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On a spectacular fall day the Boys in Blue took the turf against conference foes American International College. Playing in the Middlebury’s Alumni Stadium at Youngman Field, the MCRC defeated AIC 48-19 to move to 5-0 on the season.

Being a bunch of freedom-loving gents, the Blue spread the scoring around, with seven different players scoring the seven tries. Leading the charge was All-American Captain Brian Sirkia ’12.5 with 18 points (1 try, 5 conversions, 1 penalty.)

Full match report below:

The undefeated MCRC took the pitch against American International College to defend their top spot in the East Coast Rugby Conference on an unreasonably warm fall afternoon.  Coming off an absurd 91-7 annihilation of Albany, the Blue knew they were in for a test, and they came out swinging.

 Receiving the opening kickoff in front of an eager crowd at Alumni Stadium, the MCRC only took four minutes to draw first blood.  Senior captain lock Ben “Sturge” Stasiuk caps off a practice-like drive with a savage run, setting the tone for the game and putting the Blue in front 5-0.  It stays that way after senior Captain fly-half Brian “The Uprights Are 10 m Farther Back” Sirkia bangs the conversion off the post.

 Incited by the narrow turf, the game becomes increasingly physical.  Lucky for Midd, that’s what the Blue pack had been hoping for.  On the first line out of the game, the MCRC forwards maul 25 meters.  Huge hits and swings of possession define the game for the next 15 minutes:  junior wing Alex “Coco” Ruocco saves a try by forcing an AIC wing out of bounds, and sophomore eight-man Laird “Godzilla” Silsby puts the AIC scrum half into next week.

 Relishing the contact, the Blue pack decides it’s time for another score.  After forcing the ball down the field, a (sledge)hammer by sophomore prop Cliff “Kracken” Hanich opens up a hole that junior hooker Sam “Don’t dip your bread in my Borscht!” Finkleman and three AIC defenders fill.  Unfortunately for AIC it wasn’t four, because Fink carries the would-be tacklers into the try-zone.  Sirkia hits the conversion, 12-0 Midd at 21’.

 Not content to lay down, AIC finds a lane and breaks a solo run past the Midd defense.  The last man on the goal line is Ruocco, squaring up against the full-speed AIC center with at least 70 lbs. on him.  Instead of allowing the inevitable try un-fought, Coco shows his character, putting a huge lick on the charging opponent before he falls across the try-line.  12-7 Blue. 

 Junior prop Traps “Mike” Wysota is replaced by freshman Cole “Leather Jacket” Baker after Traps tears an abdominal.  With all the contact and textbook rucking, the backs begin to sense the spotlight leaving them.  Senior scrum half Don “Not On My Watch” Song, having none of that, sends the ball wide to the Cheeky Canuck (read: Sirkia) who jukes an AIC defender and then chips over the top, winning the footrace into the try-zone, collecting the ball and touching it down.  Sirkia subsequently converts, 19-7 MCRC at 37’.

 Half time sees freshman Griffin “Not Related to A.C.” Jones come on for senior flanker Luke Dauner.  Never a team to sit on their laurels, the MCRC scores almost immediately after the half begins.  Junior outside center Adam Schreiber, putting in a stellar defensive performance (9 tackles, 1 turnover forced) decides to get in the game on offense, splitting AIC up the middle and offloading to Griffin Jones who finishes the try-scoring sequence -his first for the A-side.  Sirkia drills the conversion (of course), and it’s 26-7 at 41’.

 Staunch defense, a characteristic of the Blue this season, continues.  Led by senior inside center Dylan “Why Couldn’t I Have Been Born a Prop” Whitaker and 8-man Silsby (12 tackles each), the MCRC defense holds off several promising AIC attacks.  The Cheeky Canuck knocks in a penalty, 29-7 Midd.  Not going down without a fight, AIC quickly answers with a try, 29-14 Blue.  Not going down without a try, senior fullback Allan “Wish I Were Still a Wing” Stafford dances down the touchline and in for the try.  Sirkia hits the conversion from what was previously known as an impossible angle: 36-14 at 59’.

