MIT defeat Springfield on muddy fall field

Teams:MIT vs Springfield Rifles RFC
Played:10/27/2018 @ MIT
Score: 12 - 7 MIT win

On Saturday, October 27, 2018, MIT traveled to Springfield, MA to take on the Springfield Rifles. With the top 4 teams in the league making the playoffs, MIT at #5 and Springfield at #6 were both in the hunt for playoff contention and looking for a win. A nor’easter scared away the usual pre-game flag football spectacle, leaving the MIT ruggers hiding in their warm vehicles to avoid the cold rain. Only one super-fan, Ashley, was brave enough to stand in the cold before start.

The rain and mud affected the game from the kickoff, as the Springfield fly-half bounced a kick that hit the ref. Both teams exchanged knock-ons as they struggled to deal with the wet pill. 5 minutes in, Springfield marched down the field thanks to MIT penalties. Some weak fringe defense and a missed tackle led to Springfield scoring first to make it 7-0.

Before the game, Coach Evan emphasized the importance of dominating the gain line AKA the Corridor of Power, (not to be confused with the Hall of Justice, Lobby of Destruction, or Passageway of Intimidation). MIT were able to break the gain line with some strong 9-finger carries from 8-man Frank. Scrumhalf James recycled the ball out to the backs and sling-less fullback Tom, drew in his defender and slung the ball to winger Paul who finished in the corner. Die-hard Alabama fan John G. slotted a difficult kick from the corner as if he was hitting the game winning field goal in Tuscaloosa. Strong carries from forwards Nick and Alex led to James tri-cycling the ball out to Michael on the wing. Michael beat 2 defenders to give MIT the lead 12-7. With 2 successive scores, it seemed like MIT might continue putting up points, but the Springfield defense held tight. MIT threatened at the end of the half with another long run from Frank and excellent counter attacking from Ike and Tom, but the score remained 12-7 at the half.

At halftime Michael pled with the ref to allow him to continue hitting Springfield runners illegally. Unsurprisingly, the ref denied Michael’s request so Michael altered his strategy and lowered his tackling. The second half was a back and forth affair with both teams scrapping for points. John G. put pressure on Springfield with some well-placed kicks.

MIT traveled light but were able to bring on Adam, Teddy, and Jake from the bench to help conserve the small lead. Teddy had some good line-out throws, Adam made tackles on the wing, and Jake gave the opposing outside center PTSD from the hit he had dished out 2 years ago on the same field. In the end, MIT’s defense held strong and kept Springfield scoreless in the second half. It was sloppy at times, but overall it was an improvement from the prior game and another win to put the team in the direction toward a possible playoff spot.

With Alan returning last week, and Jake coming out of retirement this week, it will be interesting to see who else will dust off the boots in the coming weeks. Mick O.? Cody? Greg N.? Bin?

Man of the Match: John G.

Fan of the Match: Ashley

Next Match: 3:00 PM at Briggs Field vs. Freedom RFC