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MIT Rugby Closes Out Unbeaten Spring Season

By Samuel D. Mertens

TEAM MEMBER

The men’s rugby team completed its perfect season (8-0) by beating Portsmouth’s Seacoast RFC 30-7 at Briggs Field.

The Engineers flawlessly executed its game strategy for successful season. The forwards worked very hard and forced a lot of turnovers.

With the support from the loose forwards, the backs could run rampant through the opponent’s defense. The backline combined extremely well all season, giving the wingers plenty of opportunities to thicken the score.

Coach Steve “Willie” Wilhelm, who has successfully guided the Beavers through eight years (83-51-2) was very pleased with the season. “We played some great rugby this Spring, the boys played very hard, we look forward to the Fall 2000 campaign,” he said.

Final bout against Seacoast RFC

The game started slowly for the rucking beavers. The visitors’ defense was very tight and MIT’s fast runners were tackled before they could make the try. But MIT’s determination prevailed when the backline passed the ball to scoring winger Adam Golden ’03.

Before halftime, James Partridge G added his sixteenth try to the score while shrugging off a few tackles. Upon the second half, the beavers were in control. Steve Murray PhD ’00 did not have a great kicking day but he made up handsomely by powering himself through the opposing backline for a try. Golden scored a second time after a nice backline play.

Off the scrum, Johnny Robinson G ran in the try, after a nice combination with Marc Ueberle G and Gavin Braithwaite G. Captain Dionicio Siegel G scored MIT’s last try of the season by rucking his way through the pack and scoring his first of the season. Unfortunately, Seacoast spoiled the shutout by scoring a converted try at the end of the game.

B side gets crushed

MIT’s B team took on a mixture of Seacoast and MIT A players. The lack of experience was very obvious as the beavers were blown away by the A-side players 37-7. Ben Hellweg SM ’00 scored, while Thomas Leurent G, Cornelius O’Sullivan SM ’99, Samuel Mertens G, Marc Ueberle and Gavin Braithwaite got points for “Seacoast.” The B team has played with a strong fighting spirit throughout the season.

Final game for some veterans

The last game of the season, was probably the last game for many of MIT rugby. The front row of Todd Hiers ’00, Kris Sobczak ’00 and Ben Hellweg did a magnificent job against opponents and will be sorely missed next season. The backs will be without some of their best as well.

The very experienced German two-some, Nikolaj Moll G and Marc Ueberle, who have helped the team tremendously this year will be missed.

Next season the rucking beavers will be playing in the newly restarted Men’s Div. III league. Hopefully, a repeat performance of this season will bring some silverware to the Institute.