Round 18 Recap: Top 5 reshuffle as Life defeats Lindenwood; while Saint Mary’s and Arkansas State remain undefeated

D1A Rugby: Round 18 Recap: Top 5 reshuffle as Life defeats Lindenwood; while Saint Mary’s and Arkansas State remain undefeated
Photo Credit: Meagan Johnson Instagram @_.meggo_.my._eggo._
  • #5 Life avenges their previous weekend’s defeat against #2 Lindenwood knocking them from the second-best ranked spot
  • #3 Arkansas State takes care of business versus #24 Clemson, handily beating the South Carolina squad
  • #13 Arizona knocks off #17 UCLA in a “down to the wire” match, beating the Bruins 27-26
  • #4 Saint Mary’s remains dominant within the California conference as other inter-state matchups prove to shakeup the standings; Cal Poly over UC Davis, and UCSB defeating Santa Clara
  • Oklahoma and #23 Texas A&M concrete themselves as the Top-2 Red River clubs this 2019/20 season
  • Utah forfeits to #15 Central Washington

MID-SOUTH

After their loss to #3 Arkansas State, #5 Life was back in action looking to avoid their first back to back loss in several years. Life hosted #2 Lindenwood in a back-and-forth match that would go down to the wire. While Life would score first via a penalty kick, converted by scrumhalf Ryan Rees, two yellow cards to Life in the 22nd and 26th minutes would give Lindenwood a two-man advantage. Lindenwood were able to capitalize, scoring two tries via wing Cael Hodgson and eight-man Tinashe Muchena, to put their side up 14-3 by the time both yellow carded players returned to the field. The Running Eagles would strike back right before halftime as scrumhalf Ryan Rees dotted down the try and converted the kick, closing the gap to 14-10 in favor of Lindenwood.

Life would pick up where they left off in the second half, as fullback George Phelan opened up with an unconverted try to put his side ahead 15-14. Lindenwood regained the lead in the 61st minute with a converted penalty kick. Minutes later, Life hooker, Brian Muntanga, bashed his way over the try line to help his team regain the lead. With Life up 22-17, Lindenwood would go on to tie it up in the 70th minute, as winger Cael Hodgson found his way over the white line, for his second try of the match. The ping pong match ensued as Life would find their way to the try line once more in the 73rd minute thank to a wonderful effort by winger Julian Roberts. Reese would convert the try, putting Life ahead 29-22 and giving them a much-needed win after last week’s defeat.

Following last week’s upset win, Arkansas State took on conference rivals this past weekend against Clemson. Arkansas State would go on to win 82-8, as they scored 14 tries in the match. Outside center Jason Scheepers would score three tries in the win for Arkansas State, while lock Asa Carter and wing James Luecke each scored two a piece.

PAC

#13 Arizona travelled to take on #17 UCLA in the PAC’s lone match this past weekend. The Wildcats would dominate the first half, as they scored 24 points while shutting out the Bruins. UCLA wouldn’t go on to score their first try until the 50th minute, when winger Connor Weigold crossed the line. The Southern California side scored 26 unanswered points in the second half, and nearly pulled off an incredible comeback. Unfortunately for them, Arizona received a penalty kick in the 70th minute, and took advantage to sealing the victory. Arizona would win 27-26 but will look to improve when they face Utah, in the Utes’ first D1A XVs game of the season.

CALIFORNIA

#4 Saint Mary’s travelled to take on a struggling San Diego State side near the sunny Southern California beaches. The Gaels would tally a hefty score with 14 tries in their win, as they shut out the Aztecs 90-0. San Diego State have yet to win a game this year and currently sit in last place of the California conference. The Moraga, CA side improves to 6-0 within California, and sit atop the conference with no one in line to catch them.

Elsewhere in California, Cal Poly defeated UC Davis 38-17. The Mustangs shut out the Aggies in the first half, while scoring 26 points for themselves. Fullback Alex Domine scored impressively three tries in the win.

UC Santa Barbra defeated Santa Clara 27-5. Each side played fantastic defense in the first half, before UCSB flanker Willie Mein scored the first try of the match for UCSB to break the 0-0 tie in the 35th minute. UCSB would go on to score four more tries in the match, while only managing to convert one post-try kick in the match.

RED RIVER

#23 Texas A&M demolished Texas, winning 92-21 and moving to 6-0 on the year in conference play in FTF’s televised Game of the Week. 13 different players scored in the match for the Aggies, while lock Kade Ball, flyhalf Manuel Zapata Sanchez, and fullback Jeremy Brown each scored twice.

Oklahoma travelled to take on Texas Tech, defeating the hosts 62-5. Lock Cullen Gordon had a fantastic game for Oklahoma, as he scored three tries and slotted a conversion after Oklahoma’s regular kicker was sent off with a yellow card.

In the final game in the Red River conference this past weekend, North Texas defeated LSU 44-7. LSU’s rough season comes to an end, as they finish 0-6 and in last place of Red River. North Texas will look to keep their season alive next week as they face off against a hot Oklahoma Sooner side.

CROSSOVER

Utah unfortunately forfeited against Central Washington, having the Wildcats of Ellensburg, WA to earn the bonus point victory within the standings of the season.

DATEAWAYSCOREHOME
Sunday – February 16th#4 St. Mary’s69 – 7#19 Grand Canyon
Saturday – February 22nd#24 Clemson8 – 82#3 Arkansas State
#5 Life29 – 22#2 Lindenwood
Texas Tech5 – 62Oklahoma
#15 Central Washington*0 – 0*Utah (Forfeited)
#23 Texas A&M92 – 21Texas
LSU7 – 44North Texas
Cal Poly38 – 17UC Davis
San Diego State0 – 90#4 St. Mary’s
UC Santa Barbara27 – 5Santa Clara
#17 UCLA26 – 27#13 Arizona