Week 23 Recap: Top Teams Face Tough Battles

D1A Rugby: Week 23 Recap: Top Teams Face Tough Battles
Photo Credit: Navy Rugby

Week 23 promised exciting matchups, with many of the top teams in the country taking one another on, and the games did not disappoint. While, there were no upsets this weekend, there were plenty of exciting games that made teams sit up and take notice.

#1 Life hosted #4 Navy this weekend. Navy entered the matchup with an impressive 8-1 record across their fall and spring seasons; while Life entered the game undefeated, after their first three games of the season. Life was able to get out to an early lead in the first half, and entered half time up 12-3 over Navy. Life would score again early in the second half, pushing the score to 19-3. Down by 16 points, Navy launched a comeback lead by outside center Joey Hobbs and scrumhalf Cole Euverard. Hobbs would score a try soon after Life’s, while Euverard was able to convert the try to bring Navy within nine points. As the game started to come to a close Navy converted a penalty kick within the last five minutes to bring the score to 19-13. In the dying seconds of the game Navy outside center Hobbs would crash over to score his second try of the match, bringing the scores to 19-18. Unfortunately for Navy, their comeback attempt came up just short, as scrumhalf Euverard was unable to make the kick. Life remains undefeated with the win.

#6 Arkansas State travelled to take on #5 Lindenwood in a pivotal Mid-South matchup. The last time these sides met Arkansas walked away with a 29-23 win over Lindenwood earlier this season. This time, however, Lindenwood would go on to shutout Arkansas State 16-0. Arkansas State struggled to get much going on attack during the game thanks in part to the sturdy defensive line of Lindenwood.

#2 Cal travelled to play #15 UCLA, shutting them out 81-0. Flyhalf Elliot Webb lead the Cal attack and scored 20 points in the win by way of two tries and five conversions. 11 players scored tries for Cal in their win. Cal looks poised for a deep playoff run once again this year, as they look to return to the finals.

#9 BYU hosted #3 St Mary’s in a crossover match. St Mary’s beat BYU 50-12, with winger Edward King scoring three tries in the victory. Lock Ronan Murphy had a strong performance in the game as well, scoring two tries, one of which was off the end of a beautiful team run that St Mary’s ran out of their own 22 to score. Murphy was the beneficiary of several passes in contact and good support from his teammates as they ran it all the way back to score against BYU.

In the California league #20 Grand Canyon beat San Diego State at home 83-10, while UC Santa Barbra lost on the road to Cal Poly 36-17.