Boys rugby — Washington team stuffs the Tigers at the try line in the waning moments Saturday

Unable to find a final response to cap a back-and-forth affair with Union (Wash.), the Newberg boys rugby team fell 19-14 after being turned away just two meters from the try line in the final seconds of the season opener Saturday at Renne Field.

“We had a number of chances up to the last 10 seconds of the game, we were two meters from the try line,” head coach Rick Rogers said. “We had three or four other chances where we were very close and just couldn’t put it in.”

Playing in wet and sloppy conditions, Newberg took a 7-5 lead into halftime thanks to a try and conversion from Ian Halstead.

Union, which broke away from Camas to become its own single-school team this spring, reclaimed the lead with a try and conversion in the second half before Alex Cisneros found the end zone. Halstead followed with another conversion to make it 14-12, but Union struck again with about 20 minutes to play and stiffened defensively to earn the program’s first-ever win.

Rogers said an infusion of young players has raised the total number in the program to 30, but still expects to field a savvy squad.

“We’ve got a number of returning players, including some that have got a good bit of experience now, so that will help,” Rogers said. “We had a couple of key players that were out on Saturday, but I think going forward the experience should really help.”

The Tigers will play another first-year program, Central Catholic, at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Delta Park in Portland.

Girls Rugby

Linn Benton forfeited to Newberg due to a lack of players, but won a scrimmage 45-10 playing eight players to a side. The Tigers will take on the Valley Panthers in McMinnville Saturday.

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