WILDCATS SET ATTENDANCE MARK, MOVE TO 5-0 ON 50TH

#10 Arizona 35

#20 UCLA 24

 

 

Jon Rogers' clutch kicking and a key first half try set the tone in the victory. (Photo credit: Travis Prior)

February 24- Arizona welcomed UCLA to Sitton Field on Saturday for a matchup of top 20 sides both pushing for playoff spots this April. In addition, they also welcomed back hundreds of alumni, marking the 50th anniversary of the program and the induction of the late William David Sitton in the program's hall of fame.

 

With all this on the line the hosts set out to put on a show, and they did that early with sustained attacking rugby and a Jon Rogers penalty to give them a 3-0 lead in the sixth minute. The Bruins, however, were out to spoil the party, putting together a try and a penalty to take a 10-3 lead and force Arizona to claw their way back in to the game. That they did, with a long range Rogers try and a beautiful crosskick from Flyhalf Anton Grigoriou to Wing George Niethammer giving Arizona a 13-10 lead just before halftime.

Committed to building on their newfound success on attack, the Wildcats opened the second half with a long passage of play, highlighted by a tackle busting try from Number Eight Fabian Lumsden, his second straight match with a score to start to distance the hosts from their opposition. While the Bruins remained in the game, it was the impact reserves for the Wildcats that sealed the victory, with strong performances from players such as Wing Garrett Walker and Prop Chris McBride to give Arizona the needed burst to seal the win. A Lucas Bartzis score, his ninth in four starts sealed the win and moved the Wildcats to 5-0 on the season. In doing so, the Wildcats also set an attendance record at Sitton Field, drawing the largest crowd at the venue since its opening in 2014. 

"Huge crowd, huge win, huge atmosphere. Just what we needed" said Head Coach Sean Duffy. "While the field's still young, between our students, fans, alumni, parents, and good teams coming in to play, we're creating a unique atmosphere on 6th street that the city can really get behind. Incredibly thankful to the alumni who showed up to support as well as our Alumni Trustees for organizing such an incredible weekend."

Arizona will now hit the road for their lone neutral site match of the season, a showdown with #8 BYU in Las Vegas in conjunction with the USA Sevens next weekend.

Scoring vs UCLA

Tries: 5- J. Rogers, Niethammer, Biggs, Lumsden, Bartzis

Conversions: J. Rogers- 2/5

Penalties: J. Rogers- 2/3

 

Arizona First XV vs UCLA

1. Chaz Huntsman

2. Zach Biggs

3. Ryan Thompson

4. Billy Esposito

5. Bronson Teles (VC)

6. Sinclair Clinton

7. Riley Kerr

8. Fabian Lumsden 

9. Matt Rogers (C)

10. Anton Grigoriou

11. Jon Rogers

12. Lou MacLaughlin

13. Lucas Bartzis

14. George Niethammer

15. Jonah Eldridge

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16. Braeden Looper

17. Chris McBride

18. Theo Smith

19. Tyler Hansen

20. Zach Heisterkamp

21. Robert Figley

22. Matthew Start

23. Garrett Walker

 

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