Guilford Rugby Dismantles UNCC 49ers
Guilford-36 UNCC-10The Guilford College Rugby Club played host this past Saturday to a familiar foe, the UNC-Charlotte 49ers, on what turned out to be a stellar sunny afternoon. UNCC was originally scheduled to travel to Guilford earlier in the season, but the game was unable to be hosted due to the administration's concerns for the fields during a tropical storm. Since then, Charlotte seemed to have picked up momentum, notching victories over a revived UNCG team and Duke University.
The match was intense from the kickoff. Charlotte fought hard, but were unable to keep pace with the young "A/B" Guilford side, made up as always of experienced leaders and very game rookies. Since late August the Guilford players have been putting up with a very physically demanding practice schedule which has paid great dividends. Put quite simply, the boys don't slack.Charlotte came out to hit, as it was indeed a Saturday, and gave Guilford perhaps their most physical match short of Triad Rugby. However, accurate kicking, great communication, quick hands, and another great performance by a solid, gritty pack had Charlotte on their heels most of the entire game. An unfortunately whimsical referee apparently forgot his warnings, advantages, and yellow cards at home, but did not fail to red card senior Guilford scrum-half Max Kochinke for aggressive footing in the ruck with no prior address. A Charlotte back was also red-carded, perhaps questionably. An extraordinary amount of knocks, off-sides, and dangerous tackles were let go for both teams, causing the game to feel more like a continuous brawl at times. Guilford maintained composure and organization, however, and left no doubt in a clear and telling 36-10 victory.
Last week's heroes performed expectedly well, with the entire front row of Watters, Smithey, and Montes de Oca putting in serious work and impressive crash ball against the much larger Charlotte team. Both the flankers Andrew owned tries on the day, an impressive Matt Elverson managed to play both #8 and #9 for twenty minutes of the game, and a rejuvenated Will Dawson used his shoulder as a battering ram to great effect throughout the first half. Every back-line player shined, all showing great offensive flair and chase, and repeatedly stopping an intimidating Mean Green line-up. The game was epitomized as senior winger Cody Martin efficiently laid out a hard-charging opponent nearly twice his weight on the try-line, pushing the play out of bounds and winning the ball back for his team. Guilford Rugby will now enjoy a much deserved rest after starting their fall season with five wins and no defeats.
Match Report By Coach Hunter
Photo Credit: Megan Slater