News from campus and beyond

Furman finishes 4-2 at Southern Rugby Conference Sevens

With five freshmen, four sophomores, one senior and a high school senior who will be at Furman next fall, the Paladins entered the Southern Conference 7s Tournament with the youngest team in the 8-team field.

But Furman, a dark horse in the Wilmington, N.C. tournament,  turned some heads and surprised themselves by advancing to the quarterfinals and finishing with a 4-2 record.

The squad started slowly and surrendered two early trys to Coastal Carolina before finding some rhythm.  But the team had too big a hole a dig out from and dropped a 10-5 opening game.

In the next contest, Furman sleepwalked through the first half against the Citadel and were behind 17-5 at halftime.  After a lecture by coaches John Roberts and Darren Scott, the team scored 31 straight points and left the Bulldogs somewhat bewildered.  The final score was 31-17.

In that second game the young squad found some rhythm and confidence. The team logged victories over the College of Charleston and Lander by 12 point margins.

With the win, the Paladins advanced to the quarterfinals to face a very good UNC-C  team.  In one of the most entertaining games of the tournament Furman staked itself to a 15-0 lead in the first half.  But the experienced 49ners would not go away.

The green team scored right before the break and steadily chipped away until the score was tied 15-15 with 30 seconds remaining.  Facing a defensive scrum on the UNC-C 20-meter line, the front row trio of Lawson Held, Lucas Ward and Trent Pannell pressured the 49ers front three.

Winning the ball against the head, Zach Roberts, a Riverside high school senior who will be attending Furman next fall, scooped up the ball and dashed 20 meters for the winning try on the final play of game.

The Paladins faced a fresh Coastal team 90 minutes later. While Furman played exceptional defense early, the Paladins had no answer for the Chanticleer scrum-half who blistered the team with two late trys and set up another. The final tally was 17-7.

Coastal advanced to the finals where they were defeated by UNC-Greensboro.

Coach Roberts said his team has been practicing 7s, on and off, for the first three weeks of practice in preparation for the tournament.

“The team really began to figure it out and, for the most, part improved as the tournament progressed,” said Roberts. “The win against UNC-C was really rewarding as they were experienced and very athletic. Our guys worked great together and we had a good game plan.”

Last updated March 30, 2016
Share This
Contact Us
Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director