Kutztown – Collegiate Rugby Championship

Kutztown


Founded in 1984, Kutztown University Men’s Rugby is a force to be reckoned with. Since 1986, under the direction of head coach, Gregg “Doc” Jones, KU has never experienced a losing season, with numerous undefeated seasons, more than eight hundred victories, and the most recent seasons ending with a 157-10-1 record. KU rugby fields two sides during the fall fifteens season, three sevens sides in the spring, and plays on a dedicated, full size rugby pitch. There are three full time coaches with more than sixty participating members representing 13 states and three nations. The university supports the club in all endeavors of managing the sport on campus.
Throughout the club’s 30 years, there have been outstanding individual achievements: scores of EPRU Select Side and MARFU Select Side player appointments; twenty USA All-American Collegiate selections; one USA Eagle Sevens Team member, Marco Barnard; and most recently, Michael Lawrenson a 2014 graduate, who was on a professional contract to play for Counties Manakau Steelers in New Zealand, and has returned to take the helm of the Palmer Men’s Rugby Club. In addition, as a KU Senior, Niku Kruger was a member of the USA Selects team that completed a three-game tour in South America in spring 2015. He went on to play for the USA Eagles in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, earning his second international cap during the USA v South Africa matchup. His first test match cap was in August, 2015 against Canada. Kruger has played professionally for the Glendale Raptors and is now a member of the PRO Rugby League’s Denver, CO team. KU Senior, Alex Faison-Donahoe is poised to join this elite group and was selected a member of the USA Falcons for the Halloween 7s Elite Invitational Tournament in Florida, October 31 and Nov. 1, 2015.
2013-14 was a tremendous year for the Golden Bears. Not only did the fall witness an undefeated 15s season, but Kutztown captured the inaugural American Collegiate Rugby Conference Championship (ACRC) as the capstone. The spring of 2014 was the first where Kutztown focused purely on 7s. The team stood poised to make a spectacular return to the 2014 Collegiate Rugby Championships, its second bid to the series. The Golden Bears did not disappoint. Kutztown reached the CRC Championship game after besting Life University in a come-from-behind 19-17 victory, setting the stage for a Golden Bears vs Golden Bears finale. Kutztown finished as the runner-up to Cal following a narrow 24-21 defeat.
2014-15 was another year to remember. KU had a tremendous fall 15s season that ended with the defeat of the University of Michigan to take the American Collegiate Rugby Championship title. In the spring, KU dominated 7s tournament play with more than 45 victories and five tournament wins to their credit, culminating in a decisive win over AIC to take the ACRC crown. In May, the KU Golden Bears once again took their place among the nation’s elite in a return to the 2015 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, again coming in second to three-time winner Cal 17-12 in a stunning overtime battle.

Head Coach: Dr. Gregg Jones
Assistant Coach: Larry Chester

Players to Watch
Alex Faison-Donahoe is a senior forward who brings loads of experience. He has the body of a wide receiver, the position he played before switching to rugby. He’s toured with Team USA’s developmental side and boasts great aerial skills and speed. Kina Malafu is another sensational senior. He’ll lead from the halfback position and is a very explosive runner and playmaker. He is also solid defensively. Dmontae Noble is a freshman phenom with unmatched ability with ball in hand. He is the x-factor type of runner the Golden Bears have been missing in recent years. Through five tournaments this season he’s scored 35 tries.

The Scoop
In their four years of competition, the Golden Bears have never not reached the quarterfinals, and twice they’ve lost in the final. This could be the year they get over the hump. Kutztown is rolling this spring, averaging 38 points per game and winning five tournaments along the way. Look for Kutztown to have the largest crowd in the stands and one of the most exciting teams on the field.

No matches