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Max Richins and the Wildcats earned a split in Albuquerque to open the perseason. 

Sept 9- Arizona formally kicked off their preseason in the Land of Enchantment on Saturday, with 31 Freshmen making their debuts against two first side opponents in New Mexico.

Arizona 43-7 New Mexico

The Wildcats got the day underway under the leadership of stand-in captain Outside Center Adam Richardson, with the Sophomore setting the tone early for the mostly Freshmen side. After an opening Lobos try, the visitors responded as Number Eight Declan Forde touched down for the first try of the preseason, the first of two on the day. Joining Forde in the scoring was Scrumhalf Brendon Paulsen, who scored two first half tries of his own sandwiched around a great individual effort by fellow Freshman Will McCausland, with the Winger touching down in the left corner as part of a 26-0 halftime lead. Second half scores by Richardson, Forde, and Lock King Matu locked down a victory and moved the Wildcats to 1-0.

Arizona 36-38 New Mexico-Highlands

In a tale of two halves, the Wildcats started well, with Wing Carter Clarke and Number Eight Monre Meyer each touching down twice to spur the visitors to an early lead. It was the veteran Vatos team that responded, blitzing the young Wildcats for a barrage of scores. A Bolaji Adewale try and a Maxime Cathala penalty were not enough, as the Vatos took the match on an 80th minute try to win 38-36 and give Arizona a split on the day. 

For Arizona, the record falls secondary to the growth on the day and the debut for 31 new Wildcats. "Incredibly grateful to have two teams like UNM and NMHU that were up for this double-header and while we have things to work on, we're proud of our guys going on the road, growing closer together, and putting in the work to prepare for the regular season" said Director of Rugby Sean Duffy.

Arizona will now turn its attention to Northern Arizona, with the Lumberjacks visting Tucson in two weeks to take on Arizona Third XV at Sitton Field.

Scoring vs UNM

Tries: Forde (2), Paulsen (2), McCausland, Richardson, Matu

Conv: Phillips- 3/4, Davison- 1/3

Scoring vs NMHU

Tries: Meyer (2), Clarke (2), Adewale

Pen: Cathala- 1/1

Conv: Cathala- 4/5

Lineup vs New Mexico

1- Tyson Spisich

2- Zach Barker

3- Raymond Weiner (VC)

4- Tyler Heer

5- King Matu

6- Bryce Wilson

7- Arek Boynerian

8- Declan Forde

9- Brendon Paulsen

10- Tanner Davison

11- Will McCausland

12- Liuvao Toughey

13- Adam Richardson (C)

14- Kevin Reilly

15- Mason Phillips

Lineup vs New Mexico-Highlands

1- Harry Bluck

2- Eric Cervantes

3- Max Richins

4- James Rivers (C)

5- Kevin Charles

6- Alex Cortessis

7- Kalet Ponce De Leon

8- Monre Meyer

9- PJ Coco (VC)

10- Maxime Cathala

11- Bolaji Adewale

12- Solomon Hutchings

13- Ryan Sullivan

14- Carter Clarke

15- Jacob Jowdy


Johnson Field- University of New Mexico

2401 Redondo Dr NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

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