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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).  The fall of 2013 was our most successful yet as the club went undefeated in league play en route to winning our 2nd consecutive ECRC title and advancing to the National semi-final. 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 8)

Health Forms & Sports Medicine Clearance (Deadline: September 22 @ noon)

BEFORE you can practice you MUST receive clearance from Sports Medicine. The deadline is noon Sept 22 – please take care of this ASAP to avoid issues. You must have submitted the appropriate forms by 9/22 or you will not be eligible to play rugby this semester.

Here is the clearance procedure info:  

http://www.middlebury.edu/athletics/sportsmed/all

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 team lift
  • Tues, Wed & Thurs – 4:30 pm – 6:30pm  Practice @ the Rugby Field
  • Fri – Captains’ Practice; light 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.

On a beautiful spring day The MCRC conference foes AIC, Northeastern and UAlbany for the first ever SnowBowl 7′s Tournament. AIC swept aside all challengers en route to the cup, defeating Northeastern 19-0 in the final. In the plate final, Middlebury defeated Albany 21-19, sending Middlebury’s seniors off the field for their final time with a win.

Many thanks to all participants for a great day of 7′s!

On a rainy day in Springfield, Mass, The Blue overcame 1 early defeat in pool play to take home the Plate Championship at the first ever Armory Collegiate 7′s Tournament hosted by AIC.

This was Middlebury’s first 7′s tournament of the spring and marked some of the first ever 7′s action for several players. Led by new captain Laird Silsby ’16, the team played some truly beautiful rugby at times to earn their first hardware of the spring 7′s circuit.

Up next is another East Coast Rugby Conference tournament at UMass on 4/5, followed by the final leg at Middlebury on 4/12. The points leader after the 3 tournaments earns an automatic bid to the ACRC National 7′s Championship in Virginia Beach on May 3-4.

Middlebury’s historic season came to an end on Saturday with a 12-34 loss to Penn State. Middlebury struck first with a converted try from Captain Allan Stafford, and later extended the lead with another try from 8-man Laird Silsby, but Penn State answered both times and the contest was even at 12 points each at the half.  Ultimately Penn State’s size, depth and skill proved too much for The Blue as the Nittany Lions pulled away in the second half to earn a berth in the title match. Our hats go off to an excellent opponent!

Despite the loss it was a special day as it was the first ever National playoff game held at Middlebury, and the campus and community came out to support in record numbers. Nearly a thousand friends and family were on hand to cheer on The MCRC and their shouts surely lifted the Boys in Blue to new heights.

Many thanks to all our alumni, parents and friends who have supported us throughout this incredible season. We wouldn’t be where we are without you!

On Saturday, November 23 Middlebury Rugby will host a National Semi-Final. Perennial powerhouse Penn State will make the drive north to take on the Blue. Kick-off is scheduled for 1pm.

The other semi-final pits Kutztown against Bowling Green, also this Saturday.

The American Collegiate Rugby Championship concludes in South Carolina two weeks later with the National Championship match at Furman University on December 7.

Please come and support The Blue for this historic game!

 

On a windy day in Beantown The Blue avenged last year’s narrow loss to BC and soundly defeated the Eagles 35-15. Middlebury won it’s sixth straight match, all bonus point wins, to finish the regular season a perfect 6-0. This marks Middlebury’s first ever undefeated regular season in D-IAA and is the team’s second straight ECRC Championship.

Middlebury now prepares to meet the winner of the Empire Conference in a National Quarterfinal on November 16.

For the second year in a row Middlebury has won the East Coast Rugby Conference title! After soundly thumping Albany 78-22 the MCRC kept an eye on the twitter feed of the Saturday evening match up between AIC and Boston College. Although AIC was in front the entire match, BC punched thru a late try to close the gap and be in position to earn the losing bonus point. AIC, however, responded with a try of their own in the final moments to win the match 20-10. Neither team earned a bonus point which benefited The MCRC.

The weekend’s results leaves the standings with Middlebury alone in first with 25 points (5 bonus point wins) after 5 games played, AIC in second with 24 points after 6 games played and their regular season complete, and BC in third with 14 points after 4 games played.

By virtue of the conference title Middlebury has qualified for the National Quarterfinals to be played Saturday, November 16 (location TBD).

Middlebury’s final regular season game is Saturday, October 26 against Boston College at 1pm. Please come cheer on the Boys in Blue!!

