|Teams:||MIT vs Portland RFC|
|Played:||04/09/2016 @ MIT|
|Score:||24 - 56 MIT loss|
On April 9, 2016, MIT hosted Division II side Portland RFC at Briggs field. The teams agreed to play three 30 minute periods. MIT were eager to show that they could compete with the team from the higher division. Early on, MIT did just so. MIT kicked off the scoring with the same way they did the week before: a counter attack leading to a long run and score from winger Jonah. MIT followed that up with another entertaining try after scrumhalf Marc took a quick-tap on a penalty and spun the ball wide to fullback Diego, who chip kicked over the defense, recovered his own kick, and raced down the sideline to put MIT up 12-0 with Simon’s conversion. Portland fought back and almost scored but inside center James made a try saving tackle near the goal line. Just before the end of the first period, Portland’s center broke through the defense for a controversial try as it did not appear that he touched the ball down, but the referee awarded the try making it 12-7 at the end of the first.
The second period was a disaster for MIT. It started out well enough with the return of Martin, who had left the field at the end of the first half with a blood injury to his lip. Martin returned with a Nelly-esque Band-Aid on his face (see below) to help secure the MIT lineouts. Unfortunately Martin’s lip wasn’t the only thing with a hole in it. Portland subbed on a new fly-half and he dummied and side stepped through a hole in the defense for a long try. The fly-half converted his own try to make it 14-12 Portland. Portland scored again after a quick-tap penalty in front of MIT’s posts. One of their forwards broke a few tackles and touched down for the try to make it 21-12. Portland continued to dominate the second period when their scrum-half kicked over the defense and their fly-half caught a perfect bounce to make it 28-12. Things just got worse as flanker Cody left the game with an injury and sub Caleb was yellow carded almost as soon as he stepped onto the field. MIT capped off the awful period by allowing another try from the Portland backline with the help of a huge block on Diego (see photo below).
The third period started off like the second with the Portland fly-half stealing a pass and going the distance for another try. MIT finally started showing the effort they displayed in the first period. Jake S. put in some crushing tackles in his first game back after kidnapping the team's jerseys. James and Alex executed a beautiful switch move (see below) with Alex breaking tackles to get over for the try. Caleb left a fine (hand) print on some Portland defenders as he stiff-armed his way to a great try after a pick-and-go from the back of a ruck. Overall, MIT were unable to put consistent play together and will need a more comprehensive defensive effort in the weeks ahead.
Man of the match: Mick
MIT is off next weekend and then look forward to going back to just 2 halves of rugby in the playoffs on April 23, 2016 in Stowe, VT.