Another slow starts leads to loss for MIT

Teams:MIT vs Boston Irish Wolfhounds
Played:10/31/2015 @ Canton, MA
Score: 20 - 31 MIT loss

On Saturday, October 31, 2015, MIT traveled to the Irish Cultural Center in Canton, MA to take on the Boston Irish Wolfhounds. The Wolfhounds were kind enough to invite MIT over before the game to watch the Rugby World Cup Final. The final ended up serving almost as a preview for the DIII match, with New Zealand (the Wolfhounds) taking an early lead, Australia* (MIT) fighting back to make it close, and then NZ scoring a big try to pull away in the end

The match started off slow, with about 25 minutes of teams being penalized and then kicking for possession. There was not much flow to the game and the referee repeatedly had to speak with both captains about infringements. MIT penalties allowed the Wolfhounds to work the ball into MIT territory. The Wolfhounds took a quick tap near the goal line but the MIT defense held up. However, the Wolfhounds were awarded another penalty and MIT were not as lucky the second time. The Wolfhounds scored to make it 7-0 at the 22 minute mark. 5 minutes later, MIT appeared to be moving the ball out wide, but an errant pass went to ground and was kicked forward by the Wolfhounds fullback, who then chased and touched it down after it bounced into the try zone to make the score 14-0. To make things worse, Brendan was sent off with a yellow card for repeated team infringements of not releasing the ball in the tackle, the equivalent of arresting someone for going 5 miles over the speed limit. Just before the half, star-kicker John G. kicked a penalty for MIT’s first points of the day, making it 14-3.

The Wolfhounds kicked off in the second half and MIT were awarded a mid-field scrum after the kick failed to go 10 yards. The Wolfhounds won the scrum and fed the ball to the weak side where their inside center dummied and broke away for a long run. They recycled the ball well and scored another try to make it 19-3. After a spirited talk from their captain under the posts, MIT finally upped the tempo. With forward Alex running strong lines out in the backs, MIT was finally able to move the ball and keep possession. Forwards Brendan, Oggy and Nick helped to secure the breakdown for MIT. Scrumhalf Marc changed the attack and went weak side, passing to John L. who got crushed by 2 tacklers but was able to get the pass off beforehand to Hacksaw, who bolted down the sideline for MIT's first try. Keeping with the fast tempo, Marc spun the ball wide off a quick-tap penalty, right to John G., who sidestepped his man for the try. The score was bittersweet, as the Wolfhounds fullback slid into John G. with his knees as John G. was placing the ball down in the try zone. The squished slug was scraped off the field and moved to the sideline. No penalty was given to the Wolfhounds player, apparently because it was not a repeated team infringement. The Wolfhounds did receive a yellow card soon after, as their flanker was cited for the Irish captain on Irish captain crime of stomping on the back of James. Playing a man down, the Wolfhounds executed a beautiful move off a lineout when their flyhalf threw a perfect flat pass to their hard running lock and some miscommunication in defense allowed for a breakaway run for their #5. He found support and the score was pushed to 31-15. MIT fought until the end, and Marc drew the defense away from the breakdown and switched back in to Toro (running Nick’s usual line) who scored under the posts as time expired to make it 31-20.

Men of the match: Alex and John L.

MIT play their last home match of the season next Saturday, November 7, 2015 vs. New London at Briggs Field at 1:00 PM.

*Apologies to Coach Sean for comparing MIT to Australia