Week 11 Preview

D1A Rugby: Week 11 Preview
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RUGBY EAST

Delaware (1-4) v Ohio State (1-4)

In the final Rugby East match of the 2012 regular season Ohio State will travel to face Delaware in what looks to be an exciting match. Both teams have one win this season and will be looking to make a strong showing to finish off the year.

In their last match Ohio State lost to Navy 22-18 in a game that could have went either way. This weekend proves a different test as the Buckeyes are traveling to play a Delaware team that has played every match very tough this season. Ohio State is led in scoring by Luke Hickey and Jacob Edsinger who have each scored three tries this season. Gareth Willatt leads with the boot as he has kicked through nine conversions and three penalties in 2012.

Delaware put up big numbers in their last match over Rutgers, winning 64-12 at home. The largest defeat Delaware suffered all season came at the hands of Army in the first week when they lost 30-8. Since that time, Delaware has been within at least two tries of winning every game they have played in. They are led in scoring by Christopher Mattina (four tries), Pat Goldring (three tries), and Patrick Mullarkey (three tries). Mattina has also kicked through eight conversions and two penalty kicks for a season point total of 42.

The match kicks off at 1:00 PM ET at Frazier Field, Newark, Delaware.

WESTERN

Wyoming (2-4) v. Air Force (4-2)

Air Force looks to lock up third place in the Western Conference with a win this weekend against a determined Wyoming squad. The Cowboys have proven themselves a difficult matchup with a home upset against Arizona two weeks ago and will be looking to spoil the Air Force hopes of a 5-2 season.

Air Force comes into the match off a 68-10 thrashing of Arizona State in Colorado Springs last weekend and will be looking to do the same against Wyoming. The strong forward play from Air Force has allowed them to control a large portion of their matches, the exceptions being against Utah and BYU. Jacob Byorth and Mark Griffin lead the Zoomies with five tries each while Jackson Bristol and Richard Ollis each have scored four. The combination of Michael Fleming and Christopher Poje has been deadly with the boot as they have teamed up to kick through 27 conversions and six penalties between the two of them.

Wyoming has one of the strongest forward packs in the country and they will undoubtedly be trying to use this to their advantage by wearing down Air Force throughout the game. The Cowboys are particularly strong off set pieces close to the try line where they can pick-and-go with strong support on the ball carriers heels. However, if they are to defeat Air Force they must be able to swing the ball out wide to change up the pace and keep the Zoomies on their toes. Jeremy Loftness and Nick Prudhomme have each scored four tries to lead the Cowboys this season while Ken Brenneman and Stuart Thrash have each touched down three.

The match will kick off at 1:00 PM MT at the East Mall, Laramie, Wyoming.

Colorado State (0-6) v. Arizona (2-4)

Colorado State looks for their first win of the 2012 season as they take on Arizona in their home finale. The CSU Rams would like to finish on a strong note so a high level of intensity and physical play between these two squads is expected.

Colorado State’s last match was a 33-9 loss at Arizona State. Understandably so, the Rams will be looking to take their seasons anger out on the visiting Wildcats. The Rams have heavily relied on the boot to score points this season. Ryan Walker has kicked through eight penalties and Jackson Connolly has made three. Connolly is also the Ram’s leading try scorer with two.

Arizona has had much better offensive production and a more balanced attack than Colorado State. Jack Arnold has scored four tries for the Wildcats and four others have scored two tries. Trent Fischer leads Arizona in kicking with five penalty kicks and ten conversions.

The match kicks off at 1:00 PM MT at the Colorado State University Rugby Pitch, Fort Collins, Colorado.