Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 27 Aug 2019 12am







    Monday, August 26, 2019-8:50:25P.M.






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Chacha Middle School tops TMS for rugby title

CHACHA Oceanview Middle School gave it their all during the final showdown of the flag rugby elementary school pilot program taking down Tanapag Middle School in the extra period to triumph 25-20 and claim the championship-like trophy last Saturday held at the Airport road field.

It was an intense game right from the start with Chacha quickly taking control. After the opening kick-off, Chacha managed to turn defense into offense with the interception where they rushed towards the opposite end of the goal line for the 5-0 lead.

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A GTC player reaches out to catch the ball as several Chacha Middle School defenders chase after him during last Saturday’s championship game of the flag rugby pilot program held at the Airport road field.  Photo by James F. Sablan Jr.

TMS did not let the early goal affect their performance as they returned hungry and looking for an answer back. Slowly but surely TMS gained the yards needed but could not reach the end due to Chacha’s quick hands grabbing the flags to put the play to a halt. Luckily for TMS’ their relentless efforts were rewarded later as time pressed forward putting the game at a deadlock of 5-5.

More of the same was seen throughout the second half as both teams went head-to-head and kept the ball moving. Chacha scored their second try to regain the lead but TMS retaliated not too long after to keep the game tied. Try after try neither team could gain the upper hand ending the game at an even 20-20 forcing the extra period.

In the end it was Chacha’s passing ability that aide in their victory as they kept the ball alive long enough to reach the end zone scoring the final try needed to triumph 25-20.

This pilot program, spearheaded by NMI Rugby Union President and CNMI Rugby Team President Stanly Iakopo, was meant for all middle schools but with the passing of Typhoon Yutu, only Chacha and GTC were able to stay in the program. Both schools went head to head in four games where they split the standings evenly 2-2 so Iakopo decided to give them one final championship-like showdown to see who will prevail.

A total of 50 students played that day with 30 of them coming from GTC. “The parents were happy and involved in every way possible. I wanted the kids to look forward to something after Typhoon Yutu and it turned out great.” said Stanly Iakopo. “The game has more exposure now and a lot of kids want to do it again so I plan to keep this going next year.” He added. Iakopo also plans to bring touch rugby to high school next year.

Iakopo would like to thank Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Secretary Robert Hunter and Sports Director Ali Ogo for all their support providing all rugby balls and flags.