A-State Rugby Edges Powerhouse Glendale, 14-12
JONESBORO — Strong defensive pressure kept the Glendale Raptors’ high-powered offense under control and the Red Wolves were able to pin a couple of scores as Arkansas State University took a 14-12 victory Saturday afternoon at the A-State Rugby Pitch.
“The game could have gone either way,” said A-State coach NeMani Delaibatiki. “We both had a really good go at each other. There were times during the game where we didn’t execute the right options, but we kept getting up and grinding until the last whistle.”
Arkansas State struggled early with Glendale dominating the scrums and pushing the Red Wolves behind the efforts of USA Eagles’ Nick Wallace and USA Collegiate All-American Ben Tarr making a statement from the first scrum. The Red Wolves came back slowly and held their own in the scrums.
Solid defense on both sides kept both offenses from penetrating and making gains. A-State kept attacking the Glendale defensive wall and finally found seams to break through. Arkansas State was first to score about 20 minutes into the game when freshman winger Glenn Eriksen chip kicked to flyhalf Mike Baska. Baska gathered and passed back to Ericksen. Ericksen went in to score on the try under the post. Tom Haussrer converted and A-State was up, 7-0.
Glendale center Dewon Reed scored just before halftime with Garrett Brewer converting to knot the game at 7-7. Ten minutes into the second half, A-State substitute Dusty Bates scored on a lengthy run through traffic. The conversion put the Red Wolves up, 14-7.
Glendale flyhalf Garrett Brewer scored on the corner but was unable to convert his own try, leaving the final at 14-12.
“Our forwards were phenomenal eliminating threats at the breakdown and putting pressure on Glendale on any go-ahead tries,” concluded Delaibatiki. “Our backs did the same as well, cutting down space and time of a very mobile Glendale backline.”