Possums Wayne Chermely and Matt Abernathy recently traveled with the USA South Select Side to face the Bahamas national team in Nassau for the second round of the NACRA playoffs. Chermely was selected to start at flanker and scored a try in the 39th minute and Abernathy came in and played lock in the second half and came up just short of scoring the second possum try on the day. USA South went on to win the match 42-15 and advances to pool play facing the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
Little Rock, AR – The Possums traveled to Little Rock on April 13th to take on the Deep South Champion Stormers. Despite missing captain Wayne Chermely and 8 man Matt Abernathy who were representing USA South in the NACRA cup and losing 3 starters to injuries, KRFC managed to travel 500 miles each way with 20 players. In the end Little Rock proved to be the superior team controlling the game in all phases and coming away with a well-earned victory. The Possums put together an impressive matrix season finishing 6-2 with victories over Nashville (twice), Hopkinsville (twice), Birmingham, and Mid – South Matrix winners Chattanooga. Knoxville will now shift their focus to sevens - check back for updates on the start of K-Town 7s practices.
With the win over Chattanooga this past Saturday the Possums have clinched the # 2 spot in the matrix and will travel to Little Rock, AR on April 13th for the first round of the playoffs. The Possums are asking Old Boys and Supporters for their help in making this trip possible. Please consider sponsoring the trip with a tax deductible donation: Red Sponsor $200 (team meal), Grey Sponsor $100 (gas/lodging), and Awesum Possum $50 (general). Of course we will accept any amount so if you want to give more or less email the club at Knoxvillerugby@gmail.com and we will make the arrangements.
Possums defeat Nashville 46-15. (Full recap to come later) Knoxville finishes the matrix season in second place with a 6-2 record. Next up for the Possums: Knoxville will travel to Little Rock, AR to face the Stormers, the Deep South Champions, on 4/13 for the first round of the south playoffs.
|1.||Manning||Photo Credit: Tom Abernathay|
|2.||Lokitz||Jernigan @ 40|
|3.||Worsham||Ellis @ 40|
|4.||Neuhart||Finney @ 70|
|5.||Chermely||Davis @ 40|
|7.||Troxler||Chermely @ 40|
|11.||Miller||Williams @ 40|
|14.||Cardio||Towe @ 60|
|15.||Ring||Feliciano @ 40|
Halftime score: 19-10
Final score: 46-15
Referee: Randal Johnson
The Possums set the tone for the heated rematch with Chattanooga with solid tackling and constant pressure from the opening whistle. A blocked kick and handling error by Nooga gave Knoxville a 5 m scrum and 8 man Matt Abernathy was able to pick the ball weak and find the corner of the try zone to give the Possums a 5-0 lead. The Possums continued to play inspired defense and had several opportunities to add to their lead but were unable to convert them. The half-time whisle blew with the score 5-3 in favor of Knoxville. Knoxville came out for the second half with the same intensity that they had started the game with and Tanner Cardwell was able to crash the ball across the line on a penalty tap 5 minutes into the half. The conversion would go unconverted bringing the score to 10-3. 5 minutes later Matt Neuhart dotted down his first try of the day after several phases wide ball from the Knoxville backs and forwards to bring the score to 15-3. The play of the day (maybe the season) came when Knoxville # 10, Pat “Sox” Tzerefos took a 22 meter drop that seemed to hang in the air for an eternity allowing Captain Wayne Chermely to catch the ball in front of the out stretched hands of the Nooga winger and rumble 50 meters before offloading to Neuhart for his second try bringing the score to 20-3. However, Chattanooga was not willing to go down without a fight and their backline was able to run across to quick tries that were converted to bring the score to 20-17 with fewer than 5 minutes to play. The Possums quickly regained possession on a handling error by Nooga on the restart and never gave the ball back. The Knoxville pack hammered the ball off the sides of the rucks gradually moving the ball before Soakia Kofutu’a Kioa fell across the line for the try giving Knoxville the win, 25 – 17. Thanks to @knoxBeerGuy (Eagle Distributing), @CoolBeansKnox and @SheidMania (US Foods) for a great social. Next up for the Possums is a visit from Nashville on March 30th.
Tries: Abernathy, Neuhart (2), Cardwell, Kofutu’a Kioa
Halftime score: 5-3
Final score: 25-17
Referee: Matt Noss