Monthly Archives: December 2023

Memphis Tiger Rugby: A Gritty Battle in the National Championship

December 10, 2023 – Houston, Texas – In a heart-stopping championship clash, the Memphis Tiger rugby team faced off against the formidable Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) team. Although the Tigers fought valiantly, the championship title ultimately slipped through their grasp in an intense display of collegiate rugby talent.

Conor leads attack

From the kickoff, the Tigers found themselves facing a 20-30 MPH headwind, creating an immediate challenge. Despite this, Conor Dempsy’s spectacular try at the 11-minute mark set the tone for the game. Conor’s subsequent score on a grubber through the defense, coupled with a precise conversion, gave the Tigers a commendable 12-0 lead. However, IUP responded with two tries, and the first half concluded with a tense 12-12 tie.

Around halftime, the Tigers encountered setbacks with the loss of Jason Roman to a shoulder injury and Conor Dempsy to a knee injury. These injuries would prove to be significant hurdles for the team through the second half.

Tyler Rogers showcased impressive footwork, securing another try at 5 minutes into the second half. Unfortunately, the Tigers faced adversity with yellow cards for Tyler and Harry, reducing them to 13 players for a crucial 10 minute period. IUP capitalized on this opportunity, scoring twice to take the lead at 22-19. Despite relentless efforts from the Tigers, they were unable to mount a successful comeback.

Coach Colbridge on defensive strategy

In a testament to their tenacity, the Tigers continued to attack until the final whistle. However, IUP managed to score once more at the 68th minute, sealing the victory with a final score of 27-19. The Tigers left everything on the field, earning the respect and admiration of IUP, who praised them as the best team faced all year.

Throughout the championship run, the Tigers felt the unwavering support of their families, fans, and supporters. Many attended the game, while thousands watched the intense battle on The Rugby Network. (You can still watch the game here on The Rugby Network.)

Grateful for the outpouring of support, the team expressed their appreciation for the donations received, totaling $23,000 on GoFundMe and additional contributions via TigerRugby.org. Fans who missed the opportunity to contribute are still encouraged to donate to the program, supporting the scholarship fund, endowment fund, or funding the upcoming spring 7s season.

Tyler Rogers – Tiger speedster

The Memphis Tiger rugby team may not have secured the championship title, but their determination, skill, and sportsmanship left an indelible mark on the competition. As they regroup and prepare for future endeavors, the Tigers carry with them the pride of their remarkable journey and the gratitude for the steadfast support of their community.

Musa Banat exudes power
Tiger Scrum dominates
Coach Brooks with Don Miller, Memphis Old #7 old boy and Tiger fan
Brad Hofsteter and Coach Hill played for Memphis State in the early 90s
Brad and and his lovely wife Amanda fed the lads lunch on Saturday
Celtic Crossing Celebrating the Tiger Matches
Ann Beck and Heather Hill coaching their coaches
Proud Tigers
Memphis Tigers Second in the Nation


Fans and supporters can continue to support Tiger Rugby by donating extra to our Go Fund Me here or can give through our Donation page here. Donations may be specified such as for the scholarship fund, general fund or endowment fund.


Do you have a Kroger Card? If so, Kroger will give the Tigers free money if you sign up and tell them to do so. Here is how you can get free money for the Tigers. Please link your card today. If you don’t have a Kroger card you can get one from for free from any Kroger store.

Tiger Rugby Gear is available at our online store at Tytan Rugby https://tytanrugby.com/collections/memphis-rugby

You can financially support the Tigers by donating at this link. We need your help and any dollars you give move the Tigers toward a win. Thanks for anything you can do.

Memphis Tiger Rugby Team Outlasts UNI Panthers

In a heart-pounding rugby clash, the Memphis Tiger Rugby Team faced off against the University of Northern Iowa Panthers in a National Championship semifinal match that would keep fans on the edge of their seats. With standout performances and a rollercoaster of emotions, this game proved to be a testament to the resilience and determination of both teams.

