LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Two Mid-South rivals, Arkansas State and Life, met Saturday, Feb. 18 when the Running Eagles dominated the Red Wolves in shutout fashion, 57-0, to retain the Curt Huckaby Cup.
Fresh of a stint with the Eagles during the Americas Rugby Championship, prop Alex Maughan scored the game’s first try and was soon followed by fellow frontrow forward Brian Mutanga. Midway through the opening half eight-man Maciu Koroi dotted down and Muntanga went in for seconds before the close the opening half, and helped give Life a 24-0 lead at the break.
After slotting two first half conversions, fly half Cody Melphy opened the second period by converted two of his own tries before the 60-minute mark. The All-America allowed reserve Donovan Norphlet get on the stat sheet with a try in the 65th minute before completing his hat trick performance five minutes later. Melphy concluded the Mid-South Conference opener with 27 total points.
Junior winger Sam Cowley capped the game’s scoring with a final try that went unconverted, officially dropping Arkansas State, 57-0.
Named after longtime Arkansas State Head Coach Curt Huckaby, the annual game between these two programs has been coined the Huckaby Cup since 2014. The match not only lends a title for one of college rugby’s best rivalries, but more importantly used to generate awareness for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) – a disease Huckaby lived with until his passing in 2016.
Life will remain at home this weekend to host sixth-ranked Lindenwood Saturday, Feb. 25. Arkansas State, on the other hand, steps aside from the Mid-South competition for what should be a fiercely contested nonconference fixture. The Red Wolves are set to host Big Ten Champions and seventh-ranked Indiana Feb. 25.