Rugby Advances To Varsity Cup Quarterfinal With Win Over Oklahoma
NORMAN, Okla. — Arkansas State University’s rugby team swarmed the University of Oklahoma to take a 69-7 victory Saturday afternoon on the OU campus. The Red Wolves advance to the quarterfinal of the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship and will host Utah Valley University, Saturday, April 15, at Curt Huckaby Field, 501 Red Wolf Trail. The starting time will be determined.
“I’m happy with the victory,” said second-year A-State coach Shaun Potgieter. “It was a successful business trip, but now we’ve got to move on to the next. We will get back to working hard on the pitch on Monday.”
The seventh-ranked Red Wolves got off to a quick start by scoring on two early tries by Andrew Pretorius and Sione Fangaiuiha to jump to the 12-0 lead. Successive tries by Dylan Boast (twice), Ridley Cunningham, Calvin Gentry and Sam Ross, punctuated by Brock Roper’s conversions, elevated Arkansas State to a solid 45-0 halftime lead.
“Our starting 15 had a great first half,” continued Potgieter. “Oklahoma played controlled and aggressive defense which resulted in us causing multiple turnovers. We capitalized on turnovers and scored tries.”
Potgieter pointed out that A-State’s momentum continued as the Red Wolves scored two quick tries within the first 10 minutes into the second half. Tabo Maree was able to convert on an interception to score the try and then again in the corner to lift A-State, 57-0.
“We cleared the bench. Our attack lost a bit of momentum in the last quarter of the match, especially after having a yellow card. We had to play with 14 men for 10 minutes toward the end of the match.”
Stewart Fay was yellow carded for a high tackle with 17 minutes remaining in the match.
Valentin Balande had a try and Ross scored his second on the day to secure the lead to 69-0. With time ticking, the Sooners were able to pick up points on the try as the clock wound down to leave the final tally at 69-7
“Recovery will be a major factor this week,” Potgieter added. “And, we will be glad to have Nic Abreaus and Preston Weigel back in the mix. They didn’t play against Oklahoma. Preston has an ankle injury and Nic was with his family as his grandmother passed.”
Utah Valley advanced to the quarterfinals after defeating UCLA, 40-14. The Penn Mutual Varsity Cup Championship is Saturday-Sunday, June 3-4, at Talen Energy Stadium in Philadelphia.