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Navy Rolls Past Indiana

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Navy Rolls Past Indiana

Navy on the charge. David Hughes photo.

Team captain Ben Haugh scored three tries for the Navy men’s rugby team as they defeated Indiana 69-21 Saturday.

In a clash of two teams that won their conference in 2022, Navy had the upper hand against an IU team that graduated some very key veterans.

“It’s good to defeat the defending Big Ten champs by the score we did, but we are pretty upset with the fact that we gifted Indiana 21 points," said Navy Director of Rugby Gavin Hickie. "Very unhappy with some of our set piece and another few areas we didn’t perform in. It’s not about scorelines or our
opponents. It’s about ourselves and as a result, we are a bit frustrated right now. That will hopefully give us fuel for our upcoming training because we have a tough week ahead of us."

Tries from JD Bengston and Vaughm Schmitz, both converted by Roanin Krieger, staked Navy to a 14-0 lead after seven minutes. Indiana replied to make it 14-7 only to see Haugh burst through the IU defense and set up Landon Opp with a try at 18 minutes. That made it 21-7 and it stayed that way until just before halftime. But as the break loomed and with a Hoosier in the sin bin, Haugh scored on an eightman pick and then Jake Cornelius set up Tanner Russell. Krieger converted both to got 5-for-5 in the first half and Navy had a commanding lead at 35-7.

The second half opened with scrumhalf Sean MacLaney setting up Haugh for his second. Krieger again converted. Moments later MacLaney passed to Aidan Gerber and he burst through to make it 47-7.

Indiana kept working and did go over for a second try. They also battled hard in contact. But this is a team with a lot of moving parts and they aren't all moving in the same direction ... yet.

Opp got this second and Haugh his third before 60 minutes were up, and while the Hoosiers scored their third, Navy finished it off wut Avion Ganse and then a second from Schmitz.

“One thing that was very pleasing was finishing with a very young team," said Hickie. "We had a younger lineup playing today so from that perspective it’s exciting. However, as a result, we were a little disjointed in some areas and that’s something we have to work on going forward.”