Baylor too much for TCU, wins third straight

D1A Rugby: Baylor too much for TCU, wins third straight
Photo Credit: Norma Salinas

FORT WORTH, Texas – After dropping its first two conference matches of the season, Baylor earned its third consecutive victory when it topped TCU, 47-15.

“We’ve really been able to find our groove these past few matches, especially on attack,” said Baylor Head Coach Mason Hering.

The opening phases of the match didn’t go the Bears’ way, however. Coming off back-to-back weeks without a match, Baylor showed some rust and indiscipline in the early stages. It also didn’t help that TCU had built a 3-0 lead by the time Baylor fly half Santiago Locamuz went down with a hamstring injury, and backup No. 10 Parker Vincent has been out for weeks after suffering a broken leg.

Needing a distributor to get the team’s attack back on track, the Bears turned to inside center Stewart Morris to step in at fly half.

“I have to say, he did an incredible job for us,” Hering complimented. “He came in and we didn’t skip a beat. He’s been playing lights out all year. That’s really been the key to our success this year – the ability for guys to step up when called upon.”

Eight man Pete Hamm scored in his third straight match to put the Bears on the board. Before the halftime whistle would sound, Rupert Cosulich and Dan Robertson would add scores, and Hamm dotted down a second time, giving Baylor a 26-3 advantage at intermission.

Fly half Bryce Watson, who tallied all 15 Horned Frog points on the afternoon, opened the second period with a try he converted himself to bring TCU within 13 points.

Rather than allowing TCU back into the match, Baylor put its foot on the pedal and expanded its lead. Winger Erriton Fuller went over the end line twice, and prop O’Neil Mbakwe found the try zone, as well.

Baylor has not only won three in a row after winning just one Red River match a season ago, but has done so by an impressive margin, beating its trio of foes by an average of nearly 33 points per contest. The team is seemingly hitting its stride at the right moment, with the Bears’ next game coming April 2 against undefeated LSU.

“I can’t even begin to explain how excited we are to host LSU for the conference finale,” said Hering. “It’s the biggest match of the season for us, and I’m glad we are peaking at the right time. Pulling an upset against the top team in the league, a nationally ranked team at that, would be a great way to end the season and would be huge for the program.”