Pitch Address:

LAKE STREET & ST. CLEMENT’S FIELDS (BRIGHTON CAMPUS)

From Downtown Boston: Follow Commonwealth Avenue to St. Johns Seminary (Enter on the 4th Right after Foster Street). Follow the road until you see the parking area on your right. The field to your right is St. Clement’s field and the field ahead and to the left is the Lake Street field.

 

The MCRC traveled to New York for it’s penultimate regular season fixture and ran riot past UAlbany 78-22. Jake Feury led all scorers with five tries and six conversions. The Blue now stands alone atop the ECRC with 25 points.

Up next is BC on 10/26.

On another spectacular day The MCRC dismantled UConn 93-6 in front of a big home crowd. The Boys in Blue ran in 14 tries with scoring spread among 10 different players.

Middlebury started off strong, immediately controlling possession and pushing down field. The first scoring chance came just 90 seconds into the match with a Blue scrum out wide on the opposition 5-meter line. 8-man Laird “Contact” Silsby picked from the back, went left and touched down, but the touch judge made a late call that his foot went out first. No bother, as Midd kept UConn pinned deep. Just minutes later inside center Jake “Flo” Feury would put Middlebury on the scoreboard, touching down and converting his own try. 7-0 Midd with 5 minutes gone.

The MCRC received many kickoffs on the day, but struggled a bit to collect the ball in the first half. Snaps to UConn’s #10 who repeatedly put The Blue under pressure with his skillful kicks. On this one, however, their flanker was called offsides giving Middlebury the free take at midfield. A few phases later and Captain lock Ben “Left Eye” Stasiuk punches thru on a beautiful line, fending would-be defenders like so many mosquitos and touching down. The conversion is no good and Middlebury is in front 12-0 after 9 minutes of play.

The next 11 minutes marked the day’s longest passage of play without a Middlebury score. Vice-captain Allan “El Natural” Stafford finally decided that enough was enough. This long time fullback, newly converted to flyhalf, is beginning to take hold of the #10 position and is ALWAYS a scoring threat when in the same country as a rugby ball. Stafford looks wide, steps in and glides through the defense untouched. Feury converts to extend the lead to 19 points at the 20 minute mark.

UConn, surely recognizing that their scoring chances will be limited, go for goal after being awarded a penalty near midfield just after the kickoff. Their flyhalf slots the 50-meter kick to put his team on the board with three points.

Next up for The Blue is winger Sammy “The Skier” Schwarz who has emerged as an outstanding finisher in just his second year with the team. A converted ski racer, Schwarz demonstrates his balance and breakaway speed to score Midd’s 4th try of the day. The difficult conversion is no good, but not only does the try give Middlebury a 24-3 lead, it also earns the team the scoring bonus point (for 4 tries) just 28 minutes into the match.

The Huskies are able to take advantage of Middlebury miscues after the ensuing kickoff and run phases in the Midd half. Feury makes a strong tackle that draws “oohs” from the crowd, but the referee deems it to be a tip tackle and sends Feury off with a yellow card. Video replay would later show that the hit was clean and within the laws, but there is no instant reply (yet) in collegiate rugby. UConn converts the penalty kick to make it 24-6 after 30 minutes of play. This would mark UConn’s last score of the day.

With Feury in the sin bin, outside center Adam “das boot” Schreiber takes over the place kicking duties. He drives home a penalty kick to extend the lead to 27-6. Just moments later fullback Alex “Coco” Ruocco decides to get in on the fun scoring a try which Schreiber converts. The whistle blows for the half and Middlebury has the lead 34-6.

The starting 15 retake the field for the second half, but all reserves would get in the game before the final whistle. Flanker Devin “I Didn’t Do It!” Risinger, having an absolute stormer of a senior season, does what he does best and regains possession of the ball for the Blue. Middlebury counterattacks wide, linking several beautiful passes, and sophomore flanker Griffin “Gym Rat” Jones is there to finish things off. Schreiber converts (get used to that phrase!) and The MCRC leads 41-6 after 4 minutes.

After the score scrumhalf Vince “Happy Feet” Mariano comes off for teammate Alec “Beefcake” Mackenzie. The two have shared #9 duties all fall giving the team great options and challenging defenses with their different styles of play. Moments later junior Charlie “Clash of Clans” Kunze comes into loosehead, sliding sophomore Cole “Cassanova” Baker to tighthead as senior Mike “Doctor Doctor” Wysota comes off. The third substitution sees sophomore Miller “Shotgun” Judge take over the blindside flanking duties from Jones.

