In the first tune-up of the spring season, The MCRC traveled to Hamilton, NY and defeated Colgate twice on a beautiful spring day. With many new faces in the line-up, especially in the backline, Middlebury dominated from the start en route to a 34-7 victory.
The B-side continued the overpowering play begun by the first side running away with a 49-7 victory. The future looks bright, and BLUE, with many first and second year players beginning to make their mark.
Many thanks to Colgate for hosting and we wish them all the best in the DII playoffs.
Middlebury controlled the action from the opening kick-off, keeping the ball deep in Colgate’s territory. The Blue broke thru when Captain Ben “Sturgees” Stasiuk ’13.5 punched thru a gap and touched down for the try 8 minutes in. Jake “Is it the shoes?” Feury is unable to convert from out wide. 5-0 Midd.
The Blue continues to apply pressure and dominates both possession and territory, but is unable to convert it into points. Finally scrumhalf turned center Alec “Beefcake” Mackenzie ’15 slices and dices thru the defense for the team’s 2nd try of the day. Feury converts and the lead is 12-0 after 18 minutes.
Apparently Feury was tired of converting other people’s tries, so four minutes later he took matters into his own hands with a powerful counter run. He converts his own score giving Midd a 19-0 lead after 22 minutes of play.
But just when it looked like The Blue would run away with it, Colgate switched to another gear. The hosts were able to keep the Blue in our own half for extended phases, and the halftime whistle blows with the score still 19-0.
Halftime sees Laird “Godzilla” Silsby ’15 come on at #8, David “Squash is a vegetable” Cromwell ’16 and Taran “Who, me?” Veerman ’15 take over on the wings for fellow freshman/sophomore tandem of “Jazzy” Geoff Genova ’15, and Ted “Running Back” Benge ’16. Benge earns his first cap for the Blue today and celebrates by making big hits throughout. This also marks the first ever rugby match for Mr. Cromwell, and it is for Middlebury’s A-side. Who knows what could happen (consider this foreshadowing…).
The second half begins like the first, with Captain Stasiuk breaking open the scoring with another powerful run. Feury converts to make it 26-0.
Astor “Dance of the Elves” Nummelin Carlberg ’13.5 comes in for Nate “Nosering” Brown ’13 and immediately makes a difference at the breakdown. He blasts ruck after ruck and unfortunately comes off with an injury just 10 minutes later.
Colgate finally gets on the board when their winger turns the corner and scores under the posts. 26-7 Midd 17 minutes into the half.
The teams trade blows across the pitch. The Blue scrum dominates, and snaps must be given to what is becoming a very special front row: Cliff “Kraken” Hanich ’15, Aaron “Gems on Gems” Yappert ’16 and Cole “Leather Jacket” Baker ’16. Mr. Hanich is having an absolutely dominant spring and we look forward to the big man making some noise in the playoffs. Baker has stepped in to anchor the scrum at tighthead and from what we’ve seen so far it’s unlikely any will wrestle the job away from him anytime in the next few years. Meanwhile Yappert played his first game for Middlebury at wing, but has since settled in at hooker, and looks to have a strangle-hold on the position.
Suddenly at the 31 minute mark debutant David Cromwell show a surprising (indeed, Kelner-esque) turn of pace and shreds the defence, touching down his first ever try in his first ever game… ever. Wow. Ever. The conversion from the corner is wide, and the score is 31-7.
Five minutes later Middlebury earns a penalty and Feury slots it home to extend the lead. The score is 34-7 Middlebury with just a few minutes remaining.
Graham Shaw ’16 comes on for Hanich at loosehead to make his A-side debut, but the freshman doesn’t get a chance to make many hits. The final whistle blows and Middlebury has the victory 34-7.
Extra snaps to flanker Griffin Jones ’16 who stepped in for his first-ever game at #9 and did a great job all day long, and to Dusty Attwood-Dupont ’13.5 for his first game in over 2 years. Dusty didn’t look like he had missed a day, and we look forward to having him at #10 for the next year.
FIRST XV: Cliff Hanich ’15, Aaron Yappert ’16 (first start, non-competitive), Cole Baker ’16, Tom Lynch ’14, Blake Shapskinsky ’15, Ben Stasiuk (C) ’13.5, Nate Brown ’13, Luke Dauner ’13, Griffin Jones ’16, Dusty Attwood-Dupont ’13.5, Ted Benge ’16 (first start, non-competitive), Alec Mackenzie ’15, Jake Feury ’16, Geoff Genova ’15, Allan Stafford ’13.5.
RESERVES: Graham Shaw ’16, Laird Silsby ’15, Miller Judge ’16, Demetrius Borge ’16, Astor Nummelin Carlberg ’13.5, David Cromwell ’16, Taran Veerman ’15, Sam Schwarz ’16