Middlebury advances to the final four of the Northeast with a 36 – 5 win over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Full report to come.
Category Archive for 'Match Reports'
Middlebury completes their 13th straight undefeated regular season with a nail-biting win over the University of Vermont 10 – 7. Without an official New England Championship competition anymore The MCRC can be satisfied with the knowledge that they are the New England league winners. Before the game few would have expected such a close score with Middlebury’s dominance of New England and UVM struggling through the season; there is just something about this rivalry that brings out the best, the worst and the bizarre from both teams: amazing chip, chase and recover runs; dropped balls & missed tackles; handbag scuffles; you name it and it happens when these two teams collide.
UVM takes the early lead with a converted try – the first time this year Middlebury has been down at any point during a game. The only Middlebury try is scored by flanker Zach Bills ’11; captain Brian Sirkia ’12.5 secures the win with a conversion and a penalty kick. Middlebury rests regular starters Geoff Kalan ’12.5, forwards captain Rowan Kelner ’12, and scrum-half Ross Berriman ’12. Stafford, flanker Sebastien Damberg-Ott ’12.5 and 9 man Don “The Shoes” Song ’13 start in their stead.
Full report below:
Middlebury goes to 6 and 0 on the season with a big win over Boston University in front of a large homecoming crowd, 43 – 10. BU enters this game with the wind in their sails after their epic final kick win over Coast Guard last weekend but that gale is quickly stilled by the Blue. Within the first 10 minutes Middlebury scores 19 points seemingly out of nothing. The clinical efficiency of the Middlebury attack would have put most teams to bed but BU bounces back with extended periods of possession and territorial advantage. The MCRC pulls off some incredible defensive stands to keep the resurgent Boston team at bay.
Middlebury welcomes back Nat “Sheed” Kelner ’12, Geoff Kalan ’12.5 and Kennedy Mugo ’12 to their starting lineup. Kalan and Mugo pick up a try each in the first half. Great to have so many alumni on the sideline supporting the team during homecoming.
Full report below:
Great weekend with Middlebury Rugby alumni in town! We had around 25 alumni from the past 3 decades reliving the glory days both on and off the field. Captained by fly-half Brian Napack ’83 the alumni team had a great showing for the game against the students, which the alumni won 24 – 5. With the students having two games against URI and several students being away for fall break the alumni had to loan the students 3 players to make it 15 on 15. Those younger alumni, namely Chris Goodrich ’10, Sam Tormey ’09 and Nick Fager ’09 did not hold back against their alumni counterparts and made it a much more competitive match. The students also benefited from the timely return of retired senior Harry Mwaki Magotswi ’11 who is a member of the Kenyan line that has so greatly impacted Middlebury rugby over the past decade. The game was officiated by Chris Mutty ’09.5, former MCRC captain and now New England certified ref.
The alumni forwards work rate was characteristic of Middlebury rugby: exhaustive! Led by flanker John “Duke” Wellington ’83 the all star forwards crushed their opposition…often by diving onto them in the rucks, which the ref continually penalized the alumni for but with little effect on actually stopping them from using this intimidation tactic. The writer having been at the bottom of such a ruck can attest to the fear it arouses! Great pick and drives and offloads in the tackle by the alumni forwards kept the momentum going forward.
Match analysis by player below (in alphabetical order–all complete!):
Both Middlebury’s 1st XV and 2nd XV continue their unbeatens run with a 41 – 0 and 26 – 21 respective wins over University of Rhode Island on a cold rainy day. Middlebury really put on a show for their alumni who were up for the annual alumni weekend (see report on the alumni game in next post). The games are played on the Football turf due to heavy rain over the past few days. In the 1st team game Middlebury continues to dominate the scrums but in the first half the URI forwards hold up better than any other team Middlebury has played this year. By the second half URI’s fitness is waning and the Blue pack goes into full gear stealing scrum after scrum and completely controlling their own ball allowing Brian Sirkia ’12.5 and his backs to carve up the URI defense.
Scrum-half Ross “Bo$$” Berriman ’12 scores two tries in the first half and winger Ben “Sturgees” Stasiuk ’13.5 grabs two in the second half; Sirkia, Tommy Campanella ’12 and Alan “The Natural” Stafford ’13.5 pick up a try each. Brian goes 3 for 7 on conversions, striking the post an almost unbelievable 3 times. He makes no penalty kick attempts, largely because Middlebury is awarded very few penalties in the game.
