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Rugby Comes From Behind To Hand LSU 27-17 Defeat


JONESBORO — Despite being down at the half, No. 10-ranked Arkansas State University’s rugby team came back to defeat Louisiana State, 27-17, Saturday afternoon at LSU’s UREC Field Complex in Baton Rouge.

The game was a rematch from Oct. 7 when the Red Wolves beat the Tigers, 45-5, at Curt Huckaby Field. 

“We played against a strong wind in the first half which made it hard to clear the ball from our end and win lineouts,” said A-State head coach Shaun Potgieter. “We were also on the bad end of the penalty count in the first half. We were trailing, 10-0, at the half.”

LSU, ranked 18th nationally, hit first scoring the try and was successful on the conversion to give the home team a 7-0 edge with 20 minutes remaining in the first period.  The score remained the same until the halfway mark. 

Early in the second period, A-State made the score, 10-5, with 30 minutes yet to play. Shortly after, the Red Wolves knotted the score at 10-all.

“We made some changes shortly after halftime,” continued Potgieter.  “With the wind to our backs and the game on the line, we managed to put multiple phases together and score all 27 points in the second half. They scored their only try in the second half off an opportunistic play from a turnover.”

With eight minutes left in the match, A-State put up two quick scores and pushed for another when time expired, leaving the final score at 27-17.

Preston Weigel led Red Wolf scorers with two tries, along with Nick Abreaus, Brandon van Niekerk and Zach Young, each with one.

“I’m proud of the guys for playing against such adversity,” concluded Potgieter. “They found the ability to come back and win the game against an energetic and passionate home team.”

Arkansas State goes back on the road, Saturday, Feb. 18, to face Life University at Lupo Family Field in Marietta, Ga. Game time is noon CT. The Red Wolves will be looking to avenge a 34-10 loss to the Running Eagles in November at home.

Preston Wiegel
Preston Weigel —
Scored twice against LSU