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In order to keep a return trip to the National Sweet 16 still on the table,
#10 Saint Louis University had to not only go on the road and beat #6
Missouri, to whom they'd lost 20-15 in St. Louis last semester, but they
had to win by five or better. They did considerably better, pounding Mizzou
46-10 to all but seal the Missouri RFU title.
The match was supposed to take place in Columbia, but due to field conditions it was moved to a turf pitch at Christian Brothers College High School in Chesterfield, Mo. near St. Louis.
Despite losing home field advantage, Missouri boasted a considerably larger pack, giving SLU coach Justin Whitton ample cause for concern heading into the match. SLU's warm up game last week was canceled because of weather, while Mizzou enjoyed the desertous climate of Las Vegas where they were able to shake the winter rust off against Arizona, adding to cons counting against SLU heading into the de facto championship match.
Nonetheless, the desire to claim yet another Missouri title (SLU hadn't lost a conference match since 2007 before Mizzou beat them in the fall) was enough to overcome all setbacks, as three seniors paced SLU's first-half scoring.
Senior captain Chris McAffrey drew first blood within the opening five minutes to put SLU up 5-0 early. Senior Matt Strohm then slotted a penalty, followed by a try from co-captain Konstantine Andrakakos, which Strohm converted, to extend the SLU lead to 15-0 midway through the opening stanza. But Mizzou rebutted with 10-straight points to end the half, keeping the game within reach.
The second period, however, was all SLU, literally, as they utilized the wind at their back and ran in four converted tries and a penalty goal to solidify first place in the Missouri standings. With just one match remaining against Principia, who they beat 55-5 in the fall, SLU seems poised for another playoff run.