January 25, 2014 – Halle Stadium, Memphis TN– The Memphis Tigers took on the Georgia Southern Eagles today as the South Independent Rugby Conference (SIRC) spring conference began. Fifty brave souls turned out to watch the match on a cold and blustery day. Despite the loss, the boisterous group cheered the Tigers and encouraged them every step of the way.
The Tigers outplayed the Eagles in the first 20 minutes driving deep into Eagles territory several times only to watch clearing kicks provid relief. The Tigers clearly needed to find a way to exploit their trips to the red zone.
As the first half wound on, the Eagles got their feet under them and began to compete. They had two players that were hard to bring down, but generally the Tigers played them well. Unfortunately, in a temporary lapse in defense at the try line, the Eagles drew first blood. The Eagle 10 made a sweet offload behind his back to a prop and caught us off guard.
The Tigers generated some offense in the second half and were able to put together two tries. Donovan Thomas and Thomas Strickland both scored tough tries, and John Elmore standing 10 for the day converted each nicely. Unfortunately, Freddy Hodges took a hard shot to the cheek and left the pitch for the day with a fractured maxilla.
The Tigers had difficulty staying onsides at the rucks giving up 12 points in penalties. The Eagles picked up a sloppy try when the Tigers failed to clear from their try zone.
Mental errors were our demise today. We beat ourselves. We will spend extra time this week working on our game plan, correcting our off sides problems. We will bring in a ringer coach, Tony Lubiani, to work with our flyhalf/scrumhalf connection. We are committed to fixing these problems. We have two practices before we head to Georgia Tech.
Many thanks to the fans who came out in support. (We plan to have the PA system working by out next match.) It is gratifying to have so much support. We really do appreciate ya’ll coming out.
- Final score 23 – 14
- Referee: Eric Fleming
- Man of the Match: Thomas Strickland
- Best Forward: Jonathan Bauer
The Tigers next home match will be March 1st against SIRC powerhouse, MTSU. Hope to see you there.
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