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Marquette Makes a Statement with Win Over UW-Platteville

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Marquette Makes a Statement with Win Over UW-Platteville

Marquette in yellow and blue, UW-Platteville in gray. Alex Goff photo.

In a clash between the #6 and #11-ranked DII college teams in the country, 6th-ranked Marquette put in a pretty polished performance in defeating UW-Platteville in Platteville.

Marquette scored in the first few minutes, gathering the kickoff and work through the phases nicely. Center Inigo Curran and flanker Will Woodard made inroads into the Platteville defense and set it up for scrumhalf Benjamin Venhandel to sneak over for a quick 5-0 lead. Curran peeled off another big run to set up a penalty attempt that drifted wide, but from the 22-meter dropout, flyhalf Sam Poblocki weaved his way through several Platteville defenders to score under the posts.

That was about the only time that the Platteville tackling didn't at least put a dent in the Marquette attackers. With the conversion it was 12-0 Marquette, but they got some bad news right after as Curran was forced to leave the field with an injury. 

Platteville finally saw some ball and made their way down to the goalline, only to be stymied. This was a frustrating part of the story for UWP as they would get within a couple of meters of the Marquette line five or six times and come away with only one try.

After regaining possession in their 22, Marquette marched their way down the field again. Their continuity and ability to secure dependable ruck ball was impressive, and while center Hayden Rudkin and flanker Derek Skibba were seemingly in on every tackle, Marquette eventually got through on an interception and breakaway for inside center Nick Cinquepalmi. That made it 19-0.

Platteville attacked again and after a series of turnovers from  both sides they surged into the Marquette 22, and Rudkin picked up a loose ball to go over to make it 19-5.

But Platteville gave some of that back in short order. Platteville's kicking game wasn't getting much for them and they opted not to kick out of trouble a few times, and it was one of those times that they gave up a penalty that scrumhalf Ben Vanhandel put over for a 22-5 lead. The half ended with Platteville shorthanded for a dangerous tackle, and smooth hands out to the outside saw Jack McMahon, who had come on in replacement of Curran, cruise in. The teams entered the break with Marquette up 29-5.

The second half had its stop-start moments. Cinquepalmi and Rudkin clashed heads and both had to be taken off for blood subs. Other injury stoppages started to creep in. But Marquette added another penalty, and then another one, again showing the patience to take what was given them.

Platteville then looked close to scoring after flyhalf Tommy Tavrides tapped in his own 22 and went 60 meters before he was caught. Platteville could not consolidate, however, and eventually Marquette forced a turnover. It was that sort of day for Platteville.

Eventually Marquette worked their way down with a nice break from Cinquepalmi and support from flanker Robert Lagerman, and Lagerman stretch over for the final try and a 42-5 lead.

Platteville came close again, but couldn't quite finish it. Overall, Marquette was more polished in working the phases and did a better job of exploiting favorable matchups and avoiding unfavorable ones.

Plateville got a massive game from Skibba and strong work from Rudkin, scrumhalf Owen Yoose, and the second row pairing of Nate Klima and Walker De Jager. Marquette saw Vanhandel and Poblocki partner nicely and the front row of Matt Mier, Brian Cooke, and especially Joey Artinian was physical, mobile, and worked very hard.