Thursday, October 29, 2009

NCRU State Tourney and Recent Developments

The Guilford Rugby blog has become dusty with the cobwebs of neglect and the stale breath of Chris Allman. Not to worry, though, here is an update for all ye faithful (aka those who read this blog aka a few current and former Guilford rugby players) on the last month of activity and the road ahead.

After losing to the old-boys in the 2nd Annual Guilford Rugby Alumni Game in late September, GCRFC hosted a reformed UNC Charlotte team looking for revenge after losing here in Greensboro one year ago. Revenge, so it went, was readily available in easy-to-swallow pill form as the 49's rolled up to Greensboro, rolled over Guilford, and rolled back to Charlotte with only a few speed bumps (most of them being literal road traffic calming devices and only a few being those metaphorical hindrances on the pitch). As the game was a month ago, I have chosen to forget the final score, however it is clear that Charlotte had a lot and Guilford had a little (5 to be exact, coming in the form of a late second half dignity try by junior transfer Sean McNally, aka "the new David", getting his much-deserved first points of the season).

If there was anything to glean from the game it is the play of senior scrumhalf Kevin Smithey who made his debut in the 9 shirt (transitioning from his 3-year worn number 7) and proved not only his aptitude at organizing both the piggies and the princesses but also fed McNally clean ball all day (on and off the pitch), earning Smithey his second man-of-the-match award of the season. Also noteworthy for Guilford is the continued commitment of the rookie players who again came out to play despite an apparent lack of knowledge in the game. But do not discredit these boys, they're learning more every week and have definitely begun to show a retention of knowledge on the basic rules and skills of the greatest sport on Earth. Credit must also be given to UNC Charlotte. The boys we met in this game, sporting slick new black jerseys, were not only generally nice but they also showed some real talent and their drift offense had Guilford players thumbing their own buttholes while Charlotte scored time and time again.

Since that game Guilford has begun an effort to return to the basics of rugby that enabled us to go undefeated last fall and place 2nd in the matrix this past spring: endurance and defense. With junior prop Randall Aldana making the move to inside center (?!?) and senior Bryce Bjornson and rookie Lester back at the outside center position, Guilford woeful backline play since the season opener is poised for a turnaround as senior Joel Popkin and junior Harry Anthony will be able to command the back-three with rookie talents Z Klonowski and Luke Walsh-Mellett. Another bit of good news is the possible return this weekend of fullback Max George who has been out for 6 weeks after dislocating his shoulder in the first five minutes of the Elon game. Today he received a hesitant vote of confidence from the doctor, who says he will be full strength in three weeks time but is probably okay to start contact, which is by any means good enough for him.

All of this is to say that Guilford is feeling confident going into this weekend's North Carolina Rugby State Tournament in Danville, VA (??). On Saturday at 11:30 Guilford will take on crosstown rivals UNCG with the winner playing the winner of UNCC-Duke for the Sunday championship.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

McKindley Ward receives 2008 Woodcock Award

All joking aside, the 2nd annual GCR Alumni Match was a great success and the relationship between the current college club and its former alumni continues to grow at the benefit of all parties.

Importantly, on Saturday the Alumni Association recognized Junior David McKindley Ward as the MVP of the 2008 season.

Although the man often called "Superstar" by his teammates is never short of praise for his contribution to the team at Flyhalf for the last two years and change, he now has his name alongside other Guilford Men's Rugby greats including last year's recipient Nick Hunter and GCRFC legends like Tyler Cope, Ben Snyder, Dan Hayden, and Kevin Woodcock himself. Undoubtedly, due to his aggressive manner of play and deft kicking talent McKindley Ward is the all-time points leader in the clubs history, although official numbers will never be available. All former recipients of the Woodcock Award (which has been given for each year since 2002) were on hand to present the award except for the inaugural winner, Joe S.

The award is now on display to the public in the Guilford College trophy case in the gym, a further testament to the solidity of the club's relationship with the school that has developed in recent years.

