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The Tempe Old Devils and the Provo Steelers made their way into the USA Club Rugby DII semfinals with wins over the Sacramento Capitals and the Little Rock Stomers, respectively.
The Steelers and the Steelers played a shoot out style game with the Utah squad coming away with a 52-30 victory. The first half was very back and forth for the first 25 minutes before Provo slowly took over. The Steelers scored first but a try for Little Rock tied it up. That happened several times in a high scoring first half but ultimately Provo capitalized on some clear weaknesses.
The Stormers had no answer for outside center Meio Kuli. The back tallied four tries on the afternoon and added six conversions for a 32-point day.
“He has been growing up playing rugby and with all his experience adds a bi plus to our team. I think after the game today a lot of people recognize him as quite a talented player,” captain Viliami Vi said of his center.
Provo managed to continue to put up points in bunches and advanced to the semifinals after a comfortable second half.
The early stages of the Tempe, Sacramento game was very frantic. Filled with a number of ill-advised passes and undisciplined play, both teams struggled to get anything going. Tempe finally broke the deadlock midway through the stanza with a try from captain Kueli Danielson. The center did captains work as he powered through his opposite number to down for the first score of the game.
Alex Taefu extended the lead to 12-0 with a nifty score. The Devils moved the ball wide right and the winger danced along the sideline before finding Taefu back inside. The scrumhalf beat the opposing fullback and sprinted in for an unconverted try.
Sacramento responded to cut the lead to 12-5 with about 10 minutes to go in the first half. The Capitals looked to be getting themselves back into the game in the latter stages of the first stanza, but a try right at the 40-minute mark really hampered any efforts of a comeback.
The Devils pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Capitals 29 to 10, earning a 46-15 victory. The Devils have been a mainstay in the DII playoffs but the national championship has been elusive. They will have a shot to get one step closer tomorrow.
The semifinal will kick off at 11 AM WST tomorrow at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.