Rucking Beavers Win AgainBy Samuel D. Mertens
Last Saturday, MIT’s men’s rugby team, the rucking beavers, beat reigning Division III National Champions Boston RFC C-side 34-29 in a thrilling game at Briggs’ field.
The men in gray did not play their most beautiful game, but it had been a long time since they had been this energetic. The opponents were very strong, as they had won last spring’s national championship for Division III teams. But some hard defense by the forwards and successful running by the backs put the beavers on top in the end.
The champions seemingly did not impress MIT. MIT started out hard, and it did not take long before James Partridge G received the first assist from John Paul Shen ’02. Partridge decided to test the tackling skills of the opposing backs and dragged one of them over the line for the opening try. After some great work by the forwards, a 5 yard scrum resulted in Shen scoring himself.
Just minutes later Fabio Dalan G fielded a long kick and passed off to Partridge, who found some room to run in and score the try after a 70 yard dash. After the conversion by Steven Murray G, MIT was ahead 17-0.
But the Boston team was not about to let go. Hard forward pressure gave them their first try. And after MIT’s Adam Golden ’03 scored a try to put MIT up comfortably 22-5, the Boston pack again put themselves back in contention with a converted try just before halftime.
Boston storms back in second half
During the second half, MIT seemed to relax a bit, and suddenly a quick converted try and a penalty kick by Boston evened up the game a quarter into the period. This woke up the beavers, as Shen and William Kreamer ’99 combined to give captain Dionicio Siegel the try. A conversion by Murray gave MIT the lead 29-22.
But five minutes before the end, Boston again responded and tied the game up.
Just before the end of the game, Kreamer made a nice chip kick, which he managed to recover himself. Gavin Braithwaite G was present in support to run in the try. The last minutes were thrilling as Boston was knocking on MIT’s door for the equalizer. But the home team toughed it out and played some amazing defense, shutting down the opposition’s backs. Man of the match John Paul Shen said: “Everytime they made a run in the second half we were able to blast back. In the final analysis they couldn’t handle 80 minutes of our A-game.”
MIT is now leading Division III with a 2-0 record. Next Saturday, the beavers will visit the other undefeated team, Seacoast RFC, in Portsmouth, NH. The victor of this bout will likely win the division.