Life Holds Off Arkansas State

New USA Callup Duncan Van Schalkwyk

Life University defeated Arkansas State 27-13 Saturday to move to 2-0 in the Mid-South D1A conference in a game seen live on FloRugby.

See Life vs Arkansas State On-Demand

The game was very close throughout, but especially in the first 30 minutes. Arkansas State drew first blood after some sustained pressure from the Red Wolves. That pressure earned a kickable penalty and flyhalf Dylan Boast was good on the attempt for an early 3-0 lead. 

Life was under pressure at various times through the first half, but some determined defense and a couple of key turnovers kept it at 3-0. Eventually, the Running Eagles tied it up through a penalty kick from center Mitch Wilson, but weren't able to break the deadlock until just after the 30-minute mark.

Lock Daemon Torres picked up at the base of a ruck, made a partial break and then offloaded out of contact to scrumhalf Ryan Rees, who did the rest. Rees made an angled run between the ASU backs and fullback to touch down for the game's first try. Wilson converted, and that made it 10-3.

In the second half, Life had a strong chance early, but after much work from the forwards, flyhalf Duncan Van Schalkwyk's chip ahead for center Nikey Roberts rolled too far.

Wilson punished a failure-to-roll-away penalty to make it 13-3 From halftime. Finally, flanker Marek Lipold capped off a series of hard-hitting phases to go in under the sticks. Wilson had no problem with the conversion and Life led 20-3.

Much of the next 20 minutes or so was played in Life's half of the field, but Arkansas State couldn't make that territorial advantage pay off. Ahead by three tries, Life could afford to concede a penalty or two, knowing the Red Wolves needed tries, not kicks. eventually, that pressure did pay off, however—prop Tanner Pope picked up near the line and was helped over for the first Arkansas State try.

Life got back on the front foot and after a series of penalties and scrums, was awarded a penalty try. ASU finished with a late try to close the gap, but Life took the spoils.

Pace by two early tries from Christian Rodriguez, Lindenwood won big over Clemson, and improves to 3-1, good for 1st in the Mid-South. Navy is 2-1 and 2nd with 11 points. Life is 2-0 and 3rd. 

Life takes on Navy and also Lindenwood in March in games that will decide the conference.

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