Spring Week 3 Recap

D1A Rugby: Spring Week 3 Recap
Photo Credit: Karen Drinkwater
As spring conference play starts up, top teams around the country are already making their mark with early season upsets and statement victories.

In the upset of the week, D1A newcomer and independent Grand Canyon University defeated #10 San Deigo State University in a game that came down to several late defensive stands. After losing to #13 Arizona last week, GCU bounced back thanks to some consistent line breaks and stout defense.

“Last week was a good reality check for our guys to the level of competition in D1A,” GCU head coach Cameron Wyper said. “This week we focused a lot more on our defensive systems and I was very happy with the way our guys stepped up.”

After falling behind 18-10 in the 60th minute, the ‘Lopes played their best rugby in the final 20, getting scores from flyhalf Brendon Curle and lock Cameron Dodson. Even after going down a man in the final minutes of the match due to a second yellow card, GCU’s defense held strong to seal the 22-18 ‘Lopes victory.

In Red River action, Baylor looked sharp in their first game since the break, handling Texas Tech 59-17 to move to 3-0 in conference play. Baylor’s backline could not be stopped as the Bears continued to make their case as the top team in Red River. Baylor’s defense has also impressed so far in the early season, holding Red River opponents to just 35 points in three games.

In another conference opener, PAC rivals faced off in Westwood as UCLA took down USC 74-16. Next up for UCLA will be conference matchups against Arizona State followed by #13 Arizona.

Top five teams in the D1A rankings were also in action against non-conference opponents and put up some big scores. #2 Life University took on LSU at home and shut out the Tigers 103-0, while #4 Cal got tries from 10 different players on their way to an 81-6 victory over Cal Poly. Finally, #1 Saint Mary’s continued its road stretch with a 74-7 rout over UC Santa Barbara.