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Florida DIAA Latest: UCF, FSU, USF, FAU

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Florida DIAA Latest: UCF, FSU, USF, FAU

Central Florida eked out a tight win over Florida International to get the Knights' first victory of the Florida DIAA league season.

Meanwhile, South Florida, Florida State, and Florida Atlantic all improved to 2-0, as they, along with 1-1 North Florida and Central Florida, look to be the stronger teams in the competition.

"It was a real nail-biting game," said UCF Coach Evan Haigh. "Both groups are very young and very new to rugby, so it was good to see some improvement across the game and a slight improvement of game from last week."

FIU scored in the first minute as wing Tinotenda Vheriwa raced in for a try. With Gonzalo Garcia's conversion FIU led 7-0. Central replied almost immediately with wing Joshwon Bush scoring to make it 7-5.

UCF edged ahead 20 minutes later as flanker Braelen Dykes went over. Seth Claffey converted and Central led 12-7. FIU then took a yellow card, only to see UCF take one, as well. Then, just before halftime, and now a man up due to their yellow card expiring, FIU took the lead. Sub fullback Alejandro Rajkumar, who had come on as a blood sub just a few minutes earlier, was in for a key try. Garcia converted and FIU led 14-12 at halftime.

In the second half, Central center Richard McHugh put his side ahead with a try. Claffey added a penalty for a 20-14 lead. FIU scored with ten minutes to go—scrumhalf Segundo Cremaschi doing the honors—but were unable to convert and the game ended 20-19 for Central Florida.

Haigh said the difference between this game and a close loss to Florida Atlantic last week was just a few small details. 

"We just were able to control field position, which really helped in the wet conditions," said Haigh. "It is hard to say who exactly is going to develop over the next few weeks. We have some very hard matches ahead of us. FSU are very good this year as are USF. We have a lot of work to do to catch up to them."

FAU beat Florida easily 66-7, while South Florida beat North Florida 49-12. Prop Sean Johnson scored three tries while lock Matthew Bradly and No. 8 Murray Alford each scored two tries for USF. 

Justin Osagie and Tommy Payton added tries as well.

And Florida State beat Florida Gulf Coast 61-14. No. 8 David Alcea galloped in three tries in the second half, while fyhalf Ryan Falzoi added two. The game was tight until the last ten minutes of the first half when Florida State raced in three tries to blow the game open.

Florida North W L T PF PA PD BT BL PTS
South Florida 2 0 0 151 15 136 2 0 10
Florida State 2 0 0 135 15 120 2 0 10
North Florida 1 1 0 59 68 -9 1 0 5
Florida 0 2 0 10 168 -158 0 0 0
Florida South W L T PF PA PD BT BL PTS
FAU 2 0 0 78 14 64 1 0 9
Central Florida 1 1 0 27 31 -4 0 1 5
FIU 0 2 0 24 94 -70 0 1 1
FGCU 0 2 0 33 108 -75 0 0 0