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Florida Teams to SIRC Final

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Florida Teams to SIRC Final

Central Florida and Florida State will be playing for the South Independent Conference championship Sunday after both won their semis over their Northern rivals Saturday.

FSU defeated Kennesaw State 43-7 on Saturday. Frazer Baron, Kody Boswell, Cameron Chadsey, and Anthony Soto all scored tries. Evan Barada scored two, and FSU also got a penalty try.

UCF defeated Middle Tennessee State 39-22 in a game where UCF started much the better and looked more polished in the first half. MTSU rebounded somewhat, but UCF looked very strong.

Inside center Alex Hunt scored three tries for UCF, while flanker Niko Smith, and wing Fabian Villafane scored one ach. Brett Burgess added 12 points on kicks. 

"We were more physical in the tackle area," said UCF Coach Evan Haigh. "That is a strong area of focus for us, that I don't think MTSU expected us to bring." 

Central Florida beat Florida State 64-13 two weeks ago in league play, but that was a game where FSU didn't need to win to make the conference semis. One wonders if the November 12, 2016 meeting between the two, won by FSU 19-18, might be a better predictor of what will happen on Sunday.

"FSU played us without six of their starting players last time," said UCF's Haigh. "We are expecting a huge step up from what we faced today against MTSU. We know that we are in for a war, but we are excited to see an all-Florida SIRC final. The college league in Florida is strong and we play our own style of rugby." 

The winner of the final will enter the East Bracket of the DIAA playoffs.