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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.