By Coach Phil Beck.
February 18, 2023, Tuscaloosa AL – The Tigers started their spring 7s series with a tournament at the University of Alabama. This was the third annual Dixie 7s, which seems to be growing in prestige each year. Top teams from the area showed up to the test.
Memphis got off to a relatively easy start in pool play against Alabama B where we were 19-0 at the half. We picked up during the 2nd half to make the final 45-0. Tries from Sehrab, Jason, Conor, Joaquin, Nick and Tyler (2). Conversions were made by Coner (4) and Jason (1).
Our 2nd game against UAB was well played, winning 36-0. Tries from Drew (2) Conor, Sehrab (2), and Nick. Coner converted 3 times.
Our final game of the pool was against a fast and experienced KSU side, but our players executed solid sevens and were able to sweep KSU 38-0. Tries from Nick (2), Conor (2) Matt Ravi (1) and Conor converted 4.
We entered the semi final facing our fierce conference rivals, Auburn, who are always a difficult side to beat. While our sevens play was not the best, as Auburn did unsettle our pattern of play, we managed to see Auburn in our rear view, winning 14-5. These were the first points scored against us for the day.
The final match pitted Memphis against Georgia (a D1AA side) which is what we had hoped for. We needed to test ourselves against some difficult opposition. Both sides played great Rugby and at half time the score was 7-5, Georgia.
In the 2nd half a few costly defensive mistakes allowed Georgia to dot 3 tries handing them the win (26-5).
Conor was named Man of the Tournament for his excellent ball handling, vision of the field and conversions. He is excellent at setting up our speedsters.
As our first tourney this year, this was a great start for the Tigers. We will now work on key areas to improve our game and be better in the next tournament. We have identified areas of needed growth and we will work to build a stronger team.
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