All the substitutions must have fired up Feury as he muscles down two more tries over the next few minutes. Schreiber converts 1 of the 2 and the Middlebury lead is 53-6.

The break allows The Blue to make two more substitutions, with senior hooker Sam “Who Dipped Their Bread In My Borscht?” Finkelman coming off for fellow senior Madison “Coach, I Need a Nickname” Stebbins, and freshman Jackson “Yes, Coach” Yang taking over for classmate Julien “Facebook Hacker” Miller on the wing. Before things can settle down, senior lock John “Scooter” Hawley comes on for senior Tom “Deep Heat” Lynch.

Hawley makes an immediate impact as he skies up and secures the ball from the kickoff. The forwards, in control at the breakdown all day, hammer the ball up pushing UConn onto their back foot. Mackenzie moves the ball from the base, and Stafford finds 8-man Silsby punching thru. Silsby takes the ball at pace, draws the defender and unselfishly pops back in side to Hawley who runs untouched to the try zone for a well-earned try. Schreiber converts to make it 60-6 with 20 minutes remaining.

Only 2 minutes later Silsby gets in on the action and scores Middlebury’s 10th try of the day which Schreiber converts to make it 67-6. It’s worth highlighting the play and season of Mr. Silsby who is pretty much doing it all this year. A beast in the lineout, diesel at the back of the scrum, a veritable tsunami at the breakdown, Silsby has been giving opposing teams fits all year. And somehow he manages to have the vision and energy to insert in the backline numerous times each game. Silsby is a special player having a special season.

All season long Middlebury has aimed to Finish Strong, and the Boys in Blue only know one speed. Schwarz punches thru again (Schreiber converts), and Stebbins takes advantage of a tired defense,quick  picking from the ruck and muscling thru no fewer than 3 would-be tacklers for the try. Schreiber has a rare miss and Middlebury is firmly in front 79-6 with 11 minutes remaining.

The final two reserve players come on with freshman lock Henry “I’ll Play Flyhalf” Thomson taking over for Captain Stasiuk, and sophomore winger Simba “Solar Decathalon” Chakauya relieving Schwarz.

Middlebury continues to delight the alumni, parents and fans and records two  more tries before the final whistle with the scores coming from Stafford and Feury. Schreiber, of course, converts both. The referee signals time and Middlebury wins 93-6. The game marks the biggest Division I win in team history and is also the highest point total and largest margin of victory in the brief 2+ year history of the East Coast Rugby Conference.

FINAL: 93-6

FIRST XV: Cole Baker ’16, Sam Finkelman ’14, Mike Wysota ’14, (C) Ben Stasiuk ’13.5, Tom Lynch ’14, Griffin Jones ’16, Devin Risinger ’14, Laird Silsby ’15, Vince Mariano ’14, Allan Stafford ’13.5, Sam Schwarz ’16, Jake Feury ’16, Adam Schreiber ’14, Julien Miller ’17, Alex Ruocco ’14

RESERVES: Alec Mackenzie ’15, Charlie Kunze ’15, Miller Judge ’16, Madison Stebbins ’14.5, Jackson Yang ’17, John Hawley ’14, Henry Thomson ’17, Simba Chakauya ’16

 

On yet another picture-perfect fall day The MCRC traveled south to take on the Huskies of Northeastern. This eagerly anticipated match between the last two ECRC Champions lived up to the billing with a very physical encounter. In the end, the Blue proved to have superior fitness, depth and intensity, pulling away to a convincing 37-7 victory after trailing 6-7 at the half. The win is the team’s third bonus-point win in a row and Middlebury stands alone atop the ECRC with 15 points.

Up next is a bye week, followed by the team’s final regular season home match on 10/12 against UConn during Middlebury’s Fall Family Weekend and The MCRC’s Alumni Weekend.

Full Match Report Here:

Coming off of a huge win over AIC, the MCRC was ready to sink their teeth into a new opponent and they had their sights on Northeastern. The sun was shining as the team made their way onto the pitch at the Irish Cultural Heritage site in Canton, MA for their third game of the season. After a few tweaks to the starting line up over the course of the week, the Blue were ready to solidify their dominance in the ECRC.

