Monthly Archives: October 2012

SIRC Spring Schedule Set

The 2013 South Independent Rugby Conference (SIRC) matrix spring schedule has been set by Gordon Campbell, conference competition chairman.

The Tigers will have seven weekends of matrix play with 4 of the seven weekends at home.  On the weekend of March 2-3, we will play two matches with Kennesaw State and Georgia Tech.  The Tigers are the only team in the conference scheduled to play two matrix matches in one weekend.

The first match-up will be at home against Kennesaw State on February 2.  That is the same day Lee Downing is getting married, so we must win this match.  Travel weekends may take most of the weekend so players need to be available to travel on Friday and Sunday for the away games.

Captain of the side, Kian Koleini looks forward to the challenges that these matches bring.  “We saw these teams play 7’s in Tallahassee and look forward to getting to know them as 15’s teams,” said Kian.  “I think we are poised to surprise some folks.”

Coaches Cole, Swat and Mimms continue to restructure practices to prepare players for the spring.  We have some excellent test matches coming up in this friendly season,” stated Coach Cole.  “We should know where we stand in a few weeks.”

There may be a few friendly matches mixed into the schedule and Coach Cole hopes to have a tune up match the weekend before Kennesaw State. on February 2.

Yesterday at practice, players were encouraged to continue to run on their own, hit the weights and attend all training sessions.  “We don’t have any time to waste, ” said Coach Cole.

The spring schedule is available at this link. 

 

 

Memphis over UNA 42-8

The Memphis Tigers ventured to Florence, Alabama to test their metal against the University of North Alabama Lions.  The Lions are a D2 team with a good coach and, as we found out, a great field.  (They have grass!!!) We were pleased to see such a nice place to play.  The only drawback was the 50 yard wide field, which I immediately knew could stymie our wings.

The Lions were a healthy lot, with many in their pack outweighing our lads by 20-30 pounds.  We knew it was time to think “Zombie Horde” and use our heads.  “Let’s see if these boys know how to run.”

Kickoff was at 1:00pm sharp with the following side starting:  1. Brandon Worley 2. Ian Curry 3. Stephen Smith 4. Chris Lemmons 5. Tyler Mann 6. Josiah Shipley 7. Adam Hairston 8. Kasra Koleini 9. Jonathan Brewi 10. Phil Elliott 11. Thomas Strickland 12. Jay MacDonnchadh 13. Nolan Wilson 14. Tezman Mosley 15. John Elmore.

The lads started off a bit shaky and found themselves defending their own goal line.  They stiffened and held, but a penalty was called 20 meters in front of the post and the Lions drew first blood.

However, the Tigers were playing better than the Lions in set pieces and in the rucks.  Brewi delivered a nice offload to Phil from a quick ruck and Phil lofted the ball in goal.  A race ensued between Tezman, Phil and one defender, who didn’t stand a chance.  Phil touched down ½ second before Tez… and the Tigers had their first try.  Kasra kicked on the day and took two more points.  At 8:24 the Tigers are up 7-3.

Kickoff practice paid off with the Tigers setting nice tight mauls on the kickoffs, driving the opposition and controlling the ball.  Rucking was fierce and the forwards played lower and very forceful at the breakdowns.  Brandon got his hands on the ball at the 5m and took it over for a try in the right corner at 12 minutes.

The Lions were called for blocking at the 14th minute and Kasra took 3 more points on a 35 meter kick.  Josiah scored the next try by running straight through their ruck at the 20m, picking up the ball as he went through.  Breaking two arm tackles, Josiah sprinted and downed the ball under the posts.  Kas converted.

Nolan wanted to get some action and following 5th phase ball, he shared to ball with 4 other players, getting it back 10 meters out with a couple to beat. He stiff armed one player injuring his elbow, but managed to leap for the try.  He was done for the day, but he got his points.

Several players were switched out at the 20 minute mark including 1. Dylan Carter at 1, Jonathan Bauer at 4, Ryan Phillips at 5, August Myers at 7, Justin Hale at 10, Freddy Hodges at 11, Cameron Walton at 13 and Scott Smith at 15.

It took a few minutes for the new players to settle in.  Sloppy play and a few bad tackles lead to a push-over try by the Lion forwards at the 23rd minute.  However, this would be the last points the Tigers would allow the Lions for the day.  (Note to coach, we need to start faster.)

Tezman finally found some space and took the ball down the left side of the pitch, leaving it nicely for August Myers to pick up and score on a 8 meter finishing run.  At 38 minutes in the first half, Kasra picked up one more penalty making the score 35 to 8 at the end of the first period.

The second half lineup began with the starters, short of Nolan and Phil.  We played into the wind the second half and really never got going.  The Lion defense seemed to stiffen, the ball did not fly right and our backs started running sideways, which on a 50 yard field was death to our wings.

