Tennessee built a 19-7 halftime advantage and then held tough with a solid defensive pressure in the second half to win 26-17 and claim the 2021 Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference Championship.
The Vols seemed to be in control in the first half and then allowed a try just before the half that seemed to give Clemson a bit of life. In the second half both teams had trouble maintaining continuity due to aggressive defensive efforts. At 54 minutes a Clemson back got loose on a poorly executed clearing kick and then the Vols answered at 70 minutes with a forward try from Graham Wallace. Clemson put across a try in the final moments but never could close the gap inside two possessions.
The victory sends the Volunteers to Charlotte in two weeks to play for the 2021 Fall Division I Collegiate Club Rugby Championship. Tennessee will square off with Bowling Green State University at Noon at the Mathews Sports Complex.
1, Braxton Heard
2. Greg Giangiulio / Williams @ 62'
3. Kevin Thomas / Brendan Bibb @ 67'
4. Greg Janowick
5. Will Ring / Tommy Codevilla @ 70'
6. Lance Williams / Jarret Self @ 62'
7. Luke Mathis / Christian Moolman @ 62' / Ring @ 70'
8. Graham Wallace
9. Luke Davies
10. Marcus McClain
11. Austin White
12. Tom Pelini
13. Josh Shetler
14. Garrett Moorman
15. Jake Rath
09' Try UT (Moorman) / CK (Rath); 7-0
28' Try UT (Wallace); 12-0
37' Try UT (Williams) / CK (Rath); 19-0
40' CU Try / CK; 19-7
54' CU Try; 19-12
70' UT Try (Wallace) / CK (Rath); 26-12
77' CU Try; 26-17
Halftime: Tennessee 19, Clemson 7
Full Time: Tennessee 26, Clemson 17
Asst referee: Ben Dickenson
Asst referee: Jack Smith
UT: 3 of 5
CU: 7 of 7
Line Out Quality
UT: 9 of 12
CU: 13 of 14