The East 9/10 team played against the undefeated West Valley Club team. The East Rugby team is made up of kids who attend East High School and the West Valley Team is made up of kids from Hunter, Bingham, Granger and Cyprus. The West Valley Club also got out to a strong start but the Leopards hung in there. Samiuela Vakalahi got on the board first for East followed by Helaman Suesue. The score at the half was East 12 West Valley 24. West Valley would extend their lead in the second half making the final score East 12 West Valley 36. West Valley would go on to win the State Championship for the 9/10 group. It was a great season for the East Rugby 9/10 group. About half of the team had never played rugby before and the other half had some experience. The future is bright and we look forward to watching this group play in the coming years and competing at a high level.
The 9/10 game was an amazing win for East. They played Herriman who had defeated East earlier in the season on the last play of that game. This time around it was a back and forth battle and with 3 minutes left in the game the score was tied 26 to 26. At that time an East player went down and needed to come off the field on a stretcher. Tau Afemui was the player and it ended up that his hip popped out of its socket. He was taken to the hospital to get it put back in. Once the dust settled, the final 3 minutes resumed and the regulation score end 26 to 26. They played an overtime period with no scores. In youth rugby you can’t play over time forever. After the second 5 minute period of sudden death resulting in no score, the game went to a shoot-out. Each team selected 5 players to take a penalty kick. This is a kick off of a tee from about 35 yards out. The first round of kicks resulted in a 3 to 3 tie. This then went to a second round of kicks except it was a sudden death round. Herriman would kick first and miss. Asher Kimball was next up for the Leopards and he split the posts for the win. The final score would be 30 to 29 for East. East was a 6 seed going into the playoff. They will play West Valley in the Final Four round. It was a great effort by the entire team. It was a great week of preparation and the teams hard work paid off. We are excited to be moving to the next round.
The last game of the day was 9/10 match against Genesis. This was also the last regular season game for the 9/10 team. Genesis is a Utah County Club team made up of students from multiple high schools. Genesis entered the match undefeated. This would prove to be a great test for the East 9/10 side. Genesis jumped out to a quick 12 to 0 lead. East would end the first half with a score from Viliami Tausinga. The conversion from Jaden Afuvai was good ending the first half East 7 and Genesis 12. The second half was back and forth. Lachlan Zuchetto and Carl Odom would both cross the try line but it wasn’t enough and East ended up losing the match 21 to 29.