Monday, September 28, 2009

"Guilford Ruggers Ravaged by Alumni Horde" (The Alumni Game Match Report as told by Nick Hunter Guilford '08)

College Pretenders: 12-26 :Alumni Avengers
The Alumni Field Report

This past weekend will live in Guilford Rugby infamy forever, or at least until next fall. In an epic rainsoaked rumble that deserved the signature of Tolkien himself, a large compliment of graduated (and not-so graduated) alumni brawlers laid waste to a young and petulant clan of footy wanna-bes. Captained by the treacherous Matt Baker of Richmond Lions duty, the larger and more experienced maroon-and-blacks flexed their numerous degrees and laid down a cold, harsh welcome to the rigors of real-world rugby.

Though Guilford plays an effective, fast-paced game that will likely demolish their collegiate foes this year, the Alumni team had planned for chaos and ball-dropping. The addition of a steady rain and a wet paddock greatly enhanced only one of those strategies, and no points for guessing whose. That said, Alumni first-five Tito Kohout's hands (on loan from Austin Huns) were impeccable on the day and he dropped nary a pass that was noticed in 100 minutes of rugby. His starting second-five Chris Pugliese was as impressive, dotting down a try and showcasing the linebreaking talent that earned him a bullshit under-the-table degree in jungle pseudoscience from Blockbuster University. Chrissy was later hailed as the backs' man-of-the-match by the college side in the postgame BBQ of Warriors at the community center. He has yet to pay his dues. Or tuition.

Referee George Huber was once more risen from the grave to lend his services to these Elysian Fields festivities. Huber's reffing style is best described as whimsical and hazardous to all players under his whistle, but his two blind eyes and lack of fitness also go well toward fantastic flow of the game. Indeed, each team was equally maligned by his calls, which is perhaps the highest compliment that can be given to any referee. With a crack in the clouds after the match, a ray of sunlight disintegrated and banished his hated form back into the shadows, and thankful gifts of whiskey were placed by his tomb.

Sporting a hefty 300lb advantage in the packdown, the grizzled alumni forwards employed a smart strategy of lockout-and-lean (and punch) that made sure they only lost about 85% of the scrummages on the day. The plan was to collapse 100% of them, so to find the ball popping out favorably on occasion was an added bonus. Jeff Frisby and Joe Rumly made trouble up front for astoundingly long periods of time, given that their undying endurance on match day could only have come from pent-up hatred for rugby and humans in general, and not from fitness. Captain Baker at number 6 and a simply evil Drew Gottlieb (Triad Rugby) in the 7 shirt were able to slow enough ball and conceal enough penalties at the breakdown to force Abel Montes and the Innocent Children into a non-compete agreement. Forwards Kevin Woodcock (Duke Grad Rugby,) Dan Miller (Hussar Sevens,) and Byron Myers (Lizard People,) were present throughout to dish out unwarranted punishment and degrade the health of their joints. Miller propped from the full-squat position to compete for scrum space with world's largest toddler David Watters. Woodcock nearly slotted a penalty from his own half, only missing at the last second because the uprights were built thirty meters to the left of his kick a year ago. Ryan Kitaif fought somebody. Probably Crosby.

Legendary enforcer of many codes of law, Dan "Thunder" Hayden was the proud police pillager of five points on the day as he brutally tazed his way through Andrew Slater and Abel Montes to score a cop try before arresting college prop Randal Aldana in front of his mother. Gabriel Guindon and Cory Williams were everywhere on pitch, and squashed numerous uprisings against their harsh and unfair rule in the outside backs. Morgan Kerr swerved through every lane of traffic for 14 hours on his drive down from Maine to finally crash head-on into the Guilford uprights, throwing himself through the windshield and landing face down on a ball that had been worked into the tryzone, earning himself 5 points and a trip to Moses Cone hospital.

Wing Derek Loehr and fullback Cody Martin combined on several occasions to return counter-attacks and make all the right knock-ons. Their kicks and runs were effective and nullified young 15 Joel Popkin's ability to break through the defense or into local politics. Loehr's shoulder did not come out once, and Cody came out at the social. John "Two-brace" Stephenson left both braces in his kit bag, but did well to prevent attacks down the touchline and acquire attractive bruises before his upcoming wedding. John is wished well, and hopefully he keeps his children away from rugby. Self-proclaimed "Beer Coaches" Max George and Nick Hunter made nonsensical substitutions between irrational complaints, and neither one of the injured duo hurt themselves further while surveying the battle.

