Rugby defeats Life
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 14, 2013 17:03
The morning rain had passed and the sun was shining as Arkansas State’s rugby team took on the No. 1 ranked Running Eagles from Life University on Saturday, March 9.
The Red Wolves came back in the second half to beat Life 28-22, knocking the Eagles out of first place.
“It’s great to start off the season with a win and it’s always an awesome feeling beating Life, no matter what they are ranked. We try not to look at what our opponents are ranked or how they play, we just focus on ourselves and make sure that we get better each week and put out a better performance,” senior fly half Patrick Sullivan said. “We have to take what we learned in the game and keep building on it.”
With the wind blowing in Life’s favor, the first half finished with the Eagles on top 11-5. Senior lock Rob Hayslip was the first Red Wolf to have a successful try in the game, who said he kept telling himself “Don’t screw this up!” as he got closer and closer to scoring.
At the end of the first half, head coach Alex Houser said the halftime talk consisted of working on defensive play and to not worry as much about the strength of the wind because it wasn’t such a bad thing.
“I told them to use the wind to our advantage and to play the territory a little bit more, which we started to after the first 10 minutes of the second half,” Houser said. “We needed to be patient and let the game come to them and not force it too much, and to believe in the systems we’ve got.”
Following the coach’s orders, the team used the wind and scored 23 points in the second half.
“We knew that when we switched sides we were within striking distance and could really control territory,” junior scrum half Dylan Carrion said. “In the first half, we had a few breaks that ended in penalties or passes that didn’t go to hand. In the second half, we did a much better job of finishing the breaks and taking care of the ball; we improved as the game went on.”
Sullivan had one try, a conversion and two penalty kicks in the game to make him the leading scorer with 13 points. Hayslip, sophomore wing Dale Bates and freshman back row Kirk Pretorius each had five points.
Saturday, March 16 at 1 p.m., ASU will take on the Davenport Panthers from Grand Rapids, Mich. The Panthers (1-1) lost to Life 0-48 on March 2; however, Houser said the team still needs to go out and play Davenport as equals and not look at the Panthers as the underdogs.
“Davenport is a young, hungry team,” Hayslip said. “We know they’ll come into the game much improved from their game against Life and we expect a stern test. If we keep our intensity up and execute our game plan, we can win.”