UGA takes 2nd place at 2012 SEC Sevens Championships

UGA finished 2nd in the SEC Sevens championship in Montgomery, Alabama
this past weekend, losing to Texas A&M in the final, but beating
Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee along the way.

We spent the weekend playing from behind. We were outscored 46-0 in
the first 3 minutes of games, but finished strong, outscoring
opponents in the 2nd half 51-10 going into the final (despite playing
a total of 9 players, and only 8 on Sunday's knockout rounds).

Overall we played with a lot of heart, but were sloppy with our
handling and imprecise on our defense. It's satisfying to come so
close to winning the tournament and encouraging to do so while having
so much room for continued improvement.

We are hoping for an at-large bid to the National Championships, which
are November 30-Dec 1 in College Station, Texas. We should find out
in early November.

Our B-side also competed, playing Alabama, Tennessee, Texas A&M (all
B-sides), and Mississippi State's A-side. While we were unable to win
any of the games, we had some very encouraging performances by new
players who will undoubtedly make a big impact in 15's season.

The B's did put in a very strong performance against Texas A&M in the
3rd match of the first day, holding a 10-5 lead with 2 minutes left,
with tries by Cameron Prybol and rookie Justin Rey. Unfortunately A&M
finished with 2 tries for the 15-5 win.

Film for all games will go online on Vimeo. Some of these have not
finished uploading yet, but will be available soon.


Match summaries:

Pool Play vs Tennessee

We started pool play vs defending champion Tennessee and we started
very poorly. Tennessee raced out to a 12-0 lead then, when we closed
to 12-7, scored an extremely soft try on the last play of the 1st
half. We finished strong, but it was too little, too late.

1st / 0-7 / Tennessee try
2nd / 0-12 / Tennessee try
6th / 7-12 / Sam Trammel try
7th / 7-17 / Tennessee try
9th / 7-22 / Tennessee try
11th / 12-22 / Sam Trammel try
13th / 17-22 / Jon Ross try


Pool Play vs South Carolina

This was win or go home as the loser went to the loser's bracket.
This was an extremely tough game, start to finish - much closer than
the score indicates.

South Carolina showed some real speed on the outside and were
threatening throughout the 1st half. They scored first and went into
half up 7-5. We controlled the 2nd half, though, pushing in 3 tries
for a 24-7 win and a spot in the quarter finals.

2nd / 0-7 / USC try
5th / 5-7 / Austin West try
10th / 12-7 / Sam Trammel try
11th / 19-7 / Jon Ross try
13th / 24-7 / Austin West try


Quarter final vs Florida

This was a rematch of last year's quarter final, which Florida won.
Florida started strong (and we started weak... again), pushing in 2
early tries for the early 10-0 lead.

We responded with 3 straight tries and then survived a desperate
scramble at the end as Florida was on our goal line with no time left.
In fact, it briefly looked like the ref had awarded a try to Florida
at the end (if you watch the film, you can hear my outraged scream),
but it was simply a miscommunication. Game over.

2nd / 0-5 / Florida try
3rd / 0-10 / Florida try
7th / 5-10 / Scott Tupper try
9th / 10-10 / Pierre Naude try
11th / 15-10 / Sam Trammel try


Semi final vs Tennessee

Due to what I consider a mistake in the tournament schedule, we played
Tennessee again in the semis while Auburn played Texas A&M in the
other semi (both games were rematches of pool games). Again,
Tennessee scored the first 2 tries and again we scored in the 6th
minute. This time we didn't give them an easy try at the end of the
half, so it was a 10-7 Tennessee lead at the half.

Tennessee scored in the 1st minute of the second half for a 15-7 lead,
but we finished strong. We had a promising attack around midfield
when Pierre Naude was clotheslined. Should have been a yellow card
(and, honestly, probably a penalty try, though that would've taken a
brave call by the ref - again, you can hear my performance on the
film), but ref didn't even call a penalty.

In the 12th minute Stephen Turnbull scored and in the 13th we had a
sure try set up, but knocked it on on the final pass. From there it
was a scramble and after a series of turnovers Stephen Turnbull scored
at the death to win 19-15.

1st / 0-5 / Tennessee try
3rd / 0-10 / Tennessee try
6th / 7-10 / Jon Ross try
8th / 7-15 / Tennessee try
12th / 14-15 / Stephen Turnbull try
14th / 19-15 / Stephen Turnbull try


Final vs Texas A&M

This one started with A&M scoring in the 1st minute (sound familiar?)
through poor tackling. We responded with a Jon Ross try in the 3rd,
A&M was up 7-5 at the half. We traded 2nd half tries and with 1
minute left we had a lineout on our 40. We won the lineout and
started our attack, but knocked it on. A&M scooped it up and took it
in for the try to lock the game away.

A&M was able to pressure us on restarts, winning 2 of our scrums and
retaining at least 1 of their own kickoffs. Given that, I was pleased
that we had an attacking chance to win the game. All in all this was
a sloppy game by both sides. We were sloppy all game and A&M missed
on several scoring chances.

1st / 0-7 / Texas A&M try
3rd / 5-7 / Jon Ross try
8th / 5-14 / Texas A&M try
10th / 10-14 / Stephen Turnbull try
14th / 10-21 / Texas A&M try
14th / 10-28 / Texas A&M try


UGA A-side Tries:

4 Sam Trammel
4 Jon Ross
3 Stephen Turnbull
2 Austin West
1 Scott Tupper
1 Pierre Naude

UGA B-side tries:

1 Justin Rey
1 Cameron Prybol