Monthly Archives: March 2014

MTSU over the Tigers

March 23, 2014, Murfreesboro, TN – The Tigers traveled to Murfreesboro on a bright but blustery day to take on the Moosemen of MTSU.  MTSU, the powerhouse of the SIRC north, was played very closely when they came to Memphis.  Though they have 5 SIRC Select Side players, we really thought we had a chance to take them.

Willie Lacey

Willie Lacey

Unfortunately, the Tigers had problems from the very beginning.  We had taken a week off for spring break and it was disappointing to see how rusty we had become.  Our halfback timing was off, and regardless of how much we tried, we could not get the ball to the speed on the wings.

We were hoping that the wider MTSU field might give the Tigers an advantage.  It was clear in our last meeting with MTSU that our backs were faster than theirs.  We just needed to give our wings a bit more room to work.  Unfortunately, the wider field is also more difficult to defend.  MTSU took advantage of the width… spread our defense, and scored easily in the first 20 minutes.  The Tigers defense stiffened, but the damage was done.  It is impossible to beat MTSU by spotting them 20 points.

Thomas Strickland

Thomas Strickland

In the second half, we did get the ball to the wing once and it worked like we had tought. Willie Lacey sprinted in to take his first points of the season.   Later, Thomas Strickland went weak rom the ruck on a solo move that left three Moosemen grasping at the air.  He dashed in for his try that was converted by John Elmore.

The Tigers got better all game long, and by the end of the match were playing Tiger ball.  It was just frustrating that it took so long.  As they left the pitch, they were clearly disappointed by their performance.

MTSU had played KSU the day before and stated that the week they had off made a mess of that match.  They barely beat KSU.  Unfortunately for us, they used that match to knock off the rust and they played a much better game against us.

We took our sorrows to the social where we connected with the other team.  Many of the Tigers know the MTSU players from SIRC selections.  The Moosemen complimented the Tigers on how much the program had progressed in just two years.  They were clearly glad that this game was behind them.

The Tigers take on Georgia Tech on April 5 at home, 1:00pm at Halle Stadium.  This will be the last match for the Tigers this season.  We hope to have all Tiger fans out for this important match.

2014 Spring Tigers


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MTSU Match Logistics – 3/23/2014

MTSUMatch: Sunday, March 23, 2014  in Murfreesboro, TN

Players are to meet at the Central Parking Lot at 7:00 am for our trip to Murfreesboro.  We will travel in one van and a few cars.

Kickoff: 1:00pm

Pitch: 2111 Ease Main Street Murfreesboro, TN

Referee:  Randall Johnson

Social: Immediately after the match.

Tigers Tackle KSU

Tigers on the loose!

Tigers on the loose!

Kennesaw State University traveled to Memphis on March 8th undefeated this year in conference play.  They had rallied to beat the Tigers at their house and had taken it to powerful MTSU as well.  KSU was hoping for an easy win against the tigers and brought their best players to ensure the victory.  However, the Tigers played the best game of their season to deny KSU the undefeated title.  The Tiger win places  KSU’s hopes of a division title in jeapordy.

The match was played at Halle Stadium under partly cloudy skies and in front of 75 vocal fans.  Freddy “The Face” Hodges (Formerly Freddy “The Lips”) was in the press box announcing the game and playing tunes.  It was great hearing the Tiger Fight song at the beginning of the game and at halftime.  Freddy “The Face” did a great job keeping the fans in the match.  Having an announcer added to the excitement of the day.

Chris Lemons and Company

Chris Lemons and Company

KSU started the scoring in the first two minutes with a nice move following their kickoff.  Then things settled down.  Thomas Strickland got the next points off of ruck ball at the 23rd minute and Donovan Thomas got a try by powering over the defense in the 24th minute.  John Elmore converted the try and the Tigers Lead 12-7.

KSU was not deterred.  They used their power forwards to drive the ball deep into Tiger territory and scored under the posts on the 26th minute.  KSU back on top  14-12.

In the 30th minute, Ronnie Roberson, fresh back from his shoulder injury at Georgia Southern scored his first points as a Tiger.  He crashed hard against the defensive line following a quick ruck and great handling by the backs.  John converted and the Tigers go into the break ahead, 19-14.

The Tiger forwards played out of their minds.  The scrums were amazing with Josiah Shipley stealing KSU ball and the Tiger forwards driving the heavier pack.  Lemons and company snagged all our lineouts and stole or disrupted all their ball.

The second half started out with the fans jumping out of their seats again when Tezman Mosley took the ball on the wing, popped over the defense, gathered the ball on the hop and sprinted to the try line.  With presence of mind to center the ball, John was able to convert in the tough wind.  Tigers up

TIger Forward Power

TIger Forward Power


At the 26th minute, Elmore calls “New Zealand” at the middle of the pitch.  With our backs split wide, the confused KSU defense adjusts.  Thomas knows just what to do.  He sees a crack between the center and the fullback and goes solo to the try line.

Ronnie comes to the aid of Adam Hairston, his captain, when he sees him being accosted out view of the referee.  His reward is ten minutes in the sin bin.  Ronnie is a tough competitor with warriors heart.  His actions typify the way the team feels about each other.  Over this season they have become a close nit group, working together to achieve goals and protecting each other along the way.

While we are down one man KSU picks up two tries, but Ronnie is back for the last eight minutes and we spend the remaining part of the match attacking their goal.  Time runs out before we can score again, but the match is ours.  The fans go nuts.  The scoreboard announces “Home 31, Visitor 26”.

