Men’s rugby was unable to contain Montana State University on Sunday, losing by a final score of 39-12. The Bobcats played aggressively all game, forcing the Mavericks to defend from sideline to sideline. Both teams looked ready to take hold of the game during the first half, but it was the Bobcats who took advantage of defensive lapses.

The Bobcats showed their might early, breaking tackles and notching their first try and conversion early to make it 7-0. It was a blistering run by the Bobcats, as several Mavericks were unable to bring the player down as he broke multiple tackles. The Mavericks were struggling with outside containment, and the Bobcats took advantage of it. After a scrum, they used the outside to punch in another try to make the score 12-0. Not long after, another Bobcats player barreled over the goal line and grounded the ball to make it 17-0.

| The Criterion

Although the Mavericks were struggling with their tackling, they made some quality downfield plays to prevent some scores. The Bobcats played physical, with physical runs and strong rucking. With 2:44 left in the first half, the Bobcats scored another try to make the score 22-0. It was a dominant first half from the Bobcats, using their physicality to gain the edge on the outside and push the bowl down the field during rucks.

The Mavericks closed out the first half with some momentum, getting close to the goal line multiple times. They were unable to score, but they brought that momentum into the second half. Their tackling improved and their ball possession was much crisper. Even with the improved play, the Bobcats kept coming back. They scored three more tries 13 minutes into the second half to make the score 34-0.

Though the Mavericks faced a large deficit, they continued to battle and found ways to score. The Mavs made timely adjustments, utilizing their speed on the outside to gain room downfield. A couple Maverick players bounced to the outside and found an opening that allowed them to convert their first try of the day.

The Mavericks slowed down the Bobcats offensive attack in the last 15 minutes of the second half, showing improved play and key tackles. With time expired, the Mavericks punched in one more try, and nailed the conversion to make it 39-12.

Though the Mavericks fall to 0-4 on the season, their improved second half showed this team has talent and potential to improve every week. The Mavericks play their next game on Oct. 13 at Colorado College.

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Josue Perez is a junior mass communication student. He is from Montrose, Colorado. He began writing on staff for The Criterion in the fall of 2017 and will be assistant sports editor in the spring. He has a passion for sports and wishes to pursue a career in sports journalism.

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