Right off the bat the Blue were faced with a pressing issue, which would last the entire match. After beautifully wheeling a Northeastern scrum the referee accidentally gave the ball to Northeastern, foreshadowing future calls throughout the game. Northeastern took advantage of their 2nd opportunity, won the scrum and a few phases later touched the ball down. The try would put Northeastern up 7-0 just 90 seconds into the game.

Battling through the Husky defense, Laird “Godzilla” Silsby ’15 and Julien “Caesar” Miller ’17 repeatedly worked their way up the field, only to get stopped by either handling errors or the referee’s quick whistle. Although the officiating was questionable, the boys would continue to apply pressure. The Huskies began to show strain under the weight and strength of the Midd pack, led by captain Ben “FireNuts” Stasiuk ’13.5. The Mad Dogs were out scrummed, mauled, and tackled throughout the first half and the grunt work began to pay off with The Blue earning penalties and electing to go for goal four times. ECRC leading scorer Jake “Flo” Feury ’16, starting his first game at inside center,  slotted two beautifully struck penalty kicks through the uprights to chip away at the Huskie lead. The last was just before half bringing the halftime score to 6-7 in favor of the home team

As the half ended, the team was quietly confident with their first 40 minutes. Despite the score Middlebury knew that it had dominated the action for most of the half. Captain Stasiuk reminded his teammates to keep faith in the game plan, and an inspired John Philips had a quick message for his team before they stepped back onto the field, “This is all about brotherhood!”

The brothers of the MCRC, rested, refreshed and ready to play some rugby, quickly stepped up their pace. Crushing the Huskies down the line with a beautiful maul off a linout, Northeastern’s #4 earns a yellow card for repeated offsides four minutes into the half. Middlebury kicked to touch, mauled again, and Cole “Just Put Me in Coach” Baker ’16 touched the ball down for Midd’s first try of the day at the five minute mark. Feury converts the difficult angle and The Blue is in front for the first time, 13-7 MCRC.

Next up would be fullback Alex “I’ll Be There Early” Ruocco ’14, collecting a loose pass and dancing around the Huskies and into the corner of the try zone. The kick from the touchline is no good but Middlebury still has an 18-7 lead 13 minutes into the 2nd half.

As the second half moves on the depth of the Blue comes into play. The coaches talk about “Squad” and this day is a great example. Veteran lock Tom “Best Hair on the Team” Lynch ’14 comes out 17 minutes into the half after playing the majority of the game with a sprained ankle with Charlie “The Antagonist” Kunze ’15 stepping in.  A few minutes later hard-hitting Sam “Siberian” Finkleman ’14 hands over the hooking duties to Madison “My Ball!” Stebbins ’14.5.

With relentless pressure the Blue takes the game into their own hands. 32 minutes in loosehead prop Cliff “Kraken” Hanich ’15 bulldozes his way into the try zone putting the Blue up 23-7. After this score tighthead prop Baker subs off the field with Michael “Trapezius” Wysota ’14 taking over the #3 duties. Middlebury refuses to let the ball out of Northeastern’s half until they get more points, and they do just that. Jake “Points on Points on Points” Feury ’16 touches down and converts his own try to put Midd up 30-7. The try earns Middlebury a scoring bonus point (for 4 tries) for the third game in a row.

But the Blue wasn’t done! Captain Allan “Staff Sergeant” Stafford ’13.5 finishes the game in usual form, scoring a try under the posts in the last seconds of play. The score keeps Stafford perfect with a try each game this season, and also marks this long-time fullback’s first try from the flyhalf position.  Feury converts on a drop kick to extend the lead. Middlebury wins with a final score of 37-7.

 

FIRST XV: Cliff Hanich ’14.5, Sam Finkelman ’14, Cole Baker ’16, Ben Stasiuk ’13.5, Tom Lynch ’14, Devin Risinger ’14, Griffin Jones ’16, Laird Silsby ’15, Vince Mariano ’14, Allan Stafford ’13.5, Jake Feury ’16, Adam Schreiber ’14, Julien Miller ’17, Sam Schwarz ’16, Alex Ruocco ‘14

RESERVES: Madison Stebbins ’14.5, Henry Thompson ’17, John Hawley ’14, Michael Wysota ’14, Max deJong ’17, Tucker Hopkins ’16, Jackson Yang ‘17

Spotted At The Game: AC Jones ’12.5, Sam Harrison ’11, Chris Vandergrift ’11, Dan Khan ’11, Sean Meany ’08, Chris Mutty ’09.5, Miss Vermont 2013

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