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Rugby Knocks Off Lindenwood Belleville, 34-7


JONESBORO – Chilly temperatures and blustery skies didn’t stop Arkansas State University as the Red Wolves rolled over Lindenwood Belleville, 34-7, in men’s college rugby Saturday afternoon at Curt Huckaby Field.

“I thought we played a good all-around team game,” said first-year head coach Blake White. “Lindenwood Belleville did a good job of keeping the ball and making us play more defense. When we had the ball, we could be a threat and we could score. But, we hurt ourselves with penalties in the first half. It’s something we talked about. But, we came out and played good pressure defense in the second half.”

A-State put the first points on the board eight minutes into the game when Valentin Balande scored a try from the corner to give the home team the 5-0 lead. Two minutes later, Balande of Bordeaux, France, was successful on the try in the other corner to increase the Red Wolves’ lead to 10-0.

Just before the end of the first period, Pedro Alvarez of Houston, Texas, added another try to build the lead to 15-0.

Taco Maree of Amersfoort, South Africa, was able to score on an intercepted ball 18 minutes into the second half to increase the lead to 20-0.

“Tabo had a great game, especially on defense,” said White. “He did a great job of scoring on the interception try. It’s something we talked about adjusting at half time and he executed perfectly.”

White also had praise for Dylan Boast saying the senior from Atlanta, Ga., did a good job of attacking and setting up the threat.

Other scores came three minutes remaining in the game on a Brandon Rokela try with Brock Roper making the successful conversion to make the score, 27-7, and a try in the closing seconds by Calvin Gentry (Roper conversion).

The Red Wolves will travel to Little Rock, Saturday, Nov. 4, to face the University of Arkansas. 

Balande vs LB
A-State's Valentin Balande scored two tries in the first half. — Photo by Rich Carvell