Middlebury finishes the year on a high note – big win over Cal Maritime 40 – 22. In their final game of their college careers seniors Blake Hinckley ’10 (lock) and Brendan Leanos ’10 (outside center) captained the Middlebury side – Leanos puts in an MVP worthy performance. Great pre-game display as Cal Maritime responds to Middlebury’s haka with their own warcry, quoting Shakespeare’s “band of brothers” line. Anyone who thought this was just going to be a consolation game was well mistaken – these teams are here to play rugby.
Scoring summary below:
Middlebury lineout just inside the Cal Maritime half – Sirkia skips wide to Zach Withers ’11.5 who drifts wide and finds a whole between the Maritime centers – then it’s just a good ol’ fashioned footrace and your not catch Withers on that – try time. Sirkia misses. 5 – 0 Middlebury.
Off open play Middlebury forwards pickup the loose ball set up Sirkia who skips it out wide to Leanos who makes the well timed pop to fullback Allan Stafford ’13.5 who runs it in beating a tackle or two – between Stafford and Withers Middlebury has pace to spare. Sirkia misses. 10 – 0 Middlebury.
Sirkia gets his composure after the two missed conversions and slots home a penalty kick to put Middlebury up by 13.
Middlebury has Cal Maritime under pressure and Leanos charges up and blocks the kick – the ball bobbles loose and hooker Danny J. Powers ’11.5 is the first one to it – he makes the pick up and is clear to the line. Sirkia hits the easy conversion. 20 – o Middlebury.
Maritime ruck in their own 22 – the ball squirts out and winger turned scrumhalf turned hooker turned flanker Sam Harrison ’11 picks it up makes a break and is tackled a few meters out. The ball appears to go forward but the ref adjudges it to be a live ball – Rowan Kelner ’12 is the first to make the decisive move and scores the try under the posts. Sirkia converts. 27 – 0 Middlebury.
Halftime and the Blue is up to their old tricks.
Second half and Cal Maritime comes out firing and scores 3 tries and converts 1 during the course of the second half – poor tackling by Middlebury. Sirkia keeps Middlebury’s points rolling with two converted penalties. 33 – 19 Middlebury.
Middlebury gets their final points from a clever quick tap penalty by Ross Berriman – Berriman pops off to Nat Kelner ’12.5 near the line and Kelner puts it in. The twins get a try each on the day. Sam Harrison ’11 takes over kicking duty after Sirkia is subbed and puts away the easy conversion in front of the posts. 40 – 17 Middlebury.
At the end of the game Cal Maritime gets a consolation try – good second half display by the west coast team but Middlebury basically had the game wrapped up at halftime – the two crucial penalty kicks by Sirkia in the second half keep Middlebury ahead by multiple scores even when Maritime gets going.
Final score 40 – 24 Middlebury – way to finish gentlemen!
Lineup: Pappa (Burleigh 65), Powers, Vandergrift, N. Kelner, Hinckley (c) (Daubert 72), Dauner, R. Kelner (Damberg-Ott 60), Berriman, Sirkia (Attwood-Dupont 65), Withers (Whitaker 65), Durfee (Stasiuk 35), Leanos (c), Campanella, Stafford
- Tries – Withers ’11.5, Stafford ’13.5, Powers ’11.5, R. Kelner ’12.5, N. Kelner ’12.5
- Conversion – Sirkia ’12.5: 2 for 4; Harrison ’11: 1 for 1
- Penalty kicks – Sirkia ’12.5: 3 for 4
- 1st captaincy (competitive or non-competitive): Hinckley ’10, Leanos ’10
- 1st competitive try: Stafford ’13.5
- 1st cap (competitive or non-competitive): Attwood-Dupont ’13.5
- 1st competitive cap: Campanella ’12
- Final game for The MCRC: Brendan Leanos ’10, Blake Hinckley ’10
Spotted at the Game:
- Mike McKenna (former faculty/staff adviser to The MCRC), Roy & Nina Silverman P’09