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Charlotte Cardinals Ride Strong Second Half to Beat Tigers

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Charlotte Cardinals Ride Strong Second Half to Beat Tigers

Charlotte Cardinals in stripes, Tigers in orange and black. Photos Alan Mitchell.

Charlotte Cardinals beat cross-city rivals Charlotte Tigers 43-7 Saturday with a dominant second half display.

It was a well-contested, physical, and high-quality contest with no quarter asked or given as one would expect from a top-tier local rivalry.

The respective captains, Finlay Mitchell of Cardinals and Jameson Beatty of Tigers, opened the scoring—both going over with strong runs in an evenly-matched first quarter, before Cardinals built some sustained pressure and prop Jacob Eroch powered over to give Cardinals a 14-7 half time lead.

In the second half, the Cardinals scored 29 unanswered points and largely dominated territory and possession. Finlay Mitchell scored his second followed by Man of the Match Kai Campbell, flyhalf Zach Colson, and his younger brother Max rounding it off with a perfectly-timed run to touch down his brother's grubber kick.

Cardinals Captain Finlay Mitchell said "we were delighted, as a club, to win the Royal Cup against Gonzaga last weekend but disappointed with some of our defense in the top-tier match. We corrected much of this today. We pride ourselves on our defense, try to stay composed when the opponent has the ball and enjoy making our tackles."

"We were physical today," added Campbell, "but we started much slower than we would have liked. We conceded far too many penalties so this is something that we'll be working on to correct."

Quinn Miller was another strong MOTM contender - busy on both sides of the lineout ball, adding turnovers and maul a steal to his battle stats. 

Cardinals Head Coach Jason Zehmeke was delighted with the Cardinals tripleheader—the Cardinals Blues beat the Raleigh Rattlesnakes 38-36 (with MOTM Rory Nealon scoring four tries and flyhalf Cameron Mitchell nailing a tricky conversion to win the game with the final kick); and their Golds beating Tigers B 26-21. Meanwhile the the girls comfortably beat Southern Pines. 

Most importantly, some great rugby was played and all the teams had fun, with the Cardinals parents laying on superb 3rd Half hospitality for the visitors.