Detestable Ben Snyder scored the last meaningful try of the scrap, which went a long way toward redeeming his many failures on the pitch and in life. Kohout converted on three out of four in the wet, sealing the alumni contribution at 26 points. He and Pugliese, Hayden, Guindon, Stephenson, Kerr, Williams, Martin, Loehr, Harry Lorello, and others all put together shows of ball movement in the back line that made no sense given the wet conditions or the relative skill of any member in that combination. Lorello made several forays into action, gaining ground with forty-meter runs and eighty-proof breath. Max Kochinke was uncatchable and ran such a commanding game at halfback that he lost his voice completely. That was preferable, however, to Matt Elverson's lost dignity at #8 due to his now classic "kick from anywhere" strategy. Speaking of #8's with zero dignity, Tyler Cope made a lot of money for those who placed bets that he would make zero passes, but used his head as a battering ram for the unholy goals of his horde.

These nomadic Alums traveled from as far as Nantucket, Texas, and the West Coast just to collectively spite their former teammates and current standard bearers. The annual victory tally now stands at 1-1, with next year's rubber match already anticipated as Guilford Rugby hastily outpaces every season behind it, and every alum grows colder, more wicked, and another year closer to death.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

2nd Annual Alumni Game this weekend!

On Saturday the Guilford Men will host past graduates and dropouts in the 2nd annual Alumni Game. Last November's inauguration was quite successful and the alumni anticipate fielding a stronger side this year with access to a wealth of skilled ruggers from the 2009 graduating class. The Guilford Rugby Alumni Association, founded last year by alumn Ben Snyder, Nick Hunter, and Drew Gottlieb has been a growing success and in an unprecedented move of sober charity they will host the current team to a post-game banquet where the Woodcock Award (for Most Valuable Player of the previous season, currently in possession of 2007 recipient Nick Hunter) will be passed on to the next Guilford rugby legend-to-be.

Everyone come out to the pitch at 1 for the women's game against Wake Forest and 3 for the 2nd ever Guilford Men's Rugby Alumni game. Broken alumn Nick Hunter and the new shoulda-boy Max George will be getting sloppy all day on the sidelines, please do not listen to anything they have to say, sir. Expect to see names long forgotten (a certain Tito?) and skills long past (T-Cope ain't got no juice) on display and don't worry, even if the kids win the battle the alumni are undefeated in the post-match social. Who knows, maybe even George Huber will shoot-the-boot this year!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Guilford Off to Strong Autumn Start

Guilford 15-14 Triad Men
Guilford 10-10 Elon

Guilford Rugby looks to boast the strongest competitive side in the club's history this year. The Quakers did enough to secure a win over 2008 D3 South Finalists Triad Rugby and drew with last year's top North Carolina D3 college club Elon Phoenix. What's more is they have also achieved a new goal for 2009 fall friendly matches, blooding as many new players as possible for a full second half.

Evolutions in the team are everywhere. The pack troubled a vastly larger Triad team in the scrum, often driving them backwards during their own put-ins, and winning all their own ball. Against Elon the Quaker pack won nearly every scrum of the day, no matter whose feed. Back row forwards have done excellent work in the rucks and cleanly transitioned to enhancing backline play with their presence. Flanker Kevin Smithey in particular has taken ownership of several touch-line sprints for impressive meterage. Now iconic in Guilford's forward crew, hooker Abel Montes de Oca has returned for what may be his last year at Guilford. The stout leader's beard alone has been said to deserve the #2 shirt.

