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Lindenwood Wins Defensive Battle With Navy

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Lindenwood Wins Defensive Battle With Navy

Todd Lunow photo.

Lindenwood took the top-of-the-rankings clash in DIA this week with a hard-nosed defensive effort as the #5 Lions edged the#4 Navy Midshipmen 12-7.

This was a Mid-South conference game, so everything was on the line, and Navy showed they deserved to be in the higher echelon of the rankings. But so does Lindenwood, and despite difficulties getting solid ball off the scrum and despite a lot of penalties, the Lions held on.

Flanker Cian Darling's try, with Reece Botha's conversion, was the only scoring of the first half, as Lindenwood took a 7-0 lead.

Center Cael Hodgson went over to make it 12-0 before Navy pressure in the second half forced a penalty try when the Midshipmen mauled the ball over the line and the maul was collapsed by Lindenwood. That was it for the scoring. Lindenwood prop Liam Smith was yellow-carded for collapsing the maul, and after he returned to the field ten minutes later, flanker Ayden Hurst also was sent to the sin-bin.

"We are happy with winning a close game but we had 23 penalties and 2 yellow cards and trouble with the scrums, so in one sense it was good to win with those challenges, but we also needed to be better there," said Lindenwood Head Coach Josh Macy.

On defense much of the evening, Lindenwood tackled all day. Lock Emmanuel Albert led the team with an astounding 21 tackles. Hooker Stephen McLeish and flyhalf Andreas Livadaras ogged 19 tackles. None of those three played the full 80.

McLeish led the Lindenwood team in carries, and had a strong game overall despite being pulled into the starting lineup at the last minute because of an injury. In fact, Lindenwood had to call another player out of his dorm room to be the hooker on the bench.

Tactically, the Lions did well to target the Navy danger men. They sent center Tyren Al-Jiboori to contain Navy center Frederick Bleakley, and he did well to do that because Bleakley was a danger whenever he touched the ball. Navy No. 8 Jermaine Oliver was also a player who needed to be contained.

Navy drops to 2-1 in the Mid-South, but it's early days yet as most of the games are played in the spring. Not for Navy, however, as the Midshipmen take on Life University next week, Davenport visits Clemson. Davenport will play Lindenwood in Michigan November 16 to finish up the fall Mid-South games.