Rugby teams compete in OK Showdown

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Chaslyn Parker runs with the ball out of a scrum during a match against Jenks. The Millers take a 2-1 record into the OK Showdown in Tulsa. (Photo by Chuck Reherman)

By Chuck Reherman
Sports Editor
After a near two-week layoff, Yukon’s rugby team returns to the pitch this weekend.
The Millers will compete in the OK Showdown at the Mohawk Sports Complex in Tulsa.
The Millers will take a 2-1 record into the round robin tournament. Yukon comes in following a 39-5 win over Norman in their last match.
Yukon’s junior varsity team will also compete in the tournament.
Yukon’s Millerette team will also compete in the tournament. The Millerettes will take a 1-1 overall record into the tournament.
Yukon’s first match is with Edmond at 1:20 p.m. today. The Millers turn around and play Bartlesville at 3:50 p.m.
On Sunday, Yukon will play Liberty North of Missouri at 10 a.m. and finishes the tournament with Jenks at 2:20 p.m.
The JV team opens at noon against the Saint Thomas Aquinas Saints JV. Yukon faces the Wisconsin Chargers JV at 4:40 p.m.
On Sunday, the Millers play the Kansas City Blues JV at noon.
The Millerettes play the Tigers at 11 a.m. today and faces Bixby at 2 p.m.
On Sunday, Yukon (who has combined with Edmond) will play their only match against Kansas City at 11 a.m.
The round robin format is similar to a mini season. A team gets four points for a win, and one point if three tries are scored in a match. A team is awarded one point for a draw and can also earn a point for a quality loss (if the match difference is less than four points).
“The trick to having success in a tournament like this is two-fold,” Yukon head coach Aric Gilliland said. “One is staying focused. There is lots of variables in a tournament setting. Anything from game times being delayed or adjusted to refs we haven’t seen before and many other things. That can make it hard to stay focused, but once the whistle blows, it’s important to maintain focus.
“The second thing is like the first,” he added. “And, that is play a great game mentally. There is no way to play four games in two days without playing tired. When you are tired, you must play your smartest.
“You have to rely on all the things you have learned and trained for when it is otherwise easy to become lackadaisical in the details. I think we stay focused and stay smart, we should have a good weekend.”
Following the tournament, the Millers return to their home pitch to play Tulsa Union. The teams met in the pre-season and Union won a one-sided match.
The Millers follow that up with two road matches in the Tulsa area and then look to make the playoffs.