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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Texas A&M’s men’s rugby beats UT in final game before playoffs

No.+14+sophomore+wing+Abbas+Bangash+gains+possession+of+the+ball+and+advances+towards+the+try+zone+in+Saturday%26%238217%3Bs+game+against+UT.

No. 14 sophomore wing Abbas Bangash gains possession of the ball and advances towards the try zone in Saturday’s game against UT.

Ranked No. 20 in the nation, Texas A&M’s men’s rugby beat the University of Texas 41-17 in Austin on March 26.
Although they won, A&M’s coach James Lowrey said his team played below its usual standards. He explained that the team was playing an individual game. Player attitude was an issue, senior fullback Hunter Davis said, but the team enjoyed returning to an old rivalry against UT. A&M is scheduled to compete in the Division 1 rugby playoffs beginning Friday, April 8.
UT started the game with a kickoff to the Aggies. Within five minutes, senior center Jason Tidwell ran the ball into the try zone, scoring the first points for an A&M 5-0 lead.
After a brief but messy back-and-forth of the ball with UT, A&M reclaimed possession. Junior wing Ryan McCauley led his team in back-to-back tries, bringing the Aggies to a 20-0 lead. Junior Elias Young followed the game’s third try with a two-point conversion, bringing the score to 22-0.
“We have a lot of new players, a lot of freshmen, so [the teamwork] is getting better,” Davis said.
UT drop-kicked the ball to A&M, and soon after claiming the ball, the Aggies dropped, resulting in UT gaining possession. The mistake cost A&M, as UT scored a try followed by a two-point conversion and a penalty kick to put UT on the scoreboard for the first time at 22-10.
Sophomore halfback Justin Orlando got the ball at the 50-yard line to sprint downfield and score the fourth try for A&M. Despite UT keeping the ball during the last 10 minutes of the first half and multiple attempts, A&M’s defensive line held, ending halftime with a score of 29-10.
“We should’ve put more points on the board than we did,” junior Manu Zapata, president of A&M’s men’s rugby team, said. “It comes down to an attitude thing.”
A&M and UT faced off as they both scored tries in the second half for a score of 36-15. The game ended with UT scoring two more points and the Aggies scoring another try for the win and a final score of 41-17.
Lowrey had some tough words for A&M’s team, saying they fell flat during this game and that, with playoffs coming up, the team is in for a shock. Too much confidence and complacency was the biggest challenge during the game.
“We have high standards for ourselves,” Lowrey said. “Beating Texas is always good, but it’s just not good enough for us right now.”
For more information on Texas A&M men’s rugby, visit AggieRugby.com or find them on Instagram @AggieRugbyFC.

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