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Florida State Wins SIRC

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Florida State Wins SIRC

The FSU team celebrates their win.

Florida State University just edged Central Florida to win the South Independent Rugby Conference final Sunday and book a spot in the national DIAA playoffs.

Frazer Baron, who has been a goalkicking machine for FSU, kicked a penalty at the end of the game to win the final 18-16. This result mirrored almost exactly last fall's meeting between the two teams, which FSU won 19-18 thanks in part to Baron's goalkicking. The two tams also met two weeks ago, but FSU opted to rest several starters and UCF won big.

"We just really, really focused on defense," said FSU Director of Rugby Colby Carinhas. "We knew UCF is a pound-it-out kind of team, so we just made a real big focus of shifting back-and-forth with them, making the tackles right away, and getting them down on the ground."

Carinhas said FSU was not surprised to see UCF beat SIRC North winners Middle Tennessee State Saturday. Despite the fact that Florida International finished 1st in the SIRC South (and opted out of the playoffs due to the fact they graduated some players in the fall and wanted to concentrate on 7s), Central Florida was perhaps the strongest team down the stretch, said Carinhas. 

The key, aside from defense, for the Seminoles, was the communication, especially in the halfback combo. They moved scrumhalf Alex Ruiz to flyhalf, and put in Alex Moya in at scrumhalf, and those two have worked very well together.

Cameron Chadsey chased down a kick right before halftime for FSU's first try, and in the second half, and Jordan Lupton scored the second try. Baron converted one of those tries and added a penalty goal, while UCF scored 16 to lead 16-15 with just a few minutes left. FSU got the ball as time wound down, worked it carefully up the gut with forward pick-and-jams. And then, in front of the posts, they got a penalty, and Baron put it over to win the game.

"We played small ball all the way," said Carinhas. "And when the penalty was called we were set up perfectly. We were 100% certain with our kicker."

In addition to Chadsey, Lupton, and Baron, lock Scott Petersen was a monster running with the ball all day. 

Florida Teams to SIRC Final