A revelation for Guilford has come in the play of the back three unit, which now shows structured counter-attacks and fields high kicks well. Two tries in the match versus Triad came by way of fullback Maxwell George's clever play. Wingers for the team are almost entirely new, but offer some surprising athleticism and are taking to the game better than expected. Perhaps where Guilford looks strongest, however, is in the inside backs. Flyhalf Sean McNally has instantly meshed with his new team and showed his 6 years of rugby experience with classy distribution to the centers and smart probing with ball in hand. The pairing of McNally and former NCRU All-Star David McKindley-Ward (at 13) in the line was disastrous for Triad, who were fortunate to have no fewer than three tries averted by untimely penalties. McKindley-Ward, who scored Guilford's only try against a very tough Elon side, will be absent for much of the coming season, however, as he looks to gain experience in Ireland during the rest of the fall. His return for the Spring Matrix will be felt. Meanwhile, strong inside center Harrison Anthony has returned from a sidelining illness last year to bring much appreciated physicality and vision to the unit.

The pitfalls of the club so far have been dropped balls and growing pains. Tries that are deserved go unscored when needless 50-50 passes wind up on the wrong side of 50, and intently giving more than a few completely new players entire halves against proven and talented sides is always a risk. Guilford vs. Elon was frought with these kinds of passes and the score reflected it. The payoff, however, is a club that is closer-bound and will boast more depth when it is needed. Among other lessons of the last year, the Quakers have learned that the spring academic calendar can claim players as easily as injuries can, and the club has seen fit to let the fall friendlies play out as they may while rookies are given the proper grooming.

The club will only improve when Bryce Bjornson steps up to take back the reigns at center when McKindley-Ward vacations, and Max George's return from a shoulder injury should galvanize the group further.

Guilford will now look to fend off a very impressive Alumni selection this coming weekend.

Match Report by Nick "Too Broke to Battle" Hunter, Photos by Sarah Thabalt

Monday, September 14, 2009

Guilford 15, Triad 14

This Saturday Guilford Men's Rugby kicked off their fall friendly season with an improbable 15-14 home win over Greensboro's DIII elite men's team, Triad Rugby. In what can only be described as a team effort Guilford dispelled rumors of a lack of organization and preparation this year after losing 8 graduating seniors in May. Senior fullback Max George touched-down two tries and junior outside center David McKindley-Ward converted one and added a penalty to the tally in one of the most grueling matches in recent Guilford rugby history. George and senior flanker Kevin Smithey, who played like a man possessed on the weak side, were awarded Men of the Match.

Full match report to follow. Thanks to everyone who came to support, hope to y'all for this coming weekend's home game against Elon!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Guilford Rugby back in full swing

With the start of the 2009/2010 school year, Guilford Rugby wasted no time getting back on the pitch and shaking off the summer dust from their boots. Captains Slater (forwards) and Joel (backs) are delighted to welcome more than 10 brand new payers, mostly first-years, to fill in the gaps left by a very talented graduating class.

Perhaps the most exciting addition, however, is junior transfer Sean McNally, who has 6 years of experience with game and most recently played with Boston in the USA Super League. Sean will replace David "Superstar" McKindley-Ward, who's going to be drinking whiskey and growing his beard in Ireland this fall, at flyhalf for the semester. Although a little afraid of our boys' off-field antics at times (i.e. Sean has declined all make-out offers from other teammates so far), Sean is getting on just fine on the pitch and the backline is looking formidable, with returning centers Bryce Bjornson and Harry Anthony, fullback Maxwell George, winger Paul McCoullough and Joel Popkin, who will move to scrumhalf to replace recent graduate Max Kochinke.

The pack welcomes back world-destroyer/#1 Dad Abel Montes de Oca at hooker after his semester hiatus. With returners Randall Aldana, David "Under the Bridge" Watters, Kevin "The Lips" Smithey, Graybird, Air Crosby, Will "Manchild" Dawson, Alex Knox, Teddybear, and Slater, the pack shouldn't look too different from last year.

On Saturday the boys had an inner-squad scrimmage and followed it up with a season-opening joint social with the lovely ladies of Guilford's women's side. The 9-on-9 game gave the new guys a chance to get dirty and get lit up by Slater and it showed the experienced players how out of shape they actually are. A sizable crowd of rugby fans showed up to watch and afterward congratulations and beerulations were shared with everyone. Recognition was given to brand new ruggers of the game Kevin, of the new forwards, and Dave, of the new backs, who both showed tremendous potential in the budding stages of their careers.

