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Rugby Is Victorious Over Schenectady

By Eric Oliver
Team Member

On Saturday the men's rugby team battled Schenectady. Despite strong winds and a second half comeback by Schenectady, the Engineers came away with a 35-24 victory.

MIT started the match with the wind at its back, and quickly took advantage. Following a try by Ben Paul G, MIT stormed back down the field. Warren Brown G ran the ball to within 10 yards of the goal, and as he was being tackled flipped the ball to Jaco du Plessis G who sprinted into the try zone. Strong, aggressive defensive play neutralized many of Schenectady's offensive weapons, and seemed to intimidate their backs.

Meanwhile, MIT capitalized on several opportunities, with Paul scoring again, followed by a try from Guy DeBelle on a pass from Mark Johnson G. The half ended when an attempted Schenectady kick was blocked by Hal Ackler G, who picked up the ball and ran it in for a score. The strong winds seemed to play havoc with Chris Perry's conversion kicks, as all of them were wide. The half ended with MIT ahead 25-0.

The second half allowed the Schenectady club to play with the wind at its back, and they responded by scoring 24 points. It was not enough, however, as the Engineers scored twice more against the wind (by Johnson and Brown) and came away with the win. The A side is now 2-2, and plays league rival Harvard University in a home match this Saturday.

The B side match was dominated by defense, as MIT fought to a 12-5 victory. The wind was less of a factor, and the Engineers broke the ice, after several minutes of pounding the ball into the Schenectady "red zone," with a crashing three yard score by Kent Engebretson G. The conversion kick by Eric Oliver G gave MIT a 7-0 lead. The ball changed possession several times throughout the half, and MIT earned its second score when Dylan Bruno '94 crashed through several defenders into the try zone. The kick failed and MIT went into the half leading 12-0.

For the second half, Bruno set the pace with hard hitting and aggressive tackling as Schenectady had trouble penetrating the defense. The team managed one score late in the game and missed the kick, and MIT rolled to a 12-5 win.