By Chuck Reherman
Getting back to the basics.
It what Yukon’s rugby team will focus on heading into their second match of the season.
Yukon will be looking to notch their first win Saturday when the Millers host Edmond in a 1:30 p.m. match.
The match will be played at the pitch at the Lakeview Stadium, located across from the Lakeview Elementary School.
The Millers take an 0-1 mark into the match after losing 29-17 to Jenks this past week in the season opener.
The Millerette rugby team will follow the match against Bixby at 1:30 p.m. The Millerettes were to have played Bixby last week, but the match was canceled since the Bixby team could not make the trip because of the weather.
“Going into this game with Edmond we will focus on the basics,” Miller coach Aric Gilliland said. “We have to be great passers and great tacklers. Defense has to cover the width of the field and the offensive attack has to move forwards and maintain possession.
“Edmond will have some physical kids,” he added. “Winning these west side matchups against Edmond and Norman are important steps to achieving our goals.”
The Millers had rallied after trailing 12-5 at half to tie the match at 17-17 with six minutes remaining. But, the Miller defense could not stop Jenks, who scored a try to take a 23-17 lead. The Trojans added another try late in the match to open a 12-point lead.
‘We tied it up at 17 with six minutes left, but Jenks scored quickly after that,” Gilliland said. “We got the ball back with about four minutes left but lost it. Several penalties on us followed and they scored one more try with no time left.”
Dalton Waters had scored the first try for the Millers in the opening half. Leo Martinez, who plays the hooker position, scored in the second half and Aaron Shaw, a flanker, scored to tie the match at 17-17. Quinn Dennis scored the conversion after Martinez’ try.
“We did not play our best rugby,” Gilliland said. “Against a team like Jenks, you have to be your best all day. We had some bright spots but we allowed the pressure Jenks brought to disrupt our game. We had too many penalties and got off our game plan.”
The Millers follow the Edmond match hosting Norman. Yukon hosts Tulsa Union on March 31, then travels April 7 to Bartlesville and on April 14 to Bixby.
By Chuck Reherman