First Half Drama:

The match started with a bang as Caleb Schmidt scored at the 1:38 mark into the first half, followed by a successful conversion from Conor Dempsey, giving the Tigers an early 7-0 lead. However, the Panthers roared back, scoring three tries in succession and converting two, taking the lead to 19-7. A severe hip injury on the field prompted a 15-minute stoppage, during which the Tigers regrouped.

Tigers’ Resurgence:

Rejuvenated and refocused, the Tigers fought back in the latter part of the first half. Harry Hagan’s try in the 27th minute set the tone for the comeback, and Alejandro Nava’s score at the 30th minute, converted by Conor, narrowed the gap to 21-19. Caleb Schmidt added another try at the 34th minute, but the Panthers managed a late equalizer, leaving the first half tied at 26 each.

Tiger Fans enjoy match at MICR Fundraiser

Second Half Action:

The Panthers struck first in the 44th minute, taking the lead to 31-26. The Tigers, however, were not to be outdone. Captain Sehrab Bagha’s crucial try in the 52nd minute, coupled with Conor’s conversion, swung the momentum back in favor of the Tigers. Musa Banat rumbled over several players for a try at the 65th minute, and Christian Flynn’s score in the 68th minute extended the Tigers’ lead to 43-34.

Final Moments:

The Panthers, refusing to capitulate, staged a last-ditch effort with a try in the 76th minute, narrowing the score to 43-39. The tension was palpable as the Tigers defended their goal with unwavering determination. In the dying moments, an errant pass found touch, signaling the end of the match and cementing the Tigers’ well-deserved victory.

The Road to the National Championship:

Now, the Tigers stand at the threshold of glory as they prepare for the National Championship match against the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) scheduled for Sunday, December 10, at 2:00 PM. Excitement is palpable among Tiger fans, with many on-site in Houston to witness the championship clash, and hundreds more tuning in on The Rugby Network. Notably, Tiger alum Kevin Roedel is gearing up for a grand watch party at Celtic Crossing, extending an invitation to all Tiger fans in Memphis to join the festivities, watch the match, and collectively cheer the Tigers to victory.

Conclusion:

As the dust settled on the battlefield against the UNI Panthers, the Memphis Tiger Rugby Team now faces their next formidable challenge—the National Championship. The journey has been arduous, marked by highs and lows, but the Tigers’ resilience and indomitable spirit have brought them to the cusp of glory. The rugby community eagerly awaits the showdown on December 10, and with Tiger fans rallying both on-site and from afar, the roar of victory may well resonate far beyond the field, echoing the triumphs of a team united in purpose and bound for greatness.

Tigers Victorious over UNI

We’ve met our Final 4 travel goal, but Tiger Rugby still needs your financial support. We need fiscal stability in our Scholarship and Endowment funds. We also need to prepare for the spring 7s season. Please show the Tigers some love and give what you can.

Fans and supporters can continue to support Tiger Rugby by donating extra to our Go Fund Me here or can give through our Donation page here. Donations may be specified such as for the scholarship fund, general fund or endowment fund.


Do you have a Kroger Card? If so, Kroger will give the Tigers free money if you sign up and tell them to do so. Here is how you can get free money for the Tigers. Please link your card today. If you don’t have a Kroger card you can get one from for free from any Kroger store.

Tiger Rugby Gear is available at our online store at Tytan Rugby https://tytanrugby.com/collections/memphis-rugby

You can financially support the Tigers by donating at this link. We need your help and any dollars you give move the Tigers toward a win. Thanks for anything you can do.

Memphis Rugby Team Secures Championships – Eyes Final 4 Playoffs

The University of Memphis Rugby Team is basking in the glory of its recent achievements, having clinched two prestigious titles this season—the Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference (SCRC) D2 Championship and the Midwest Regional Championship for National Collegiate Rugby (NCR). This remarkable feat has not only brought honor to the university but has also qualified the team for the Final 4 playoffs scheduled for this weekend.

Connor Dempsy, Dr. Lawhead, Steve Whistler and Sehrab Bagha

The SCRC Conference D2 Championship and the NCR Midwest Regional Championship trophies now proudly adorn the University of Memphis, a testament to the dedication, skill, and teamwork displayed by the Tiger Rugby Team throughout the season. These victories have not only solidified the team’s standing within their respective conferences but have also set the stage for an exciting journey towards the Final 4 playoffs.

