The TIAR Awards roll on with today's vote for the Match of the Year.
Junior All-Americans vs. Canada: Way back in February the rest of the year looked hazy for the Junior All-Americans. They were coming off a year in which they missed the Junior World Rugby Trophy thanks to a two match series loss to Canada and they had to beat their rivals in order to qualify for the 2016 JWRT in a one off match in Austin. Without a lot of time together, a persistent problem for the age-grade teams, there were questions about whether the JAA's could do it. However, with good play from the likes of Louis Mulholland, Ben Cima, Mason Pedersen, Hanco Germishuys, Lorenzo Thomas, and Deion Mikesell the team had victory within their grasp with just minutes to go. However, a penalty from Canada with only time for the restart left meant it looked like the JAAs would fall for the second year in a row. That is when Cima stepped up to hit one of the greatest kicks in American rugby history and send the team to the JWRT.
Take the jump to read more.
Denver vs. San Diego (June 5th): Denver would go on to win the inaugural PRO Rugby title but it wasn't always clear they were going to go on and dominate the way they did. Going into week eight of the season Denver had a perfect 5-0 record and San Diego were just behind them at 4-1. Had San Diego been able to come away with the win it would have thrown the table into turmoil with the Breakers having a shot at the championships. Instead, Denver squeaked out a one point win that would catapult them into the top spot permanently and send San Diego into a spin that would put them out of contention. Outside of the importance of the result it was a demonstration of the quality on the pitch in the first year of the competition.VOTE: Match of the Year— ThisIsAmericanRugby (@ThisIsAmerRugby) January 10, 2017
More info on the finalists: https://t.co/nNBZYqG0Es
New Zealand vs. Ireland: This one didn't involve any Americans but there is no question that it has to be on this year's list. The match in Chicago was not only a draw for New Zealand and Ireland fans but many Americans as well. Outside Soldier Field the party was on as rugby fans mixed. Inside fans where shown a great spectacle and the first Ireland win against New Zealand. It was thrilling and it was momentous.