WILDCATS OFF TO 1-0 IN PRESEASON
Arizona Second XV 40
Grand Canyon Second XV 17
Arizona Third XV 39
Grand Canyon Third XV 10
Tanner Davison helped steer a second half . (Photo credit: Nikki Adams)
September 16- Arizona opened up their preseason on Friday in emphatic fashion, notching victories for both their Second and Third XV sides at Clements Field.
Responding to an early GCU score, Flyhalf James Karton made a great read and touched down in the 20th minute and converted his own score to make it 7-5 Wildcats. The story of the match for the Wildcats though was the work of their Forwards, with the Freshmen trio of Jordan Wander, Braeden Looper, and Theo Smith putting in work in the front row to earn scrum penalties against the Lopes that eventually earned them a 29th minute penalty try. It was the Lopes, however who would get on the board late, notching two tries to lead 17-14 at halftime.
“A lot of mistakes, many of which were based on our youth in the side and our still developing continuity” said Head Coach Sean Duffy. “I was much happier with the second half, particularly our defensive shape and that’s a credit to Pat Coco for getting that ramped up in the final forty minutes.” That second stanza would feature the Wildcat defense and the leadership of Sophomores Dan Hagan, who captained the side and Center Jayme Thomas. Freshman Wing Cyprian Miller set the tone with a 41st minute score before Thomas, Flanker Jack McCrossin, and Wing Mason Phillips sealed the victory and the 26-0 second half scoreline in the victory.
Keeping the momentum going, Arizona Third XV continued the attacking success with Flyhalf Lucas Agasse scoring the first of two tries early sandwiched around a Sacha Bojanowski score to make it 19-0 at halftime. In the second period, reserve Scrumhalf Tanner Davison, Lock Blaze Hutkin, and reserve Prop Tiger Li all touched down but it was a try by Alasdair Scott-Watson that made the night, with Agasse’s crosskick touched down by the Fullback from Scotland for his first and the most memorable score in the 39-10 Wildcats victory.
“Very thankful to GCU for making the trip and we know they just started school so they’ll be looking to get us back in a couple weeks when we go up there for the return matches. Pleased with the performances of a number of players, notably Lucas Agasse in the second match who ran things well and Theo Smith in match one who put his hand up as a contender at Tighthead. We told the boys depth charts will change but as everyone now, the head cow’s always grazing. Long way to go until January” said Duffy.
Arizona Second XV 40-17 Grand Canyon Second XV
Tries: Karton, Miller, Thomas, McCrossin, Phillips, Pen try
Conv: Karton- 3/4, Agasse- 1/1
Arizona Third XV 39-10 Grand Canyon Third XV
Tries: Agasse (2), Bojanowski, Davison, Scott-Watson, Hutkin, Li
Conv: Agasse- 2/7