In other news, the highly anticipated innaugural Guilford Men's Rugby nude calendar will be coming out this week! The calendars, which will be sold at $15 each with all proceeds going towards the social fund, features players from last year's team and Teddy Bear himself on the cover. Anyone interested in the first run of 100 calendars find Bryce.

And lastly, here's a look at the fall match schedule. Our first 4 games in a row will be here at Guilford, including the fall highlight, the second annual Alumni game on Sept. 26.

9/12 1pm: Triad @ Guilford
9/19 12pm: Elon @ Guilford
9/26 1pm: Alumni Match @ Guilford
10/3 Rucktoberfest (App St)
10/10 1pm: UNC Charlotte @ Guilford
10/31 NCRU Tournament
11/7 Guilford @ Duke
11/14 Guilford @ Eno River
11/20 Guilford @ NC State

See y'all on the pitch.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Summer Sevens

The Guilford Hussars sevens team will be attending two tournaments: Cape Fear Sevens in Wilmington and Bele Chere Sevens in Asheville.

Some pictures from last years team:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pics from UNCG game

Photo Credit: Teddy Bear

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Guilford End Season with Come from Behind Win

Guilford - 33 UNCG - 22

After a one month rugby hiatus the Quakers ended their season this past Saturday with a win over UNC-Greensboro. Early on the Guilford backline struggled to contain a very quick UNCG fullback. In the second half Guilford returned fire with hard running from strong centers and an all star flyhalf. The Quaker pack put forth an impressive effort all day; winning lineouts early on and taking several scrums against the head.

The Quakers long absence from play was apparent early in the first half. The Quakers sloppy play within the first ten minutes allowed the Spartans an early shot at goal. The kick was wide however leaving the score at 0-0. After a few more minutes of back and forth play UNCG’s fullback streaked down the sideline, avoiding multiple tackles to put the Spartans up 7-0. The Spartan fullback would soon make a similar run, fending off a tackle to score yet another try giving UNCG a 12 point lead.

After about 20 minutes Guilford finally seemed to find their rhythm, putting the ball through their backs hands. Several good phases placed the Quakers well inside UNCG’s 22. Flyhalf Davie McKindley-Ward found a gap in the Spartan defense line scoring the Quakers first try of the day. Davie converted his own try to leave the Guilford with a 5 point deficit. UNCG’s fullback would strike again however, making another impressive run into Guilford territory. The fullback offloaded the ball to a loose forward who touched the ball down for the third UNCG try of the half. The conversion was missed leaving the Spartans with a ten point lead going into the break. (UNCG-17 Guilford-7)

Half time

Guilford would continue their reputation as a second half team however. Within the first few minutes of the half senior 8-man Matt Elverson made an impressive run, touching the ball down between the posts. A conversion by Davie McKindley-Ward left the score at 17-14. During the second half Guilford began to utilize their powerful centers to attack the UNCG line. Center Evan “Sunshine” Flanders had an impressive run only to be stopped a few meters short of the tryline. A pickup by center Bryce Bjornson put the ball within a meter, but still no Guilford try. After several phases of strong rucking and crash runs by the Quaker forwards flanker Kevin Smithey was able to dive through to give Guilford their first lead of the day. Another converted try by Davie, put the score at 21-17 with Guilford in the lead.

UNCG soon responded with yet another strong run by their fullback who touched down another try leaving him with a hat trick. A missed conversion left the Spartans leading by a single point with the score at UNCG- 22 Guilford-21. Guilford’s flyhalf Davie McKindley-Ward was soon able to exploit another gap in the Spartan defense touching down his second try putting the score at 28-22 with Guilford in the lead.

