This past Saturday, the Division 1 Mystic River team hosted Life University for a Homecoming Atlantic Cup match. The Mystics avenged their 7-88 loss from 2015 by defeating Life 43-17 at Pine Banks Park. The Division 2 Mystic Barbarians slipped up again, losing their second match of the season 19-36 at Portland in a muddy and rainy game. The Barbarians now stand at 5-2 on the season.
The Mystics were hungry for a redemption victory against Life University, who crushed them a year ago. The team wasted no time and started off the scoring when hooker Kayne Bubb dotted down a try 10 minutes into the match. Center Alatasi Tupouconverted the try and gave the Mystics an early 7-0 lead. Life was able to respond, slicing through Mystic’s defense for an unconverted and narrowing the lead to 7-5. Tupou’s kicking ability was called on, as he slotted a penalty kick from 40 meters out, extending Mystic’s lead to 10-5. Mystic River continued to play hard-nose rugby and were rewarded with another try as veteran prop Chris O’Donnell came crashing though on the attack for a try. Tupou split the uprights to extend the Mystic lead to 17-5. After two tries from the forwards, the backs wanted to get something going as well. Flyhalf Robbie Malneek led a superb exchange in the back line, eventually finding winger Vini Daley for another try. Once again, Tupou was money off of the tee, giving Mystic River the 24-5 advantage heading into halftime.
Mystic River kept their foot on the pedal coming out of the half. Bubb offloaded to second row Dave McKenna as he carried three Life defenders into the in-goal for a try. Tupou nudged another conversion down the middle, increasing Mystic’s lead, 31-5. Shortly after, 8-man Jon Sullivan joined the box score by bulldozing in for an unconverted try, coming off of a 5-meter Mystic scrum. Life responded as they collected a deep kick for an unconverted try, and continued to add on a second try and conversion after a series of Mystic penalties. This tightened the game up a little bit, to 36-17, but Mystic had the presence of mind to react with patience. Life’s two tries did not go unnoticed, as Mystic wanted to have the final say. For Mystic’s final possession, Malneek capitalized on a Life turnover, slipping through the defensive line and stiff arming his way into the corner for 5. Tupou put his finishing touches on the match, converting the kick and bringing the final score to 43-17 in favor of a Mystic River Atlantic Cup victory!
The Division 2 Mystic Barbarians traveled north to Portland, Maine for a NERFU match-up against Portland RFC. Battling a muddy field, freezing rain, and a tough Portland team, the Barbarians had a strong challenge ahead of themselves. Portland started the scoring off with an unconverted try, just 5 minutes into the game, taking the early 0-5 lead. The Barbarians responded just 2 minutes later when fullback Mike Spiro got the ball off of a quick tap and ran it in for an unconverted try, leveling the match to 5 points apiece. Later in the half, Portland scored another try and conversion. To this point in the muddy match, the Mystics found themselves down 5-12 to Portland.
Early in the second half, the scoring opened up, while the skies did not. Portland quickly added another try and conversion, extending their lead to 5-19. Second row Andrew Burns responded minutes later by taking a hard line off of a lineout and scoring from 50 meters out. Flyhalf Stephen Diamantopolous converted the try, narrowing the gap to 12-19. Portland countered with another unconverted try, making the score 12-24. After scrappy forward play inside of Portland’s 5 meter line, flanker Tim Porter dove over a ruck to touch down a try, with Diamantopolous tacking on the conversion, tightening the lead to 19-24, with roughly 20 minutes left. Unfortunately, this is all the Barbarians could muster, and Portland’s hard running rewarded them with two more tries before the final whistle. The Barbarians stumbled this week, losing by a final score of 19-36.
Both Mystic River teams will be off this upcoming Saturday, due to the New Zealand v. Ireland and USA v. Maori All Blacks matches in Chicago. But the following Saturday, November 12th, there will be another Pine Banks Doubleheader! At Noon, Mystic River hosts Old Blue for their second matchup of the year. Old Blue bested the Mystics in the first match of the fall, 22-29. Then at 2 PM, the Barbarians will host Albany for their final match of the fall season. These two teams last met year where the Barbarians won 65-5.
This will be yet another wonderful Saturday at Pine Banks Park for a Mystic River Doubleheader! We hope that you can come out and support both teams as the fall season winds down!
11/5 (SAT) – D1 and D2 OFF
11/12 (SAT) 12:00pm – D1/ARP vs Old Blue
11/12 (SAT) 2:00pm – D2 vs Albany
Thank you to all our sponsors and Mystic Nation for your unwavering support!