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In ACRL play, North Carolina earned its first conference win of the season upending the University of Virginia 27-12 in Chapel Hill, NC. Meanwhile, Maryland easily dispatched of Wake Forest 87-0 in College Park, Md.
Coming into the weekend, UNC was 0-1 after being blanked 14-0 by Virginia Tech a week prior. “We weren’t happy with the way we performed in that match,” UNC coach Jonathon Atkeison told Rugby Today. “We spent a good hard week of practice and were pretty happy with how it turned out yesterday.”
Due to injury, UNC made some lineup changes this week, as Dillon Cunningham moved from inside center to flyhalf. Cunningham slotted several kicks and filled in the position nicely.
Things got chippy early as a Virginia player received a yellow card on the opening kickoff. In fact, the game was marred with cards, three to the Cavaliers and one to UNC.
At the break UNC lead 18-12, and ultimately some key halftime adjustments allowed the Tar Heels to shut out the Cavaliers in the second stanza. “We changed our defense up a bit to give our backline a bit of help. Virginia has a great back line, full credit to them, they gave us trouble all day,” Atkeison added.
No. 8 George Simpson, a new player for the Tar Heels, had a tremendous impact on the game. “He was fantastic yesterday and was really all over the pitch,” Atkeison Added.
The Tar Heels will look to build on the victory as they face some of the conference heavyweights in the coming weeks. “Clemson and Maryland have been the standard setters for the ACRL for the last few years, and we have a lot to continue to work on and get better,” Atkeison said.
Maryland continued to look like the class of the ACRL early this season, as Terrapins dismantled Wake Forest 87-0. In its first two matches, Maryland has yet to yield a point and has posted 164 points.
Clemson, who had the week off from conference action, is also yet to yield a point in conference play. Clemson and Maryland will meet on Nov. 8 in South Carolina.