Goff Rugby Twitter     Goff Rugby Facebook

UNC-W Wins Thriller in South

irish rugby tours

UNC-W Wins Thriller in South

In a game of great drama UNC-Wilmington wrapped up 1st in the Southern Rugby Conference South Division with a 48-38 defeat of previously-undefeated Furman.

This was a game of two halves, as UNC-W led 31-0 at the break, but with only a couple of minutes left the score was 41-38.

"Wilmington hasn't lost a conference game since we started the conference three years ago," said Furman Head Coach John Roberts. "We knew this would be tough. That first half was sort of bewildering to us. They have a distinctive style of play and were very strong in the forwards. They took almost all of our scrums, and then we had a yellow card and they opened it up."

"We got the backs working the ball around very well and streaking through holes," said UNC-W Head Coach Jeremiah Tominack.

But after some stern words and some adjustments at halftime, Furman mounted a comeback, scoring 38 points to UNC-W's 10.

"There was no quit in Furman," said Tominack. "That is a good, well-coached team who, as we expected, made some adjustments and came out aggressive in the second half to make it a close ball game."

Furman fullback Matty Newman, a freshman, had a strong game and helped spark the comeback, while flanker RJ Bradley, another freshman, was very influential in the second half.

"We have a good young team," said Roberts. "We are getting closer and closer to them, and I really liked the comeback. But the game was lost in the first half."

With the game 41-38 Furman mounted one more attack. They were halted, and UNC-W stole the ball, allowing No. 8 Jack Nolan to go in for the final try. That made it 48-38.

"I was extremely proud of our team both in the way they played in the first half, and how they didn't get down at all when Furman mounted a comeback in the second half," said Tominack. "They just stayed calm and kept working our offense, finally punching in the last score of the game."

Nolan was a standout both on offense and defense, while Alex Fox, a center from Boone, NC, scored three tries. He and James Hall formed a formidable midfield combination. Flyhalf Colin Frazier kicked 12 points while flanker Tommy McCrimmon was a tackling machine. Lock Cole Schanelic, said Tominack, is one of the best players in the conference.

Now both teams look ahead to the playoffs. Winning this game means UNC-W gets to face Appalachian State in the semis, while Furman will face East Carolina.