The Midwest Thunderbirds worked their way to the 2012 Emirates Airline USA Rugby Women’s Club All-Star National Championship in the sweltering summer heat, with a 48-8 victory over Mid-Atlantic (MARFU).
Wing Kristin Johnson was electric for the Thunderbirds, pumping in three tries on the day. Christy Ringgenberg was fantastic in creating space and organizing the potent Midwest attack. Two key performances and a big score line didn’t tell the whole story of the match.
It was defensive battle for most of the first half. Just six minutes in, the Midwest got on the board with a well worked try by Laura Hanks, but MARFU would step up the D, and would themselves get on the board in the 23rd minute. Rachel Primo slotted a penalty to make it 5-3, but the Midwest would put two more tries on before halftime to get up 17-3 at the break.
Amanda Street scored a try for the MARFU Sharks 10 min into the second stanza to make it 17-8, but Katie Johnson would strike for the Thunderbirds to shift the momentum back to the Midwest, where it would stay for the rest of the match.
Johnson would strike again with serious pace and a keen sense of space. Lynelle Kugler would add another for the Midweset, and Christy Ringgenberg would collect a try of her own to bring her personal haul to 13 for the day. Final score 48-8 to the Midwest.
Women's National Team Coach Pete Steinberg awarded #4 Stacey Bridges for her hard grafting in the breakdown and in the scrums.
Tries: Hanks, Finn, Chobot, Johnson (3)
Cons: Ringgenberg (4)
In the Tier two final, Pacific Coast pummeled the West 34-0 to earn promotion to Tier 1 for next year. Their promotion comes at the hands of Southern California who went down 26-14 to defending Champion, the Northeast.
Pac Coast was in control of this physical match from the get go. The West had trouble stringing together phases and holding on to the ball, and SoCal capitalized on the turnovers.
San Juanita Moreno and Ardia Kelker had a pair of tries each to lead the Grizzlies.
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