|Teams:||MIT vs Springfield Rifles Rugby Club|
|Played:||10/29/2016 @ Springfield, MA|
|Score:||41 - 6 MIT win|
On October 29, 2016, MIT traveled to Springfield, MA to take on the Springfield Rifles. Early arrivals were once again treated to an intense flag football game where Brett Favre and the purples lost on a last second interception to the reds. Perhaps fueled by this intense competition, both MIT and Springfield competed in an intense and very chippy game. Just 10 minutes in a Springfield player was given a yellow card for throwing a punch. Inside center Simon kicked the penalty to give MIT an early lead after James’ foot needed a rest from kicking all 12 points the week before. Springfield then nearly took the lead. MIT was driving into Springfield’s territory when a Springfield player intercepted a pass and nearly broke away for a try but was hunted down by winger Hacksaw. A high tackle penalty was called and Springfield tied the score at 3-3.
The first 20 minutes were played tight and it looked like it might be a close game until Hacksaw ducked under a tackle and ran past 3 defenders for a 30 meter run to the try zone. MIT then mauled a line-out. Toro took the ball from the back of the maul to suck in the defense. Scrum-half Chris L. and James recycled quickly and moved the ball wide to fullback Jona, who scored in the corner to make it 15-3. Springfield’s hard hitting inside center left the game with a knee injury after a sharp hit from opposing center Jake. Springfield added another penalty kick to make it 15-6 at the half.
The second half started with more chippiness as the ref had to separate 2 players with a stern dad-warning of “You two knock it off right now!” With a fear of being put in a time-out or being forced to go straight to their room, MIT focused on the game and got their offense rolling. James took the ball on the weak side. He had support outside him but decided to take the defense on himself so he could play in the pile of leaves in the try zone. Jake had a long run where he stutter-stepped past a defender and was tackled just shy of the goal line even with his double move. MIT turned the ball over but Springfield kicked away possession. MIT countered and James saw space out wide and threw a miss-out rainbow pass to Hacksaw on the wing. Hacksaw was wrapped up but offloaded to Jarrad in support for the try.
More chippiness led to pushing and shoving with the referee getting involved. The Springfield touch judge was so upset with the referee that in protest he decided to take his touch flag, "And threw it on the ground!!!" He was reportedly not trying to be a part of the system. Another touch judge took over and play resumed. MIT ignored the drama as their offense continued to roll. Winger Eric had a highlight run with jukes and spin moves but he wore out the turbo button and was tackled short of the try zone. Hacksaw led a counter attack and linked up with Jona who dropped a double stiff arm move on his way to the try zone. MIT dominated the line-outs and scrums all day and after winning another line-out Art rumbled over the try line but was unable to get the ball down. Newcomer Drew showed him how it was done and he took a pick-and-go over for the score and said, "Happy birthday to the ground" as he touched it down. The second half performance was so impressive that the local news station sent a reporter to come photograph the game.
Man of the match: Jona
Next match: MIT has a bye week next week and then finishes their season at home on November 12, 2016 vs North Shore RFC @ Briggs Field, Cambridge, MA