Wisconsin beat rival Minnesota 31-12 in Madison, Wisc. Saturday to move to 1-0 in the Big Ten Universities Conference.
The Badgers got off to a 19-7 start and halftime lead thanks to three tries from A-side debutant Tom Hemmings. The wing ran in two intercept tries and finished off a back line movement for the hat-trick.
“I think we’ll keep him on the As next week,” Wisconsin coach Skip Heffernan joked.
The win was big not only because it was over a rival and the Badgers’ first in DI-A and the new league, but because it was dedicated to the recently and unexpectedly departed father of Wisconsin’s Ryan McGlynn.
McGlynn scored one of Wisconsin’s five tries to put a cherry on top of the win.
“We got the ball down on their goal line and did half a dozen rucks or more, and Ryan did a little dipsy doodle and managed to touch it down on the line as he was getting smashed,” described Heffernan.
“That was a nice try for him in front of his hometown fans. His whole family was standing right at that in-goal, so he was pretty excited about that.”
Minnesota and Wisconsin meet again Oct. 20 in Minneapolis.
“They’re always a tough opponent,” said Heffernan. “They’re already talking about how it’s going to be different up there, so we’ve got our work cut out for us.”