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Exciting Matchups Make Up For Lonely Weekend In College Rugby

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Exciting Matchups Make Up For Lonely Weekend In College Rugby

Arizona vs GCU from 2019. Now they get to do it again. Jeff Dalton photo.

Another couple of teams step into the fray in college rugby as the University of Arizona gets set to play Grand Canyon this weekend.

College rugby games are still few and far between as breaking out of COVID shutdowns and keeping everyone free from positive tests has been very difficult.

Still, Arizona is set to take on Grand Canyon Friday evening in Tucson. Wildcats Director of Rugby Sean Duffy has named seven freshmen to the lineup, which will be captained by former Granite Bay standout Jon Rogers.

"This is simple" said Duffy. "If you're good enough, you're old enough. Not all programs feel that way but this is a meritocracy and these seven have earned it. GCU is a great opening test for us, and led by a good friend in Sean O'Leary that we know will have them ready. We must make sure we're not too excited to play after such a long layoff, and that we can do the basics and build on those each phase, each half, each game."

Meanwhile, Grand Canyon has nothing to lose in this clash and this will also be the first game for Grand Canyon. We may well see more PAC Conference teams get on the field, but the teams in GCU's conference, the California Conference, will have a tougher time, so sources say.

Also on the slate is the return engagement between Lindenwood and Life. Now, while Life lost to Lindenwood the last time out, the Running Eagles have a habit of playing well at Lindenwood's Hunter Stadium. Life scored 27 against Lindenwood last time, so if they can short up their defense they have a pretty good shot at turning that previous 45-27 loss around.

At the same time, Lindenwood is looking very strong. The Lions can handle a grinder game and can play out wide, and they have enjoyed a solid goalkicking game from flyhalf Evan Williams, which means you commit penalties at your peril. Lindenwood so far has been relatively dominant in-conference and out. One hopes there is a team outside the Mid-South who can be ready for some kind of postseason or championship challenge match. Maybe that will be Arizona.

Mid-South Conference W L T PF PA PD BT BL Pts
Lindenwood 3 0 0 135 50 85 3 0 15
Life 0 1 0 27 45 -18 1 0 1
Arkansas State 0 2 0 23 90 -67 0 0 0
Davenport 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Or it could be Central Washington, who currently have BYU on the schedule this week. The Wildcats put together some decent elements of rugby against Lindenwood last week. As they get better and more comfortable, they could be formidable.