On Saturday, April 4, the MCRC had a scrimmage against UVM. Freezing cold rain, kick-off delays, no goal posts, and playing on an American football field (some 20 yards narrower than the average rugby field) made for tough conditions and kudos to both teams for ignoring the complications all for the sake of playing some good rugby. Brett Woebler ’09.5 made his first start for the blue with starting hooker Chris Mutty ’09.5 out for a week with a cold. Scottie Gratton ’09 got his first cap for the A side subbing on in the second half on the wing. This weekend also saw the return of formidable tackler Dan Chow ’09, now plying his trade in the second row.
Of our 3 warm up games UVM was easily the biggest and probably the most physical side and they were particularly dominant in the lineouts. Having no goal posts meant no kicking for posts which meant both sides had to take a different approach to the game tactically. The freezing rain made for a wet ball and cold hands and the resulting handling errors were high on both sides but when the blue were able to string some passes together their play was nothing short of sublime, reminiscent of the great backlines of Middlbury’s past – the power, pace and dancing feet of winger Ed Cahill ’09 were again a constant threat. The UVM back 3 had a tough time dealing with some clever chips from inside center Ari Silverman ’09 and box kicks from the young Canadian scrum-half Brian Sirkia ’12.5 and constantly found themselves on the back foot as a result.
Despite the scoreline, everything did not go Middlebury’s way, especially in the lineouts. UVM’s Jack Bates (son of UVM coach and former Middlebury rugger Charlie Bates ’82) was particularly dominant and a constant threat. We also suffered a few unfortunate injuries, which are frustrating two weeks before Nationals but our hope is that Hinckley ’10, Levine ’09, Harrison ’11 and R. Kelner ’12 will all have speedy recoveries.
Lineup: Carr (Gosney 50), Woebler, Vandergrift (Pappa 55), Tormey, Hinckley (Chow 60), R. Kelner (Marshall 30), Berriman, Stewart (Bills 60), Sirkia, Fager, Cahill (Lim 65), Silverman, Levine (Gratton 60), Paddock, Leanos (Harrison 55)
Spotted at the game: Parents of alumni still supporting the MCRC: Craig Wilson Sr. P’07.5, Bill Yoquinto P’08