Goff Rugby Twitter     Goff Rugby Facebook

East is Beast in SCRC Playoffs

irish rugby tours

East is Beast in SCRC Playoffs

The SCRC season comes down to one weekend at the University of South Carolina, and while it’s East v West in the semifinals, most think it’s going to be Volunteers v Gamecocks in the final.

East #1 Tennessee faces West #2 Alabama in the semifinal while West #1 Mississippi State faces East #2 South Carolina. But the rankings within the divisions are not comparable. In the West, the best team was LSU. They got suspended after a player’s parent brought beer to a post-match function, and have had to forfeit all of their matches. That one indecent drastically shifted the balance of power in the SCRC.

LSU had a serious shot at winning the conference. The other teams in the West? Not so much. Mississippi State looked solid in going 5-1, although two of their losses were forfeits - LSU, and Ole Miss, which seems to have halted playing rugby games and seems content to just wander around campus in their jerseys. MSU’s defense is suspect, and not just because they lost 41-40 to Alabama after having clinched 1st in the West. They also gave up two tries to Ole Miss (back when Ole Miss felt like pitching up), Auburn, and Vanderbilt.

Alabama, meanwhile, did well to emerge as the #2 team, but lost to Auburn November 1 and also lost to South Carolina.

Tennessee, meanwhile, defeated the Gamecocks 25-19 to clinch the East last weekend, with flanker Ryan Roper running roughshod over the opposition once again. Lee Bogitsh continues to play well at fullback and wing Luke Dyson has emerged as a key performer in the backs, also. The Vols have dominated lower-level competition, and despite giving up 22 to Kentucky, were really only tested in their final game.

In that game they almost lost, but picked things up when they decided to implement a quicker catch-pass among the backs. Quicker hands prevailed, and helped lead the Vols to a comeback win.

But will it be the same story on USC’s home ground?

Gamecocks Head Coach Mark Morris probably knows it’s going to be a rematch Sunday.

“Overall, the team played great, and Coach Darnell and I could not be prouder of their performance,” said Morris. “Our forwards put up a lot of great stands against a strong Tennessee side and our backs regrouped well under constant pressure. We let a few things slip and we couldn’t keep the momentum on our side, though it was a great match against two strong sides that will hopefully play each other again for the Conference Championship next week in Columbia.”

Led by scrumhalf Brian Keown and No. 8 Mike Mahon playing well last week, USC has an excellent shot at playing on Sunday.

SCRC Playoff Schedule
Saturday, November 15
1:00 PM West #1 (Mississippi State) v East #2 (South Carolina)
3:00 PM East #1 (Tennessee) v West #2 (Alabama)
Sunday, November 16
1:00 PM Championship