Trinity Western’s Ethan Bernardin (Langley, B.C.) scored three tries and Daniel Clement (Edmonton) dotted down the game-winning try just before the final whistle, as the Spartans beat the University of Washington 36-31 Saturday afternoon.
With the score tied in the waning moments, a hard-charging Clement, who started at No. 8 for the first time this year, muscled his way across the line to score at the death.
Sam Wegert (Langley), who captained the TWU side, and Keegan Marengo (Edenvale, South Africa), who was playing in his first game as a Spartan, each added one try to the TWU cause. Marengo converted on three of the Spartans six tries.
The win sees the Spartans improve to 2-2 overall in what is their first season since the rugby program relaunched at TWU in 2019.
The contest was back and forth from start to finish. Bernardin opened the scoring midway through the opening half with his first of the afternoon but the Huskies equalized a few minutes later. Shortly thereafter TWU went ahead again on Bernardin’s second try only to see UW reply before halftime, putting the teams on equal terms, 12-12, at halftime.
The Huskies tallied a converted try early in the second half, but back-to-back Spartan tries from Wegert and Marengo once again put TWU ahead. However, UW tied the game soon after, making it 26-26.
Inside the final 10 minutes, TWU went ahead when Bernardin completed his hat trick, but the Huskies came right back to make it 31-31 with less than five minutes to play.
With the game hanging in the balance, the Spartans pressed forward, putting together several phases in the lead up to Clement’s game-winning try.
Andrew Evans – TWU Head Coach
“It was a roller coaster. The Huskies are very well-coached and they have some phenomenal athletes, who are world-class specimens. It gave our defence a big challenge just to get them down. Their No. 13 in particular – if you don’t get him around the ankles, it takes five men to take him down. They were able to score a bunch of points against us and I don’t think we were expecting that kind of attack from some of their individual athletes.
“I was very pleased that we closed it out with a win. It was a team effort to build phases to get that try at the end. I think that’s a testament to the team coming together as a group since we’ve come together in September. They executed their skills and patterns to get that last try, so it shows that what we’re doing is working. Now it’s just about building that experience level and composure to keep teams off the score line as much as possible and for us to build our own score line.”
- Bernardin now has five tries in TWU’s four games this year, including a pair of tries in a game against UBC Okanagan last fall.
- Including this year’s West Coast 7s tournament and the Viking 10s tournament, TWU has now earned wins over five American programs, including the University of Washington, Western Washington University, San Jose State, UC Davis and the California Maritime Academy.
TWU is back on the road next Saturday when they travel to play the University of Oregon at Riverfront Field at 1 p.m.
- Ben Graci – Edmonton, Alta. | Nor’westers AA
- Scott Bowers – New Westminster, B.C. | Riverside
- Mackenzie Nordli – Nanaimo, B.C. | Nanaimo
- Erik Niebuhr – Surrey, B.C. | Bayside Sharks
- Nick Halladay – White Rock, B.C.
- Brian Carlson – Langley, B.C. | D.W. Poppy
- Nate Schroeder – West Kelowna, B.C. | Mount Boucherie Secondary
- Daniel Clement – Edmonton, Alta. | Edmonton Clansmen
- Ethan Kelt – Port Coquitlam, B.C. | United Rugby Club
- Keegan Marengo – Edenvale, South Africa | Golden Lions
- Markus Rauch – Abbotsford, B.C. | Robert Bateman Secondary
- Sam Wegert (C) – Langley, B.C. | R.E. Mountain
- Oliver Feagin – Harbor City, Calif. | Carson
- Ethan Bernardin – Langley, B.C. | R.E. Mountain Secondary
- Khyree Poole – El Cajon, Calif. | OMBAC Rugby
- J.P. O’Gorman – St. Charles, Miss. | Francis Howell Central
- Josh Halladay – White Rock, B.C.
- Caleb Gerth – Langley, B.C. | Brookswood
- James Aalhus
- Nate Lieuwen – Langley, B.C.
- Jacob Sousa – Langley, B.C. | R.E. Mountain Secondary
- Ben Adkins – Nairobi Kenya | Rift Valley Academy
- Tim Bamgbade – Surrey, B.C.