A slow start in Saturday's season opener sent the Hilton Head Rugby Club to its first divisional loss in three years, as the Savannah Shamrocks held off the Gators, 22-15, at Forsyth Park in Savannah.
Savannah bolted out to a 19-3 lead at halftime, but Hilton Head rallied in the second half. Play was called dead just as Hilton Head made it to the Savannah 5-meter line.
Kyle Selman and Scott Wild scored tries for Hilton Head. Neil Turner added a conversion and a penalty kick. Beau Bader earned man of the match honors, with Brian Oyugi and Wild honorable mention.
Hilton Head will return to action at 2 p.m. Saturday against another division foe, Golden Isles of Brunswick, Ga., in a match at Crossings Park on Hilton Head Island.