MIT claim first place with win over Springfield

Teams:MIT vs Springfield Rifles Rugby Club
Played:10/10/2015 @ MIT
Score: 44 - 17 MIT win

On Saturday, October 10, 2015, MIT hosted the Springfield Rifles Rugby Club on a beautiful fall day at Briggs field. With injuries and illnesses starting to take a toll on the team, Coach Sean put out a lineup with 9 changes from the New London match the week before. MIT was confident with their depth that the squad still had enough talent to get the job done.

MIT’s first try of the day was a complete team effort. The MIT forwards turned over a Springfield scrum inside Springfield territory. MIT were awarded their own scrum and won that as well. Scrumhalf Marc spun the ball to the backs and flyhalf John G. passed to center John L. who passed back inside to winger Hacksaw, who then offloaded in tackle back to John L. who found Diego on the wing for the try to make it 5-0. MIT then won a lineout in Springfield territory and mauled it over the line with Toro touching down for the try to make it 10-0. The third score for MIT was déjà vu all over again, as scrumhalf Marc set up Nick A. for a run through the fringe of the breakdown. Nick A. was so surprised by the size of the gap that he did not even yell his trademark “wheels!” call at himself. The score put MIT up 17-0. Near the end of the half MIT let their foot off the gas and Springfield worked their way back into the game. After some sloppy MIT play, the Springfield winger found the ball and sliced through the defense to make the score 17-7 at the half.

The second half was almost identical to the first, as MIT started off strong but could not keep their focus for the entire half. Star-kicker John G. kicked a penalty for the first points of the second half, putting MIT up 20-7. Zach and Brendan did a terrific job on kickoffs to secure the ball under high kicks. Oggy is probably wanted for larceny for stealing so many balls at the back of the line-out. After the forwards worked the ball into Springfield territory, Marc switched the attack to the left side and passed to John L. who threw to Hacksaw for his second try of the game. Springfield responded with a try of their own as their fullback (and eventual man of the match) found space out wide. MIT came back and off another set piece play, the backs worked the ball through the hands and Rory passed to Hacksaw, who outpaced his man for his 3rd try of the day. Caleb also touched down after multiple phases of hard work by the forward pack. Springfield fought hard until the end and off an MIT turnover, their winger broke free for a 70 meter try as time expired to make it 44-17.

With the victory, MIT moved into sole possession of first place in the DIII South. MIT travel to Boston next Saturday, October 17, 2015, looking to avenge their only loss of the season vs. Old Gold.

Man of the match: John G.
Honorable mention: Diego (for making it through 2 games in 1 day!)