Indiana claimed a 22-10 victory over #15 Wisconsin Saturday, behind a strong effort in the set piece.
“Our goal was to finish, and that’s what we did,” said Indiana Head Coach Chuck Fultz, who was especially pleased with his team’s ability to close out the match.
After pulling out to a 5-0 lead thanks to a try from senior captain and No. 8 Kyle Stroman, the Mudsharks gave up a penalty kick to the Badgers and entered the half up 5-3.
With the Mudsharks threatening, Wisconsin opened up the scoring in the second half, taking an intercepted Indiana pass and streaking to the opposite try line for the score. With the successful conversion, the Badgers took a 10-5 lead.
But Fultz had wanted a full 80, and he got it from his Indiana players. The Mudsharks reeled off three unanswered tries, beginning with Stroman’s second score of the match. Senior flyhalf AJ Hollingsworth and wing Dan Kamholz scored in quick succession, with Jonathan Enari’s conversion capping off the 22-10 victory.
Integral to IU’s success was their domination in both scrums and lineouts; the Mudshark pack won 6 of their 8 scrums and stole 4 of the opposition’s 5 put-ins, while winning 10 of their 11 lineouts and stealing away 7 of the opposition’s 11 throws. With the Indiana pack’s imposing scrums and potent lineout connection between hooker Charlie Clarke and jumper John Muth, they were able to dictate the flow of the game and prevail over a consistently tough rugby club.
Indiana looks to build on their momentum with a clash with the University of Illinois this Saturday, while Wisconsin hopes to rebound against Nebraska.
IU team president Evan Kaufman has high hopes for the season, “We have the talent and makings of a great team. We are excited for the prospects of what we can achieve.”