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Top of Standings Clashes in SIRC

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Top of Standings Clashes in SIRC

Tom Sweeney photo.

The South Independent Rugby Conference’s North Division probably comes down to this weekend.

At least, who will be 1st in the division comes down to this weekend, as Middle Tennessee State hosts Kennesaw State. MTSU is 6-0, while KSU is 4-1. If MTSU loses, they aren’t really out of the picture for 1st, but if they win, then it’s pretty much game over.

The chase for 2nd, and the other conference playoff spot, could clarify. If KSU beats MTSU, then that likely settles both teams as the playoff participants. But if KSU loses, then they will remain in a battle with Memphis for that second spot.

Kennesaw State Coach Randall Joseph said his team has still been working through some rebuilding, but they are getting the results. Josh Inglis was the South U19 captain, and now captains KSU. He’s been very effective, and Ben McClellan has ben very good at fullback. With a pack of “working men,” said Joseph, KSU has a good shot.

But Middle Tennessee State has been logging some impressive results, including a 93-0 defeat of Georgia Tech this past weekend.

“KSU will be tough at home and I think they have been looking forward to this game since the fall season ended,” said MTSU Coach Jody Hensley. “They are in second place at the moment but a win against us would make the top spot reachable for them. The have some big forwards and their backs are very capable of causing damage. They are a big physical team so we'll expect to come out of there bruised up. KSU is very much a team that feeds off of emotion and momentum. If we give them the momentum they will put up a lot of points. We will need a very strong defensive effort to come out of Georgia with a win.”

Injuries have hit Middle Tennessee at times, and they have not had the same lineup in two consecutive weeks. But the upside of that is the players moving in and out of the lineup get valuable game time.

Mason Hubbard continues to play well for MTSU and is the fittest player on the team. He is a go-to man in the lineouts. Jesse Hackworth continues to be a strong presence at prop, dominating in the scrum.

So with those two players getting Middle Tennessee State possession, MTSU goes into this game favored.

In the South, it’s a similar story. Two teams are going at it with a game that should decide who will be 1st. Florida International and Florida State are both 4-1 and they face off. But the big issue here is that the loser of that game will be under severe pressure from South Florida. If South Florida beats Central Florida, then USF and the loser of the other game will both be at 4-2. This could all come down to the final weekend.


This week in SIRC:

Middle Tennessee State (6-0) at Kennesaw State (4-1)

Memphis (2-3) at Georgia Tech (1-4)

Central Florida (2-3) at South Florida (3-2)

Florida International (4-1) at Florida State (4-1)



SIRC - DIAA                  
South Ind North W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
Middle Tennessee 6 0 0 301 30 271 6 0 30
Kennesaw State 4 1 0 172 94 78 4 0 20
Memphis 2 3 0 113 88 25 3 1 12
Georgia Tech 1 4 0 39 276 -237 1 0 5
Georgia Southern 0 5 0 12 136 -124 0 -8 -8
South Ind South W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
Florida State 4 1 0 152 82 70 3 1 20
Florida International 4 1 0 141 61 80 3 0 19
South Florida 3 2 0 135 109 26 3 0 15
Central Florida 2 3 0 125 106 19 2 1 11
North Florida 0 6 0 82 267 -185 1 0 1