South Carolina Defeats Florida
Gainesville, Fla. - South Carolina Rugby traveled to Gainesville this past weekend and came out victorious over the Gators of the University of Florida in SCRC league play.
SC received the kickoff but turned the ball over the Florida almost immediately. This gave the Gators an excellent early scoring opportunity, but the Gamecocks defended well in the forwards and then stymied a backline move. Eventually Carolina was able to break through and get an attacking lineout. They mauled the ball from there and senior hooker Drew Busbee went over for the opening try, converted by junior scrumhalf Brian Keown to give the Gamecocks an early 7-0 lead. The Gamecocks have little time to celebrate, as Florida, took advantage of another mismanaged kick return by the Gamecocks. This time they made no mistake and scored to make it 7-5.
The Gamecocks respond with freshman center Christian Harrell stealing a Florida pass and running it back 40 meters for the try, giving Carolina a 12-5 lead. Not allowing Carolina to pull away, Florida scored off a nicely-placed chip kick over the Carolina backline.
That tied the game, and then some smart running lines let to another Gator try and the lead 17-12.
Carolina is able to retake the lead and end the first half on a try by junior wing Tim Hamill off of a perfect box kick by Keown.
Down 19-17 at the beginning of the second half, Florida started off with a vengeance and scored in the corner to retake the lead at 22-19. The Gators have another strong run with their prop to set themselves up for a penalty kick close-in, but they missed.
Carolina answered with a try from senior lock Zak Gorman, followed by one up the middle by senior center Michael Rudzinsky to put the Gamecocks up by 11 33-22. Harrell would break through Florida’s line one last time to give South Carolina the 40-22 lead and the victory. Man of the Match honors were awarded to junior No. 8 Mike Mahon from the Bronx, NY and freshman center Chris Harrell from Enola, Pa.