLOAD AND USE FOR ALL PLAYERS , PLAYERS FRIENDS AND FAMILY . THEY ARE NOT FOR CLUBS OR ANY OTHER BUSINESS TO USE WITH OUT PRIOR CONSENT BY PLAY RUGBY AZ. ( if you are a club or business trying to use any of our content please contact us for permission )
post match interview with Adolfo Sanchez head coach Magpies
Post game interview with man of the match Lucas Agasse (Tucson Magpies )
Post game interview Art Gonzalez Scottsdale Blues Captain