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CWU RECAP: LEssons learned in postseason loss

#2 central washington 23



Cameron Blair's late try closed the gap in the tight loss in Ellensburg. (Photo credits: Josh Pearson)

Apr 10- Arizona made the trip up north for their 2024 postseason opener, taking on #2 seed Central Washington in Ellensburg in a rematch of a 19-17 loss earlier in the year.

Expecting and receiving a windy welcome, the Wildcats would give up an early penalty that CWU slotted, making it 3-0 early before throwing an intercept that the hosts would take back for a try to make it 8-0 in the 15th minute. Arizona would respond, starting with an Abe Turpen score from long-range set up by Scrumhalf George O'Brien, which Ted Champion converted to make it 8-7. Late in the half, CWU would force a turnover deep in the Arizona half, setting up a try-scoring opportunity they seized to make it 15-7 at the break. 

In the second half, another penalty to CWU would make it 18-7, avoidable mistakes that the Wildcats learned will be crucial for future seasons. A CWU score off of a lineout move would make it 23-7, but Arizona would respond with a lineout move of their own, with Jack Brown putting Cameron Blair through for a try late in the half, making it 23-12. The Arizona scrum and the penalties earned would start to pay dividends, moving them into the CWU 22 before Champion spotted a gap and touched down his first try, making it 23-17 in the 79th minute. Champion would go on a half break of his own off the ensuing restart, before a penalty and a well-worked Arizona maul gave the Wildcats the ball at midfield with time expiring. CWU would force a knock on, giving the host Wildcats a dramatic victory and ending the Arizona season with a six-point defeat.

"First off, credit to CWU and they are a good side that is always a team we enjoy matching up with. For us, we got back into the game after a shaky start and it was just too little, too late. Nothing will teach that better than what happened on Saturday. They'll learn from it, pass that knowledge on to the next generation, and we'll be better for it in the long run. While we're disappointed, we know the gap is closing and we have an incredible group of young men ready to take the next step. I am truly thankful to our seniors and their families, who came through that COVID-impacted first year to lead our program and do an incredible job raising the bar" said Duffy.

For the Wildcats full schedule click here.


Tries: Turpen, Blair, Champion

Conversions: Champion- 1/3


1. Seamus McCarthy

2. Cameron Blair

3. Dalton Slaughter

4. Jack Brown- C

5. Joey Lewis

6. Andreas Andersson

7. Abe Turpen

8. Jack Bresland

9. George O'Brien

10. Ted Champion

11. Antonio Gonzalez

12. EJ Freeman

13. Mattox King

14. Jacob Broselle- VC

15. Matteo Berenger


16- Henry Langrish

17- Liam Swanson

18- Pacific Smiley

19- Tanner DeMassa

20- Troy Norman

21- Jacob Hall

22- Will Rohrsheim

23- Charley Redknapp

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