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Fourth ranked Paladins defeat App State

Thomas Trankle soars for a line out. (Photo by Deborah Miller)
Thomas Trankle soars for a line out. (Photo by Deborah Miller)

Furman captured the Western Division of the Southern Rugby Conference (SRC) and extended its record to 8-0 with a 27-7 win at Appalachian State Saturday.

The Paladins will host the loser of Tuesday’s match-up between Coastal Carolina and UNC-Wilmington in the SRC semi-final at John Roberts Field 1 p.m., Saturday. The Paladins, who have outscored their fall opponents 424-60 are currently ranked fourth in the nation by Rugby Today.

Played in blustery conditions in Boone, N.C., the Paladins fast-paced, high scoring offense was slowed by persistent, scrappy play from the Mountaineers, who always play well at home. Furman senior center Adam Miller scored the first try of the day near the 15- minute mark to take the Paladins to a 10-0 lead.

Ten minutes later, the Mountaineers bullied in a try from goal line ruck to cut Furman’s lead 10-7. Winger Hunter Branch answered quickly with a try to give  Furman a 15-7 halftime lead.

With some fresh reserves and retooled game plan, the Paladins kept the Mountaineers on their back foot for much of the second half but could only muster two trys. Dyaln Bostock found the try zone at the 50-minute mark and senior Miles Lerner scored with 10 minutes remaining.

Furman was playing without three starters: Jacob Milchuck (shoulder), Patrick Musau (foot) and RJ Bradley (toe). All are expected to take the field this Saturday.

“This was a good win for our team today. A narrow field and gusty wind does not suit our style but we played really good defense and gutted out a win against a physical Appalachian State team,” said Furman Coach John Roberts.

Roberts said depth is helping Furman as the season enters late October.

“It can be really difficult when your captain (Musau), leading scorer (Milchuck) and top jumper (Bradley) are on the bench watching,” said Roberts. “But we are doing a good job of pushing through.”

 

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