As we enter the third month of the 2018 D1A rugby season, conference matchups have an even greater importance as the playoff picture begins to take shape. Across the country, conference rematches and clashes provided some top rugby play.
Highlighting the weekend was a Red River rematch between LSU and Texas A&M. After suffering a close loss two weeks ago, the Aggies entered this game with a vengeance, putting up some big tries early and holding on in the second half to win 29-14. After A&M posted a 22-0 score at halftime, the Tigers came roaring back to bring the game within 8 points, but a late penalty try sealed the game for the Aggies.
“Maintaining focus for the 80 minutes was the key,” Texas A&M head coach James Lowrey said. “We put ourselves in good position to score 2 weeks ago but the clarity to execute wasn’t there. [Yesterday] we were able to maintain possession in their 22 early and found a few holes on the edge to score some good tries.”
Texas A&M and LSU now both sit at one loss in Red River South, which should make for an exciting last few weeks of conference play. With Oklahoma picking up a win by forfeit, they inch a little closer to frontrunner Baylor in Red River North.
Another rematch, this one out of Mid-South, saw #5 Lindenwood take down #10 Arkansas State 36-32. Arkansas State showed up ready to play, knocking Lindenwood on its heels while taking a 17-8 lead. From there, the teams traded tries until Lindenwood found its footing offensively and ground out the tough victory.
“Saturday was a good mid season reality check for us…Arkansas State proved early they had showed up ready to play, and…we were faced with a real test of character. The guys deserve some credit for coming back from a deficit and grinding out a tough win, however we also now know we have plenty to work on in order to prepare for the tough few weeks ahead of us” Noted Lindenwood captain, Jack Huckstepp.
Elsewhere in the conference, Davenport travelled to Clemson and put on an impressive offensive display, winning 41-15. Davenport, only a few games into its Mid-South schedule, will look to continue this momentum next week when they play Lindenwood.
#1 St. Mary’s was in action at home against conference foe and #18 UC Davis. The Gaels wore out UC Davis all day with their signature powerful scrum and some swift line breaks to win 78-0. With this win, St. Mary’s moved one step closer to locking up the California Conference title while UC Davis suffered its second loss of conference play.