By: Chase Gardiner/GCU Staff
Over the weekend in Davis, California, the Grand Canyon University Men’s Rugby team grabbed their second straight victory as they defeated the University of California, Davis, 62-12. Although the Lopes managed to close out the match with a lopsided score, Head Coach Cam Wyper knows that the competition was still closer than it needed to be.
“To open the match, we just kind of got away from all of our systems and structures, which resulted in us sitting at 12 all by the end of the first half,” explained Wyper. “It just seemed that we turned up and weren’t switched on. We came out pretty flat, and UC Davis came out firing, which resulted in the tie at half.”
Regardless of the slow start, the Lopes managed to make the necessary adjustments at half time, dealing a shut out in the second half.
“UC Davis is a very good team and they were putting a lot of pressure on us defensively in that first half,” explained Wyper. “Fortunately, we refocused at half time and made adjustments to be more focused on our specific style of play, which clearly turned the match around.”
Although GCU managed to pull away through some strong second half play, the Lopes are more than aware that such slow starts could be detrimental to their success come postseason play.
“We got a bit lucky on Saturday that we were able to get everything rolling in the second half,” noted Wyper. “We face a very strong team in Central Washington next time out, and that’ll be a really tough game for us if we come out the same way. Fortunately though, the boys realize that if we go in with that kind of attitude again, it could end up much worse for us.”
Of course, such stability is something that the Lopes have been trying to dial in on throughout the entirety of their season.
“Our main focus has been, and will continue to be consistency,” said Wyper. “We have shown that we are really good in patches, and in my opinion one of the best in D1-A, but the next moment we can play as one of the weakest teams. We can play really strong one moment, and then follow up with s bunch of unforced errors, so we need to find a way to be more consistent.”
Fortunately for the Lopes, they will have a week off to address their issues of consistency, before traveling out on March 30 to compete against (11) Central Washington University, in a match that will help decide GCUs seeding for postseason play.
Interested in joining the Men’s Rugby team? Contact the coach to learn more!