We had a very young team last year. This is that same team, this time a year older, bigger, stronger and smarter. Our rugby IQ has increased immensely and we have some exceptional players. —Colin Puriri, United head coach
ELKHART, Ind. — In last year's national high school rugby club championship, United Rugby Club was embarrassed in its home state.
This year was a completely different story as the Alpine-based club won its second national title in its 11 year history in a convincing 24-10 victory over Cathedral (Ind.), the defending national champion, on Saturday.
"We had a very young team last year. This is that same team, this time a year older, bigger, stronger and smarter," United head coach Colin Puriri said. "Our rugby IQ has increased immensely and we have some exceptional players."
United's two high School All-Americans, Zach Webber and Calvin Whiting, scored the title-clinching tries while Austin Young and Matt Mikulecky scored early to help United overcome an early Cathedral lead.
"Our game plan was simple, a lot of good go-forward from our forwards then precision movements from our backs," Puriri said. "Cathedral didn't have an answer to our style of play. No one this whole weekend could stop us."
Saturday was United's sixth straight title game. United's other national title came in 2010 when it defeated Larry Gelwix's Highland side.
Earlier on Saturday, Herriman High rolled past Charlotte Catholic 38-7 to take fifth place in the single-school division. Thad Hay led the Mustangs with three tries while Francis Bernard scored twice. Sialao Mobley also scored to lead Herriman to a strong showing in its first ever nationals appearance.
Herriman's only loss was an 18-17 heartbreaker to eventual champion Jesuit (Calif.).
Deseret News visual editor