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#9 central washingtoN 19
#8 aRIZONA 17



Jack Brown led a valiant effort in the forwards against Central Washington. (Photo credits: Josh Pearson)

February 13- In their final non-conference clash before league play begins, Arizona hosted Central Washington in a match-up of highly-ranked sides in Tucson. Featured on The Rugby Network as the national "Game of the Week" the contest did not disappoint, with 80 tense minutes that ultimately went the way of the visiting Wildcats. 


The hosts would be the ones getting off to a hot start, marching down the field early before Flyhalf Ted Champion's skip pass found Antonio Gonzalez on the wing for the first try of the game to make it 7-0. The visitors would soon take advantage of an Arizona mistake, a yellow card for repeated infringements inside their five meter line. A strong counterattack and some quick ball would make it 7-5. The back and forth was on full display for fans in the stands at Sitton Field and those watching at home, as the varsity program made the hosts pay for a defensive lapse, slicing through late in the half to make it 12-7. 


At halftime, a number of changes and adjustments started to produce attacking opportunities for Arizona, starting with a slick offload from Cameron Blair that put EJ Freeman through and set up Wing Jacob Broselle for his first try of the game, making it 14-12 after the Matteo Berenger conversion. Berenger would feature throughout the second half, hitting a penalty just a few minutes later to make it 17-12 in favor of Arizona. But CWU was not done, working their way into the Wildcats' 22 and bulldozing in for a late try to make it 19-17 with just under ten minutes left. The Wildcats would have a major opportunity to win the game with just under five minutes to go. A Berenger linebreak on a well-worked set piece move was the chance the Wildcats needed, putting them just outside the five meter line. But the CWU defense would stiffen, forcing Aidan Hendry into touch on the next phase. In the final moments, a stolen lineout by Andreas Andersson would set Arizona up with ball in hand and no time left. A turnover forced by CWU would put the final touches on a thriller in Tucson, the tightest match between the sides since they started annually playing five years ago. The loss, while heartbreaking for a team that put in a major shift, is hopefully just a blip for the 8th-ranked Wildcats, with PAC-12 play starting next week with Cal followed by a match-up with UCLA two weeks later. "Hats off to CWU, they are a good side and we appreciate this series with them. The game was coinflip in a lot of moments, but we just need to execute better in the final stages. You can do your job for 78 minutes, but good opponents mean you must do it for 80. We won the second half, and had our chances to win the thing. We choose to play non-conference matches like this for a reason, and the lessons learned are invaluable. I'm incredibly proud of the effort the boys put in all week, and especially proud of the seniors who continue to set the standard for professionalism, commitment" said Director of Rugby Sean Duffy.

For the Wildcats full schedule click here.



Tries: Gonzalez, Broselle

Conversions: Champion- 1/1, Berenger- 1/1

Penalties: Berenger- 1/1


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. Jacob Hall

10. Ted Champion

11. Antonio Gonzalez

12. Will Rohrsheim

13. EJ Freeman

14. Jacob Broselle

15. Matteo Berenger


16- Tucker Johnstone

17- Caeden Chase

18- Liam Swanson

19- Aidan Hendry

20- Tanner DeMassa

21- Lucas Smith

22- Charley Redknapp

23- Mattox King

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