MALDEN, MA and NEW HAVEN, CT — The Mystic D1 AND D2 teams both booked their trips to the national Sweet 16 with wins this past Saturday. The D2 Barbarians moved to 9-1 on the season and won the NERFU D2 Championship, while the D1 side moved to 7-0 in the league and ensured their place in the NERFU D1 Championship match.
The D2 Barbarians faced a do-or-die situation in the NERFU D2 Championship match against New Haven, last year’s D2 NERFU champion and national semi-finalist. The Barbarians came out firing and raced to a commanding 21 – 0 lead with tries from Adnan Kawuma, Sean Southworth and Nick Vettese. Alex Appel slotted all three conversions. New Haven hit back with two tries before half time to reduce the deficit to 12 – 21. A penalty from Alex Appel after the half got the Mystics rolling again, but New Haven were awarded a penalty try to leave the Mystics with a five point lead at 24 – 19. The forwards put together a number of goal-line phases before Alex Appel got over the line to stretch the lead to 29 – 19. New Haven struck back immediately and scored a try of their own to take them to 24 – 29. Alex Appel then slotted a penalty with ten minutes left to give the Mystics a little bit of breathing room at 32 – 24. The boys then held on to that lead for the last ten minutes to take the NERFU Championship and book their berth in the D2 Sweet 16 which will take place in Saratoga Springs, NY on May 16. Their opponents will be the winner of the Empire Championship match between Buffalo and New York Rugby Club this coming weekend. In preparation for the next round of playoffs, the D2 side will be in action this weekend at the NERFU Cup in Newport, RI.
The D1 side confirmed their slot in the national round of 16 by clinching the top seed in the NERFU D1 league with their league win against White Plains. The match consisted of two very different halves. Neither side managed to make much offensive headway in the first half, with White Plains scoring the only points of the half through a penalty. After being 0 – 3 down at the half, the Mystics turned things around and scored 33 unanswered points in the second half to claim a 33 – 3 victory. The Mystic scoring was led by Vini Daley, who dotted down three times. Diego Maquiera and Joe Shurmaitis also scored a try apiece and Jon Kokinda contributed four conversions to round out the scoring. The Mystics travel up to Portland this weekend in the final week of league play, but will already be looking forward to the NERFU D1 Championship and Round of 16 match that we will be hosting on May 16 against the winner of this weekend’s Hartford – White Plains match.
All of Mystic nation will be backing both teams as they look to punch their tickets to the Elite 8 in Charlotte, NC on May 30. Let’s make sure we show the boys our support between now and May 16th!