The Memphis Tigers met Western Kentucky University (WKU) October 13 at Memorial Field on a beautiful fall afternoon. The match was scheduled as a dual match with the Storm Old Boys to play the Tiger second side following the WKU match.
The day got off to a late start due to travel problems by WKU. The 1:30 match was finally kicked off at 3:00, which caused an early problem for the Tigers. The lads were ready to play at 1:30 and the delay evidently effected them negatively.
Tezman Mosley took the first points, scoring a try from the wing from a nice outlet pass that worked from a lineout. WKU collected a penalty kick and knotched a try, powering over from an 8 pickup on a 5 meter scrum.
Jonathan Brewi took another try on a nice off load by Captain Kian Koleini. Phil kicked a ball in-goal that was covered by Thomas Strickland. A conversion by Phil brought the halftime score to 22-8.
Though we scored some points, the Tigers came out tentative, sluggish and definitely off our game. We out scored WKU in the first half but it was ugly rugby. Scrums were uncontested during the first half of the game since the front row were not trained. This also tended to throw off the Tigers.
The second half, however, was a totally different story. We finally got our act together and the lads scored multiple tries in rapid succession. In the 4th minute, Nolan Wilson set up Scott Smith for a try. Josiah Shipley broke through a ruck, picked up the ball and headed for the try line. This is identical to the try he scored at UNA and may be his signature move… power straight through the middle of a ruck.
At 10 minutes Nolan scored his try. Following a push over maul, Kian scored his first points as a Tiger. Brewi took a try at the 18th minute.
WKU picked up a try and conversion at the 20th minute due to a breakdown of our defense. However, this would be their final points of the match.
Phil took a try for himself and Josiah downed one more. Phil kicked all conversions which totaled 12 points.
This time last year the Tigers were looking for an offense. They have worked very hard in practice and the work is paying off. We need to tighten the defense and must stop kicking away good possession. We still make some bad choices with the boot. The remainder of our season is stacked with D-1AA teams. These teams will capitalize on any mistakes we make.
The teams chose Phil as man of the match. An honor he earned with his play and his boot.