Merlins U20 inaugural match a big victory

by | Sep 2, 2017 | U23 Men

The Glendale Merlins U20 Men took flight in its inaugural match on September 1, 2017 in Colorado Springs, CO, and never looked back. The U20 Merlins side battled the Air Force Academy Development Team, made up of mainly underclassmen and athletes brand new to the sport, in a lopsided try fest that showcased Glendale’s potent attack.

Glendale Merlins U20 Men

Glendale Merlins U20 Men’s Team

“After more than a year of recruiting and planning, followed by four intense weeks of training, it was fantastic to finally see all of the team’s hard work pay off on the pitch. I really have to thank the players for their commitment to the program.” – Dave Synnott, U20 Merlins Head Coach.

From Glendale’s first touch they took control on attack, with their High School All-American Wing, Ryan James, side stepping the Zoomie’s defense to cap off a three phase movement and score his first of five tries from a forced turnover in the opening minutes of the match. After another 15 minutes of mixed possession and unforced errors from both sides in the mid field, the Merlins attack switched on. Led by the relentless attacking play of Flyhalf Mika Kruse, the Glendale side notched six more tries spurred by a powerful line-break try from lock and eventual Man-of-the-Match, 17 year-old, Jack Whiting, before the half time whistle to go into the sheds up 43-0.

The second half continued with more outstanding individual performances and a few flashes of team cohesiveness from the Merlins U20. The center combo of Zach Rademacher and Isiah Puryear gelled to produce four tries. Tight Head Prop, Alec Leddy, stood out as a man amongst boys. Ryan James remained electrifying with every touch. Forrest Hudson came on for only 30 minutes to score two tries from the fullback position, while #8 K-Ray Crowley-Chol, flanker, Hayes Ward, and lock, Jack Whiting rumbled through the defense for notable long distance tries. With open substitutions in this friendly, all 24 traveling Glendale players played at least 15 minutes of the match. This sets the Merlins U20 up to improve on their overall team play and cohesiveness as they prepare for their first match at Infinity Park vs Regis University on September 9, 2017.

Final Score:
Glendale Merlins U20 – 104
Air Force Academy Development – 0

Merlins Tries:
Ryan James (5), Jack Whiting (2), Isiah Puryear (2), Zac Morgan (2), Forrest Hudson (2), K-Ray Crowley-Chul, Ty Carlson, Mika Kruse, Hayes Ward, Korbin Miller

Merlins Conversions:
Mika Kruse 7/18

Merlins Team:
1 Josh Zamudio, 2 Ziggy Tua, 3 Alec Leddy, 4 Jack Whiting, 5 Max Dacey ©, 6 Dylan Cahill, 7 Doug Vawter, 8 K-Ray Crowley-Chul, 9 Ty Carlson, 10 Mika Kruse, 11 Angel Mendez, 12 Zach Rademacher, 13 Isiah Puryear, 14 Ryan James, 15 Zac Morgan

16 Hayes Ward, 17 Eli Workman, 18 Seldon Funaki, 19 Zack Zabiegalski, 20 Alex O’Brien, 21 Korbin Miller, 22 Josh Robinson, 23 Forrest Hudson, 24 Zack Campbell

Head Coach: Dave Synnott
Forwards Coach: John McGuire
Assistant Coach: Jackson Thom