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Connacht Edges Midwest in Injury Time

  • 09 Aug 2019

The Midwest High School Thunderbirds wrapped up the competitive portion of its Ireland tour, playing Connacht U18s at the Galwegians RFC’s home pitch. The home side triumphed with a 34-29 victory in injury time, and the Baby Birds finish 0-2 after a 19-13 loss to Ulster U18s last weekend.

RELATED: Midwest Rallies Late in Ulster Match

Midwest High School Thunderbirds head coach Garrett Fisher described a big, physical opponent in Connacht and a game marked by highly contested breakdowns.

“We had to adjust to the ref and how they called the breakdown with a rolling set that was being done by Connacht,” Fisher reported from Ireland. “The pack buckled down and accepted the physical style of Connacht.”

Fisher highlighted Allexus Zielinski for leading the forwards in work rate.

“The back line improved with great running lines,” the coach continued. “Delaney Moyer was extremely active, and Makenna Tuman and Savannah Peterson played great out of our centers.

“Overall, the players overcame and adapted to the new style well, and our ball skills and attack were praised by Connacht head coach Fraser Gow,” Fisher added.

The offense flowed better against Connacht than it did against Ulster, and saw Savannah Peterson (Divine Savior Holy Angels, Wisc.), Delaney Moyer (Brownsburg, Ind.), Megan Reed (Westfield, Ind.), Emily Rahja (Mentor, Ohio) and Abby Kayser (Divine Savior Holy Angels, Wisc.) all score tries. Alle English (Watkins, Ohio) and Aly Cunningham (Catholic Memorial, Wisc.) added a conversion apiece. Scrumhalf and captain Gina Pollice (Grandville, Mich.) was in the middle of it all and earned Player of the Match honors from the Thunderbird coaching staff.

The final score settled after regulation had expired, but the Irish squad kept pushing for one more try, which was the game-winner: 34-29.


1. Jenna Klenz, 2. Delaney Moyer (Jayla Twitty), 3. Alex Hyde (Libby Moser), 4. Meg Wright (Haley Crow), 5. Allexus Zielinski, 6. Kinzie Youngblood, 7. Emily Rahja, 8. Taylor Driver, 9. Gina Pollice (c), 10. Aly Cunningham (Aubrey Boing), 11. Sydney Julich (Anna Hensel), 12. Makenna Tuman (Erin Ward), 13. Savannah Peterson, 14. Megan Reed, 15. Abby Kayser (Alle English).

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