|Teams:||MIT vs New London County Rugby|
|Played:||09/17/16 @ New London, CT|
|Score:||19 - 59 MIT loss|
On Saturday, September 17, 2016, MIT traveled to New London, CT to take on the New London County Rugby Club on a beautiful sunny day. The game started out with New London controlling possession. MIT’s defense held for the first 10 minutes, but some miscommunication led to New London’s outside center finding space out wide for the first try of the game. An MIT turnover led to the same outside center finding a huge gap in the defense for New London’s second try. MIT struggled to hold onto the ball during the first half and could not get any offense going. They were soft in the tackle and had trouble organizing the defense. MIT did threaten once off a set piece. The forwards secured the lineout and inside center Jake lofted a pass to fly-half John V, putting him into space. John V. linked up with fullback Luino, who was tackled just short of the try zone. MIT recycled quickly but New London turned the ball over. Missing star kicker John G. and replacement kicker James L., MIT also missed a penalty kick and had some very odd kicks from the fly-half position leading to MIT putting up a goose egg at the half.
New London continued to dominate at the start of the second half. MIT were careless with the ball and New London took advantage of the turnovers and converted them into points. MIT were finally able to secure possession and play some attacking rugby much to the delight of their head coach. The veterans were able to do some of their veteran things. Martin (fresh off a honeymoon to the Blue Hills of Canton) won lineouts. Toro (playing in front of his roommate-to-be) made defenders miss around the breakdown. Alex (fresh off a TED talk at Yale) ran through defenders. Skinny Gus (back from his summer hiking tour) made tackles. Hacksaw (playing in his home state) had a few long runs, 1 resulting in a penalty try when he was high tackled just short of the try line.
The second half also saw some great contributions from new players, thanks in part to some veterans coming off with injuries (New London 3, John F.’s shoulder 0). Desperate for a score, rookie scrum-half Chris W. pushed the pace as if it were last call at Fuzzy Ducks. Rookie Eric filled in at outside center and had some crushing tackles. Eric also ran a perfect hard line off a set piece move and broke a few tackles for his first career try. Sam J. put in a tiring effort at wing (leading to a well photographed nap on the car ride home), chasing down defenders and kicks all day. Rookie Luino had some strong carries on the wing. Rookie Zane had some strong work in defense. Rookie Art had some massive hits while playing in the pack. MIT look forward to developing the new talent and working everyone into a cohesive unit for the rest of the season.
Man of the match: Toro
Dog of the match: Butters
MIT is at home next Saturday, September 24, 2016 vs. Saratoga RFC