Philadelphia, Pa. - Penn State came into the Collegiate Rugby Championship Invitational with the mindset of winning at least two games on day one.  It did just that Saturday at PPL Park, by defeating Louisiana State and Ohio State during pool play.  A third victory was in reach, but California demonstrated its fitness to distance itself and capture the match.

 

The Lions had to stave off a late surge from the Tigers in its first match, and came from behind against the Buckeyes.  In exciting fashion, the Ruggers claimed each victory by a slim two point margin. 

 

Having finished with seven total points in Pool A play, three points for each win and one for a loss, the Lions have advanced to the Championship bracket.  With Penn State owning the second slot from Pool A, Dartmouth is the next opponent.  The Big Green won all of its matches on Saturday, which places it at the top of Pool B.

 

Match time for the Sunday contest is slated for 12:09 PM (EST) at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.

 

The opening game for the CRC Invitational pitted the Lions against the Golden Tigers.  A missed conversion kick from LSU proved to be the difference, with a 14-12 final in Penn State’s favor.

 

Penn State struck first with a kick over the top from Joe Baker, which was scooped up by Mike Erickson who traveled the remaining 60 meters for the try – conversion kick made by Baker.  The Tigers answered right back, stealing the kickoff and utilizing off-loading to go the remaining distance – try was subsequently converted.  Just before the half, Mike Cadau was able to elude defenders on an 80-meter run for a try – converted by Baker.

 

Halftime: Penn State 14, Louisiana State 7

 

The Golden Tigers were able to strike midway through the period, breaking numerous tackles to finally cross the try-line – the conversion kick was missed.  A back and forth battle resulted in no other scores with the final tally at Penn State 14, LSU 12.

 

Score: Penn State 14, Louisiana State 12

 

Tries: PSU – Erickson (4:10), Cadau (7:00) – LSU – (6:05, 10:06)

 

Conversions: PSU – Baker (2 of 2) – LSU – (1 of 2)

 

Roster: 1. Ben Janssen 2. Joe Baker 3. Mike Erickson(Mike Throne @ 7:00) 11. Dom DeFalco (Arnold Chavis @ 11:56) 10. Chris Saint 5. Jay Mathias (Greg Voigt @ 10:06) 7. Mike Cadau

*Tournament officials refused to release opponent game statistics and rosters.

 

Ben Janssen had the most exciting play of the tournament thus far, which boosted Penn State past Ohio State, 12-10.  The prop was able to scoot around a break down on the try-line for the final play of the game.  

 

Two first half tries by the Buckeyes put the Lions on its heels for most almost the entire game.  Penn State rallied late in the second half though, through tries from Baker and Janssen.  Baker was able to strike through the defensive line on a penalty play from 35-meters out – Baker converted on his try, while Janssen caused the loudest reaction from the crowd on the day, diving around a breakdown for his score.  The final try came as time expired to make the score that much more exciting.

 

Score: Penn State 12, Ohio State 10

 

Tries: PSU – Joe Baker (10:10), Ben Janssen (14:00) – OSU – (2:00, 4:45)

 

Conversions: PSU – Baker (1 of 2) – OSU – (0 of 2)

 

Roster: 1. Ben Janssen 2. Joe Baker 3. Mike Erickson 9. Arnold Chavis 10 Chris Saint 4. Greg Voigt 7. Mike Cadau

*Tournament officials refused to release opponent game statistics and rosters.

 

With Cal having defeated both Ohio State and Louisiana State as well, both squads had already been insured of their spots in the Championship bracket, despite the outcome of the pending game.  The contest proved to be much better than anticipated with a 12-7 score-line at the break, with Cal in the lead.  The Golden Bears were able to out-distance the Lions in the second half with two more tries.

 

Penn State’s lone score came from Chris Saint who took advantage of a Baker break off of a line out, late in the first half.

 

Score: Penn State 7, California 26

 

Tries: PSU – Chris Saint (6:05) – CAL – (1:10, 2:02, 9:25, 10:20)

 

Conversions: PSU – Joe Baker (1 of 1) – CAL – (3 of 4)

 

Roster: 3. Mike Erickson (Mike Throne @ 7:00) 2. Joe Baker 5. Jay Mathias 9. Arnold Chavis (Dom DeFalco @ 7:00) 10. Chris Saint 4. Greg Voigt (Mike Cadau @ 10:00) 12. Joanel Joseph

*Tournament officials refused to release opponent game statistics and rosters.

 

Penn State finished the day with two wins and one loss to claim second in Pool A.  The position in the standings pairs the Lions with Dartmouth on Sunday at PPL Park.  The Big Green, having won all of its pool play matches is the top representative from Pool B in the Championship bracket.

 

Kick-off time for the contest is subject to change.  Multiple schedule times have been released, with official times yet to be determined.

 

Pool A:

            Penn State 14, Louisiana State 12

            California 38, Ohio State 0

            Penn State 12, Ohio State 0

            California 24, Louisiana State 0

            California 26, Penn State 7

 

Pool A Standings:

 

            California – 9 Points – 3 W, 0 L

            Penn State – 7 Points – 2 W, 0 L

            Louisiana State – 5 Points – 1 W, 2 L

            Ohio State – 3 Points – 0 W, 3 L

 

 

Further information in regard to the CRC Invitational can be found at www.usasevenscrc.com.

 

 

For more information:    Jonathan Swart/Sports Information Director of Rugby/JSwart85@gmail.com

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