Men’s rugby to start playoffs facing Wisconsin, assistant coach’s former team

Graphic by Kamila Kunka

GARRETT ANDERSON | Reporter

Men’s rugby is set to face the University of Wisconsin at the Badgers’ home field in the first round of 16 of the Division I rugby playoffs.

The Lions beat the Badgers last season in the playoffs by the score of 31-12 on June 2 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The men’s team went on to win its following three playoff matches last season to capture the College Rugby Championship.

“We were pretty dominant versus them last season,” Head Coach Josh Macy said. “They did score against us twice, so broken plays, they can really get after you. We have to keep a stranglehold on the game.”

Macy encouraged his players to not take Wisconsin lightly despite beating them last season.

“They can catch you sleeping and make scoring opportunities if a play breaks down,” he said.

Macy said that they need to take advantage of long timely possessions when they have the ball throughout the match.

“We just make sure that we control the tempo of the game and control possessions of the game,” he said. “We need to play the rugby we want to play.”

Despite only playing them once, the Lions have history tied to Wisconsin. Assistant coach Nic Tyson was a former member of Wisconsin’s coaching staff before coaching at Lindenwood.

“I know a lot of the players that will be playing,” he said. “I think I have a pretty good handle on what they are trying to accomplish, but I’m sure things have changed since the year and a half I had been there.”

Tyson said Wisconsin has different personell than when he coached there.

“Playmakers they had when I was coaching played a more open game;” he said. “They wanted to attack all areas of the field on every phase, and now they are a little bit more constructed in their attack.”

The Lions will face Wisconsin on Apr. 13 in the first round of 16 of the division one rugby playoffs at Wisconsin.

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