by Brett Anker
Arkansas State will head to Annapolis to take on Navy in the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup. Both teams logged convincing wins last weekend and it sure to be a physical encounter.
Navy and Arkansas State are entering unfamiliar territory, as the schools have not played in nearly a decade. Although Navy and Arkansas State are unfamiliar teams, they are very similar in playing style. Both Navy and Arkansas State are built on strong forward packs and play similar styles. This game is sure to be won at the breakdown, where both teams are known to compete heavily.
“It will be a fight in the trenches up front. We are going to have weather the storm a little bit,” said Arkansas State coach Shaun Potgeiter.
Both teams play with great defensive shape. Arkansas State blanked Clemson last weekend and has been tough to score on all spring. Navy held Notre Dame to three points and is always well disciplined. Arkansas State is aware of the discipline and will need to take any opportunities presented to it.
“We know they are going to be structured, which is typical of a militia team,” Potgeiter added. “We are going to have to be aware of their structure and keep our defensive aggressiveness up. Once we get the ball, if we can make some things happen, then I think that will help us score a few points on them.”
As a military school, Navy is always ready for the challenge. The Midshipmen are taking it one game at a time and are excited for the contest.
“They are a solid team. They are going to be a challenge. We are just grateful to get on to the next round,” said Navy coach Mike Flanagan. “Our motto through this championship season is we are playing for 80 more minutes.”
It will be an action packed 80 minutes of bruising rugby. Playing in front of a home crowd, the Midshipmen are seeking their fourth consecutive Varsity Cup semifinals. However, a determined and healthy ASU squad is looking to make up for an early exit last year and advance to its firs ever final four.
The game kicks off at 11EST.