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Category Archive for 'Match Reports'

In a nail-biting season opener The MCRC narrowly lost to UMass-Amherst by 4 points. The game could have easily gone the other way and with the final play Middlebury almost pulled off a miraculous comeback but a knock-on from 5 meters out brought proceedings to a disappointing but glory-filled end. The lead changed hands 5 times in this warrior’s ping pong battle and with just 3 minutes left Middlebury had the advantage but they could not hold out.

An impressive debut for the true freshman Laird “Godzilla” Silsby ’15 at #8, putting in some solid tackles and picking up a crucial try. Fullback Geoff “Le Roi” Kalan ’12.5 puts in a man of the match performance both on offense and defense; though captain Brian “VC” Sirkia’s final penalty kick…almost match-winning, near sideline, golden toe dagger was easily the play of the game.

Full match report below.

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Middlebury had a good outing at the Newport Sevens this past Saturday winning their opening game and losing the next two games by small margins. The team comprised several current players and young alumni and finally this Middlebury group has begun to adapt to the sevens style: moving the ball and avoiding contact on offense. Amazing job by team captain Michael “Renaissance” Pappa ’11 in organizing and leading the team.

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Middlebury squeezes out the win to advance to the DII National Championship Final against UW-Whitewater. Salisbury come out firing, Middlebury bounces back and wins the first half through great running by their backline. 26 – 14 at halftime. Intense pressure by Salisbury forces errors out of Middlebury but the boys in blue do enough to hold on, desperately but effectively, for the win: 29 – 26.

The final will be at 2 PM tomorrow at Founder’s Field.

You can watch replays of today’s game and tomorrow’s live game online at http://www.ustream.com/usarugby.

Back in 2009, Middlebury beat USF in the quarterfinal of the National Championships 32 – 17. Two years later in the same fixture, the DII National Championship quarterfinal, Middlebury once again dispels a formidable USF side with an almost identical score line: 38 points to 14. The MCRC comes out slugging, with a ravenous hunger and determination that this writer cannot attest to having witnessed before. The defense is doggedly unrelenting – the attack is innovative and turbocharged. The unorthodox, incomprehensible genius that is Head Coach John “Chipolati” Phillips takes another roll of his magic 28 sided die and up pops the idea to move his scrumhalf back to flyhalf–after having moved him from scrumhalf to flyhalf at the beginning of the fall and back to scrumhalf at the end of the fall–the timing of such a change? “Madness”, one might (and some do) say–”lucky”, one might (and some do) refute–”brilliant”, no one can deny.

Captain Brian “Downtown Dagger” Sirkia ’12.5 is once again more than apt in front of goals and has that old spark to his step with ball in hand. Allan “El Naturel” Stafford ’13.5 puts in another m-o-m worthy performance, showing my good friend speed what quick really is; and just in case speed was not convinced by El Naturel, Dane “Juan En Don” Steel ’11 gets in on the velocity act. Hitmakers Sam “Overlap” Harrison ’11 and Zach “Business Casual Jr.” Bills ’11 get the party started on defense and keep the hits coming all game long: the defensive performance by Middlebury, as led by Bills and Harrison, is possessed. All that said, the true orchestrator on offense and defense is scrumhalf Don “Oye Mi Canto” Song ’13 – playing through an early injury Donny directs the team to a definitive victory.

Full match report below:

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Middlebury beats St. Joseph’s University of Philadelphia 34 – 5 in the Division II National Championship Round of 16. Middlebury led from the beginning thanks to an almost flawless kicking performance by captain Brian Sirkia ’12.5. In the first half Brian went 5 for 6 including a bomb from 45 meters out and about 10 meters from the sideline – easily the play of the game. St. Joe’s threatened to make a comeback as the first half closes but the second half is one way traffic on the scoreboard. The boys in blue have played better and credit to St. Joe’s for frustrating Middlebury for stretches, not allowing the blue backline much ball. However, in the second half, fitness and patience turns to tries for Middlebury. Geoff “King” Kalan ’12.5, Ross “Bo$$” Berriman ’12 and Ben “Stunners” Cmejla ’11 each touching down.

