A-State Rugby Hands Clemson 57-21 Loss
JONESBORO – Arkansas State University’s rugby team got back on the winning track in a big way by defeating Clemson University, 57-21, Saturday afternoon at Curt Huckaby Field. The convincing victory broke a two-game losing streak for the Red Wolves.
“The difference is we just kept finishing,” said a satisfied head coach Blake White. “We stayed focus throughout and had urgent support. It was a physical, spirited game with a lot of bumps and bruises, but nothing serious.”
Barely three minutes into the game, Wallace Kwasu scored the unconverted try to give the Red Wolves the early 5-0 lead. Neil Maestri added another try shortly after, with Brock Roper’s conversion, to up the score to 12-0.
After Clemson was unable to connect on a penalty kick, the Tigers added a try and the conversion to close the gap to 12-7. But, Tanner Pope came right back to add the five points to keep A-State up, 17-7.
Just seconds before the clock closed out the first half, Asa Carter scored the first of his two tries in the match. Roper’s conversion helped to build A-State’s lead to 24-7 at the halfway point.
The Red Wolves continued to pound the Tigers in the second half with successful tries by Jake Ray (Roper conversion), Carter and the kick by Valentin Balande, and Pedro Alvarez (Balande kick). Balande closed out A-State’s scoring on the day by finding the end zone late in the game.
As the clock ticked down, Clemson was able to add their final try and conversion to end play.
“We played well as a team. I’m very proud of us coming together like we have been. It’s going to be a strong push for the playoffs,” White stated.
The Red Wolves will host Davenport University, Saturday, March 24, to close out the three-game home stand. Arkansas State knocked off the Panthers, 44-29, on the road in November in a matchup that counts as a Mid-South Conference game for both teams. Play begins at 1 p.m. on Curt Huckaby Field, 501 Red Wolf Trail.