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The Charlotte Rugby Club has been making some noise this season, and Saturday beat Augusta 71-5 in the Carolinas/Georgia Men's DII club league to move to a perfect 11-0.
In regular-season play, Charlotte has scored a whopping 684 points while yielding only 92.
Head Coach Chris Maughan indicated that the squad has a good combination of older and younger players. The potent offense has been led by a solid forward pack. Although their forwards are not as large compared to most of their opponents they are very mobile and aggressive, and incredibly strong in the scrum.
"The strength of our forwards lies in our front row, anchored by captain Jason Hinchman and a young hooker, still in high school, Alex Maughan," said Maughan, who added that the rotation of Matt Hughston, Eric Collins, Ruan Swart, Stuart Pollock in the back row are all "very mobile, aggressive in rucks and good ballcarriers."
Charlotte also has a set of dynamic backs, led by scrumhalf Jake Finger and flyhalf Mike Miller. Despite suffering an injury earlier this season, Miller has catalyzed and explosive Charlotte offense by consistently distributing the ball and putting his centers through space. Powerful centers Zach Moyer and Louis Keefe create space for a potent back three.
That Charlotte back three excels under the high ball and is a dangerous counter-attacking weapon. Blessed with tremendous speed, wings Nelson Hicks and Ty Elkins and fullback James Mezzanotte frequently outpace their opponents and exemplify the team's wide-open style of play.
Club President Mike Myers said the success on the field has helped the club
off the field, too.
"I think all we needed was a little structure and specific tasking," Myers said. "Out top two tasks this off-season were to secure a coach and get our facility in order. We have seen success in both."
While Myers believes the team has added some structure to the organization, Maughan praised Myers for providing that structure.
“Mike stepped up to be the president when the club was in some tough times. He has been a driving force behind the teams success both on and off the field,” Maughan explained.
For the last three years Charlotte RFC has improved its infrastructure by
making capital improvements, and that in turn has helped depth.
"The depth in the squad allows for good competition at most positions," Maughan said. "It helps drive the team on and produces some interesting times during practice as everyone wants to play A side."
Although Charlotte is happy with the current success, Maughan and the squad are not satisfied.
"While we have had a great season so far, we have been focused from the
beginning on making a run at Nationals, and know the competition will get
harder each step we take," said the coach.