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SIRC Latest - FIU Falters, MTSU Rolls

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SIRC Latest - FIU Falters, MTSU Rolls

FIU won the 7s on Jan 28. They need to rebound for the rest of the 15s season now.

The South Independent Rugby Conference could have settled all discussion last week with MTSU playing Memphis and Florida International playing UCF, but it’s not quite that way.

MTSU did indeed beat Memphis 37-5 to move to 5-0 and the Tigers remain in 1st of the SIRC North. However, with Kennesaw State just a game behind, next week’s Feb. 18 clash between the two will truly decide who is 1st.

In the South, Florida International entered last week 4-0, but were upset by Central Florida 18-7. The loss, said FIU’s Mateo Velazquez, was the result in part of some veteran players graduating over the winter. It was also thanks to the previous week’s 7s tournament, which FIU won, thus qualifying for the USA Rugby nationals. That tournament was bruising, and several players were somewhat banged up going into the Saturday 15s meeting with Central Florida. Among them, scrumhalf Tomas Velazquez, who injured his hamstring. A freshman filled in, but the change didn’t do much for FIU’s continuity.

Still, with No. 8 Santi Laphitzondo and forward captain Abraham Martinez getting some go-forward, FIU expects to bounce back this weekend.

“We know we need two more wins to make it to the conference playoffs,” said Maeo Velasquez. “We’ll get some guys back from injuries and we’ll be alright.”

This weekend, Georgia Southern is at Kennesaw State, and Georgia Tech is at MTSU in the North. In the South, FIU hosts South Florida, 39-10 winners over North Florida last week. North Florida is at Florida State, which sits 3-1 and should be the other team from the South to qualify for the SIRC playoff weekend in March.