By Mike Ritter
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
The Arizona club rugby team committed several errors in dooming itself to a 36-20 loss at the University of California-San Diego in its SoCal Conference opener Sunday.
It had been more than a decade since the Tritons defeated the Wildcats in rugby.
"We are a team that can beat virtually everybody, but we made a number of mistakes," Arizona head coach Dave Sitton said. "We made UCSD look like a lot better of a team than they actually are."
The Wildcats opened the scoring early in the first two minutes of the first half on a back line movement, sending senior center Joey Ordonez into the corner for a try. Arizona led 5-0 after missing the conversion.
After the Tritons took a 7-5 lead, the Wildcats had control of the ball for a majority of the next 15 minutes, but could only score one try, on senior center Mike Papp's steal off a ruck. The try was converted, and the Wildcats took the lead 12-7.
UCSD made a field goal minutes later, but Arizona still led 12-10.
Arizona scored another try late in the first half, when junior flanker Chris Hintz barreled over several defenders, taking with him sophomore wing Dan Hafner, who scored in the corner to make the score 17-10.
With no time remaining in the first half, the Tritons compiled a nine-pass play, moving them down the field to tie the match 17-17 at halftime.
In the second half, there was not much offense for the Wildcats. Senior prop Josh Bart was given a yellow card, and UCSD took advantage of the one-man differential by scoring two trys, taking a 31-20 lead. Arizona managed only a penalty goal in the second half.
The Wildcats hope to redeem themselves this weekend in Tucson when they face UC-Santa Barbara Friday at 4 p.m. and Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo Sunday at 1 p.m. Both games will take place at Estevan Park.
Information taken from a press release from Arizona Wildcat Rugby News