 Junior Tom Lynch relieves no-longer-actively-bleeding A.C. “it’s a seven!” Jones (5 tackles).  AIC scores after a solid sequence, but shank the conversion: 36-19 Midd.  Sophomore “Jazzy” Geoff Genova replaces senior Jebb “Mustache Wax” Norton (5 tackles) on the wing, and sophomore Alec “I Lift During J-Term” Mackenzie comes on for Song at scrum half. 

 Energized by the changes, the MCRC finds another gear, one that AIC simply can’t keep up with.  Senior flanker Nate Brown, a fixture on defense all day (9 tackles, 2 turnovers forced), peels off another powerful MCRC maul and finds pay dirt with an inspiring run.  Sirkia converts to make it 43-19 Midd at 73’.

Clearly inspired, Baker, the freshman prop, hammers up, breaks a tackle, and stumbles into open space.  As if prancing through a field of strangely aggressive wildflowers, Baker happily stiff-arms his way 30 meters to the try line, delivering the final blow to AIC.  48-19 Blue at 78’.

The remainder of the game plays out scoreless.  The Blue roll to another decisive victory, 48-19, asserting supremacy in the ECRC.  The final challenger, Boston College, will come to the house that Phillips built this Saturday.

Middlebury Rugby moves to 4-0 on the season after a dominating 91-7 win over UAlbany. The MCRC applied constant pressure for 80 minutes, scoring 13 tries from 10 different players. Alex Ruocco ’13 celebrated his first start with a hat trick, while Captain Brian Sirkia ’12.5 led the scoring with 31 total points (1 try, 2 penalties, 10 conversions.)

Many MCRC alumni were on hand to watch the fireworks, and all agreed that the Boys in Blue are looking good! It was a full day of rugby as the alumni took the pitch for some rugby themselves in our annual “Old Boys Game” following the A and B matches. Special thanks to Chris Mutty ’09.5 who refereed the B-side and Alumni games. Thanks, Chris!

Match Report:

The MCRC awoke before dawn and journeyed up to the Essex Tree Farm to meet Albany.  The team arrived as the sun appeared over the trees and mist rose off the pitch.  It promised to be an epic day.

 Coming into the game ranked 16th in the nation (sandwiched between Florida and LSU), the MCRC aimed to make a statement and wasted no time doing just that.  After receiving the opening kickoff, unstoppable forwards play and quick, creative back line passing moved the ball the length of the field for the opening possession.  The drive culminated in a try for wing Jebb Norton ’13.5 at the 5 minute mark.  Captain and All-American flyhalf Brian “Insert Accolade Here” Sirkia ’12.5 converts.  On the ensuing possession, the Blue pull out a mesmerizing phase, taking the ball 60 m with exceptional support running and draw a penalty; Sirkia nails the conversion to make it 10-0.

 The crowd, stacked with venerable MCRC alumni, waited ten minutes before the next MCRC try – the longest the Blue would play without scoring the rest of the day.  Sensing their impatience, senior fullback Allan “El Natural” Stafford did what he does best: astound.  Receiving the ball after crushing pack play demoralizes the opposition, Stafford splits two defenders, shakes off a third and gallops into the open field.  With two men left to beat, he chips the unsuspecting defenders and torches them in the footrace to the try-line, touching it down.  The score is 17-0 following a Sirkia conversion (get used to that).

 The next try comes just 4 minutes later after another long drive.  The Blue run a seamless line-out, with the ball coming off the top into the able hands of scrumhalf Alec “skin and bones” Mackenzie ’15 who, with the help of Sirkia, orchestrates a perfect set piece that ends in a try for wing Alex “Coco” Ruocco ’14 in his first A-side start.  Naturally, Sirkia converts. 24-0 at 20 minutes in.

 A frustrated Albany side begins to make mental errors.  The Albany inside center is banished to the sin bin for multiple high tackles at a very inopportune time.  Tasting weakness with blood already in the water, the Middlebury pack takes over, mauling 20 meters with lock Captain Ben “Sturgees” Stasiuk ’13.5 delivering the finishing blow.  29-0 at 26’.

