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Louisville Makes Splash with MAC Win

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Louisville Makes Splash with MAC Win

One of the more intriguing results of the past weekend in DI rugby was in the Mid-American Conference, with Louisville defeating Miami 43-7.

Miami of Ohio has long been one of the stronger teams in the conference, and Louisville one of those teams chasing them, but this past weekend, Louisville seemed much the stronger of the two.

New Coach Emil Walton still has some work to do to see how close his team can get to challenging the likes of Bowling Green, but it’s a good start,

“We have some good athletes, and what I am trying to do is get them to get the basics down, and work from there.”

Watson is taking over from Ken Mance, who is stepping away from the team. Walton had been active with the Louisville men’s club, and came on last spring. That was supposed to be a temporary situation, but Watson stayed.

“I saw the potential the guys have,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect but they are athletic and they have a really great attitude.”

Watson has simplified the approach and worked hard on the basics.

“They see all their rugby heroes making these awesome plays on TV, and they try to emulate it, but they don’t realize that those players have been playing sine they were five or six,” said Walton. “It’s because they have those basic skills and they’re so comfortable with those basic skills they can make those other plays.”

With hard work done on basic skills and with four players having spent a few weeks at the Sharks Academy in South Africa over the summer, Louisville has been able to play at a high pace. And they do have some interesting players, among them Larome White, a 6-3, 280-pound prop who can run and pass like a center. He provides some flexibility for the Cardinals because he can slide out to the backline at certain times and worry defenses.

And as for worry, MAC teams should worry about Louisville, no matter who they are.

Also in the MAC this past weekend, Bowling Green thumped Northern Illinois 107-0, while Dayton edged Ohio 19-17. This coming weekend, Bowling Green visits Central Michigan, while Western Michigan is at Kent State, and Louisville visits Ohio.