Rugby continues fight for national championship

Spinnaker

By: Josh Brannock, Assistant Features Editor

 

(Photo by Andrew Noble)

UNF rugby will continue its historical season March 10, as it takes its 8-0 record to Mobile, Ala., where the team will play in the South Championships.

The team won the Florida State Division III rugby title Feb. 26 as it beat Eckerd University 24-22 at Eckerd. The Deadbirds were down, with under two minutes left, when Steven “Meaty” Hill scored the game-winning try.

The game could have been Hill’s last, but with the last-minute score, Hill kept his and UNF’s season alive. Hill said at the time he had no idea the score put the team ahead.

“It wasn’t until Case Pollard told me that the score put us ahead as he helped me off the ground [that I knew what the score meant],” Hill said. “When the final whistle blew, I was just overwhelmed with emotion. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime feeling.”

Pollard was also key to the Deadbirds’ win. Down by 12 points, Pollard scored a try that made it possible for Hill’s try to give UNF the late lead.

Trace Horevitz credited the team’s effort to prevailing over the Tritons.

(Photo by Andrew Noble)

“We started off slow, and after a few tough calls from the ref, we found ourselves down by 12 to a talented Eckerd team,” Horevitz said. “It was a tough battle throughout the game, but we refused to give up, and all our hard work throughout the season finally paid off.”

The team finished the season undefeated for the second time in its history. The team’s closest games were both against Eckerd. In the first match of the season at UNF, the Deadbirds squeaked by with a 19-10 win.

Horevitz said in order to keep winning, the team must continue to stay fit and have trust in each other.

“Each guy has trust that the other 14 men on the field will do their part and support each other,” Horevitz said. “The difference between a team that wins and one that loses is that everyone plays the game as a team, not as individuals, and I feel like our team exemplifies that this season.”

 

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