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Rucking Beavers Defeat Lowell for Playoff Berth

By Samuel D. Mertens

TEAM MEMBER

Last Saturday, MIT’s men’s rugby team clinched a berth in the Division III New England Rugby playoffs, after a demonstrative 39-15 victory against the Lowell Highlanders. MIT had an exceptional first half, in which both backs and forwards played their most dominant game. The scrums were forceful and props Eric Lynch G, Daniel Rodriguez G, Jim Nelson G and Trey Dean ’00 played a great game.

The game started off well, when the hard tackling William Kreamer SM ’99 forced a fumble, recovered by James Partridge G, whose chip-kick was caught by the storming David Stracher ’88 for the try. The forwards kept the pressure going and Johnny Robinson G spun the pass out to Adam Golden ’03 for another try.

The backs clicked well and great support by Steve Murray PhD’00 and Bruno Lavoue G gave the latter the try. Another nice backline play, and Partridge crossed the line to make the score 20-0.

When John Paul Shen ’02 intercepted a pass, he ran it 50 yards to dish the ball to Lavoue for his second score. Somewhat later, flanker Gavin Braithwaite G sidestepped two players and got the ball off to a well-supporting Murray, who converted the try for a 32-0 score. Just before the half Lowell scored a try after nice mauling.

In the second half MIT brought in its reserves. At first this could not be noticed, as in the opening minutes Adam Hendriks G scored a try after some amazing forward rucking. Fabio Dalan G converted this try with a dropkick. MIT was happy with controlling the game and Lowell could only score after a penalty kick and after serious miscommunications in the MIT backline contributed to a final score of 39-15.

This was the last game for Kris Sobczak ’00 in a Beaver shirt; he will be missed after nine seasons of hard MIT rugby. Next Saturday Harvard Business School is visiting MIT for the last home game of the season. The week after, the team travels to Atitash, NH for the New England Championships.