 Once again the Blue receive and dictate the pace of the game.  With Albany struggling to keep up with a fitter, faster MCRC, the Blue quickly shuttle the ball to the wing finding prop Cliff “The Kracken” Hanich ’15 right where they want him.  Seeing the open field in front of him, Hanich rumbles to top speed, taking the ball 30 m and flattening a few unfortunate would-be tacklers in the process.  Returning to a winning strategy, the Blue maul 10 m until 8-man Laird “Godzilla” Silsby ’15 peels off and dives over the try line.  Midd leads 34-0 at 32’.

 With the half drawing to a close, the super-senior best buddy tandem of lock A.C. Jones and Brian Sirkia look to get in on the try fest.  Jones finds the ball and some space, and drops a beautifully unselfish offload to Sirkia, who punches over the line for the try.  Sirkia does what he does best and converts to make it 41-0 at the half.

 The Blue know they have a resilient opponent in Albany, and though halftime sees several personnel changes, the determination, focus, and energy remain unwavering.  Don Song ’13 replaces Mackenzie at scrum half, and Tom Lynch ’14 comes in for Jones at lock.

 After a bracing halftime speech, inside center Dylan “BlackWells” Whitaker ’13 leads by example, juking half the Albany back line and gouging them up the middle for a solo try within the first minute of play.  Sirkia converts, 48-0 at 41’.

 The Blue never let up.  A string of breathtaking passes sees Stafford send the speedy winger Coco in for his second try.  Obviously Sirkia converts, 55-0 at 52’.

Nate Brown ’13 comes on at flanker, replacing Griffin Jones ’16, a staple in the rucks all day. Cole “I cannot tell a lie” Baker ’16 relieves Hanich at prop.  Thinking of field position, Song crushes a box kick 60 m.  He wasn’t thinking of Coco’s speed.  Coco outpaces everyone on the pitch, including the Albany back three who had substantial head starts, to collect the ball and touch it down for an all-out-hustle try and a hat trick on the day.  Sirkia drills the conversion from the touch line, 62-0 Midd.

Aggressive defense by Silsby is deemed too aggressive and the 8-man is yellow carded for playing the ball on the ground. Albany attacks and work they way down the field.  After a few minutes of goal line standing lead by defensive lynchpins Whitaker (13 tackles), blind-side flanker Luke Dauner ’13 (6 tackles), and Stasiuk (5 tackles), Albany finally roots out a chink in the Blue’s armor, scoring their first and only try and bringing the score to 62-7.

Madison “I’m not a Lax Bro, bro” Stebbins ’14.5 comes on for his classmate, hooker Sam “Quads” Finkleman.  Sirkia knocks in another penalty bringing the tally to 65-7 at 68’.  On the heels of the conversion, the Blue pack delivers again, mauling and hammering until Brown dives between the legs of an Albany defender and over the line. 72-7 MCRC at 69’ after Sirkia converts.

Astor “Dance of the Elves” Carlberg ’13.5 replaces Stasiuk at lock, and Taran Veerman ’15 relieves Norton on the wing.  After waiting to get in on the action all game, Veerman immediately displays his speed, burning several defenders and scoring at 70’.  Sirkia, again, converts.  79-7.

 Outside center Adam Schreiber ’14, a stalwart tackler and composed kicker all game, channels his spidey-sense, picking off an errant Albany pass and hoofing it 60 m with defenders in hot pursuit.  Schreiber finds an extra gear, edging the opposition out and diving (read: collapsing) into the try zone. 84-7 Blue at 73’ after Sirkia converts (we told you to get used to it.)

 Not to be outdone, Don “Is It The Shoes?” Song finds a gap in the Albany defense and charges over for a try of his own.  Sirkia converts (if it ain’t broke…), making the score an absurd 91-7.  The game ends quickly thereafter, wrapping up one of the most completely dominant performances in MCRC history.  On to American International College next week.

