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Upset Time in SCRC Semis?

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Upset Time in SCRC Semis?

Alabama looks for revenge against Kentucky.

The SCRC playoffs begin with Saturday’s semifinals as Tennessee takes on Florida and Alabama hosts Kentucky.

For Tennessee it’s been a tough run, but they emerged 24-22 winners over Kentucky, and 13-10 winners over South Carolina. Slightly less good goalkicking and one mistake here and there and they might be where South Carolina is now, 3-2 and staying home.

But wing ben Schwartz has been clutch when he’s needed to be, and their back row has cleaned up some messes. How will the Vols match up against Florida? Well, Tennessee beat Kentucky by two, and Kentucky beat Alabama by nine, and last weekend Alabama beat Florida 52-12, so you’d figure Tennessee might do the same.

And as for Alabama, they have a history of surprising people. Two years ago “Bama made the conference final with an upset win over Tennessee, and center and club vice president Ross Depperschmidt says he’d like to see that sort of thing again.

“We have a bit of a chip on our shoulder because we’re sort of a lower-level club team and we don’t have the same status on campus as other teams,” said Depperschmidt. “But we’ve got a good group of guys and we’ve got good coaching and we think we’re building something.”

Despite having to struggle for respect in Tuscaloosa, Alabama has played really well, going 4-1 in conference play, with their only loss 21-12 to the Kentucky Wildcats.

“In that game, we beat ourselves,” said Depperschmidt. “We gave up a lot of penalties and we’re glad we’ve got another shot.”

A team that prides itself on its defense, Alabama, has benefited from solidifying their coaching situation, with Eddie Buckner and Danny Depperschmidt helping with the forwards. 

“We know some teams will score,” said Depperschmidt the younger. “But we are going to make it as tough as possible for them.”

Alabama has enjoyed strong seasons from Depperschmidt, again, and also scrumhalf James Puente and prop Shawn Dawley have helped keep “Bama at the top.

“We graduated a bunch of guys, but the new guys coming in are strong,” said Depperschmidt. “We feel like we’re building some long-term success.”

it will be a tough game  against Kentucky. Both teams are very strong. The Wildcats have a strong defense led by Caleb Canter and CJ Leadingham is a solid goalkicker. The game itself has been moved around a bit because the University of Alabama doesn’t allow rugby games to be held on days when Alabama football hosts a game. So the game has been moved an hour’s drive from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham, Ala., kickoff 11am at Erskine Ramsay Park. Should be a good one. 

Tennessee hosts Florida at 1pm at Tennessee Rugby Park in Knoxville, Tenn. The winners go on to the final November 19 in Marietta, Ga.