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A&M men’s rugby falls at home to Air Force

Texas A&Ms mens rugby club competes in the Red River Conference against teams such as Baylor, Texas Tech, LSU and Oklahoma.
via @aggierugbyfc on Instagram

Texas A&M’s men’s rugby club competes in the Red River Conference against teams such as Baylor, Texas Tech, LSU and Oklahoma.

On Thursday, Nov. 3, Texas A&M Maroon Side men’s rugby dropped a tight contest to the Air Force Falcons 27-21.
A&M is coming off of a Red River Rugby Conference 7s tournament championship, winning it for the second year in a row. In all three RRRC tournaments, the Maroon Side went undefeated, sweeping Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, North Texas and Oklahoma in each tournament. Thursday, the Aggies scored early but suffered heavily from errors and turnovers in this match with Air Force, who was able to capitalize when the Falcons gained possession. It was the last match of the season for the Maroon Side team.
The Aggies got out to a hot start, opening the scoring at the 34:35 mark in the first half with a try from freshman Rodrigo Munozledo. Senior Manuel Zapata Sanchez completed the conversion to put A&M up 7-0. Senior Ryan McCauley followed that up with another try at the 26:18 mark, with Zapata Sanchez scoring the conversion again, making the score 14-0. However, Air Force retaliated at 16:19 with a try and conversion of its own, closing the gap at 14-7.
A&M went into the half up 7 and stretched the lead early in the second half to 19-7 with a try from sophomore Ryan Meehan, with Zapata Sanchez completing his third conversion to make the score 21-7. From that point onward, it was all Air Force. The Falcons, from the 38-minute mark in the second half, scored 20 unanswered points, taking their first lead at 8:47, 22-21. The Aggies attempted to rally late but couldn’t manage to answer back, dropping the match 27-21.
Maroon and white errors led to turnovers with Air Force able to mount a methodical attack to hold possession.
“It was Air Force staying consistent and being fit and keeping us honest,” coach James Lowrey said. “We didn’t make the right decisions when we needed to.”
This forced the Aggies to play on defense the majority of the match, not allowing their offense many chances to score.
“Because we defended so much, we got fatigued,” Lowrey said. “We made poor decisions. We needed to play a territory game, and it cost us in the end.”
This was the last match for A&M men’s rugby Maroon Side, but the Grey Side will be back in action against Sam Houston State at the North Penberthy Rec Sports Complex in College Station on Nov. 12 at 1 p.m.
For more information on A&M men’s rugby, visit aggierugby.com or find them on Twitter @aggierugby or Instagram @aggierugbyfc.
Hunter Mitchell is a sports management junior and contributed this piece from the course JOUR 359: Reporting Sports to The Battalion.

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