UNCG refused to lay down though and the Quakers spent much of the last 20 minutes defending. Guilford’s forwards were able to push back the larger UNCG pack a number of times winning many essential scrums. Guilford caught a break, after a UNCG grubber went into the try zone, and the winger stepped out to touch before grounding the ball. Another try was prevented when fullback Cody Martin intercepted a UNCG pass from only a few meters out. After successfully defending for several minutes the Quakers were finally able to increase their narrow lead when after a few passes the ball found its way into the hands of center Bryce Bjornson. Bryce made an impressive 50 meter run toward the tryline. Though he apparently pulled his hamstring during the run Bjornson was able to limp the last few meters to touch down the ball with no time remaining. Davie McKindley-Ward missed his first conversion of the day leaving the final score at Guilford -- 33 UNCG -- 22.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Guilford End Season with Win Over UNCG

Guilford--33 UNCG--24

Guilford College finished their season today with a come from behind victory over cross-town rivals UNC-Greensboro. Try scorers included senior 8-man Matt Elverson, junior flanker Kevin Smithey, junior Bryce Bjornson, and two tries by sophomore flyhalf David McKindley-Ward. Full match report and photos to follow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Guilford to Host Tournament

This Saturday Guilford will host UNC-Greensboro, as well as two Virginia Tech sides in a round robin tournament.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Guilford Forced to Forfeit to Coastal Carolina

As injuries and illness continue to plague the Guilford side the Quakers were unable to put together a competitive team to travel to Conway, SC for their playoff match against Coastal Carolina University.

The injured Quaker side will have much needed break next weekend, and will continue their season with a friendly against emerging side Wingate University.

Guilford Drops Seeding Match to Elon

Elon - 29 Guilford - 7

This past Wednesday Guilford College lost to their rivals Elon University in the seeding match for the Rugby South Quarter Finals. Injuries, illness, and academic commitments forced the Quakers to take the field missing four key forwards including Senior 8-man Matt Elverson, Prop Randall Aldana, Lock Will Dawson and Flanker/Hooker Kevin Smithey.

In the first twenty minutes of play the Quakers long hiatus from rugby was evident. Elon scored in the first few minutes with a clever kick and chase. Within the next ten minutes Elon would score twice again; once using their pack to crash through and kicking a penalty to put the score at 17-0 after less than 20 minutes of play. Elon would use their speedy wing to touch down one more try leaving the Quakers with a 22-0 deficit at the half.

In the second half Guilford appeared to find their legs again with flyhalf David McKindley-Ward sprinting through the Elon backline to score an early try. The Quaker backline spent much of the second half attacking the Elon try line, but was unable add any points to the score. Elon would use their greater size to punch one more try through leaving the Quakers with their first D3 loss of the season.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Game with Elon Canceled...Again

Guilford's scheduled game against Elon was once again delayed due to weather. The make up game date is set for Wednesday night the 18th.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Game with Elon Canceled

Guilford's match against Elon this week has been canceled due to inclement weather.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Guilford Set to Play Elon in Seeding Match

Next Tuesday night (March 3) Guilford will travel to Elon University for a seeding match to determine the #1 seed in the USA Rugby South Quarter-Finals. The winner of the match will be the de facto NCRU Division 3 Champions. The past two Guilford-Elon match ups have been intensely contested affairs, with Guilford coming out with a 4 point victory in both encounters. (18-14 and 19-15)

Photo: Scrum; Guilford @ Elon 9-26-08

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Guilford Advance to South Quarter-Finals

Guilford – 33 Davidson – 0

Today the Guilford College Quakers qualified for the USA Rugby South Quarter-Finals with a big win over the Davidson College Wildcats.

1st Half
The match was certainly a game of two halves. In the first half the Quakers, who showed great tackling against UNCG last week, had trouble defending against the crash ball. Davidson used their large, athletic pack to punch the ball through Guilford’s forwards, keeping the Quakers on the back foot for much of the first half. The Wildcats nearly put up the first points of the match, but the Quakers caught a lucky penalty with Davidson just a meter short of the try line. Later in the half the Quakers began to utilize their backs and bring the game toward their style of play. Guilford would finally put points on the board when, with about 15 minutes to go, pack captain Andrew Slater stripped the ball in a tackle and sprinted 30 yards for a try. The try was converted by flyhalf David Mckindley-Ward, to give Guilford a 7-0 lead. Guilford struggled with staying onsides at the rucks for the entire half and after multiple warnings to the entire team, lock Will Dawson was sent to the sin bin for ten minutes. At the half Guilford held a one try lead with the score at 7-0.