The writer is not one for handing out man-of-the-match nods but if one is forced to single out a Middlebury player or two Sirkia and winger Allan “El Naturel” Stafford ’13.5 would be on the shortlist. Stafford is key on defense, making several crucial tackles to quell St. Joe’s resurgence and when he’s on the ball he is a spectacle. Stafford is unlucky not to add his name to the scoreboard after he gets the ball near the sideline. He leaves his opposite man for dead with a purely malevolent in-and-out step, he throws a fend-off to finish and it’s off to the races. From everyone’s perspective he does a phenomenal job of staying in the field of play…everyone except the man who counts: the touch judge. He raises a late, controversial flag to end Stafford’s run prematurely.

Full report below:

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Follow themcrc on twitter for live score updates: http://twitter.com/themcrc

The MCRC 36 – 5 Yale

After spending spring break on campus in training Middlebury rugby defeats Ivy League side Yale by 36 points to 5 to wrap up their pre-Nationals spring warm up games. Middlebury is in control the entire game and most of Yale’s attacking possession is due to penalties, which they manage to convert to points on one occasion.

First team debuts for lock John “Scooter” Hawley ’14 and prop Stewart Hoffmann ’14. Standout performance by outside center Ben Cmejla ’11 carrying the ball with confidence and vision. All 4 different Middlebury wingers cause Yale no end of trouble with their speed and strength with ball in hand. Second half replacement Don Song ’13 throws his hand up for a man-of-the-match or at least sub-of-the-match performance at scrum-half.  The MCRC 2nd XV wins 40 – 0 despite being reduced to 13 men by the end of game due to small injuries. Tom Lynch ’13.5 and Allan Stafford ’13.5 impress.

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Non-result ending from Middlebury’s second spring warm-up game against Northeastern as the ref chooses to end the match with 16 minutes on the clock. At the time the game is cut short Middlebury is down by 13 to 19.  The ref appears to have taken exception to Northeastern players talking back to him. Up until that point it had been an exciting game that saw Middlebury take an early lead into the half. Northeastern comes out for the second half invigorated and scores 3 tries in quick succession. With less than a converted try separating the teams it would have been a thrilling final 16 minutes but the ref’s call is the ref’s call and that’s what all players must adhere to. Middlebury’s sole try comes from fly half Dusty Attwood-Dupont ’13.5 and skipper Brian Sirkia ’12.5 hits the conversion and two penalties. Considering that it’s a warm up game for Nationals the final score is far less important than the experience gained playing against a strong team on their way to the DI National Championship.

Fantastic debut performance by the aggressively scrappy Nate Brown ’13 at flank. Ben “Sturgees” Stasiuk ’13.5 who has bounced around the park in terms of positions may have found a new home (for the foreseeable future) at lock where he put in a superbly gritty performance. Strong win for the 2nd XV in a 25 minute scrimmage against Northeastern’s 2nd team. An unfortunate series of events resulted in a lack of field availability and daylight thus the highly shortened 2nd team game. Still Middlebury dominated this portion and all of their players got some solid time on the park so all-in-all a worthwhile endeavor.

Full Report Below.

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The MCRC 23 – 15 SCSU

In their first of 3 spring warm up games Middlebury defeats Southern Connecticut State University by 23 points to 15. Middlebury dominates the scoring in the first half with 20 unanswered points but late in the second half Southern rallies to score 15 points against a 14 man Middlebury side, causing some nervous moments for the boys in blue. Nat Kelner ’12, Allan Stafford ’13.5 and Tommy Campanella ’12 get the tries for Middlebury. Captain Sirkia converts one try and two penalties. The Middlebury 2nd XV gets a much more comfortable victory with Zach Withers ’11.5 standing out.

Full report below:

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The MCRC are the Northeast Champions! Another superb performance by the boys in blue. Captains Brian Sirkia and Rowan Kelner are presented with a plaque and 8th Man Chris Marshall gets the game ball as man-of-the-match.

Full report below.

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