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#10 Arizona 28

#11 Central Washington 19




George Niethammer and the Wildcats are headed for a rematch with Cal next week. (Photo credit: Maureen Hulsey)

April 15- Arizona got their postseason underway on Saturday, welcoming Central Washington to Tucson for the first home playoff game since the team's promotion to D1A in 2014 and the first ever on Sitton Field. Saturday also doubled as Senior Day, with veterans such as Matt Rogers taking the field for the last time at home and hoping to punch their ticket to the round of eight.


Luckily for the hosts, they got off to a strong start, turning over Central Washington on the opening kickoff and slotting a second minute penalty from the boot of Robert Figley to make it 3-0. Additional attacking pressure against resulted in points, and the six point cushion had Arizona started on the right track. A stolen lineout in the Central Washington 22 was the opening the Wildcats were hoping for, with Rogers touching down for the first try of the match to make it 13-0 in the 23rd minute. The visitors would respond, however, taking advantage of an Arizona mistake to score seven minutes later. "We knew Central would not back down" said Head Coach Sean Duffy "so the early cushion was important but we knew we had work to do." 


A powerful short range try from Fabian Lumsden and a long range try from Rogers, his second, gave the Wildcats a 25-7 advantage at halftime but it was the visitors who fired back in the second period, scoring 12 points to draw within six before a crucial 77th minute penalty from Figley cemented the victory and helped the Wildcats hang on. 


"First off we're thankful to Central Washington they have a good side, they're well coached, and it's great to see more varsity programs. I'm thrilled for the guys, and in particular proud of some of our young guys like Robert Figley who are growing every week. Matty Rogers was special and they are a tough duo to defend. We went to our reserves for important minutes and they delivered." said Duffy. 


Arizona advances to the national quarterfinal for the third time in four seasons and will take on #1 seed Cal. The match is slated for 1 PM PST on FloRugby.


Scoring vs CWU
Tries: 3- M. Rogers (2), Lumsden

Conv: Figley- 2/3

Pen: Figley- 3/3

Arizona First XV vs Central Washington

1. Braeden Looper

2. Zach Biggs

3. Theo Smith

4. Billy Esposito

5. Bronson Teles (VC)

6. Sinclair Clinton

7. Ben Scoular

8. Fabian Lumsden

9. Matt Rogers (C)

10. Robert Figley

11. Garrett Walker

12. Lou MacLaughlin

13. Lucas Bartzis

14. George Niethammer

15. Jonah Eldridge


16. Chris McBride

17. Chaz Huntsman

18. Ryan Thompson

19. Tyler Hansen

20. Zach Heisterkamp

21. Sidney Shoop

22. Kyle Fulton

23. Jack San Pietro


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