2nd Half
The second half Guilford side put forth a far more impressive effort. The Quakers continuously attacked the Davidson try line by putting the ball through the backs hands. The second try of the game would come when center Bryce Bjornson broke through the Davidson line to score. The try went unconverted leaving the score at 12-0. Shortly after the try the match official sent off a Davidson player, for hands in the ruck, after multiple infringements. Guilford exploited this advantage, when flanker Andrew Slater unbound from a nearly wheeled scrum, pickup the loose ball and scored a try under the posts. McKindley-Ward converted the try again to give Guilford a 19-0 lead with around 15 minutes to go. Guilford’s better fitness and deep bench was apparent in the final minutes with the Quakers scoring two more tries in quick succession. The first came when scrumhalf Max Kochinke ran through the Davidson forwards to score a try which McKindley-Ward converted. With only a couple of minutes left the Quakers put together a string phases gaining good field position. Guilford’s flyhalf David McKindley-Ward then caught a pass on the outside after looping the centers and put the ball beneath the post. David converted his own try leaving the score at 33-0 were the score would stay for the rest of the match.

Guilford will play in the USA Rugby South Quarter-Final match on March 21st.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Guilford to Play Davidson In Matrix Finals

This Sunday at 1:00pm Guilford College (East Division #1) will play Davidson College (West Division #2) in the NCRU Matrix Finals. The winner of the match will advance to the USA Rugby South Quarter-Finals.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pics From UNCG

Since the game was Sunday I haven't had time for a full match report. Here are some pics from the game.

Photo Credit: Mo Grumbly

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Guilford Go Undefeated in East Division

Guilford-28 UNCG-12

Guilford topped cross town rivals UNC-Greensboro today to seal their place as the NCRU East Division champions. The Quakers finished 3-0 in divisional play with wins over UNC-Pembroke, Duke, and UNC-G. Next week Guilford will play Davidson College the NCRU West Division runner-up to qualify for the Rugby South playoffs. Full match report of the UNC-G game will be posted soon.

Photo: Inside Center "Sunshine" Flanders Crashes Through the UNC-G Line.
Photo Credit: Mo Grumbly

Friday, February 13, 2009

Guilford to Play UNC-G in Final NCRU East Division Match

This Sunday at noon Guilford will play cross town rivals UNC-G at home. The game will be the Quakers final match in the NCRU East Division.

Photo: Guilford's vagabond fullback Maxwell George runs 100 meters for a try in Guilford's victory over UNC-G last fall.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Guilford Move to 2-0 in the East Division

Guilford-29 Duke-25

Last Saturday Guilford traveled to Durham for their second league game against Duke University. Though penalties plagued the Quakers early on Guilford was able to rally in the second half and come out on top with a four point victory. The Quakers had strong support on the sidelines from the many Guilford fans that made the drive to Durham to support their team.

First Half

Duke put the first points on the board successfully scoring a penalty kick after missing two earlier attempts. Guilford soon answered back however capitalizing on a Duke penalty to put the score at 3 all. The Quakers then spent nearly ten minutes unsuccessfully attacking from within Duke’s 22. No try resulted from the Quakers hard running and Guilford lost possession after a failed drop goal attempt from sophomore flyhalf Dave Mckindly-Ward. Again the Guilford team found themselves defending from within their own 22. Things turned from bad to worse when Guilford pack captain and flanker/eightman Andrew Slater was sent off for multiple infringements. The Duke side used this advantage to push in two tries with one converted, giving the Blue Devils a twelve point lead. With short time left in the half hard running from senior loose forward Matt Elverson gave the Quakers great field position. Within scoring range Guilford was finally able to utilize their backs, and captain and outside center Chris Pugliese was able to score Guilford’s first try of the match. A conversion by Mckindley-Ward tacked on an extra two points. The Quakers trailed by five points at halftime with the score at Duke-15 Guilford -10.