The forwards had a last minute charge down the right side of the field in front of the home bench that lasted 3 minutes, ending by Brandon running free to get 5 more at the 39th minute.  Kas obliged with the conversion.

The forwards have been learning their lessons.  There was lots of great play at the rucks, putting the opposition on their backs and driving them off the ball.  I distinctly remember watching Ryan flip a player out of the side of a ruck with the moves he had practiced.  Tackles were fierce all day including great stops by Brandon, Josiah and Ian on players twice their size that drove the players back. Technique!

I have reviewed the video and there are lots of things to work on in practice, but we are getting better each week. Our boys played their hearts out.  As we improve our decision-making, we will increase our productivity.

Thanks to all the players who made the trip and who put it all on the line this day.

 

Note:  Thanks to Pam Brewi for the photos.  They can be viewed on the album page.

 

Logistics for UNA Match October 6, 2012

Logistics for UNA Match are as follows:

Kickoff: 1:00pm

Referee: Dave Gauthier

Starting side and players for the weekend:  1. Brandon Worley 2. Ian Curry 3. Stephen Smith  4. Chris Lemmons 5. Tyler Mann 6. Josiah Shipley 7. Adam Hairston 8. Kasra Koleini 9. Jonathan Brewi 10. Phil Elliott (Captain) 11. Thomas Strickland 12. Jay MacDonnchadh 13. Nolan Wilson 14. Tezman Mosley 15. John Elmore 16. Dylan Carter 17. Jonathan Bauer 18. Ryan Phillips 19. August Myers 20. Justin Hale 21. Cameron Walton 22. Freddy Hodge 23. Anthony Smith 24. Scott Smith

If you plan to play and are not listed, please contact Coach Cole.

Pitch: If you put 150 Cox Creek Parkway Florence Alabama in your GPS, that’s the address to the Cracker Barrel less than a 1/2 mile away. Coming from Memphis, you will actually drive by the pitch before you get to the Cracker Barrel. The pitch is located inside of Veterans Park, located off of Cox Creek Parkway. (Instructions provided by UNA. Good luck!)

Meeting:  Meeting at Central Ave parking lot Saturday at 8:00 am.  If you are not meeting at Central Ave, contact Coach Cole.  All players should be at the pitch by 11:30… fed and ready to play.  Drivers of 3 or more players get $50 cash or credit toward dues.

Post Match:  We’ll have a family dinner after the match at Ryan’s Buffet 362 COX CREEK PKWY FLORENCE, AL 35630.  Guests are encouraged to attend.  (256) 764-3862

Weather at kickoff:  Cloudy and 64 degrees (bring warm-ups)

http://www.weather.com/weather/5-day/Florence+AL+USAL0203:1:US

 

 

Tigers Roll Harding 45-5

Memphis traveled to Searcy, Arkansas to take on Harding University last weekend on a fine September day. Depleted in numbers and experience with some key players in the Tallahassee SIRC Sevens Tournament, 17 fit and ready players fronted. In the past year, Memphis has had the wood over Harding with 2 comfortable victories. However they appeared to want to remedy that on the day, showing up with a large squad and considerable size across the field.

The match began as a real arm wrestle, with a bruising encounter developing inside the first 20 minutes. It wasn’t until Will Fitts crossed the line for his first Tiger try off the back of a strong scrum that the deadlock was broken. Brave Tiger defense then held out the Harding attack, wave after wave as the yellow and white of Harding were camped inside the Tiger 22 for long periods of time. However as the half progressed, the Tiger fitness and experience showed, pilling on 15 more points thanks to a penalty try and tries to Nolan and Freddie. Harding had the last say of the half, despite desperate Tiger defense, scoring in the corner to trail 20-5 at the intermission.

At halftime, wise words from Captain Phil Elliot, spoke of the need to push the tempo of the game and to tackle smarter against bigger, stronger opposition. As the second half progressed, these words bore fruit as the Tiger pack rucked more ferociously as a unit to blow away Harding and enjoy long periods of possession. Tactical kicking from Phil Elliot and forward domination at set-piece play ensured that the Tigers played in Harding territory for the majority of the half. Freshman Kasra Koleini stepped up in the second row to kick two penalties. Tries to Will Fitts and Freddie capped a double for each and a great solo effort from Jonathon Brewi rounded off the eventually comfortable 41-6 win.

While the score developed into a one sided affair, the conditioning and experience of the young Tiger team proved to be outlasting factors in the match. Overall it was an enjoyable and successful weekend all round for Memphis Tiger Rugby on the road.

Game report by: Joshua Campbell

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Final Score 45-5

Captain of the side – Phil Elliott

Man of the Match – Will Fitts

Best Back – Nolan Wilson