by Brett Anker
Penn State will meet Army in the second round of the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup. It will be a rematch of a Rugby East game from the fall that Penn State won 29-13.
Although the Nittany Lions won the match in the fall, the game took place what seems like a life-time ago. Penn State is under a new head coach and Army is a completely different team than they were in the fall.
“We know that this is going to be a tough game. They are going to come out firing and we are not going to beat them unless we match intensity,” said PSU coach James Willocks.
This time around, Penn State will be at home, something they are eager about doing. The Nittany Lions have been on the road for most of the spring and are excited to play in front of some home fans.
“It is magnificent. We have not had many home games this spring and I think will be awesome to play in front of our alumni and fans in such a big game,” Willocks added.
Penn State will look to continue its best season in recent history with another win over Army. After winning the Rugby East and thrashing Harvard 100-7 last week, Penn State has been locked in. Army knows that Penn State is firing on all cylinders right now and will be tough to beat on the road.
“They have a very good team. They are very talented, physical team and very experienced as well,” Army coach Matt Sherman said of Penn State.
The Black Knights have continued to improve throughout the season and since the last matchup with Penn State. West Point has consistently looked inward to become a better team and the results have been positive.
“Our focus continues to be on ourselves and trying to find our best performance to compete. We need to do that against a very good Penn State team and if we do we will be in a fight,” Sherman added.
Being in the same conference, these teams are very familiar with each other. Army learned a lot from the loss in the fall and will take that as motivation coming into this game.
“I think from a performance standpoint we needed to play better. After that game we learned a lot and improved from it. We will take those lessons and do the best we can,” Sherman said of the first encounter with Penn State.