First XV: Hanich, Finkelman, Wysota, Stasiuk (C), Jones, Dauner, Jones, Silsby, MacKenzie, Sirkia (C), Ruocco, Whitaker, Schreiber, Norton, Staffor

Reserves: Lynch, Stebbins, Brown, Baker, Nummelin-Carlberg, Song, Veerman, Yappert

First start: Jones, Ruocco

First try: Veerman

Alumni spotted at the pitch: Chris Davis ’76, Tyler Williams ’06, Sean Meany ’08, Spencer Paddock ’09, Chris Mutty ’09.5, Ed Cahill ’09.5, Sam Harrison ’11, Zach Bills ’11, Drew Harasimowich ’11, Chris Vandergrift ’11, Darragh Hurley ’11, Rowan Kelner ’12, Geoff Kalan ’12, Dillon Hupp ’12

Due to heavy rainfall over the past few weeks the Middlebury pitch is unplayable. This Saturday’s matches against the University of Albany will be held in Burlington at the Tree Farm.

Both A & B matches will kick-off at 10:15am.

Click here for directions: http://www.treefarmsports.com/

The MCRC is pleased to open our Fall 2012 raffle, and honestly, it’s the best selection of prizes we’ve ever had.  Patriots tickets? You bet! Red Sox vs. Yankees tickets? No doubt! And that’s just the tip of the iceburg. As a club, we rely on your support for everything from coaching salaries, to uniforms and team travel. Please support your Boys in Blue! Just click on the link below to see all the prizes and buy your tickets today!

 http://boxoffice.middlebury.edu/index.php

This Saturday, October 6, Middlebury will compete in the ECRC 7s tournament at Amesbury Sports Park, 12 South Hunt Rd., Amesbury, MA. Please come out and support the boys in blue. Click here for directions.

Middlebury will be in Pool B with Southern Connecticut, Albany and AIC. Pool A will consist of Defending Champs BC, Northeastern and UMass-Amherst, and UConn. 4 points for a win, 2 points for a tie, 0 for a loss. The winners and runners-up of each pool will advance to the semi-finals and the winners of those games will meet in the final. The winner of this tournament will advance to the USA Rugby Collegiate 7s National Championship.

Schedule

10 AM: MCRC vs. Albany 

12 PM: MCRC vs. Southern CT
1:20 PM: MCRC vs. AIC
3:20 PM:Semi-Final #1

3:40 PM: Semi-Final #2

4:20 PM: FINAL

On Saturday, September 29 the MCRC was scheduled to travel to New Haven, CT to take on the Owls of Southern Connecticut State University. Unfortunately, word came thru late friday night that the pitch was under water and unplayable. The game has been re-scheduled for Saturday, November 10.

In the meantime, the Development Squad traveled north and took on the B-side of St. Mike’s. This was the first ever rugby game for some of the men in Blue and not only did they hold their own, they shut out St. Mike’s 22-0. How great is that!?

Whether you’ve played rugby for years or if you have never even picked up a rugby ball The Middlebury College Men’s Rugby Club (The MCRC) would like to invite you to join us in the world’s premier contact sport! Having had strong success in Division II (National Champions 2007 and 2009, runners up 2011), The MCRC  moved up to  Division I-AA Collegiate Rugby in the fall of 2011 where we are founding members of the East Coast Rugby Conference (ECRC).  Nevertheless this club is about more than trophies and accolades: its a brotherhood that will last you a lifetime!

Here is all the info you will need to get started:

Club Meeting (all new and former players must attend):

  • Every Monday @ 4:30 PM in KENYON LOUNGE      (First meeting is Monday, September 10)

Health Forms & Sports Medicine Clearance (Deadline: Sept 24 @ noon)

BEFORE you can practice you MUST receive clearance from Sports Medicine. The deadline is noon Sept 24 – please take care of this ASAP to avoid issues. You must have submitted the appropriate forms by 9/24 or you will not be allowed to play rugby this semester.

Here is the clearance procedure info:  http://www.middlebury.edu/athletics/sportsmed/fyr

Impact (Concussion) Test

Any student that has not taken an impact test at Middlebury, must schedule an appointment with sports med to complete a baseline IMPACT test. Email sportsmed@middlebury.edu or call x5636 between 10am – 2pm.

