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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

South Carolina Defeats Georgia

Press Release

Columbia, SC - The Gamecocks opened their Southeastern Rugby season against the University of Georgia this past weekend. After several issues regarding where the match would be played due to inclement weather, the Gamecocks kicked off in Columbia, South Carolina in front of an energized home crowd.

The Gamecocks looked to further cement their recent dominance of the Southeast by beating Georgia by a decisive amount. Carolina opened up in strong fashion and sent sophomore speedster Brett DeBoy into the try zone after going out wide off of a ruck to put the Gamecocks on the scoreboard. The Bulldogs responded with a successful penalty kick following an offside penalty against Carolina around their own 22 meter line. Not to be outdone by his teammate, sophomore Chris Harrell scored the second try of the day off of an up and over from the foot of a ruck to move the Gamecocks ahead 12-3. At this point, the Gamecocks found their groove with Captain Tim Hamill gashing up the middle of the defense following a scrum at midfield to score after an excellent 60 meter run, putting Carolina ahead 19-3. Not to be outdone for too long, Georgia pressured the Gamecocks with some excellent ball movement that resulted in them crossing the line for the first and only time all afternoon.

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The second half demonstrated why the Gamecocks do so much conditioning. They cruised to a stellar 43-8 victory after scoring several more tries. Scores were made by senior Ben Mather, senior Michael Rudzinsky, senior James Whipper, and, again, senior Tim Hamill. Man of the Match honors were awarded to junior lock Sam Brennan from Newcastle, Australia and senior fullback Tim Hamill from Downingtown, PA.

“It’s the second match of the season and we’re still learning to gel as a team,” said Head Coach Mark Morris. “The first half was very disappointing with the number of knock-ons and forward passes, though the second half saw mass improvement and consistent play. We plan to keep the training sessions simple this week to eliminate a handful of mistakes that killed our continuity. We want to get back to a fast paced offence and keep the opposition on its heels. Overall, it was an outstanding performance against a very aggressive Georgia side and we’re looking forward to a great matchup against Kentucky.”

The second side and the Palmetto side had excellent games as well, with several players stepping up with great performances. Both teams came out with victories on Friday and Saturday against Columbia’s local men’s team Olde Grey and University of Georgia’s second team. Man of the Match honors for the second side were awarded to sophomore 8 man Quintin Brinkley from Clemmons, NC and freshman scrumhalf Daniel Callahan from Silver Spring, MD. The Palmetto side Man of the Match honors went to junior 8 man Will Nunley from Falls Church, VA and freshman scrumhalf Dylan Silvey from Chapin, SC.

“Our freshmen had a great match against Georgia’s second side, putting together their second shutout win of the season,” added Coach Morris. “The talent level is obvious and I’m very happy with the level of experience for such a young group. The Palmetto side continues to perform well with several outstanding athletes, many of whom had never played before coming out. The learning curve has been relatively short and I expect their success to continue.”

Up next, South Carolina continues conference play at home against the Wildcats of the University of Kentucky with a 1pm kickoff on Saturday, September 19th. A reserve match will follow directly afterwards. Carolina’s Palmetto side is traveling to Western Carolina for a 3:30pm kickoff on Saturday. Admission is free to the public.

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