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Young team dives into fall season

The Furman Paladins jumped headfirst into the fall season this past weekend with games at Clemson and Lander University.

Traveling with a young squad, the Furman team took on Division I Clemson Friday night, resulting in 33-7 loss. Most of the Tiger’s trys were scored wide as Clemson took advantage of poor defensive positioning.  Too, the Furman team was initially hesitant at the ruck point, though play in that area improved as the game continued.

Thirteen of the 18 traveling to Clemson played in their first rugby game in a Paladin jersey. The team was composed of 12 freshmen, four sophomores, a junior and a high school senior who will enroll at Furman next fall.

The Furman team threatened to score a handful of times but were thwarted by a more experienced and deep Clemson team.  Nick Rossano, a freshman from Greer who is the recipient of Furman’s first rugby scholarship, scored the Paladins only try in the waning minutes of the game.

“For the most part our tackling was sound and we really made them earn their points,” said Furman Coach John Roberts. “Most of their scores came outside against our wings who were playing their very first rugby game.”

Added Roberts: “To say we are young would be a dramatic understatement. But this team is more athletic and larger than the teams we have had in recent memory. I am very excited about our possibilities.  Once we get our feet underneath us and the new kids begin to figure things out, we’re going to turn some heads.”

On Saturday, the Paladins traveled to Lander University (Greenwood) and participated in round robin 7s tournament.  Furman fielded two teams and finished the day with a combined record of 6-1.  Zach Roberts, a high school senior who plans to enroll at Furman next fall, led the Paladins in scoring.  Rossano and sophomore co-captain Turner Morsches also frequented the try zone.

“We had a lot of guys score their first trys today, so that was fun.  This will help us prepare for the Southern Conference 7s Tournament next weekend,” says Coach Roberts.  “In all, it was a great weekend.  We are coming out of it better and no one was seriously injured.”

Last updated September 17, 2012
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director