Author Archives: Coach Cole

Tigers Fall to Auburn

Auburn University – 10/15/2022 – The Memphis Tigers had a tough day at Auburn.  With seven starting freshmen, the coaching staff wondered how the Tigers would fair. This would be the first real test of the team. 

For 20 minutes, the Tigers stayed mainly within the Auburn 35 meters… knocking on the door… but to no avail.  Mistakes carrying the ball and lack of runner support were the problems. These were the same problems that were experienced in the Mississippi State match, but State did not capitalize on the errors. Auburn saw the mistakes and took advantage. 

Sehrab Baga the Beast!

In the second half of the first period Auburn took two scores and the confidence of the Tigers was shaken.  The dam broke in the second half, again following Tiger support errors and the score ran away.  The Tigers were able to get a score late in the second half that took the goose egg off of the scoreboard. 

The Auburn pack outweighed the Tigers by 300lbs but the Tigers demonstrated excellent form and were solid. The front of the lineout was not working but the back worked well, so the Tiger backline had plenty of clean ball to work with.  The mistakes seemed to happen on phase play with the Auburn players stealing our ball at the tackle. 

Final score – Auburn, 55-7.

“The score was not a reflection of the way our boys played today”, said Coach Hill.  “I believe they now know they have to tighten up support for the runner and stop making mistakes if we wish to compete at a higher level.”

“The loss hurt, but there were lots of positives about our play today, remarked Coach Beck, backs coach for the Tigers. “We can run with anyone in our league, but we need to heed our lessons.”

Goal now for the Tigers is to build the program and earn an opportunity for a rematch against Auburn at the conference playoffs in 6 weeks.

Man of the Match was Sehrab Baga. He is a beast and dominates the pitch.    

The Tigers take on Georgia Tech at home on 10/22.  We look forward to having the Tiger Nation out to support this home match.    


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.

Do you have a Kroger Card? If so, Kroger will give the Tigers money if you sign up and tell the to do so. Here is how you can get free money for the Tigers. Please link your card today. If you don’s have a Kroger card you can get one from for free from any Kroger store.

Tigers Best Mississippi State 2022

The Memphis Tigers ventured to Starkville, Mississippi on Sunday for a conference match with the Bulldogs.  The match was on Sunday due to the fact that the Bulldogs cannot play at home on football game day. 

The Tigers knew going in that they were much stronger.  We have been carrying 40+ players in practice and the Bulldogs are rostering 18.  However, Coach Dave Hill and Phil Beck worked hard to keep the Tigers focused on execution, even when facing a weaker side. No time to get sloppy.

Conner Dempsy and the Tigers

Well, the Tigers took the lead early and did not look back. The Coaches were able to get the subs in early and give them a nice run and the momentum continued. The subs wanted to demonstrate that they could play well too. 

“We were a bit rusty and sloppy for a while but we settled down to play rugby once we got a few hits in, said Seherab Bagha, captain of the side.  We’ve had too much time off and we were ready to get down to business.”

Connor Dempsey was the man of the match due to his excellent control of the match at 10 and his conversions.  He is amazing at knowing what plays will be productive.

Final score was the Tigers on top 43-5 with 7 tries and 4 conversions in the match. 

The Tigers are off next weekend for Fall break and then we travel to Auburn to face our conference rivals. Auburn is the only team that has given us difficulty recently and we cannot take them for granted. They are well coached and they want to win the conference.

Thanks for your financial support of the Tigers. We have uniforms and a travel budget only because of you and your regular financial support.   

Valdosta State Rescheduled

Due to transportation problems, the Tigers trip to Columbus, GA to take on Valdosta State has been rescheduled from this weekend to November 5th and moved to Birmingham, AL. 

Valdosta State is new to the SCRC and so at this time they are an unknown entity. Coaching staff was hoping to play Valdosta State early in our season, but this change gives the Tigers more time to evaluate how Valdosta State competes in the SCRC Division II. 

Fall 2022 Training Starts

The Tigers will initiate the fall campaign with a camp on Saturday, August 20. Interested students from Memphis and Southwest are invited to participate. The camp will run from 9:00am until 3. Lunch will be served. There will be a combination of outside drills and chalk talk coaching. This camp will lay the foundations for our season campaign.

Coach Hill

The Tigers are excited about the new season despite having mostly road games. We may have three home games, but only one will be a conference match, said Coach Dave Hill. It is a tough schedule but we will make it work.

“The Tigers are ready to get going, stated 2022 team president”, Nicholas Nolan. “The summer break has been fun, but we are itching for some rugby.

Interested persons should contact Coach Hill for details.

Invite friends to subscribe to Tiger Rugby.org for Tiger Rugby updates.


Do you have a Kroger Card? If so, Kroger will give the Tigers money if you sign up and tell the to do so. Here is how you can get free money for the Tigers. Please link your card today. If you don’s 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. We have several alumni and fans that donate $100 per months and a bunch more that donate $10 per month. We are very grateful for every penny. Thanks for anything you can do.

Spring 2022 End of Year Awards Social

The lads gathered one more time to remember the successes of a fabulous year. It was a season of great accomplishment.

