Last year, the Red Mountain Warthogs and the GCU Lopes faced off for the first time during GCU's Senior Day. The match was not just a display of athletic prowess but also a celebration of Arizona's vibrant rugby culture. This Saturday, both clubs are back to kick off their fall season with an exhibition game that promises to be a crowd-pleaser.
The game is scheduled to take place at the GCU Campus at 12:30 PM. Admission is free for all spectators. The exhibition will consist of three 40-minute periods, providing an invaluable opportunity for coaches from both sides to evaluate and refine their teams' offensive and defensive strategies.
Red Mountain Warthogs
The Warthogs will focus on leveraging their players' strength and power. Expect simple but effective plays aimed at breaking the line and dominating the field. The team will also aim to slow down the ball at breakdowns to set their formations. Watch out for strong carries, particularly in the 5-10 meter space around the rucks, as the Warthogs aim to maintain discipline in tight spaces.
Contrastingly, the Lopes will rely on speed and endurance, aiming to exploit the outer channels. They will look for mismatches close to the sidelines and employ a well-crafted kicking scheme to challenge Red Mountain's back three, including the wings and the full-back.
What to Watch For
The game's outcome will likely hinge on stamina and the ability to exploit weaknesses in the opponent's defense. Will the Warthogs break tackles and march down the field, or will the Lopes find mismatches that Red Mountain can't keep up with?
Both teams have tough matches ahead. GCU will face the University of Arizona—one of the most prestigious college rugby programs in the nation—on October 27th at 5 PM in Tucson. Red Mountain will go up against Belmont Shore from Long Beach, California—one of the most esteemed men's rugby clubs in the nation—on October 28th at 9:30 AM in Mesa, AZ.
Saturday's game between the Warthogs and the Lopes is more than just an exhibition; it's a celebration of rugby and a testament to the sport's growing popularity in Arizona. With a party-like atmosphere and the freedom for both teams to experiment with strategies and player positions, this game is sure to entertain. Fans are encouraged to interact with coaches and players from both sides to make the most of the experience.