Michigan Defeats Tradesmen DIII 52-16

posted Sep 12, 2011, 2:56 PM by Karl Seibert   [ updated Sep 19, 2011, 8:25 AM ]
10 September 2011         

In a convincing win over a team that defeated Michigan last year, MRFC seems to be gelling quite well.  Without scrumhalf Karl Seibert and flyhalf Aaron Dodd (the wedding of former UM and MRFC great Evan Currie kept them away) and veteran prop Brian Zimmer, the depth of the team commanded serious attention.  It was fourteen minutes before the first score, sloppy play and unconvincing performance at breakdown from both sides the culprit.  Rookie back Davy Hamilton scored the first of what would be the team's eight tries, with center-turned-flyhalf Charlie Berklich converting. 

Detroit nailed a penalty nineteen minutes in, and it would be a hard fought ten minutes before Michigan got across the line again.  Detroit's physical technicality at scrum time outclassed Michigan again and again. 

Veteran center Pete Mulhearn, who had a particularly strong game, gave a good case for inclusion in the first XV with the next try, converted by Michigan rookie Kyle Harris.  The Tradesmen scored a conversion-less try at 35 minutes and a penalty at 37, but with just 2 minutes before the halftime whistle, the men in blue grabbed a try-a-minute, Harris and Berklich both touching down; Harris making both conversions. 

They'd go to the shed leading 28-11, a confident start from a team lacking three senior players.

Three minutes into the second half, Harris, hungry for points, trotted over the line and made his conversion, bringing the lead to 35-11, where it would stay until fresh legs came on at minute 60.  Matt Forsyth, who did well at number 8 from his usual position of lock, scored a well orchestrated try, just before captain Josh Knight, leading the side for his first time, crammed another try into the in-goal. 

Detroit scored a second try with ten minutes to go, but Upton couldn't let the losing side have the last word.  He inserted from fullback to put the nail in, ending the game 52-16.

Michigan played very well in the loose, suffered heavily at set piece, but showed great courage and depth from the bench.  Michigan veterans Seibert, Dodd, and Zimmer must be questioning if they've shifted into the "washed up" category.  With Mulhearn, 45, playing as well as he did, all three players can hope for long and fruitful careers ahead.

Starting XV:

1 Doug Chapman
2 Ted Pixley
3 Dan Cameron
4 Matt Daniel
5 Matt Frech
6 Ryan Rogel
7 Josh Knight
8 Matt Forsyth
9 Davy Hamilton
10 Charlie Berklich
11 Andy Schwarzkopf
12 Pete Mulhearn
13 Charles Berklich
14 Eoghan McGreevy
15 Sam Upton

16 Jeff Lampley (Chapman, 65)
17 Naveen Aravapalli (Aravapalli, 55)
19 Jeff Burke (Pixley, 65)
20 Tom Stulberg (Mulhearn, 60)
21 Kyle Harris (McGreevy, 30)
22 Raj Patel (Hamilton, 60)

Tries: Harris (2), Upton, Hamilton, Berklich, Mulhearn, Forsyth, Knight
Conv: Harris (5), Berklich
Pen: -
Drop: -