Week 22 Recap: Top Teams Toppled

D1A Rugby: Week 22 Recap: Top Teams Toppled
Photo Credit: Arkansas State Rugby Facebook Page

There were only seven games taking place over the weekend; but with three top ten matchups taking place, it was bound to be a massive weekend of results.

#9 Navy began their spring season with an upset over one of the form teams, #5 Arkansas State. While Arkansas State lead for much of this game, Navy was able to mount a comeback in the final ten minutes of the game. With Arkansas State leading 14-7, Navy prop Clayton Kendrick-Holmes crashed over to score a try in the 70th minute. Scrumhalf Cole Euverard was able to tie the scores up at 14 after a successful conversion. The teams were tied at 14 going into the dying minutes of the match when Navy Number Eight, Thomas Craig broke through to score the winning try in the 80th minute of the match. This was an impressive and resilient showing from Navy, who had not played a game in the Mid-South league since late fall.

#4 Army travelled to take on #6 Lindenwood in a crossover matchup featuring two of D1A’s powerhouses. The game was controlled by the underdogs Lindenwood, who beat Army 26-7. Lindenwood was lead by #8-man Wesley White, who scored three tries on the day despite also being yellow carded in the 46th minute of the match. While Lindenwood were able to get the win, they’ll look to be more disciplined going forward. Three Lindenwood players were issued yellow cards in the match, causing them to play down a man at many points in the match.

#10 Arizona played #8 BYU in a crossover match this week. Arizona got out to an early 17-5 lead after 19 minutes, and sustained for most of the half. BYU was able to close the gap with a try from scrumhalf Kingston Matua, bringing the score to 17-10 at half time. BYU scored two quick tries right after halftime, as scrumhalf Matua found his way to the try line again in the 45th minute and was able to convert his try and draw the scores even at 17 all. Prop Steven Nonu would push BYU over Arizona minutes later though with a try of his own, bringing the scores to 22-17. BYU would go on to hold Arizona scoreless in the second half, securing a hard fought win for BYU.

#19 UCLA handily defeated Arizona State 77-3 in PAC action this weekend. Arizona State were held to a single penalty kick in the match; while UCLA would go on to score 13 tries in the match. #8-man Jax Carter was responsible for four of UCLA’s tries on the day; while winger Connor Weigold, was able to start the scoring early for UCLA with a try in the first minute of the match. It’s still early, but UCLA is looking dangerous this season and could prove to be a tough match come playoffs.

#3 Saint Mary’s travelled to take on #20 Grand Canyon for a makeup game that had been cancelled between the two sides earlier this year due to travel issues. Saint Mary’s dominated the lopes, winning 88-15. Fly half Aaron Mathews controlled the Saint Mary’s attack well and was able to set up many of his teammates for tries in the match. Mathews also found his way across the try line four times in the match, to help Saint Mary’s claim another California Conference win. Elsewhere in the California Conference, UC Davis beat UC Santa Barbra 50-10, while San Diego State beat Santa Clara 35-18.