MIT secure rare road victory at New London

Teams:MIT vs New London County Rugby
Played:10/03/2015 @ New London, CT
Score: 9 - 0 MIT win

On Saturday, October 3, 2015, MIT traveled to New London, CT to take on the New London County Rugby club. New London had proven to be one of the toughest road matches in the league, as MIT were 0-3 in the last 5 years when traveling there. Prior to kickoff, New London put together a last minute DIY goal-post project that was only half successful. With only 1 goal-post erected, the referee adjusted the rules so that any penalty kick would automatically be a dead ball and teams would have to switch around in order to kick at the only post. The slight rule change did not bother MIT, as they were just happy to not have to play in the rain, snow, or Hurricane Joaquin; all possibilities when traveling to New London. Coach Sean told the team not to worry about the posts and instead to focus on scoring tries. MIT instead chose to play it super safe and not even worry about scoring at all in the first half.

The game began and both teams were slow out of the gate. The week of steady rain left a wet ground and both teams struggled to hold onto the ball to keep possession. New London started to attack by spinning it wide to their backs, but once they saw that the MIT defense held up, they switched to kicking to put the back 3 under pressure. MIT’s back 3 were strong in covering. Fernando, filling in for injured frat-bro Jake M,, was particularly strong under the high ball. MIT had opportunities in the first half, with long runs by Brendan, Alex, Caleb and James, but each time MIT ended up turning the ball over. Just before the half, it looked like MIT had finally broken the try line, but it was ruled that Toro had made a double move to get the ball down. The game remained scoreless at the half, but MIT had momentum as they had begun to control possession towards the end of the half. Coach Sean was not satisfied with just momentum, and offered his team some hand moisturizer to help with their handling issues in the first half.

The second half proved that rugby is a spectator sport and the 7 MIT backs can attest to this, as they watched their forward pack put on a display. MIT figured out the recipe to success was a steady mix of Toro, Zach, Caleb, Nick, Martin, Alex, Gus, and Brendan. The forwards earned hard yards around the breakdown with Ruaridh leading them. Their hard work finally paid off and MIT were awarded a penalty within kicking range. Star kicker John G., returning from injury from the week before and playing in front of zero Go-Pros, kicked the penalty through the only posts to put MIT up 3-0. MIT responded with some more Toro, Zach, Caleb, Nick, Martin, Alex, Gus, and Brendan. After a New London late hit on a kick by flyhalf James, John G. kicked another penalty to put MIT up 6-0. After some more Toro, Zach, Caleb, Nick, Martin, Alex, Gus, and Brendan, MIT were again awarded a penalty and John G. put MIT up for good with the kick to make it 9-0. Coach Sean was so pleased with the win that he and his wife treated the team to baked goods from a rival bakery. Hopefully next week Coach Sean urges the team not to worry about scoring tries and to focus on penalty kicks.

Man of the Match: Toro

MIT is at home next Saturday, October 10, 2015 vs. Springfield RFC