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Furman to host CCU 1 p.m. Saturday

rugby 2Fourth ranked Furman will host Coastal Carolina Saturday in a key early season match-up. Kick is set for 1 p.m. at John S. Roberts Field, which is adjacent to Paladin Stadium.

Last year, Furman (1-0) scored two trys during the final three minutes of play to rally for a 25-24 win in Myrtle Beach. That victory launched a memorable fall season as Paladins went on to win the Southern Rugby Conference and finished the season ranked sixth in the nation.

Coastal (0-0), meanwhile, failed to make the Southern Rugby Conference Final Four after a loss later that season to UNC-Wilmington.

The teams enjoy a respectful but intense rivalry that dates back to the turn of the century when both squads competed in the now defunct Palmetto Union. The rivalry took on new relevance in 2004 when Coach Robert Kegler took over the Chanticleers and helped CCU close the gap between the programs.

Furman won the DIII national championships in 2003-2005 and finished runner up in 2007 and 2008, often eliminating CCU on their play-off runs. In 2009, Coastal defeated Furman in the Rugby South finals and went on to win their Division III national championship.

In 2011, both CCU and Furman moved up to Division II and joined the Southern Rugby Conference. While Coastal has been force in SRC since it was founded, Furman did not emerge as a power until 2013 when the team finished third in the final standings.

Today, the Chanticleers are coached by Thomas Barnett and boast a deep and talented squad that will surely compete for an SRC title. Furman is coming off an impressive 47-22 win at Virginia Military Institute, a top Division II Cardinal Conference Team.

“Coastal is a fine program and they always bring a tough, physical style of play with them to Furman,” said Furman Coach John Roberts. “All of our games against them have been nail biters, and I anticipate this one will follow suit.”

 

 

Last updated September 8, 2015
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director