Memphis, TN. Memphis took on Kennesaw State University (KSU) on Saturday, February 4 under cloudy skies and 45 degrees. Other than a brisk wind from the west, this was perfect rugby weather. KSU, fresh from a loss to Georgia Tech, was itching for a fight. They brought emotion, passion and some good solid rugby skills to the match. However, early on it was clear that we could play with these boys. If Memphis had any concerns about whether we belonged in the SIRC, they were dashed within the first 10 minutes. Memphis ran, rucked and handled everything that KSU could dish out. We just could not get our offense going.
Due to some technical problems our time of possession was severely curtailed which eventually led to us losing the match. We had serious problems with the 8/scrumhalf/flyhalf connection that we will have to sort out.
The final score was 24 – 0, but the match was actually closer than that. We held them to 24, we just couldn’t score our normal 30 to 40 points. Once we correct a few technical and mental errors, this will be a different match. The good news is that we get another crack at KSU in a few weeks… an opportunity that we look forward to.
There were plenty of bright spots in the match. Scott Smith distinguished himself with several bone crushing, try saving tackles. Some hits were on players twice his size and he took them down like scythe cuts wheat. Anthony Smith, Ian Curry, Jamie Perry and Josiah Shipley were also aggressive at the tackle and the ruck. Jonathan Bauer made sure the KSU scrum half was on the ground after every lineout (I was afraid someone was going to punch Bauer.) and Adam Hairston ripped a beast out of a ruck so hard I
thought he killed him. Cameron Walton distinguished himself as a hard runner and tough defender. It is clear that he loves this game. Eric Ofinowicz stepped up and started at prop for the first time. He did an admirable job and got better with each scrum.
In the second match, the Killer Bs avenged the loss and helped salve the wound of the loss. They also proved that the future of Tiger Rugby is bright. We have a lot of depth that we can develop and once they are fully trained we will be in really good shape. The Bs took the match 14-8 with scores from Jamie Perry in the first period and Tezman Mosley in the second. Kasra Koleini converted a tough kick and Kyle Baker converted a nice chip shot to take his first points as a Tiger. Welcome to the party, Kyle.
We take on Georgia Tech this weekend. They are supposed to be bigger than KSU, but that just means that they fall harder. We are working on a game plan to use our speed and fitness. We will be ready.
Come out and support the Tigers this week. Kickoff will be at noon on Saturday. You will not want to miss this match.
Final Score A: 24-0 (KSU)
Final Score B: 14-8 (Memphis)
Match Official: Eric Fleming
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