Rugby drops home opener to Memphis

Caleb Aldridge breaks a tackle from Memphis player Josiah Shipley during the rugby game Oct. 6.

The UNA Rugby Club lost its Oct. 6 home game (42-8) to Division I Memphis University after failing to contain the Tigers in the first half.

“They did all their scoring in the first half,” said UNA rugby player Michael Cole. “In the second half, we settled down and didn’t let them score until the last five minutes.”

The Lions came out with an early lead behind a field goal by Forrest Lyon, making the score 3-0. The only try scored by the Lions was by Landon Whaley and was also scored in the first half.

After the Lions scored in the first half, the Tigers “got on a roll,” scoring five times within a 10-minute span, Cole said.

In the second half, however, the Lions kept the Tigers from scoring until the final minutes of the game.

“We played good defense the entire second half,” Cole said.

The Lions will now turn their attention to Lee University, who they will play at home Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. Current UNA rugby coach Eddie Roberts used to coach at Lee University.

“Lee will be a team that is very similar to us,” Cole said. “It’s always a good-fought game (when we play against Lee).”

Cole said the lesson the Lions learned in the Memphis game is that the team needs to work on conditioning.

“We really learned we have to be in better shape by the end of the season or we’re not going to make it very far in (conference play),” Cole said.

Conference play for the Lions starts Nov. 10 and will include games against Harding, UT-Martin, Freed-Hardeman, UAB and Murray State.