Author Archives: Robert Phillips

Tigers Gain Experience at ASU

Tigers Gain Experience at ASU

The University of Memphis Rugby Team traveled to Arkansas State this past Saturday morning to play a friendly match against Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. A-state plays in a division above the Tigers and this friendly was scheduled to provide us a learning opportunity as we prepare for conference play.

The opening kick went off at 1:00 and both teams played their hardest for 80 minutes. A-state’s ability to strip the ball made it difficult for the Tigers to mount a sustained offense. Plus, their powerful offense overwhelmed the Tiger defense on the outside.

The Tigers D-line was tough but had difficulty shifting to cover the 70 meter wide pitch.  It was a hard fought battle between the two teams, even though the Red Wolves were victorious at the end of the game.

After the game, A-State hosted a friendly social of burgers and dogs where we had a chance to talk rugby with our opponents. We continued to learn even after the final whistle.

Even though we lost the match we learned a tremendous amount. Everyone played hard throughout the match improving our skills along the way.

We would like to acknowledge Coach Cole and Coach Swat for teaching us real rugby and how to manage ourselves on and off the field, whether it’s practice or a tough game. We would also like to acknowledge our two water girls who made sure we stayed hydrated throughout the game.

Captain Sweeney awards Des and Matt

Most of all we would like to acknowledge Arkansas State University for allowing us to run a practice game against them. After that game I can say the Tigers have improved in every way. I am again excited and it’s my pleasure to say Let’s Go Tigers.

Editor’s note: Dez Harris and Matt Jordan were honored as rookies of the match.  They have demonstrated excellent growth and development in their game over the past two weeks and their play at A-State was impressive.

Tigers Learn at SIRC 7s

Tigers Learn at SIRC 7s

The University of Memphis Rugby Team traveled to Kennesaw State last Friday night for a weekend of 7s rugby. The event was the South Independent Rugby Conference (SIRC) Round 1, 7s tournament.

The team traveled Friday afternoon arriving in Kennesaw around 9:30 that night and crashed into the Holiday Inn and Suites to prepare for the games scheduled for the next day. Saturday morning the Tigers woke up, ate a healthy breakfast and headed to Kennesaw Stadium.

TJ Hardaway

Nine collegiate rugby teams of the SIRC met to see who was best. (Two teams could not attend due to remaining damage from Hurricane Irma.) Matches were held over two days.  The competition was fabulous, exciting and very interesting to watch. The Tigers had a total of 6 games that weekend including matches against MTSU, Kennesaw State, Florida Atlantic University, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, and Florida State.

The Tigers finished the tournament 3 for 6, moving up in conference standings from 7th to 6th place. During the awards ceremony U of M fullback TJ Hardaway was named to the all-tournament team highlighting the top 12 players of the tournament.  TJ demonstrated his strength, athleticism, and support for the team throughout the tournament.

Captain Sweeney

Another Tiger that deserves acknowledgement is our captain, Conlan Sweeney. He provided Memphis the guidance we needed to make it through the tournament. His leadership ensured everything went well on and off the field.

We left our sweat and tears on the field and headed home knowing that we were a better team for the experience.  We are getting stronger with each match we play. Let’s Go Tigers!!!!

Tigers 7s Team