On Saturday Guilford defeated UNC Charlotte 28-3 to move to 2-0 with 6 points in the matrix standings. After a lashing at the hands of UNCC in the friendly fall season, Guilford looked to get revenge, and it came.
In the first half of the game Guilford dominated with controlled methodical rugby and maintained possession of the ball for a majority of the 40 minutes. With the pack commanding the rucks and scrums the Quakers marched down the field and scored early when flanker Kevin Cumberland made a head's up play in support of charging fullback Max George catching the off load pass and breaking through an uneven line to touch down.
Charlotte responded by capitalizing off of a Guilford penalty, putting a tough kick through the posts. But Guilford charged back and again attacked wide. George found the tryzone to cap off a fast-paced series. For the second week in a row lock Crosby Blair governed the line outs and the pack controlled the scrumdowns, allowing the backs to play with confidence. Before the break Guilford got another try in the hands of wing Luke Walsh-Mellet who touched down in the corner. Wing Walt Barber nailed the cross-field conversion to give the home team a comfortable 21-3 lead at half.
After the break Charlotte came out with force, stealing the kickoff and mounting a strong attack but Guilford held. Injuries to Cumberland, George and center Bryce Bjornson brought on a wave of substitutions and Guilford's composure weakened in the second half. McNally stayed on despite an obvious hobble and it would be his try - a sneaky quick-tap from five meters out - for the second week in a row, that earned the Quakers (AKA the Giant Stonehenge Beavers) a bonus point in the matrix standings.
Penalties plagued Guilford (I counted 8 in the first half) but Charlotte was unable to find rhythm and the uncoached home team produced a convincing 28-3 win in front of a large gathering of fans who enjoyed the first fair-weather match in a long time. Prop Jamie Sisk's impressive first half earned him the day's Man-of-the-Match award.
Guilford (2-0) will travel to Duke for a night game Thursday, Mar. 4.