John Elmore  Man of the Match

John Elmore
Man of the Match

Referee: Alastair Twaddle

Field: Halle Stadium

Announcer:  Freddy “The Face” Hodges

Side:  1. Justice Houston, 2. Josiah Shipley, 3. Matt Hill, 4. Ronnie Roberson,  5. Chris Lemons, 6. August Myers 7. Adam Hairston (Captain), 8. Jonathan Bauer, 9. Thomas Strickland 10. John Elmore, 11. Tezman Mosley 12. Donovan Thomas 13. Cameron Walton 14. Anthony Smith, 15. Scott Smith, 16. Nicholas Harrison, 17. Hector Marquez, 18. Willie Lacey, 19. Bert Milam 20. Kyle Baker

Injured Reserve:  Tj Hardaway, Sam Kordab

Man of the Match:  John Elmore, for leading the backs, organizing the defense and his conversions in a stiff wind.

Best Forward:  All of the forwards:  Justice Houston, Josiah Shipley, Matt Hill, Ronnie Roberson, Chris Lemons, August Myers, Adam Hairston, and Nick Harrison for their outstanding play as a group that engineered the win over KSU.

Thanks to Connie Griffin for taping the match.  Video is available here:

Thanks to Paige Milam for taking excellent photos of the match.  Here photos are available here:


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Memphis Tigers vs KSU at Home This Saturday

Kennesaw State Rugby

Kennesaw State Rugby

The Tigers take on Kennesaw State University Saturday, March 8 at Halle Stadium.  Tickets are $5.00 available at the gate.  No charge for Middle School and High School rugby players.  Just mention your team and you are in free.

The weather should be great.  All ruggers and old boys are encouraged to come out and enjoy a great day of rugby.

Kickoff:  1:00

Pitch:  Halle Stadium 2616 Mt. Moriah Road   Memphis, TN

Referee:  Alastair Twaddle

Social: Ubee’s Restaurant


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You can also suport the Tigers by joining the Tiger Rugby 100 Club.  More details here! 

MTSU Outlasts The Tigers

March 1, Memphis TN: The Tigers took on MTSU at Halle Stadium on the warmest day of the year.  Over 90 Tiger fans were drawn out on this beautiful day to watch the Tigers play.  Though the fans were  not happy with the final score, they were not disappointed with the play.  The Tigers put on a show that had the crowd to their feet several times during the match.

The Tigers dominated the first 20 minutes of the match and spent most of the tiem time under the MTSU goal posts. Josiah Shipley took the first points at the 13 minute mark to get the Tigers on the board first, scoring in the northeast corner.

MTSU scored two tries in the 21st and 30th minute and were able to convert.  Josiah took another try from a quick ruck at the 35th minute.  John Elmore converted and the Tigers were only two points behind at the half.

In the sixteenth minute of the second half, scrum half Tezman Mosley chipped ahead to a speedy Thomas Strickland who kicked one more time and outraced the MTSU fullback to the try line.  John converts.  The Tigers take the lead 19-14.

Unfortunately, the Tigers made two mistakes late in the match to allow MTSU two quick tries.  MTSU center and select side player Jamie Phillips, intercepted a wide pass and raced untouched to the try line. Then the Tigers failed to properly cover the kickoff and allowed a successful MTSU counter through the defenses.   The Tigers did not have time to turn the match around.  MTSU won the match 33-19.

The Tigers played the most physical and most error free match they have played to date, but victory eluded us again.

After the match, we were blessed to meet Terry Nicholson, founder of the Wanderers, the first team to play in Memphis.  Terry taught coaches Steve Swatzyna and Tony Lubiani how to play the game when they were just in high school.

Josiah Shipley, Adam Hairston and Chris Lemons

Josiah Shipley, Adam Hairston and Chris Lemons

Terry encouraged the Tigers, explaining that today’s match was some of the best rugby that he has ever seen in Memphis.  It was clear that Terry was very proud to see how far rugby had progressed from the humble beginnings over 40 years ago.  Joining with 40 other committed individuals, Terry joined the Tiger Rugby 100 Club to provide financial support for the Tigers.

The Memphis Tigers are blessed to have so many friends stand with them in support of their efforts.

Josiah Shipley was chosen Man of the Match for his tries and tough play.  Chris Lemons was honored as best forward for his tackling and ball acquisition at the lineouts.  He took all of his and most of theirs.


Side:  1. Justice Houston, 2. Josiah Shipley, 3. Matt Hill, 4. Jonathan Bauer, 5. Chris Lemons, 6. Sam Kordab, 7. August Myers 8. Adam Hairston (captain) 9. Thomas Strickland 10. John Elmore 11. Tezman Mosley 12. T.J. Hardaway, 13. Donavon Thomas, 14. Anthony Smith, 15. Scott Smith 16. Cameron Walton,  17. Willie Lacey, 18. Bert Milam, 19. Kyle Baker, 20. Hector Marquez

Man of the Match:  Josiah Shipley

Best Forward:  Chris Lemons

Pitch:  Halle Stadium

Referee: Brad Cole

Assistant Referees:  Jonathan Brewi, Haley Sells


Support the Tigers by using your Kroger Plus Card- Here’s how! 

You can also suport the Tigers by joining the Tiger Rugby 100 Club.  More details here!