From Oct. 17 -18, the Tigers wrapped up their 2015 season with a trip to Austin, TX for this year’s edition of the USAFL National Tournament. The Tigers competed in Division IV combined with Houston Lonestar’s B-Side. The boys drew fourth seed in a tough group with Denver-B, Seattle-B/Portland and Golden Gate-B.
The first match on Saturday against Denver was hard-fought on a field dampened with the cold, morning dew. A slow first half offensively for the Tigers had the defense blasted early on. However, the defense did an excellent job turning goals to behinds and keeping it close. The second half odds improved with passes finally connecting, as the Tigers caught up. Sadly, the Tigers ran just short on the scoreboard finishing with a painful 21-20 loss.
Following a short three hour break, it was time for the Tigers to take on Seattle/Portland. Despite warmer afternoon temperatures, the Tigers started slow once again, giving up a plethora of behinds (and the occasional goal), with the defense doing all it could to stop the onslaught of Seattle/Portland. Tightening up the midfield in the second half gave a little momentum to the Tigers but it was too little too late and the Tigers fell to Seattle/Portland: 47-28.
The final match began on Sunday with the boys playing against Golden Gate. Sore and battling injuries from Saturday, the Tigers took the field one last time and fought hard against a more skillful side in Golden Gate. Following what seemed to be the trend of the tournament, the first half started off rough only to be followed with impressive work displayed during the second half. Improved accuracy and strong defensive work slowed Golden Gate’s attack in the second half. However, it was again not enough and the Tigers fell 49-16.
Despite leaving the 2015 USAFL National Tournament without a victory, the boys put in some hard-work, playing till the end of each match. There were certainly areas for improvement, but also many moments of greatness. The Tigers hope to start next season stronger, with a tested core group of players, and compete to win a trophy in 2016.
Our Tigers in the 2015 USAFL Tournament:
*With the famous Neil Stebbing, who provided coaching support and represented the Tigers in the Masters/Legends match.