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Mary Washington Tests Mettle vs Guelph

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Mary Washington Tests Mettle vs Guelph

UMW vs Guelph. David Hughes photo.

Mary Washington is one of those teams that plays a fall league schedule but has looked for more 15s matches in the spring, too, and Saturday the Mothers defeated the University of Guelph out of Ontario, Canada in a good contest for both teams.

Guelph finished third in the Canadian University Championships, losing to UBC in the semis 37-17. They presented a big, physically imposing, and skilled opponent to UMW. Despite some hard work on defense from UMW, Guelph got off to a fast start, scoring two unconverted tries to take a 10-0 lead.

Having the wind at their backs didn't hurt Guelph in the slightest and they made it work for them.

It could have been worse save for a superb tackle by Themba Martin-Weil.

But the Mothers began to show their game a bit more as the first half progressed. Prop Cam Giwa-McNeil, lock Jackson Elder, and No. 8 Nic Ball helped turn the momentum, making key carries and setting up running opportunities for backs such as Martin-Weiler and Sebastian Schefermann.

The result was a try just before the break and a 10-5 Guelph lead at halftime.

In the second half, Mary Washington appeared to relax and start to enjoy their rugby. The result was a try from Callum Dodds and then another from Ball.

It was a good team showing as they began to pull away to win 29-15. Martin-Weiler was named Man of the Match, and the game was well-received by both teams—this could be an annual thing. 

But key for Marry Washington was more development chances—development is often a work used when talking about inexperienced players. But experienced college rugby players need it, too. The non-conference aspect of these games doesn't take away their meaning, and the players need more exposure to more competition.