Kansas State University vs. Texas State University

K-State : 10
Texas State: 6

Played at National Sports Center, in Blaine, MN at 12:00 PM on April 30, 2011

Weather: 42 degrees, heavy rain, wind 15-25 mph from the southeast.


In the opening game of the national playoffs, Kansas State faced a tough Texas State team in horrible weather conditions. The field managed to stay in pretty good shape, but the driving wind and rain paired with cold temperatures made for an ugly game. The wet ball, wind, and cold hands made for a forward based game with numerous knock-ons and scrums. Going in to the game RugbyMag said that the game would be a matchup of K-State's backs vs. Texas State's forwards, but with the weather rendering both backlines ineffective, the K-State forwards stepped up in a big way.

In the first half, the first 20 minutes or so went by without a score of any sort. K-State had opportunites, once knocking the ball on near the try zone, and another time being held up in the try zone. K-State controlled territory for most of the first half, playing nearly 3/4 of the first half in Texas State territory, but were unable to put any points on the board. Texas State had the only points of the half with a penalty goal after a couple other penalties put them in K-State territory. Flyhalf Joe D'Agostino had a chance to tie it with a penalty kick of his own later in the half, but the wind pushed the kick wide. The first half was marked by Texas State's forwards picking and going from the base of the ruck with little success, and the K-State forwards running crash ball with little more success. After Texas State had some early success, the scrums were dominated by the smaller K-State forwards for the majority of the match.

In the second half the game was more of the same, only with more knocks and scrums as the wind picked up. K-State was dominant in the set-piece, winning all of their own ball while stealing some of Texas State's, and driving them backwards on the rest. Texas State continued to tackle well however, and it took 20 minutes in the second half before K-State finally got on the scoreboard. After a good kick counter by fullback Mick Conroy and a couple of crash balls by the forwards, the K-State forwards helped to create an overload in the backline. Center Hugo Baxter took the pass from the ruck, passed to D'Agostino, who skipped over #8 Tyler Hodges to wing Kenny Scott. Scott pinned his man and passed to prop Faddy Khamis who powered over the one remaining defender and scored near the corner for a 5-3 lead. D'Agostino missed the tough conversion. The game wasn't over yet, however. K-State mishandled the ensuing kickoff giving Texas State great attacking position. K-State defended well after the scrum, and forced a Texas State knock-on, but then a botched backrow play at the next scrum gave the ball back to Texas State. K-State scrumhalf Bunny Gregory held the ball up in the try zone as a Texas State forward nearly scored after a penalty. K-State stole the scrum and kicked for clearance, but Texas State countered well. K-State was called for hands in the ruck, and Texas State hit a penalty with 13 minutes left to go up 6-5.

The kickoff pinned Texas State deep, and Hodges countered the clearance kick to get pretty good position. After a few attacking phases, Texas State was called for a penalty 15 meters out near the sideline. In better conditions, D'Agostino would have taken a shot at goal, but with the wind and rain, K-State ran their crash ball penalty play. Prop Quentin Hoover ran well and advanced the ball to within about 5 meters of the try line. In the next phase, Hodges was stopped about 5 feet short. Hooker and captain Dan Knapp recognized a gap in the Texas State defense, and picked the ball up from the tackle, made one man miss and dove over to score the deciding try with 8 minutes left. D'Agostino missed the conversion, but K-State held a 10-6 lead. Tough defense and good tactical kicking kept Texas State pinned back inside their own half for the remainder of the match, and they never really threatened a game winning try. It was a hard fought game, and a major accomplishment for K-State to beat a Texas State team that was far more suited to the more bruising, forwards-only style afforded by the weather.

Prop Faddy Khamis: 1 try
Hooker Dan Knapp: 1 try

Starting XV:
1. Quentin Hoover
2. Dan Knapp (c)
3. Faddy Khamis
4. Clay Reinecke
5. Parker Staats
6. Evan Talbott
7. Jake Dull
8. Tyler Hodges
9. Bunny Gregory
10. Joe D'Agostino
11. Michael Chen
12. Hugo Baxter
13. Brett Frawley
14. Kenny Scott
15. Mick Conroy


16. John Knutsen
17. Taylor Shulse
18. Taran Carl
19. Garrett Williams (#1 @ 75)
20. Ryan Jordan
21. Robbie Schmidt
22. Mike Polzin
23. Luke Haider
24. Michael Peterson