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The All Americans opened their three-game tour with a 27-15 defeat of Cambridge University Saturday at Brophy Field in Hanover, NH. The AAs never trailed in the contest, opening a big lead early, seeing the Light Blues get close in third quarter, and then padding the final score line at the end.
Scrumhalf Niku Kruger (Kutztown) opened scoring with a penalty, and outside center Kingsley McGowan (St. Mary’s) added a converted try to give the hosts an early 10-0 lead. Cambridge’s Nigel Conroy then got the Light Blues on the board with a penalty before All American loosehead prop Paris Hollis (Life) ran in to extend the AAs' lead to 17-3, where it would remain at halftime.
Cambridge roared back with a pair of tries in the early part of the second half. Relentless attacking pressure resulted in a flurry of penalties on the All Americans, and the Light Blues opted for a couple of point-blank scrums. They managed to drive one over for their first try, converted, to pull within seven at 17-10. Jacob Foulton touched it down.
Immediately, the All Americans went back on the offensive and earned a shot at goal fairly straight on from just outside the 22, but Kruger missed the kick. Despite some mishandling in the backline on the All Americans’ next possession, the home team was able to advance the ball deep in the attacking end and Cambridge had to kick the ball out of bounds around their own five-meter line. Poor execution left the opportunity begging again.
Cambridge then turned field position and punched in a second try very quickly. This one was dotted down by Dartmouth grad and former All American Nate Brakeley. The difficult conversion was missed, leaving the All Americans up 17-15.
The AAs got back on the right track after a strong attacking kick from the hand of flyhalf Kalei Konrad (San Diego State) forced another desperate kick to touch from Cambridge, giving the All Americans a five-meter lineout. Peter Malcolm’s (Wheeling Jesuit) throw-in was true, and the home team drove in a maul for its first try of the half. Madison Hughes missed the touch-line conversion, bringing the score to 22-15.
The All Americans added to the lead immediately, as Hollis found some space and rumbled 50 meters for his second try of the game. The conversion was missed, making it 27-15 to the AAs with just under 10 minutes to play.
Cambridge threatened to claw closer, but some impressive defense from the All Americans, with their heels on their own try line, repelled the effort and delivered the win.
The rematch is set for June 25 the Irish Cultural Center in suburban Boston.
All Americans 27
Tries: Hollis (2), Toluta'u, McGowan
Cons: Kruger (2)
Tries: Brakeley, Foulton