UMW Defeats NC State
UMW Defeats NC State
In a well-played, back and forth, physical match Saturday the University of Mary Washington beat NC State in Fredericksburg, Va. 50-35.
Both teams had slightly different lineups than their usual starting 15, but but the game was still very skillful and entertaining. UMW played the entire game without a single senior and their lineup bodes well for the fall. The game was part of a home-and-home series between the two, and while this is spring and more of a 7s time for many teams, NC State made sure to honor the series and a 20-year-rivalry. While this may not seem such a special thing - to show up when you said you would - it's been a rare thing in UMW's experience.
"I worry about 15s rugby, or even more specifically, the players that play 15s rugby," said UMW Director of Rugby Tim Brown. "With no national direction, a lot of teams feel it is no longer necessary to even honor their half of the traditional home-and-home commitment. Out of the five teams that owed us matches, only NC State did not cite 7s commitments - and I use the word commitment loosely. If you owe someone a match, you should play the match. I want to commend them for playing such a competitive game".
UMW got off to a quick start against NC State, lost their lead and then accelerated to win. Happy to be home after a successful Ireland tour where they defeated a mixed University College Dublin side and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology in Galway. Freshman scrumhalf Ewan Corley (Leicester, England) scored a try at the 10-minute mark, and junior Justin Ford (Virginia Beach, Va.) converted. Center sophomore Mattson Bueche (Richmond, Va.) scored next and Ford missed the conversion. NC State, with some blazing speed in the backline, then scored a converted try at 17 minutes. UMW sophomore No. 8 Matthew Gordon (Aberdeen, Scotland) scored at 25 minutes which was converted by Ford. Finally, freshman wing Logan Ray (Fairfax, Va.) scored an unconverted try at the 29 minutes, and the half ended 24-7 UMW.
NC State started out the 2nd half strong and showed why they were the Cardinal Conference Champions this fall by reeling off 28 unanswered points. UMW just looked tired and their tackling suffered. NC State's physical running put UMW on their heels and the Wolfpack surged to a 35-24 lead.
But in the final 17 minutes or so Mary Washington picked up the pace. The team has been working hard on strength and conditioning and the benefits paid off here. Junior center Terence McPhilips (Virginia Beach, Va.) scored a converted try and then an unconverted try. Tha put the Mothers up 36-35, and with their tails up UMW scored through scrumhalf Corley, and junior wing Nathan Neri (McLean, Va.).