STRONG SECOND HALF SPURS CATS IN PRESEASON OPENER

Arizona 36
northern arizona 10

Norman.jpg

Troy Norman made an impact in the final 20, scoring an important try and helping the Cats to 1-0 on the preseason.

Sept 19- Arizona kicked off their preseason on Saturday in Flagstaff as 15 debutants including 14 Freshmen took on Northern Arizona.

 

The veteran NAU side opened the action in strong fashion, pinning the Wildcats deep in their half and then converting a turnover into an early 5-0 hole for Arizona. The visitors showed some poise in the next passage of play, taking advantage of an NAU mistake in the Lumberjacks' half to give Fullback Matteo Berenger a shot at goal which he converted to make it 5-3. Gaining momentum the Wildcats' captain on the day Aidan Docherty soon made his presence felt with the first try of the preseason, converted by Berenger to make it 10-3. The rest of the half was when the youth of the Wildcats began to show, with some mistakes and some tough NAU defense sealing things up and taking the teams into the break with the same score.

 

At half, a number of adjustments and some cohesion in the Wildcats began to pay dividends, starting with vice captain Brody Roth turning an open-field poach into a scoring opportunity for Wing Dustin Shelby to make it 17-3, with Roth's center counterpart Ben Herbes putting Berenger away on a score soon after to make it 24-3 for the visitors. In the final 20 minutes, the depth of the Wildcats' Freshmen class was on full display as impact reserves Troy Norman and Breyton DePoint both touched down and put the final touches on a 36-10 victory for the Wildcats in the first game for nearly all of the 23-man side.

 

For the Wildcats the win was a product of patience and problem-solving as the mostly Freshmen side adjusts to the rigors of College Rugby. "Messy at times, but it's overshadowed by the great progress made by the squad in just their first few weeks as Wildcats. Aidan Docherty was exceptional as captain and as a leader, Matteo Berenger flashed some great moments, and a number of guys showed not just their athleticism but also their ability to play with some structure. Credit to Patrick Coco and Camden McGregor for getting them ready and a huge thank you to NAU for hosting us" said Director of Rugby Sean Duffy. 

Arizona will now turn their attention to their soon-to-be-announced preseason schedule in Fifteens and Sevens in preparation for the kickoff of the 2022 season in January.

Scoring vs NAU

Tries: 5- Docherty, Shelby, Berenger, Norman, DePoint

Conversions: Berenger- 4/4, McCormick- 0/1

Penalties: Berenger- 1/1

PRESEASON XV at NAU

1- Joey Lewis

2- Tucker Johnstone

3- Addison Barrette

4- Aidan Docherty (C)

5- Jack Koceman

6- Pacific Smiley

7- Jordan Dixon

8- Jack Radachy

9- Austin Felt

10- Connor McCormick

11- Gustave Martinez

12- Ben Herbes

13- Brody Roth (VC)

14- Dustin Shelby

15- Matteo Berenger

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16- Logan Carter

17- Alex Mada

18- Graham Wyckoff

19- Noah Wakefield

20- Breyton DePoint

21- Nolan McCaffrey

22- Troy Norman

23- Chris Buker

 

Details

Saturday, September 18

1:00 PM PST

NAU Rugby Field
 

2021 Schedule Link