Connor, Dr. Lawhead, Mr. Whistler and Sehrab

The recognition and celebration of these accomplishments were heightened by the trophy presentations made to the University of Memphis Rugby Team. Dr. Justin Lawhead, Dean of Students/Vice Provost for Student Development and Wellness, Steve Whistler, Executive Director of Recreation, and Jon Duncan, Director of Recreation and Sports Facilities, were on hand to receive the trophies, a proud moment for both the players and the university. Captains Sehrab Bagha and Connor Dempsey had the honor of presenting these well-deserved accolades, symbolizing the collective effort and leadership that have driven the team to success.

With the championships secured, all eyes are now set on the Final 4 playoffs, where the Tiger Rugby Team is gearing up for an intense showdown. Scheduled for Friday, December 8, at 6:00 pm, the team will face off against Northern Iowa in a battle that promises to showcase the grit and determination that have defined their season. Should they emerge victorious, the Tigers will progress to the final match, where they will take on the winner of the contest between Vermont and Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP).

One of the Tiger Rugby trophy cases displayed at the Rec Center at Memphis.

As the University of Memphis Rugby Team embarks on the Final 4 playoffs, the campus is buzzing with anticipation and pride. The journey from regional championships to the national stage is a testament to the team’s unwavering commitment, skill, and resilience. Whether they secure the ultimate victory or not, the Tiger Rugby Team has already made an indelible mark on the season and will undoubtedly continue to be a source of inspiration for the university community. We eagerly await the outcome of the Final 4 playoffs and wish the team the best of luck as they chase glory on the rugby field.

Jon Duncan, far left, is Tiger Rugby main contact with the University. Thanks Jon.

The Friday night match (12/8) is at 6:00pm and may be viewed on The Rugby Network. Also, there is a watch party at Celtic Crossing and I hear the Tiger match will be on the big screen at the Memphis Inner City Rugby Evening for MICR that night as well.

We’ve met our Final 4 travel goal, but Tiger Rugby still needs your financial support. We need fiscal stability in our Scholarship and Endowment funds. We also need to prepare for the spring 7s season. Please show the Tigers some love and give what you can.

Fans and supporters can continue to support Tiger Rugby by donating extra to our Go Fund Me here or can give through our Donation page here. Donations may be specified such as for the scholarship fund, general fund or endowment fund.


Do you have a Kroger Card? If so, Kroger will give the Tigers free money if you sign up and tell them to do so. Here is how you can get free money for the Tigers. Please link your card today. If you don’t have a Kroger card you can get one from for free from any Kroger store.

Tiger Rugby Gear is available at our online store at Tytan Rugby https://tytanrugby.com/collections/memphis-rugby

You can financially support the Tigers by donating at this link. We need your help and any dollars you give move the Tigers toward a win. Thanks for anything you can do.

Tiger Rugby Roars: A Season of Triumphs, Challenges, and Community Support

Introduction: Memphis is abuzz with the excitement of Tiger Rugby as the team embraces an undefeated season and secures a coveted spot in the final four. The Daily Memphian and Channel 3 have been covering the remarkable journey of the Tigers, shedding light on their achievements, coaching prowess, and the unwavering support from the community.

The Coaches: Coach Dave Hill, the mastermind behind the team’s success, recently commended the invaluable contributions of Coach Phil Beck, Coach Bryan Colbridge and Coach Tony Brooks. Beck’s offensive strategies have ignited the team’s scoring prowess, while Colbridge has played a pivotal role in fortifying the forwards and tightening the defense. Brooks, a forward’s forward, brought the tight 5 together, stabilizing our set pieces. Together, these coaches have molded the players into high-performing student-athletes, showcasing the depth of talent and expertise within the Tiger Rugby coaching staff.

Coaches Brooks, Beck, Hill and Colbridge

Player Leadership: Acknowledging the leadership of the seniors, Coach Hill emphasized the significant impact they’ve had in shaping this year’s competitive team. With nine seniors on the starting roster, their experience and skills have proven to be a game-changer for the Tigers, contributing to their impressive record.