Fall Practice Schedule:

  • Monday – 4:30 pm Club meeting in Kenyon Lounge followed by practice till 6:30 pm
  • Tues, Wed & Thurs – 4:30 pm – 6:30pm  Practice @ the Rugby Field
  • Fri – Captains’ Practice; Gym session
  • Sat – Game day!
  • Sun – Pool recovery session

Game Schedule:
Check out our game schedule under the Schedule-Results tab at the top of the screen.

Equipment:
For practice please make sure you have the following gear:

  • Mouthguards (available at the bookstore, 4th ‘n’ goal, Olympia Sports)
  • Non-marking running shoes (in case we have to go in-doors due to weather)
  • Rugby or soccer cleats (you can wear football cleats or running shoes until you have an opportunity to get appropriate cleats)
  • Rugby jersey (t-shirt okay until you have an opportunity to get a rugby jersey)
  • Rugby shorts (other sports shorts okay until you have an opportunity to get rugby shorts)

Rugby Field location: Beyond South East end of Peterson Family Athletics Complex on South Main St. (Route 30 South)

USA Rugby Registration: Once you have decided that you are sticking with rugby you need to register with USA Rugby (the governing body for collegiate rugby in the US).  Registration is required to play in matches: https://membership.usarugby.org/default.aspx

 

Please email rugby@middlebury.edu with any questions and to let us know you are interested in rugby so that we can add you to our email list and roster.

The Fall 2012 Schedule is now available! Please click here to check it out: http://sites.middlebury.edu/rugby/schedule-results/

Please note The MCRC ALUMNI WEEKEND  is October 19-21, and that The MCRC is away on Fall Family Weekend, October 5-7.

General practice schedule below. for most up-to-date schedule email rugby@middlebury.edu to join our email list. This schedule will change as weather improves (expect major change as we approach spring break).

Mondays:

  • 7:30 PM Club Meeting in Lawson Lounge
  • 8:30 PM – 10 PM Kohn Field (dress warm)
  • 9 PM in Nelson if weather does not allow us to go outside

Wednesdays:

  • 8 PM Lawson Lounge
  • 8:30 PM – 10 PM Kohn Field (dress warm)
  • 10:30 PM in Nelson if weather does not allow us to get outside

Saturdays

  • 10 AM – 12 PM Football Turf

No experience required! Whether you’ve played rugby for years or if you have never even picked up a rugby ball The Middlebury College Men’s Rugby Club (The MCRC) would like to welcome you to the world’s premier contact sport! Now competing in Division I-AA, The MCRC is one of the strongest rugby programs in the USA, having won the Division II National Championship in 2007 and 2009, and narrowly missing a third title in 2011 with a 2nd place finish. Nevertheless this club is about more than trophies: its a brotherhood that will last you a lifetime!

Here is all the info you will need to get started – if you have any futher questions contact rugby@middlebury.edu :

1st Team Meeting: Wednesday, February 15 @ 4:30 PM in Lawson Lounge

Health Forms & Sports Medicine Clearance–
Before you can practice you must receive clearance from Sports Medicine. You must have submitted the appropriate forms by 2/27 or you will not be allowed to play rugby this semester.
Here is the clearance procedure info (make sure you note Men’s Rugby as your sport when you fill out the health form):  http://www.middlebury.edu/athletics/sportsmed/fyr

Spring Practice Schedule (if indoors):
See new practice schedule (posted above)

Game Schedule:

Games will begin on 4/7 and be every weekend through 5/12. We are still finalizing our schedule.

Equipment:
For practice please make sure you have the following gear:

  • Mouthguards (available at the bookstore, 4th ‘n’ goal, Olympia Sports)
  • If indoor practice: Non-marking running shoes
  • If outdoor practice: Rugby or soccer cleats preferred (you can wear football cleats or running shoes until you have an opportunity to get appropriate cleats)
  • Rugby jersey (t-shirt okay until you have an opportunity to get a rugby jersey)
  • Rugby shorts (other sports shorts okay until you have an opportunity to get rugby shorts)

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