Possums Get Back on Track with Win Over Nashville


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.

Matrix Match

1-Chad Haynes

2-Jesse Troxler

3-Ray Moore

4-Brian Evans

5-Tyler Smith

6-Trace Fuller

7-Chris Turner

8-Wayne Chermely

9-Gabe Woodson

10-Kelly Ingle

11-Darrell Brown

12-Pierre Steenekamp

13-Lucas Rodgers

14-Chris Meredith

15-Panagiotis Tzerefos

16-TJ Walker – 34th min

17-Anando Katana – 53rd min

18-Rob Ellis- 62nd min

19-Ben Dickenson – 69th min

20-Shaun Shanks

21-Jonathan Towe- 60th min

22-Matt Worsham- 62nd min

23-Michael Feliciano- 75th min


Reserve Match

1-Moses Goimez

2-Adam Hoffman

3-Allan Bohanan

4- Breck Bowlin

5- Nathan Joslin

6- Jack Finney

7- Hayden Williams

8-Johnathan Towe

9-Anando Katana

10-Channing Hair

11-Steven Miller

12-Milk Shake

13-Seth Hamilton

14-Darrell Brown

15-Michael Feliciano

16-Ben Dickenson

17-Arron (South Doyle)


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