MIT lose in semifinals at NERFU Cup

Teams:MIT vs New London & Providence
Played:05/11/2019 @ Newport, RI
Score: 7 - 5 MIT win

On May 11, 2019, MIT traveled to Fort Adams in Newport, RI for the annual NERFU Cup tournament. MIT again traveled light, losing players to injuries, semi-formals, graduations, and project deadlines. MIT’s first match of the day was bright and early on one of the picturesque fields overlooking Benton Cove. MIT came out strong, controlling possession and making line breaks against New London RFC. Scrum-half Nolan, MIT’s 4th scrum-half in the last 4 games, played with a quick and aggressive style to keep New London on their toes. The scrums were much improved from weeks prior, thanks to the veteran pack of Martin, Alan, Teddy, Nick, Zach, Frank, Alex A., Andrew, Agustin, and one of the Pauls.

MIT got on the board first when Nolan quick-tapped and ran with the ball on a penalty inside New London’s zone. Nolan offloaded in the tackle to Irish fly-half LBJ (68.6% British and Irish according to, who sidestepped a few defenders and scored under the post. Fellow Irishman John G. converted the kick to make it 7-0. The way MIT were moving the ball early on, no one would have predicted that this would be their only score of the game. New London played better in the second half and scored to narrow the lead to 7-5 but their kicker missed the conversion. New London came close to scoring a few other times, but Cole AKA Captain Attitude made several try saving tackles to keep MIT in the lead. Outside centre Tom led the defense with his constant chatter. John G. kept their back 3 under pressure with well-placed kicks that they struggled to field cleanly.

With time expiring, New London threw their last desperate attack at MIT but the defense held up and New London turned the ball over to Teddy. Teddy attempted to end the game by throwing the ball to the moon. This unsurprisingly did not work but MIT luckily recovered and kicked the ball out of bounds to secure the win.

MIT found themselves with a 6 hour layover between games, leaving plenty of time for the following:

- John G. scared the team into thinking he was retiring when he gave away a bag of his rugby gear immediately following the game. Turns out he had just Marie Kondo’d his apartment and was giving away the things that no longer brought him joy. Half of the team, including the unofficial canine mascot, could be seen wearing John’s old clothes around Newport.
- Alan continued his away game nap streak
- James Patterson returned from South Africa via drone
- Alex and Frank’s dads became best friends.
- Zach walked around pretending to talk into a radio to look important
- Former MIT rugger Corey stopped by for a chat.

MIT then faced Providence RFC in the semifinal match. Providence were large, fast, and well organized. They scored 2 tries early and were dictating the pace of the match. MIT defended as best they could but Providence were too much for them and scored a third try. When MIT were finally able to get possession, they were able to hit Providence back in the mouth, but MIT held the ball for too limited of a time in the condensed 40 minute match. Brian, who moved from the forwards out to winger, scored 2 brilliant tries of his own, but Providence took the W 33-10. Providence would go on to win the championship game on Sunday, as MIT were able to enjoy Mother’s Day inside away from the cold and rain.

This weekend was Alan’s last matches with the club (for now). Alan was a solid utility forward who could play anywhere in the pack and was never afraid to take contact on offense or defense. Alan was definitely not known for his goose-step. Alan has left the club once before, so hopefully this is more of “seeya later” than it is a “goodbye.”

This was the last match of the spring season. MIT will be playing touch rugby and training for summer 7’s tournaments throughout the summer.