MIT complete undefeated season with close victory over Wolfhounds

Teams:MIT vs Boston Irish Wolfhounds
Played:11/08/2014 @ MIT
Score: 18 - 17 MIT win

On Saturday, November 8, 2014, MIT defeated the Boston Irish Wolfhounds 18-17 at Briggs Field to complete their undefeated season. Coming off a bye week, MIT had 2 weeks to prepare for what would be their hardest test of the season. Coach Sean spent the time off watching his native All Blacks take on the USA Eagles in Chicago. Inspired by his team’s victory, he returned to practice barking defensive instructions to the All Beavers over the noise of light generators, helicopters, and MIT dormitory fire alarms. The attention to defense paid off, as MIT was constantly putting the Wolfhounds under pressure throughout the game, leading to frustration on the Hounds’ side (and leading their #10 to thinking that he had to teach the ref the rules of rugby throughout the game).

After some back and forth play to start the game, the Wolfhounds found a mismatch on the wing and spun it wide. Their winger was tackled, but their prop supported well and caught the offload for the try, putting the Wolfhounds up 5-0. MIT calmed down after the frantic start and their forwards worked their way down the field. Scrumhalf KatieNMarc fed Oggy, who ran in from 5 meters out to tie the game at 5-5. The Wolfhounds threatened a few more times before the half, but were not able to get over the line thanks to scrambling defense from MIT.

MIT came out strong in the second half. The backs and forwards worked multiple phases across the field to move into the Wolfhounds’ 22. MIT spun the ball to fullback James who took the ball into tackle. MIT recycled quickly and KatieNMarc found Mick who scored in the left corner. John G converted to put MIT up 12-5. A Wolfhounds penalty led to a John G kick that put MIT up 15-5. The Wolfhounds subbed on a few of their big boys in the forwards. The fresh legs sparked their offense and despite several phases of excellent goal line defense from MIT, one of those forward subs eventually scored to make it 15-12. MIT responded with a few subs of their own; bringing on Frank, Cody, Nick and Chris. The subs put in some massive hits on the Wolfhounds, but the hounds scored again at the 75 minute mark to take the lead 17-15. On the ensuing kickoff, everything came crashing down (much like the MIT rugby website) for the Wolfhounds as a knock-on and offside penalty led to a penalty kick in front of the posts for MIT. John G, desperately aiming to impress the team’s new shed, slotted the kick through the posts to give MIT the 1 point lead with under 3 minutes to play. The Wolfhounds threw everything they had at MIT, but Zach was able to turn the ball over into MIT’s possession. Zach had such a good time competing against the Wolfhounds that he generously turned the ball back over to the Hounds for one last shot. MIT’s defense held up and the ref whistled the Hounds for a penalty at the breakdown. John G kicked the ball out of bounds and MIT claimed the victory and the Division III title.

MIT now looks ahead to the playoffs in the spring season (and of course the winter banquet). Thanks to all the fans who came to support the team on Saturday, especially James P, who watched via a drone that he flew over from South Africa.

Man of the match: Mick