Financial Challenges: Despite the Tigers’ aspirations to move up from Division 2 to Division 1aa, financial constraints pose a substantial hurdle. Coach Hill revealed that the current annual budget of $35,000 falls short, with an additional $20,000 in travel expenses anticipated if they make the leap. The university provides $1,000, players contribute $550 annually, and the remaining funds come from supporters and alumni. The Tiger Rugby Nation, as Coach Hill fondly refers to them, plays a crucial role in sustaining the program through their financial backing.

Captain Serhab Bagha with the Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference Championship Trophy

Community Support: Coach Hill expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support from fans, families, and alumni. Despite an average annual gift of under $100, the collective effort of numerous individuals has allowed the program to flourish. The media coverage and fan outreach, spearheaded by Coach Steve Williams, has significantly raised awareness of Tiger Rugby in the community.

Call to Action: To continue supporting Tiger Rugby’s growth and aspirations, fans and supporters are encouraged to contribute to the Go Fund Me campaign or make donations through the Tiger Rugby Foundation official Donation page. The funds can be directed to specific causes such as the scholarship fund, general fund, or endowment fund. Every contribution, regardless of size, plays a vital role in ensuring the team’s continued success.

At press time, we have raised the funds necessary for the Final 4 run. We still would appreciate your support of our program and additional funds will be used to build our Endowment fund, Scholarship Fund and would seed us for the Spring 2024 7s season.

Conclusion: Tiger Rugby’s journey is a testament to the power of community support, dedicated coaching, and the passion of its players. As the team navigates the challenges ahead, the rallying cry is clear: together, we can propel Tiger Rugby to new heights.


Do you have a Kroger Card? If so, Kroger will give the Tigers free money if you sign up and tell them to do so. Here is how you can get free money for the Tigers. Please link your card today. If you don’t have a Kroger card you can get one from for free from any Kroger store.

Tiger Rugby Gear is available at our online store at Tytan Rugby https://tytanrugby.com/collections/memphis-rugby

You can financially support the Tigers by donating at this link. We need your help and any dollars you give move the Tigers toward a win. Thanks for anything you can do.

Celtic Crossing Hosts Tiger Rugby Watch Party 2023

Get ready for an electrifying rugby experience as the Memphis Tiger Rugby team faces off against the University of Northern Iowa in the semi-final match for the National Collegiate Rugby National Championships! Thanks to the initiative of Tiger Rugby alum Kevin Roedel, the excitement doesn’t end on the field. Kevin, in collaboration with Celtic Crossing, has orchestrated a watch party that promises an unforgettable evening of camaraderie, cheers, and thrilling rugby action.

  • Date and Time: Friday, December 8, 2023 with Kickoff at 6:00pm
  • Location: Celtic Crossing, (Cooper-Young) 903 South Cooper, Memphis, TN
  • Broadcast: Catch the live broadcast on The Rugby Network.

As a dedicated Tiger Rugby alum, Kevin Roedel understands the importance of community support. He has taken the lead in organizing this watch party to bring fans together, creating an atmosphere that mirrors the team’s passion on the field. Kevin’s commitment to fostering a sense of unity among Tiger Rugby fans is truly commendable.

Celtic Crossing has gone the extra mile to ensure that this watch party is an exceptional experience for all attendees. In addition to the thrilling match, fans can enjoy special food and drink offers crafted exclusively for Tiger Rugby supporters. It’s the perfect opportunity to indulge in delicious fare while cheering for our Tigers!

Why Attend?

  • Community Spirit: Joining the watch party is not just about watching a rugby match; it’s about being part of a community that shares a common love for the sport and the team.
  • Exclusive Offers: Celtic Crossing has curated special deals to enhance your viewing experience, making it an event to remember.
  • Cheer for Victory: Let’s come together to cheer our Memphis Tiger Rugby team to victory! The more voices, the louder our roar!

Mark your calendars and prepare to immerse yourself in the thrilling world of Tiger Rugby at Celtic Crossing. With Kevin Roedel’s dedication and Celtic Crossing’s hospitality, this watch party promises to be a highlight for all Memphis Tiger Rugby fans. Let’s unite, cheer for our team, and create memories that will last a lifetime!


