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South Carolina Wins Big Over Georgia

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South Carolina Wins Big Over Georgia

Columbia, SC - Carolina Rugby held their SCRC season opener this past weekend and came out victorious over the Bulldogs of the University of Georgia.

USC opened the scoring early when, within the first three minutes, senior lock Drez Henfield touched down the first try of the match, which was converted by junior scrumhalf Brian Keown, to give the Gamecocks an early 7-0 lead.

Good ball control led to Henfield's second try, also converted by Keown, and just before halftime junior No. 8 Mike Mahon touched down to give the Gamecocks a 19-0 lead at the break.

Keown added a try of his own and then junior fullback Tim Hamill scored two in quick succession to give SC a commanding 36-0 lead. Henfield would complete his hat trick, followed by a try from junior flanker Zach Mullineaux to extend Carolina’s lead to 48-0. Two more forward tries from senior lock Zac Gorman and junior prop Ben Mather would give the Gamecocks a 60-0 advantage. In the final ten minutes, Carolina would score twice more, once more from Keown and once from senior wing Avery Darnell, to cap off the Gamecocks' 72-0 victory. Man of the Match honors were awarded to junior prop Ben Mather from Cincinnati, Ohio and junior scrumhalf Brian Keown from Newton Square, Pa.

“It was great to get our first SEC opponent under our belts and to do so in a commanding fashion,” said Head Coach Mark Morris. “While Georgia may be in a rebuilding season, they were a very determined side that caused some havoc for us in the first half. Right out of the gate, we started to fall back into the same routine that plagued our preseason matches, with too many players trying to go alone and make things happen off their own talents. Georgia reacted well and was able to slow us down. Thankfully, halftime gave us an opportunity to correct those mistakes and the results were noticeable. The passes became fluid, the defense tightened up, and ‘team play’ became priority. It was a game of two halves, though it just shows what we’re capable of when we stick to our game plan and play as a single unit.”

Carolina's reserve side saw success as well with sophomore flanker Tyler Porter scoring first for the early 5-0 lead. Sophomore Isaac Myers would follow up with a 50-meter run to touch one down, with the conversion by sophomore Lucas Paff, expanding Carolina’s lead to 12-5. Sophomore Thomas Coar would follow up with back-to-back tries before Georgia would answer with their only points of the day, bringing the score to 22-5. In the final minutes, Carolina scored twice more, once from Australian exchange student Olly Yulianto, to give the Gamecocks a 32-5 final score.
Man of the Match honors were awarded to sophomore hooker Eric Lucci from Downingtown, Pa. and sophomore wing Isaac Myers from Georgetown, SC.

“Overall, Coach Darnell and I were pleased with the depth and some of the talent we saw,” said Morris. “We were especially pleased to see the speed in the backline and the support of our forwards. It seems we’ve made some headway in getting the two sides to work in unison, which will be critical when we move on to play Florida on the road in a few weeks. Luckily, everyone got a run and we can start focusing on some higher level drills this week.”

The Gamecocks will be celebrating Parent’s Weekend this week, though will return to action Saturday, October 4th against the University of Florida Gators for a 1pm kickoff on the road. A reserve match will follow.