On Saturday, March 21 The MCRC beat Division I team Boston College 52 – 0. This was a warm-up game in preparation for the Division II National Championships in late April. A full match report is available below.
The MCRC “B” team also had a convincing win over BC’s 2nd team 36 – 0.
From the opening kick The MCRC had BC on the back foot, with second row man Sam “Stormey” Tormey ’09 blocking the attempted return kick resulting in a BC scrum 15 meters out. Great defensive work from tenacious open side flanker Ross Berriman ’12 caused the Boston 9 man to give up a penalty for not releasing the ball. Brian Sirkia ’12.5, our new Canadian scrum half, took the quick tap drawing several BC tacklers and setting up the ruck. Two great pick and drives from Chris “Calves” Vandergrift ’11 and Zach Bills ’11 resulted in an unconverted try for Bills. 5 – 0 Middlebury.
A great box kick from Sirkia put BC immediately on the back foot again and Middlebury continued to enjoy territorial advantage especially as early on the kicking game looked to be the tone setter. When BC finally were able to kick the ball into our 22, Sirkia’s return kick bobbled awkwardly off the side of his boot. Fortunately right winger Spencer Paddock ’09 was on-hand to recover and deliver an under-pressure thundering boot into the BC 22. Pressure from blind side Rowan Kelner ’12 resulted in an MCRC line-out just outside the BC 22. Off the line-out a fly-half skip pass to Max Levine ’09 followed by a grubber chip through unleashed speed monger Ed “Laser” Cahill. Cahill showed off some soccer skills to beat the last defender by kicking the loose ball into the try zone and diving on it for the 5 points. 10 – 0 Middlebury.
Once again Sirkia’s box kick had BC immediately on the back foot and Paddock almost mirrored Cahill’s earlier try but his kick through was just a little too strong, putting the ball beyond the try zone before he could reach it.
Fullback Brendan Leanos ’10 back from a semester abroad last fall gave a glimpse of his speed down the left wing setting up a great attacking position in the middle of the field on the BC 5 meter line. A courageous BC counter attack from their 5 meter cleared the danger and swung the momentum in the Eagles favor as they camped within the MCRC half and 22 for several minutes, just unable to connect that all important breakthrough pass. A solid Bills tackle caused Boston’s big #13 to fumble, just 10 meters from the line, setting up an incredible full field counter attack from the MCRC: Stormey recovers but a loose pass to fly half Nick Fager bobbles backwards fortuitously off his shoulder into Kelner’s hands who quickly offloads to Levine; Levine strides up-field drawing a BC defender setting up Leanos with the space to make a great solo run from just outside the MCRC 22 into the try zone. Wing come fullback come fly-half come outside center and now inside center Ari Silverman ’09 slots home the easy 2 pointer – his first points of the game. 17 – 0 Middlebury.
Middlebury continued to pile on the pressure for the rest of the 2nd half with Cahill cutting through the BC defense at will. Tries from Silverman (converted) and Mutty rounded off the half. 29 – 0 Middlebury at the end of the half.
The 2nd half began more evenly matched than the first with both sides stringing together some good attacking moves and solid defense but as the MCRC mobile pack began to implement their pick and drives the control of the game shifted squarely in Middlebury’s favor. Fager’s deceptive turn of pace in the middle of the park sliced open the BC defense setting up Leanos for his second try of the game. The 2nd half saw Sirkia taking over kicking duties and he slotted home his 1st attempt with little difficulty. 36 – 0 Middlebury.
BC responded strongly but poor handling and decision making stopped them from turning a strong territorial advantage into points. Danger cleared the MCRC brought on their first subs; BC loose head must have felt he was in for an even longer day after seeing 300+ lb prop Robert “Bogo” Gosney ’09 making his way onto the field accompanied by the other big man Mike Pappa ’11. Sirkia added 3 points to the score from 40 meters out soon after when BC were judged offside in a ruck in the middle of the field. 39 – 0 Middlebury.
With Gosney causing no end of trouble amongst the forwards the Middlebury pressure piled on and when they worked the ball wide a footrace between Laser and his opposite man was over before it began. 44 – 0 Middlebury. Subs: Sam Harrison ’11 in for Leanos; Blake Hinckley ’10 in for forwards captain and lock Alex White ’09; Chris Marshall ’11 in for Bills.
In spite of the fresh legs fatigue seemed to set in on both sides as the mistakes began to increase. With BC desperate to get points on the board and The MCRC equally desperate to keep them out a greater sense of recklessness was introduced to the final quarter; it may not have been “champagne rugby” but it was gripping for the fans as both teams battled it out as though it were a 2 point game – all credit to the Eagles for their fighting spirit. The final quarter also saw two first caps on The Blue: Greenwich promising talent Geoff Kalan ’12.5 at fly-half and Brett Woelber ’09.5 at hooker. Another Sirkia penalty kick put Middlebury up by 47.
As the game came to a close Middlebury reestablished a more quality marked control of the game. A well executed territorial kick from Silverman set up Middlebury with an offensive scrum 5 meters from the try line. Berriman, now at the #8 position, broke on the open side setting up big man Bogo to barrel it home – almost impossible to stop Gosney from that distance out. Final score 52 – 0 to Middlebury.
Line-up: Carr (Pappa 50), Mutty (Woelber 70), Vandergrift (Gosney 50), Tormey, White (c) (Hinckley 60), Kelner, Berriman, Bills (Marshall 60), Sirkia, Fager (Kalan 80), Cahill, Silverman, Levine (c), Paddock, Leanos (Harrison 70)
Landmarks: Brian Sirkia (1st Cap), Geoff Kalan (1st Cap), Brett Woelber (1st Cap)
Hake led by: Max Levine
Spotted at the Game: Legendary center Loseke Pascal Losambe ’07, Evan Mangino Trophy Winner Colby Hewitt ’05, Jeff “Big Mac” McCormick ’06, Joshua “Pipes” Hendrickson ’07.5, Brothers Immonje (Kevin ’02 and Nick ’08.5), “Uncle” Ben Herter ’03 (Captain), Dr. Paul and Mrs. Ellen Harasimowicz (P’07)