We’ve met our Final 4 travel goal, but Tiger Rugby still needs your financial support. We need fiscal stability in our Scholarship and Endowment funds. We also need to prepare for the spring 7s season. Please show the Tigers some love and give what you can.

Fans and supporters can continue to support Tiger Rugby by donating extra to our Go Fund Me here or can give through our Donation page here. Donations may be specified such as for the scholarship fund, general fund or endowment fund.


Do you have a Kroger Card? If so, Kroger will give the Tigers free money if you sign up and tell them to do so. Here is how you can get free money for the Tigers. Please link your card today. If you don’t have a Kroger card you can get one from for free from any Kroger store.

Tiger Rugby Gear is available at our online store at Tytan Rugby https://tytanrugby.com/collections/memphis-rugby

You can financially support the Tigers by donating at this link. We need your help and any dollars you give move the Tigers toward a win. Thanks for anything you can do.

Channel 3 Covers Tiger Rugby 2023 National Run

Posted on December 1, the Channel 3 posted a 2.5 minute sports video showing the Tigers in training, with clips from Coach Hill and Captain Connor Dempsy. You can view the clip here.

The clip gave a brief history of our fall season and the recent wins over Wisconsin-Whitewater and Georgetown, and the topic of funding was mentioned.

Through the clip, open throated request for support for our Go-Fund Me were made. Though we have met our $22,000 goal, we would appreciate further donations to stabilize our program. Those interested in the success of the program can continue to support the program financially. Additional gifts will be allocated to the scholarship fund, endowment fund and part will seed our program for the spring 2024 7s season.

It was great seeing Tiger Rugby getting the support from the local station.

Fans and supporters can continue to support Tiger Rugby by donating to our Go Fund Me here or can give through our Donation page here. Donations may be specified such as for the scholarship fund, general fund or endowment fund.

Many thanks to Coach Steve Williams for getting Channel 3 interested in covering Tiger Rugby.


Do you have a Kroger Card? If so, Kroger will give the Tigers free money if you sign up and tell them to do so. Here is how you can get free money for the Tigers. Please link your card today. If you don’t have a Kroger card you can get one from for free from any Kroger store.

Tiger Rugby Gear is available at our online store at Tytan Rugby https://tytanrugby.com/collections/memphis-rugby

You can financially support the Tigers by donating at this link. We need your help and any dollars you give move the Tigers toward a win. Thanks for anything you can do.

Daily Memphian Celebrates Tiger Rugby Run!

Memphis is waking up to the excitement of Tiger Rugby and this is exemplified by the Daily Memphian covering the Tigers, their undefeated season and final 4 qualification. They covered the accomplishments of your Tiger rugby team with keen interest.

In the article, Coach Dave Hill gave high praise to Coach Phil Beck who sparks the offense and Coach Bryan Colbridge who toughened the forwards tightened up the defense. All coaches have done an excellent job molding the players into high performing student athletes.

Coach Hill also acknowledged the leadership of the seniors in forming this year’s competitive team. The Tigers start nine seniors which makes a big difference for the Tigers competitively.

Coach Hill gives praise to Tiger Rugby Nation that gets behind the Tigers financially. “We would like to move up from D2 TO D1aa but are held back due to a lack of funds.” says Coach Hill, “We have a $35,000 annual budget now and if we move up, the travel cost would add another $20,000 in travel expenses along, not counting any post season activity.”

The university gives us $1000, the players pay $550 per year to play and the supporters and alumni kick in the remainder. We have a growing support base and many people make significant financial sacrifices to support the players. If it were not for the support of our supporters, families and fans, we would not have the program that we do. Our average annual gift is under $100 so that means a lot of people are involved with support for the Tigers.

You can read the article on the Daily Memphian here and if you would like a PDF Download of the article, Contact Coach Cole.

Extra thanks to Coach Steve Williams who successfully got the eye of the Daily Memphian.

Fans and supporters can continue to support Tiger Rugby by donating to our Go Fund Me here or can give through our Donation page here. Donations may be specified such as for the scholarship fund, general fund or endowment fund.