WILDCATS BOUNCE BACK VS LOPES

 

#14 arizona 25

 #20 grand canyon 13

Scrumhalf Maxime Cathala helped the Wildcats take down the Lopes in Phoenix.  (Photo credits: Travis Prior)

Feb 10- With conference play just around the corner, Arizona traveled to #20 Grand Canyon on Friday looking to get back in the win column after a last minute loss to #13 Central Washington. In a de facto battle of Arizona, the Wildcats looked to continue their momentum against the Lopes, having defeated their new Northern neighbors in each of the previous match ups. 

Luckily for the Wildcats, their defense and some determined attack set the tone, as an early Kyle Fulton try made it 7-0 after Flyhalf Robert Figley's conversion. GCU took advantage of Arizona mistakes soon after, making it 7-6 before the Center pairing of Louis MacLaughlin and Lucas Bartzis took over, with the latter scoring a try just before halftime and the pair working together to gash the Lopes' line to set up scoring opportunities later in the game. While not every opportunity was seized, the intent and shape were steps in the right direction. "Credit to GCU for a tough match, but we felt we left points on the board in multiple instances. This will keep us hungry this week, because it's about efficiency and seizing those opportunities when you get them" said Director of Rugby Sean Duffy. In the second half, Freshman Prop Raymond Weiner was again a beneficiary of a well-worked move, pushing over for his second career try and helping limit the Lopes. Fulton's second score of the game, set up by Figley off of a stolen lineout sealed the win and in-state supremacy for the fifth straight year. "A lot of guys stepped up, especially our impact reserves like George Niethammer, Dan Hagan, Gabe Coray-Dozier, and Jack McCrossin. The bench mob did work, and maybe a few of them showed they deserve a jersey in the 1-15 range, not 16-23" said Duffy.

With Arizona State's drop to Division 1-AA, the annual clash between the Lopes and Wildcats has emerged as the state's top battle, and this was not lost on the teams. The action was webcast and played in GCU's Soccer Stadium, with Arizona Second XV and Arizona Women also playing the Lopes, sweeping all three matches.

Arizona now turns its attention to Cal, with the #2 ranked Bears coming to Tucson and Eleven Sports Network/FTF broadcasting the game nationwide. 

Scoring vs Grand Canyon

Tries: 4- Fulton (2), Bartzis, Weiner

Conversions: Figley- 1/4

Penalties: Figley- 1/1

Lineup vs Grand Canyon

1- Max Richins

2- Chris McBride

3- Raymond Weiner

4- Billy Esposito

5- James Rivers

6- Bronson Teles (C)

7- Ben Scoular

8- Riley Kerr

9- Maxime Cathala

10- Robert Figley

11- Joe Sargeant

12- Louis MacLaughlin

13- Lucas Bartzis (VC)

14- Kyle Fulton

15- Jon Rogers

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16- Gabe Coray-Dozier

17- Harry Bluck

18- Daniel Hagan

19- Jack McCrossin

20- Lucas Agasse

21- Matthew Start

22- George Niethammer

23- Solomon Hutchings

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