Outside breakaways lead to Lion Rugby win in Magnolia Cup


David Zieske

Lion Rugby celebrates with the Magnolia Cup after defeating the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 31-12.

Southeastern’s rugby team hosted the Louisiana Tech University Bulldogs for the Magnolia Cup, dominating and winning 31-12 (five tries). 

In the April 2 matchup, the Lions used their trained endurance to find openings in the defensive front to catch four breakaway tries and a complete halt of all Bulldog progression in the second half. 

The game quickly sprung into action right at the beginning of kickoff, with the Bulldogs scoring just under two minutes into the game. 

SLU responded almost immediately, with outside centre Daniel “Grizz” Grisbee finding a gap, using his stepping skills to dodge defensive tackles and running down the touchline to a breakaway try. 

“I really like to take what the defense gives me. If they bite, I’m passing it out, and if they don’t get on me, I’m off to the races. I’m just here, so I don’t get fined,” Grisbee commented.

LA Tech scored soon after as the teams’ forwards battled to the try-line, with the Bulldogs scoring about 15 minutes into the first half. 

This second try would be the second and last time LA Tech would get close to scoring on the rough and physical Lion defense.

Captain No. 8, Allen Pennington, leads the forward pack and describes the Lions with “hard work, competitive spirit, getting after it and straight dog spirit.”

However, the Lions bounced back with scrum-half Jack Tucker capitalizing on a Bulldog penalty to quickly toe-tap to spring into a running passed the unaware defense, straight down the center-left side for the second try for SLU. 

“We have absolutely come a long way and our chemistry is finally coming together. We are looking like a real good team and looking like brothers,” Tucker said.

Inside centre Ray Stoltz scored his third try of the Spring 2022 season with a rugged push straight through the middle of the Bulldog defense for the third try for the Lions at the beginning of the second half. Stoltz brings stardom to the Lions, as this season is the first time Stoltz has played rugby. His performance shows his potential to become a well-developed inside center. 

“I credit it all to the team captains, Allen and Brendan. They really were getting after it with getting me onto the field and getting me some experience,” commented Stoltz on the progression of his development. 

To increase the Lions’ lead, wing Corban Saucier used his speed to break through the Bulldogs for a highlight reel try, showing off his specialty to bursting to maximum speed under short notice. 

The final try was scored by number eight Cole Stevens sealed the win for the Lions with a try as the forwards progressed meter by meter to the try line, with Stevens getting the last edge over LA Tech for a late second-half score. 

The teams’ kicker and fly-half Nicholas “Monty” Montreuil kicked three for five in conversions, scoring a total of six to put the Lions above the Bulldogs. 

The teams’ chosen Man of the Match, flanker Jean-Paul St. Pierre, assisted majorly with rallying the forward pack to hold the consistent offensive threat and make crucial tackles to prevent a comeback by LA Tech. 

St. Pierre described his presence on the pitch as, “I like to make people mad at me and get under people’s skin. If we do that all the time, we want to make people quit.” He commented on this effort to mentally interrupt the oppositions’ in-game flow to cause more mistakes for the Lions and himself to capitalize on. 

The Lions look to dominate the south with a 1 p.m. home game against the University of Houston on April 9 at the Southeastern Soccer Complex on 125 Tornado Drive. 

Those looking to join the rugby team can contact Allen Pennington at either 985-590-9410 or [email protected] or connect with Lion’s Rugby on Instagram @selurugby or Facebook @Southeastern Louisiana University Rugby.