Full match report below:
Middlebury continues it’s unbeaten run with a 60 – 8 win over St. Michael’s College away from home. Middlebury dominates early but then the game becomes very scrappy as the first half progresses, knock-ons and penalties galore. St. Mike’s adapts well to Middlebury’s play and frustrates the visitors in the second half, grabbing a consolation try. In the midst of the disheveled play The MCRC manages to hustle out try after try and closes the game with one of the best worked team tries of the season. The Middlebury 2nd XV is also victorious 41 – 12 continuing their unbeaten run.
After 2 weekends of New England rugby only two teams remained unbeaten. This weekend those two powerhouses met in a highly anticipated game, somewhat reminiscent of the classic battles fought between these two juggernauts over the past decade. The MCRC prevailed 39 – 12 in a game that was much closer than the score may suggest. Despite Middlebury always being in the lead Coast Guard never backed down and played an incredibly physical game, hitting and running harder than any team Middlebury has played this fall, maybe harder than any team they will play this season. After an off year in 2010 where they did not even make the New England playoffs, it looks clear that USCGA is back as a force in NERFU. It is also clear that The MCRC were ready for them.
Tries by Kennedy “Let’s Go” Mugo ’12, Sam Harrison ’11, Ross Berriman ’12, Geoff Kalan ’12.5 and Michael Angelo Pappa ’11. The big man Pappa comes off the bench to get his first MCRC try in his final year on the team – hats off to you Mike! Captain and kicker Brian Sirkia ’12.5 hits 4 for 5 conversion but struggles with penalties only hitting 2 on a penalty filled afternoon.
Despite scoring an early try Middlebury starts off this game looking lacklustre–hurried in their decision making, hectic around the rucks. However, it does not take too long for the Blue to find their groove and from then on the points just keep rolling in. The Middlebury scrum absolutely abolishes the UNH pack, winning almost every ball and even in the few defensive scrums Middlebury does not win they blast UNH back. This forwards domination leads the way for The MCRC to win 77 – 0.
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In their opening game of the fall 2010 New England Division II regular season The Middlebury Men’s Rugby team posted a convincing win over Norwich, 53 – 7. From the opening kick to the final whistle Middlebury was in control of this game as Norwich struggled to keep up with the outside pacemen of the Blue, most notably: winger Kennedy Mugo ’12, who picks up the hat-trick and prop Chris “Vandercalves” Vandergrift ’11 who snags a brace. Not a typo ladies and gentlemen, Calves has the pace and field awareness to be one of Middlebury’s leading try scorers this year despite being a prop and one of The MCRC’s physically largest players. Last week this duo connected for a try, Calves setting up Mugo. This week the pair score almost half of Middlebury’s points (25 of the 43). Perhaps Chris is putting in his bid for a position in the backline as he revels and thrives in the glory of making 40 meter breaks down the field. From opposite ends of the world (Kenya vs. Seattle) Kennedy and Chris have a penchant for leaving defenders like icebergs: at sea. Ross Berriman ’12, Danny “DJ” Powers ’11.5 and Don Song ’13, making a much anticipated and welcome return, round up the Middlebury try scorers. Few could be happier than fly half and captain Brian “Try-an” Sirkia to see Don Song ’13 back in a Middlebury jersey; not just because of the additional coverage at scrum half, the position Brian relies on, but the two are high school teammates from Canadian rugby powerhouse Shawnigan Lake School. Brian let’s his boot display his excitement going 1 for 1 on penalties and 5 for 8 on conversions.
Middlebury wins a tough pre-season game against Harvard 33-17. Harvard dominated possession in the first half but great goal kicking by captain Brian Sirkia ’12.5 and a 60 meter intercept run by senior prop Christopher “Calves” Vandergrift ’11 kept Middlebury ahead. The blue took greater control as the 2nd half progressed but Harvard stayed in it, always threatening–Middlebury did the better job of capitalizing on their opportunities scoring 2nd half tries through forwards captain Rowan Kelner ’12 and a double salvo from Kenyan winger Kennedy Mugo ’12.
Full match report below: