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.
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.
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.