MIT prevail after slow start

Teams:MIT vs Boston Maccabi RFC
Played:04/06/2019 @ MIT
Score: 33 - 22 MIT win

On Saturday, April 6, 2019, MIT hosted Boston Maccabi RFC at Briggs Field for their first home game of the spring. The Maccabis were coming off an impressive fall season where they had only lost 1 game and had qualified for the playoffs. The Maccabis showed early on why they are one of the top teams in the league. Their hard running forwards were breaking the gain line and sucking in MIT defenders. Their speedy fullback twice scored along the sideline, as MIT were having a hard time communicating and reorganizing the defense. Another Maccabi runner scored after a poor MIT tackling effort.

The Maccabis lead was 17-0 and MIT were struggling to win possession of the ball. It seemed like the Maccabis had the ball 95% of the time for the first 25 minutes of the game. MIT missed 2 penalty kicks and were also struggling in the line-out. Things almost got worse after flanker Michael issued a hit to a Maccabi runner as if he were trying out for NFL Blitz. Rule-master Zach was quick to point out that the no-wrap hit was a clear violation of World Rugby Union law 9, section 13. Luckily the referee was unaware of Michael’s prior history of section 13’s and only issued a penalty.

MIT slowly worked their way back into the game by shoring up their defense with a huge effort from the forwards. Nigel, Nick, Michael, Alex A. and Kenniel all worked hard to stop the Maccabi runners at the gain line. Meanwhile, Inigo had an excellent game in the backfield fielding the high kicks and mounting counter-attacks with the backs.

Just before the half, scrum-half James and fly-half LBJ called a set play from a scrum at mid-field. The play worked and outside center Alex S. burst through a gap and made it all the way down to the 5 meter line. James was the first one there in support and he passed it out wide to winger Ike, who flicked a lovely inside pass to lock Andrew for the try. MIT added to their score when the forwards walked in a scrum from just outside of the Maccabi’s 5 meter line. 8-man Alex A. picked up the ball from the back of the scrum for the easy score. MIT went into the half down 17-14, but feeling confident after shutting down the Maccabis attack for the rest of the half.

In the second half MIT continued their success in the scrum, despite having zero practice on the scrum machine this spring. From another scrum at Maccabis’ 5 meter line, James passed the ball to John G., who ran a hard line inside of south and touched down for the score. Zach displayed a perfect example of World Rugby Union law 8, section 2, article A. by touching down for a try of his own. The forwards and backs were linking together well. Michael and Kenniel were breaking tackles and offloading to support runners. Winger Eric G. made his return and was weaving through defenders. MIT were finding all sorts of gaps but were unable to convert it to points. Brian was held up in the try zone on one occasion and LBJ threw 2 terrible forward passes on what were sure to be tries for Inigo and Brian on 2 other occasions. The Maccabis never gave up, and some evasive running from their fullback set them up with a 5 meter scrum. Their 8-man picked and went. Substitute flanker Frank thought he had the ball held up but the referee emphatically announced that the Maccabi 8-man had grounded the ball. The Maccabis had pulled within 4 with just 4 minutes remaining. MIT kicked off and a knock-on led to a Maccabi line-out inside their 22. The ball fell to ground and substitute Agustin cleaned it up and took it into tackle. A hard charging Frank then stormed over the line for the insurance try.

The MIT B’s then took the field, and some new faces got valuable experience in their first minutes with the club.

MIT will host Burlington RFC on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 3:00 PM on Briggs Field