Playing at Sherman College in Spartanburg, Furman played a gritty first half against the University of Tennessee 2nds but the Volunteers pulled away late in the game to take a 32-17 victory.
With the loss, Furman closes out the fall season with an overall record of 13-8. The club compiled a 10-3 record in 7s play and a 3-5 record in 15s.
A try by Turner Morches and penalty kick by Austin Armor helped the Paladins to a 10-10 draw at half.
Eight minutes into the second half, Tennessee asserted control and began to wear down the Paladin defense. The Volunteers score three consecutive trys until outside center Conner Wilson broke through for try in the waning minutes of the game to make the final score 32-17.
“We played the best rugby we’ve played all season during the first half,” says Head Coach John Roberts. “Our defense was relatively sound and our offensive rucking was very solid.”
The Paladin forwards were missing flanker Nick Rossano (injury), lock Will Booker (injured shoulder) and tight head prop Lucas Ward. Second row players Trent Pannell and Danner Washburn left the game due to injuries.
“We were not a full strength in our forwards and they wore us down, that was the difference in the game,” says Roberts.
“Though we swallowed a loss, I was real pleased because our rucking and communication seemed to come together today. It was a fine effort.”