1st place at UAB 7s,
2nd place at Bluff City 7s,
First place in the SIRC Conference D2 and
Runner Up at the USA Rugby National D2 Championships.

The team was acknowledged with a Conference and national championship T shirt. They also were presented with medals for 1st place in the conference and as runners up in at the National Championships.

Virgil Pryor – MVP

The following players received awards:

Most Valuable Player – Virgil Pryor
Most improved – Erron Hubbard
Most Versatile Player – Sehrab Bagha
Captain Award – Joshua Scott
Leadership Award – Mathuran Ravishanka
r

Josh Scott and Nicholas Nolen received crystal awards signifying their leadership as Team officers.

Tiger Grads this year included Joshua Scott, Liam Scott, Virgil Pryor and Drew DeSanctis and were provided the coveted Rugby Cup Awards.

Coach Beck and Coach Hill thanked all of the boys for a job well done and explained that their efforts have laid the groundwork for many more years of success. Well done lads!

Photos to enjoy!

Captain Josh Scott

MVP Virgil Pryor
Serhab Bagha- Most Versatile
Erron Hubbard – Most Improved
Hydrotherapy


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.

Do you have a Kroger Card? If so, Kroger will give the Tigers money if you sign up and tell the to do so. Here is how you can get free money for the Tigers. Please link your card today. If you don’s have a Kroger card you can get one from for free from any Kroger store.

Tigers Take 2nd at Collegiate Nationals

May 15, 2022 – Kennesaw Georgia:      The Memphis Tigers 7s team traveled to Kennesaw State University, host of the USA Rugby Collegiate National Championships.  This was the first time the Tiger 7s team had played in a national championship, so this was an incredibly special event for the Tigers.  The event was televised on NBC Sports which made the week even more special. 

The Tigers started on Saturday in pool play against Trinity, our first opponent.  Trinity have a strong program with several fabulous athletes. Coach Beck prepped his team, “Make them run laterally. Use the pitch to your advantage.  These big fellows cannot keep shape if we work the ball quickly.” (Becks Corollary) The Tigers robbed Trinity of possession by excellent ball movement and using the width of the pitch.  After a few trips back and forth on the pitch, the Trinity defense opened up and the Tigers took advantage of the gaps. Virgil Prior scored the first try and Nick Nolen chased a kick through when the defense lost their fullback to score the second try.  Conversions by Matt Ravishankar and the final score was 12-0 Tigers.    

Nick vs. Trinity

Second opponent was Valdosta State.  This side was bigger than Trinity, but they looked heavier and possibly less fit. Coach Beck, using “Becks Corollary”, challenged the lads to not mix it up with the larger players. “Work the ball and make them run. They cannot play defense forever.  Keep the ball moving and wear them down.” The message was taken to heart and the Tigers were excellent at maintaining possession and moving the ball. Coach Beck was right. The defense eventually opened up when fatigue set in and the Tigers exploited.  A combination of loops, quick passes and kicks over the top and the Tigers dominated. Tries were scored by Nick, Drew De Sanctis (x2), Virgil and Shane Coleman.  Mat and Shane took conversion honors. Subs were employed late and the Tigers lost a little of their composure.  Valdosta got a try in by brute force.  The final score was Tigers 33, Valdosta State 7. 

On Sunday, were to take on Furman, a powerhouse in 7s rugby.  If we could beat Furman, we would be in the finals and playing on Television.  The lads had been mindful all weekend. Not much horsing around. No shenanigans. These lads were here to win.  We had watched Furman play and they were displaying excellent rugby.

Virgil evades Furman

This was a very rough battle and the Tigers were forced to defend their try line several times.  However, they kept shape on defense, did what they had to do and sure enough, Becks Corollary came true again.  The defense cracked and all Virgil needed was a crack and he was gone.  They could not handle him.  Virgil gets a hat trick in this match and Matt converted.  Tigers 19, Furman 7. A big loss was Erron Hubbard. With two minutes to go in the game he received a very late hit away from the ball that drove him into the ground. His side and liver were bruised and he was out for the tournament. He had excelled at scrum half, harassing the opposition, maintaining excellent ball and was a threat with his speed. His loss was terrible. 

Well…. We made it to the dance. And everything changed. Now we are in the big stadium with the TV cameras and folks standing around with headsets telling where to go and when to be back.  The matches in the stadium are live on TV and everything is timed down to the second. Our handlers kept us informed at each step.  We did not have much time to recover from our Furman match and some players never took off their game jerseys.  We cooled down almost and then we warmed up. Worked hard on hydration (it was terribly hot that day) and worked Vaseline onto our turf burns.  We moved from the practice field to under the bleachers, then into the holding locker room for final words.  Coach Becks employed the lads to enjoy the journey. “You are already winners.”, he said. No Tiger team has ever achieved what you have achieved this season.  Winning the conference championship and making it to the collegiate national finals was certainly a huge accomplishment, but the Tigers were not finished yet.  They were focused on the prize at hand and they were going to fight with all they had left.  

Tigers Take the Field for the National Championship match.

