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Rugby prepares for season in Red v. Black scrimmage

Published: Monday, February 11, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 11, 2013 17:02


Takako Okumura, Staff Photographer

Junior outside center Dillon Sauerwein looks to tackle junior inside center Zin Zan Elan-Puttick during the scrimmage Saturday.

When the University of Arkansas had to reschedule its Wednesday’s game against Arkansas State’s rugby team, head coach Alex Houser kept preparing for a game.

 In the 39-degree weather on Saturday, ASU’s A-team took on the B-team in the hard-hitting Red v. Black scrimmage.

After 60-minutes of aggressive play, the A-team—the red team—won 59-7.

“We have been focusing on being physical around the rucks and learning to love the hard stuff this weekend in practice,” sophomore lock Harry Higgins said.

Coach Houser said the team needed to work on holding the ball better after several turnovers that occurred in the game, as well as doing a better job of attacking after forcing a turnover.

Higgins, who played for the red team, agreed with Houser on the ball handling issue, but also said he was pleased with the intensity of the game and what it means for next weekend.

“It was only the second game, so there’s plenty of room for improvement,” Higgins said. “We play Life [University] next weekend which will be a huge step for us and all of us are looking forward to the encounter. This practice scrimmage was huge in preparation for this game coming up, as we won’t get much better competition anyways in the country. For our B side to be that competitive for us is such a huge advantage.”

There were injuries that took people away from the game, injuries that players corrected on their own, and at times some fans thought the players might be confusing heads for the ball.  
There was no holding back in this scrimmage, making for a game that was too exciting to look away.

“It’s just part of the game,” Houser said.

“Somebody gets hurt and it just means an opportunity for someone else. Players like Zin Zan [Elan-Puttick] and some others are playing different positions, but they’re good athletes and good rugby players, so they should be all right,” Houser continued.  “Dylan Carrion who started last week against Texas A&M has missed the majority of the last few years with injuries and he’s really come back. He was great for us in the fall with the 7s and I was pretty impressed with how he did today.”

The game against the Razorbacks has been rescheduled for April 13.

On Saturday, Feb. 16, Arkansas State’s A-team will take on Life University in Marietta, Ga., and the B-team will play St. Louis University at home Saturday.     Both games begin at 1 p.m.

The last time ASU and Life met was Nov. 30 in College Station, Texas, when the Red Wolves beat Life 21-7 in the 7s National Championship game.


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