Practice for the 2014 Fall season officially begins August 21st from 6:30-8:30 pm at Sam Duff Field followed by a scrimmage with the Lexington Blackstone on Saturday August 23rd. New players are welcome (no experience necessary) – email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Week 7 Voting is now Open. Player of the week voting will start on Mondays and the winner will be announced on Fridays. Past winners: Week 1 – Caleb Pemberton, Flanker, Bearden High School; Week 2 – Trinity Richesin, Hooker, McMinn Co High School; Week 3 – Zach Haaland, Fullback, Central High School; Week 4 – Ryan Haney, Lock, McMinn Co. High School and Harley Wheeler, Center, South Doyle High School; Week 5 – Jon Doster, Flyhalf, South Doyle High School and Preston Gerrish, Flanker, Bearden High School; Week 6 – Kacey Joyner, Scrum Half, Farragut High School and Josh Smith, Fly Half, Central High School;
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March 29, 2014 Atlanta, GA. Knoxville and Memphis agreed to move their matrix match to Atlanta and kick off at 11:30 so both teams could attend the USA Eagles match scheduled for 3:30. Morning showers had made field conditions sloppy but that didn’t stop Knoxville from taking control from the start. Memphis received the opening kickoff and was immediately put under pressure forcing pushing them behind their 22. Inside center Shaun Shanks was able to poach the ball and three passes later winger Steven Miller was able to score a try in the game’s opening minute. The conversion by Tzerefos was good. (7-0)
Memphis was not ready to roll over and the next 20 minutes went back and forth. The physical possum pack kept working hard and pounding the ball which eventually took its toll on the smaller Memphis side. A kick and chase from Tzerefos and Miller pinned Memphis deep inside their 22 where they committed a penalty. Tzerefos converted the penalty and Knoxville took a 10-0 lead 26 minutes into the match. Five minutes later Knoxville was awarded another penalty in Memphis territory and Captain Wayne Chermely was able to get the ball down on the resulting penalty play (15-0). Knoxville took the ensuing kickoff and was able to move the ball out wide to winger Johnathan Towe who scored. The conversion by Tzerefos was successful and the Possums took a 22-0 lead into the half.
The momentum from the end of the 1st half carried into the 2nd half. Five minutes into the half Knoxville had a line out in Memphis territory. Fullback Chris Meredith received the ball at pace from the set piece and was able to slide under the posts for the try. Tzerefos added the conversion (29-0). On the following kickoff, Knoxville had a mental breakdown and was caught resting on a sizable lead. Memphis intercepted an errant pass and was able to get on the scoreboard (29-5). The Possums shook off the mistake and finished the match strong by controlling the breakdowns and using a balanced attack led by flyhalf Panagitis Tzerefos. Knoxville finished with 3 more tries to end the half strong (Ray Moore, Shaun Shanks, and Trace Fuller). Final Score 46-10.
The Possum attack was well-balanced with 2 tries from the forwards (Chermely and Moore), 2 tries from the centers (Shanks and Fuller), and 3 tries from the deep 3 (Miller,Towe and Meredith). Knoxville’s attack was set up nicely from several strong set pieces led by forwards Tyler Smith, Ray Moore, and Matt Worsham. Co-Man of the match honors go to Centers Shaun Shanks and Trace Fuller. Both ran the ball hard through contact, scored a tries, and created turnovers on defense.
Memphis was very appreciative of Knoxville Captain Wayne Chermely for organizing the Atlanta match that allowed both sides to watch the USA vs Uruguay match. Social Chair Brian Evans also did a great job with the social (sans spatula) in the tailgate area. Special thanks to Old White Rugby Club for lining the field and allowing us to use their facilities.
With the win on Saturday Knoxville has secured the True South East #2 position for the first round of the USA Rugby National Championship Playoffs. The Possums will play Birmingham (True South West #1) in Huntsville on April 12th. The winner of that match will face the winner of Chattanooga (True South East #1) and Baton Rouge (True South West #2) on Sunday for the rights to advance to the next round in Charlotte, NC on May 3rd.
Pictured: Knoxville Line Out; Ray Moore running with the ball; and Knoxville Captain Wayne Chermely with the NACRA Championship Trophy presented to USA Rugby South at half time of the Eagles match.
Conversions: Tzerefos (4/6), Towe (0/1); Penalty Kicks: Tzerefos (1/2)
Halftime score: 22-0
Final score: 46-10
Referee: Randall Johnson
Knoxville, TN. The Knoxville Rugby Club turned a solid week of practice and a renewed emphasis on defense and decision making into a 36-5 victory over Nashville on Saturday. After losing their last three matches, the Possums knew they had to play well if they wanted to qualify for the post season.
The Possums went to work from the opening kickoff and used their forward pack, led by props Ray Moore and Chad Haynes (#ChadsShorts), to control the breakdowns and set the tempo for the match. Nashville was under constant pressure in their set pieces and Knoxville’s backline made several tackles behind the gain line. This allowed Knoxville to strike and take the ball deep into Nashville’s territory before winger and man of the match, Chris Meredith, scored out wide in the 8th min. Meredith scored his second try of the day in a similar fashion at the 25 min mark. Panagiotis Tzerefos converted a try and penalty kick in the first half to give the Possums a 15-0 lead. Nashville refused to let up and got a hard earned try to end the first half 15-5.
In the second half, Knoxville used a solid defensive effort and strong set pieces to launch their attacks on offense. TJ Walker came on as sub and made his presence felt at inside center. Walker took a crash ball and carried three Nashville defenders 20 meters for the try to bring the score to 22-5 (Tzerefos kick). Knoxville brought on fresh legs to keep the pressure on and finish the match strong. Lock Tyler Smith (75th minute) and outside center Lucas Rodgers (79th minute) finished off the scoring allowing Knoxville to earn a bonus point in the win. Wayne Chermely, Brian Evans, and Kelly Ingle are also recognized for their play.
Final score: 36-5 (5 tries)
Halftime score: 15-5
Try Scorers: Meredith (2), Walker, Smith, Rodgers
Conversions: Tzerefos (4/5)
PK: Tzerefos (1/1)
Referee: Matt Noss
Following the matrix match a reserve match (2-20s) was played between Nashville and Knoxville allowing several players to get much needed playing time. There was plenty of young talent on display and Knoxville was able to muster a 70 meter breakaway try in the last minute for a 19-12 victory. Try scorers were Anando Katana (man of the match) and Steven Miller. Johnathan Towe was 2/3 on conversions. Thanks to Nashville for traveling with 28 guys to allow for the extra minutes, Possum Old Boys and South Doyle who cheered on the Possums (and several alumni) before their match, and Ethan Rosenblum who ran the Knoxville sideline and reffed the reserve match. Overall, it was a great day of rugby at Possum Park. Next up: The Possums face Hopkinsville in Knoxville on March 15.
16-TJ Walker – 34th min
17-Anando Katana – 53rd min
18-Rob Ellis- 62nd min
19-Ben Dickenson – 69th min
21-Jonathan Towe- 60th min
22-Matt Worsham- 62nd min
23-Michael Feliciano- 75th min
4- Breck Bowlin
5- Nathan Joslin
6- Jack Finney
7- Hayden Williams
17-Arron (South Doyle)