We finally get the call to line up. The Tigers line up under the banner at the edge of the field… beside the USC Trojans.   3 minutes to go.  The man with the headset stands at the ready as we watch the ladies match wind down.  And then he looks at the captains and says it’s time.  Holds out his hands and counts down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and the teams take the field.  I cannot believe that we are here. 

The Tigers run to the center of the pitch for a final huddle.  There is intensity in these fellows that is palpable.  We hear the Tiger cheer and they break.  Line up and the match is on. The Trojans are formidable, but the Tigers are solid.  The match moves back and forth but nobody can take advantage.  At the 4-minute mark, Virgil finds a crack in the defense and is through it before the Trojans can react.  He flies down the pitch to score under the posts. Matt Converts. The fans are going wild.

Brothers in Blue

The kick-off is perfect but the Trojan smartly leaps into the air and is accidently undercut by a Tiger.  A whistle and I know it is bad. I am hoping for a yellow instead of a red. The center ref consults with the AR and they settle on a yellow. Better than a red but still horrible. The Trojans have the upper hand and take advantage scoring two tries under the yellow. 

Virgil exploits a crack in USC defense to score the first try of the match

After the half, the Tigers are now at full strength but shaken by the lopsided sore.  They get back in the game but the Trojans now have their confidence. They score another try when the defense fails to react fast enough.  The Tigers add some subs to bring in some energy.  Unfortunately, without Erron Hubbard we are thin on subs.  The Tiger composure is clearly shaken and things slowly unravel.  The Tigers fight to the end and make a good showing but time is cruel and the Tigers fall to USC 29-7. 

The Tigers shake hands, congratulate the Trojans and head to the sidelines to a rousing round of applause. Clearly the fans like the Tiger heart and appreciated their effort.  The lopsided score did not reflect the athleticism that the Tigers demonstrated. 

Virgil Pryor – Tiger of the Tournament

The Tigers were certainly sad about the loss, but after while realized that this Cinderella story was an amazing ride.  Now that we have been to the dance, we know what it is like.  When we get there again, we’ll be a bit more ready for the pressure of finals competition.  Tiger Nation is very proud of the Tigers this year.  The lads have a lot to be proud of. 

Tiger of the National Championship Tournament is Virgil Prior.  He will be honored at the post season social. 

USA Rugby Collegiate D2 National Championship Runners Up!

Many thanks to Tiger Rugby Nation for your financial support during our spring and post season run. Without your financial support, we would not have been able to compete. If you still have a few coins that you can share (Donate here), we have some remaining expenses we need to cover. Thanks for your support and anything you do to spread the good word about Tiger Rugby.

Photos by Stacy Scott. Thanks so much to you Stacy for covering the Tigers this year.


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.

Do you have a Kroger Card? If so, Kroger will give the Tigers money if you sign up and tell the to do so. Here is how you can get free money for the Tigers. Please link your card today. If you don’s have a Kroger card you can get one from for free from any Kroger store.

National Collegiate 7s Tickets on Sale

The Tigers have won a spot at the National Collegiate 7s Tournament at Kennesaw State University north of Atlanta, Georgia a on May 14-15, 2022. 

More information about the tournament is available at this link.

Tickets are now on sale for this two-day event.  Tiger Fans may purchase tickets at the following link:

Memphis team link: https://bit.ly/MEMMRUGBY

Memphis team promo code: MEMMRUGBY

Please purchase two-day tickets.  The Tigers have guaranteed at least 30 tickets will be sold, so spread the word and let’s get a good showing at the nationals for our Tigers!

SCRC D2 7s Champions 2022

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 Gear is available at our online store at Tytan Rugby 

Do you have a Kroger Card? If so, Kroger will give the Tigers money if you sign up and tell the to do so. Here is how you can get free money for the Tigers. Please link your card today. If you don’s have a Kroger card you can get one from for free from any Kroger store.

Let’s get behind your Tigers. GTG!

Tigers to National 7s Championships 2022

April 27, 2022, Memphis, TN – As winners of the SCRC D2 conference, the Tigers were invited to participate in the USA Rugby National Champions 7s tournament this May 14-15. The tournament will be held at Kennesaw State University in their Fifth Third Bank Stadium and will be broadcast on NBC, CNBC and Peacock stations.

This is the most prestigious opportunity that the Tigers have ever faced. The opportunity to be on TV amazes me and excites the lads. Coaches Dave Hill and Phil Beck are tuning up the players for the big event.

SIRC D2 7s Champions 2022

We need Tiger Rugby Nation to get behind the Tigers. Post season play is always costly but this event will be even more expensive. Besides the normal expensive travel logistics, we are guaranteeing 100 tickets for the game. USA rugby wants to fill the stadium with people for this important tournament. So, keep an eye out in our normal communication channels for opportunities to purchase Tiger Rugby Gear, Purchase tickets or donate money. We need you now more than ever.

Go Tigers Go!


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.

Do you have a Kroger Card? If so, Kroger will give the Tigers money if you sign up and tell the to do so. Here is how you can get free money for the Tigers. Please link your card today. If you don’s have a Kroger card you can get one from for free from any Kroger store.