Second Half

In the beginning of the second half Guilford scored their second try when Andrew Slater ran straight through the Blue Devils blindside defense to score in the corner. Mckindley-Ward put the long conversion attempt through to give the Quakers a two point lead. Duke answered using their strong kicking game to gain field position. The Blue Devils used their position well and scored another unconverted try to give Duke a one point lead with the score at 20-19. The game continued back and forth until inside center Evan “Sunshine” Flanders broke through the Duke defense not only scoring a try but also centering the ball between the posts. Guilford’s 10 again put the conversion though giving the Quakers a four point lead. Duke once again used multiple kicks to test the Quakers back three. Fullback Joel Popkin showed great grace under pressure, and prevented a Duke try. Guilford would again score when Mckindley-Ward decided to quick tap off a penalty. He then made a skip pass to winger Cody Martin who placed the ball down in the corner to further expand the Guilford lead. David missed the difficult conversion to leave the Quakers with a nine point lead with around ten minutes remaining. Guilford would give up one more major penalty near their 5 meter line. The Blue Devils used their size to crash the ball through, but the missed penalty left the Quakers victorious with the Final score at Guilford - 29 Duke - 25.

David Mckindley-Ward was deemed Man of the Match by Coach Ben Snyder

Next Sunday the Quakers will face cross town rivals UNC-Greensboro at home for their final NCRU East Division Match.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Quakers Win Conference Opener

Guilford - 38 UNCP - 7

The Guilford Quakers opened conference play this week with a solid win over the much improved UNC-Pembroke Braves. This Spring marks the UNCP club's first season in the NCRU Matrix, yet the young team put forth an impressive effort, specifically with their lineouts and kicking game. The Quaker's put up an impressive defensive effort allowing UNCP only one try scored off multiple Guilford handling errors. Guilford's offensive effort was similarly strong with the side exhibiting both quickness and great crash running. The Quaker's had good ball retention and utilized their backs well.

Saturday's Guilford try scorers included flanker Andrew Slater, flyhalf Davie Mckindly-Ward, inside center Evan "Sunshine" Flanders and winger Cody Martin. Sunshine Flanders was Coach Hayden's pick for Man of the Match due to his hard running and all around strong play.

Next weekend Guilford College will travel to Duke University for thier second matrix match.

Photo Credit: Maxwell Beaudoin George

Monday, January 19, 2009

Guilford Drops First Match to ECU

The Guilford College Quakers traveled from Greensboro to Greenville this past weekend for a season opening match against the East Carolina Pirates. ECU were the NCRU fall tournament champions and are arguable the best college team in North Carolina. For the first ten minutes the teams appeared to be evenly matched, but after scoring their first try the pirates ran rampant. Guilford's defense never seemed to recover and the Quakers suffered their worst defeat in two years with the final score at 89-0. The motley Guilford B-side fared little better losing 20-5 with senior winger Cody Martin scoring the Quakers sole try on the day.

The Quakers hope to redeem themselves in the conference opener against UNC-Pembroke on Jan. 31st.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Spring Schedule

Jan. 17 -- Guilford @ East Carolina University L (0-89)
Jan. 24 -- Open
Matrix Season Begins
Jan. 31 -- UNC-Pembroke @ Guilford (East Division) W (38-7)
Feb. 7 -- Guilford @ Duke University (East Division) W (29-25)
Feb. 15 -- UNC-Greensboro @ Guilford (East Division) W (28-12)
Feb. 22 -- Davidson @ Guilford (Matrix Finals) W (33-0)
Feb. 28 -- Guilford @ Elon (Seeding Match)
Mar. 7 -- Spring Break
Mar. 14 -- Spring Break
Mar. 21 -- Rugby South Quarter Finals
Mar. 28-29 -- Rugby South Final Four
Apr. 4 -- Open
Apr. 11 -- Royals/Kodiaks @ Guilford
Apr. 18 -- Chabotar Cup Round Robin (Christopher Newport, Longwood, Coastal Carolina, UNCG, @ Guilford)