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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Farewell to the pitch

Rodney Haas Arizona Daily Wildcat
Rodney Haas
Rodney Haas Arizona Daily Wildcat

Senior members of the Arizona men’s rugby team said farewell to their home pitch in Tucson over the weekend and made time to defeat the Washington Huskies 63-7.

In the final regular season game at the Rincon Vista Sports Complex, the team scored 11 tries and had eight different try scorers.

Senior fullback Tim Moxness touched down two times in his final home game and looked back on his time in the program. 

“”It’s bittersweet,”” Moxness said. “”I’m sad to leave the program. After four years, my body is pretty beat up, but it’s been a lot of fun.””

“”(My teammates) are like my brothers,”” he added. “”(They’re) who I hang out with on weekend. It’s like a family.””

Head coach Dave Sitton introduced the senior members of the team before the start of the game, with some exceptions. Players who have another year of eligibility were not introduced in hopes of enticing them to come back for another season.

“”I wish I could talk all (the seniors) into staying a fifth year,”” said Sitton, “”but they had a banner day on their last day here. (The team) deserves to feel good about what they did.””

The Wildcats took a quick 7-0 lead as senior wing Brett Moore started senior day with a try five minutes into the game, and senior wingman Mike Getzler connected on the ensuing field goal.

After two more tries, which included another from Moore, the Wildcats took a 19-0 lead as Getzler connected on one of two field goals following the tries. 

Part of the team’s success throughout the first half came in their ability to pass the ball from one player to another quickly and accurately.

“”What the players have developed amongst themselves is a confidence in running their fast break,”” Sitton said. “”We don’t want to take the ball from tackle. Some teams do, but we want to keep it in hand. Some of the scores we had (included) about five or six passes, and we love that.””

Sitton said his team wasn’t running their fast break earlier in the season, but by doing it now, they are much more successful.

After two more tries, including one from Moxness, and two more field goals from Getzler, the Wildcats held a 33-0 lead by half time.

In the second half, Arizona added six more tries, the last coming by senior flanker Sergey Pitman in the final minutes of the second half. Arizona did not add any more field goals. Junior wing David Bertoldi also touched down twice along with seniors Moxness and Moore.

Senior eight Patrick Canterbury also played in his final home game and said there were a lot of positives to take from the game. He also spoke of the friendships he built while in the program.

“”The guys I’ve met and played with are all close friends (of mine),”” Canterbury said. “”You get a different friendship with the guys you play with. These friendships will definitely carry on into later years.””

The Arizona men’s rugby team is currently ranked No. 12 according to Rugby News and No. 11 by Rugby Magazine. The team can now look forward to college rugby’s Sweet 16.

Arizona is seeded No. 8 and will play No. 9 seed Syracuse on Friday, April 16 at University of California, Santa Barbara’s Harder Stadium.

“”I think they’re pretty jacked up (about playing in the Sweet 16),”” Sitton said. “”There’s a great opportunity to get in the round of eight. Get into the round of eight and anything can happen.””

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