The Twin Cities Amazons have finished the 2013 WPL season undefeated and National Champions after a true championship match-up. The Zons took on two-time defending champions The Berkeley All Blues in the final match last Sunday at 3pm, what followed was nothing short of a great game of rugby.
While conference play proved fruitful for the Zons against the All Blues, it was not from lack of contest. The first match-up on Berkeley’s home soil ended in a nail-biting 22-21 victory for the Zons. Anyone who has seen the two teams play knows that it is a physical battle, both matching well in the forward pack and both stacked high with talent in the back line. The second match at home for the Zons was a huge moment for the team, not only did the Zons become the first team in the WPL to beat Berkeley twice in the same season, but they did it handily, putting up big points right away and not letting down to take the match 46-8.
Even with all of that said and done, the Zons went into Sunday’s match knowing that it would be the hardest match of the season. Any time two teams play each other 3 times in the same season it is a challenge, there are few surprises in game plan and it is just hard work and execution that decides the outcome. This championship final match was definitely no different and had the added pressure of playing a team that knows very well how to win national championships.
The Zons were the first to score with penalty kick made by Radtke to put the Zons up 3-0. This was quickly followed by a diving try by Berkeley’s flanker Nesburg, conversion was good by Bryson and the All Blues were up 7-3. After that the Zons kept the ball in Berkeley’s half for the majority of the time, but Berkeley fending off attacks well until Kugler found a gap and scored the Zons’ first try to take back the lead 8-7 Zons up. After that the Zon forwards finally got a payday after a well placed kick by Vonada when Brown and Bridges pounded their way in for a try. 13-7 Zons up to end the first half.
The second half Vonada started the scoring off with a tumbling try after a great set of offloads coming from the centers Kugler and Braaten. Zons up 18-7. This was followed by a long section of hard-nosed forward play back and forth for both teams. The All Blues were knocking on the door, but the Zons kept them out of the try zone, holding up a couple of try attempts before clearing the ball out of their red zone. Then Kingzett dotted down to bring the score to 25-7. Berkeley came on strong from this kickoff and put their lock Chou over the line to bring the score to 25-12, but the Zons made good use of time and ended the match with a kick to touch by Radtke.
A huge crowd of Amazon Alumni were in the stands for the whole weekend, at this point they joined the team on the field in celebration briefly before the medals ceremony. The well deserved MVP award was given to Lynelle Kugler, then the celebration began!
The Zons want to thank everywhere for their continued support this season and loved seeing all the Olde Girls at our matches both at nationals and our season games! Thanks for a great season!