FINAL FOUR PREVIEW: WILDCATS MEET GAELS IN MORAGA

 

#14 Arizona vs #1 Saint Mary's

Saturday April 29

Moraga, CA

1:00 PM

 

 

 

 

Sean Coleman (L) and Bronson Teles (R) hope to continue their team's push towards a national championship this weekend.

April 28- Arizona continues their postseason this weekend as they travel to Moraga, California to take on Saint Mary's College in the program's first national semifinal. The Wildcats have named the side that will travel to the west coast, with the usual captain and vice captain duo of Flyhalf Kyle Rogers and Lock Sean Coleman leading the side.

The Forwards have just one change from the team that took care of Baylor 48-5 in the quarterfinals, as a front row trio of Steven Branham, Zach Biggs, and Cody Hunt earn the starting nods. Coleman pairs with precocious Freshman Lock Bronson Teles in the second row, while Zach Heisterkamp, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Tyler Hansen hope to continue their strong form.

In the backline, the elder Rogers is joined by his brother Matt in the halfbacks while Shane Dempsey earns the start at Inside Center and pairs with Luke Thayer. Wing Dante Weeks starts in his usual post on the Wing and gives the Wildcats four Northern California natives in the backline who will return home to play this weekend. Weeks is joined by Ryan Hudson with Fullback Jack San Pietro rounding out the back three.

On the bench, the Wildcats have a number of capable players ready if called upon, either in a reserve role or tactical one. With healthy scorelines the past two weekends, a number of players have received increased minutes and shown well. In the front row, Bryce Mantell, Chaz Huntsman, and Karl Steffany are ready if called upon while Sam Peri and Ben Scoular provide cover at Lock and Flanker, repspectively. In the backs, Flyhalf Anton Grigoriou, Center Lucas Bartzis, and Wing Garrett Walker give Arizona three versatile athletes if needed.

Head Coach Sean Duffy pointed to the past two weeks as a great step forward for the group of players, many of whom were on last year's team that lost in the national quarterfinal to Utah. "To take the next step from last year is validation of what we're doing, but we're not thrilled to just be in the final four. We are ready to hopefully take an even further step, but we know Saint Mary's is a quality program so we'll need to follow our game plan and slow down theirs."

Saint Mary's comes in to the match fresh off defeating San Diego State in their own quarterfinal, and will webcast the match here.

 

Saint Mary's Lineup (click for bio)

1. Steven Branham

2. Zach Biggs

3. Cody Hunt

4. Sean Coleman

5. Bronson Teles

6. Zach Heisterkamp

7. Ryan Fitzpatrick

8. Tyler Hansen

9. Matt Rogers

10. Kyle Rogers (C)

11. Dante Weeks

12. Shane Dempsey

13. Luke Thayer

14. Ryan Hudson

15. Jack San Pietro

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16. Bryce Mantell

17. Chaz Huntsman

18. Karl Steffany

19. Sam Peri

20. Ben Scoular

21. Anton Grigoriou

22. Lucas Bartzis

23. Garrett Walker

 

 

 

 

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