Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Embarrassing loss to UNCG ends competitive season for Guilford

It's never easy to write a match report for a game in which your side did not manage a single point. Even more so when the competition put up 60. On Friday night Guilford traveled across town for what was anticipated as a clash of playoff-bound teams and came back with nothing more than a sack full of dirty jerseys and, yes, a 0-60 obliteration on our minds. This one won't take too long...

The first ten minutes of the game are worth mention as Guilford showed the game that had put them at 2-1 in the matrix with a couple of bonus points: center Bryce Bjornson broke for an impressive gain - although he would suffer a concussion, his third in four games, after using his head as a battering ram. Flyhalf Sean McNally, who captained for the visting side with Andrew Slater out with injury, showed renewed composure - after losing control of his line in the latter stages of the Duke game - and managed his centers and back three tactfully, although not fruitfully, throughout the test. Winger "Baby" Nick Forman showcased some of his linebacker schooling in a few impressive tackles in the open field. Kevin Cumberland, moving to the number eight position for injured Slater and gave a strong performance. As usual, first-year utility-forward Aaron Craig made his presence known at both flanker and prop. And the reintroduction of veteran hooker Abel Montes de Oca added a boost of tenacity to the pack. And that is as much as can be said for the Guilford side.

After UNCG scored their first try of the match Guilford fell apart, revealing yet again the true weakness of this athletically-talented team: discipline and emotional control. Like a blow to the groin, Guilford never recovered from that first score and UNCG was able to take advantage and had piled on 31 points before half-time. In the second half they would add 29 more with the last ten minutes of the game reduced to a gunfight in which Guilford had not even a spoon to defend itself. To add insult to injury prop Jamie Sisk, finally back healthy in the starting side, earned a yellow card in the first half for a high-tackle and celebration that sent him to the bin and then in the second half delivered an astounding shoulder charge that put him off the field for good and left the already reeling Guilford side a man down for the remainder of the match. Sisk is now looking at a 10-week benching at the hands of the ref and NCRU.

And speak of the ref... From my vantage point in a sling on the sideline, that was the worst bit of refereeing I have ever witnessed. His interesting mix of silent advantage, a delayed whistle and a general blatant ignorance of the rules of rugby had the coaches of both teams commiserating on the sideline and offering to help point out that a penalty does not garner a scrum down and other forgettable points from the rugby rulebook.

There's nothing really to add here. Gulford will be playing a series of friendlys to close out the spring season, traveling to Davidson this weekend, possibly heading down to the beach to take on UNCW - who are back in the developmental league after fulfilling their 2 year suspension - and then meeting the Triad Dawgwood Flowers at home on the 17th and finally UNC Pembroke at home on the 24th.


Kara Hadley said...

Isn't there a limit to the number of concussions you can get before you're prohibited from playing sports? if so, I think Bryce is flirting with that number.

Nick said...

You have to get more than your age. So Bryce would need 22 or so, but if he went another year without one he could play again. I think that's right. I'm a professional.

Ben said...

That ref really was awful. Someone should make a complaint.

Nick said...

Perhaps. Not for giving scrums at a penalty, however.

Carl said...

Great to see about the UNCG and the thing that you told about the vantage point in a sling on the sideline, that was the worst bit of refereeing,so this is amazing to see and all of the thrilling tasks and happenings of the match is looking awesome and absolutely superb,good to see the things which you tell about the great event.