|Teams:||MIT vs Framingham Exiles|
|Played:||10/19/2013 @ MIT|
|Score:||84 - 5 MIT win|
Saturday was a homecoming of sorts for MIT Rugby, having not lined out at Briggs Field since their season opening win back in early September. There was a gentle breeze blowing from The Shed End, as the team gathered and warmed up for what would prove to be a high scoring day with wins for both the A and B sides. The game provided an opportunity for a number of players to showcase their talent in both games.
The A side elected to receive the ball with the wind at their backs and controlled the ball until the opening score, a try in the right hand corner, for flanker Frank O'S. Outhalf James L, oddly wearing 12, faced a difficult conversion with the wind blowing across the goals from left to right; his conversion effort unfortunately not getting results it deserved for such a daunting opening kick.
The game slowed slightly after the opening salvo from MIT with some staunch defense from Framingham, and some errors for the home side. Unfortunately for the visitors, the MIT pack was just bedding in for what proved to be a very fruitful day for them. Waves of attack found cracks appearing in the Black and Red defensive wall and soon MIT's attacking play became more fluid and forceful, pouring through every opening to gain yards and offensive positions. Frank O'S fractured the Exiles defense again to score, closer to the posts and James L duly dispatched the conversion with ease.
Promise was beginning to be shown by the voracious MIT side, whom endured a disappointing attacking spell of late. Their next score-yielding effort, akin to "the try from the end of the world", was a landscape of subtle offloads, sharpened with acute running lines, and offering a palette of sublime interplay between backs and forwards. The move, which started with hard tackling and a quick turn over, gained traction with a line break and offload from Jake S to John LeB through the heart of the Framingham defense, and further carries from Frank and James L lead to John LeB finishing under the posts. James L duly converted.
Framingham did threaten towards the middle of the half, but a break down their left wing was snuffed out by a big tackle from Valla, and good cover from fullback Jake M. Further scores for MIT betrayed the effort and resolve shown by Framingham earlier in the half, but it's difficult to defend for such a length of time without fatigue, both physical and mental, setting in. Great work by the scrum provided the platform for Number 8 and team captain Mick O'C to pick and go off the back, though some quick feet and hard yards required from him to score from inside the opposition 22. The final effort of the half, scored by winger Brandon "Hacksaw" P., came from good vision and a well executed wide pass out left, to leave a forty yard foot race down the tramlines for the line; that try in the corner left the half-time score: MIT 29 - Framingham Exiles 0.
The second half didn't start any differently for Framingham; and the home side, buoyed by the knowledge of eager substitutes waiting to enter the fray, came out with all guns blazing. Second rows Chris W and Martin C were making their presence felt in engine room of the scrum but also with some big carries around the fringes. Scrum half Ruairidh MacD. was the master manipulator, pulling the strings at the breakdown and feeding the pack into gaps around the ruck. The ever felt front row were taking charge around the fridges, and their thankless work may not have been rewarded with names on the scoreboard, but their junk-yard-dog approach taken by Nick A. and Zach B. at the ruck stopped Framingham from gaining any momentum or quality ball. Big carries from prop Jarrad L. drew in the defense, but to little use, as he cannonball-ed through to give crucial go-forward ball.
Scores came quick and fast in the second half, mostly from MIT's pack putting pressure on the Exiles attack, which lead to poor clearances on a number of occasions. A blocked clearing kick, provided another try for Jake S, who had quickly chased up his own block down to score under the posts. The lineout had been functioning well defensively all afternoon, attacking the opposition jumpers, and disrupting the quality of ball given to the visitors. One such defensive effort by the lineout resulted in the opposition kicking hastily out of desperation, resulting in the ball bouncing back off one of their own players (a "falcon") into the in-goal area and quickly pounced on by Hacksaw for his second score. Jake M stepped quickly back in-field and scampered under the posts to score, in contrast to the audacious "Durban side steps" moments later from flanker Matt A. that drew gasps of wonder and awe from the sideline.
The Shed End was to see more action later in the half, as the bench was emptied in the last 25 minutes; the new entrants to the field only adding to Framingham’s woes. Big carries, line breaks and scores came from Dave M (impressively returning from injury), Anthony "Toro" S., Oggy I, and Galen T, with some conversions from substitute center John G.