Elite were no breeze for the Zephyrs in rugby action

By Judd Hanna

The State of Jefferson Elite Rugby Club met the Reno Zephyrs at Lower Greenhorn Park last Saturday, February 18. Snow flurries and freezing weather didn’t slow down the two sides from heavy-hitting, power rugby. The Zephyrs, a perpetual force in the league, were introduced to Siskiyou County-style rugby on the opening kick.

“We made a statement early,” said flanker Justin Griffith. “They received our opening kickoff and we immediately knocked them back and stole the ball.”

The local ruggers had some early drives close to their try-line, but couldn’t convert for points. Reno pounced on a couple of misfires from the Elite’s defense and put the local men down two scores.

It didn’t take long for the Jefferson men to get their mojo back as their big forwards pounded the ball down the gut of Reno’s pack. When the Zephyrs figured out the Elite’s game-plan, the ball was pitched to the fast backs, where it finally landed in the hands of speedster Skyler Schneider, who juked and sprinted into the try zone for a score.

Unfortunately, this reporter received a concussion at some point during the first half, and is now only to provide second-hand information about the rest of the match. This is what I was told: We played extremely well, and fought hard the entire match, but excellent ball handling from Reno resulted in a couple more scores, and the Elite lost, 24-7.

The State of Jefferson Elite will travel to Willits to play the Mendocino Rugby Club this Saturday. The next home game is March 3rd, against Humboldt.

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