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)
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.