MIT win at Portland

Teams:MIT vs Portland RFC
Played:04/20/2013 @ Portland, ME
Score: 51 - 17 MIT win

MITRFC traveled to Maine on Saturday in sunny but blustery conditions to play Portland RFC in the second game of the spring season. A minute of silence was observed by both teams beforehand in memory of MIT police officer Sean Collier who was tragically murdered on Friday. May he rest in peace.

MIT played the first half with the wind at their backs and got off to a quick start. Hard, direct running by the forwards brought MIT deep into Portland territory before a Portland ruck infringement gave John G the chance to open the scoring with a penalty kick - he duly obliged. MIT maintained the pressure on Portland; some good tactical kicking along with strong tackles around the breakdown by Anthony S, Brendan B and others were frustrating Portland. Dexterous turnovers by Nick A and Oggy I gave the momentum back to MIT on two occasions before James L pounced on a loose ball and beat several defenders on his way to a spectacular try in the far corner. Munster rugby at its finest. John G knocked over an outstanding conversion to make it 10-0 after 13 minutes.

The second try was not long coming. Quick and accurate passing by the backs gave winger Niall O'C a clear run to the line. His blistering pace did the rest. Portland came back at MIT strongly and after several muscular carries were only denied a try by a double movement. MIT responded well and scored two more tries before halftime, James L and Jake M touching down. Halftime: MIT 27-0 Portland

Portland were quick out of the blocks in the second half, again using their big runners to probe MIT's inside defense. Eventually they found some soft shoulders and scored under the posts for a converted try. MIT roared back once again with two tries in quick succession. The first was a backs' effort - a flowing move up the right touchline, with great support and handling, finished with James P feeding Ruaridh McD a sumptuous inside ball and the latter cantered over the line. The second was one for the forwards - Jarrad L and Martin C carrying well in the tight before Richard S plunged over. MIT 39-7 Portland

With legs tiring on both sides, the game became somewhat looser and the sides exchanged scores - Portland's big forwards first doing the damage before a characteristic, jinky, where-will-he-go-next run and score by John LeB put MIT back on the front foot. Another score by Portland and finally an excellent, long-range try by Jake M wrapped up proceedings. Final score: MIT 51-17 Portland

In summary, a very good performance by MITRFC to end a sad and tragic week in Boston and on the MIT campus. We travel the short distance to Lynn next Saturday to play North Shore.

Tries: James L (x2), Niall O'C, Jake M (x2), Ruaridh McD, Richard S, John LeB
Conversions: John G (x4)
Penalties: John G (x1)
MVP: James L