Hope you all had an excellent Memorial Day Weekend celebrating and remembering those that have served the United States of America. On Saturday, Mystic River Rugby Club played two matches to open up the New England Free Jacks’ Military Appreciation Day, where the Free Jacks would ultimately win their match, over the Toronto Arrows, 14-12.
But before that, with kickoff at 11am at Free Jacks Stadium in Weymouth, Mystic River’s Developmental side fought through the blustery New England weather and came away with a gritty 14-12 victory over the New England Independents, the Free Jacks Academy. From the start of the match, Mystic applied heavy pressure on the Independents with the wind at their backs, and it paid off when center Matt Kaltenbach intercepted an Independents pass from a scrum near their own 22 and trotted under the posts untouched for a converted try. The Independents managed to get on the scoreboard, so going into the half, Mystic led, 7-5.
The second half started out slow and conditions did not improve, as scrums were a recurring theme. The Independents went up 12-7 after scoring a converted try with a few minutes remaining. Mystic regathered their restart, and after all the hard work done by the forwards to get it to the goal line, knocked on with enough time for only one more scrum. The Mystic forwards gave a massive push up front and scrumhalf Nate Jakaitis forced the Independents’ scrumhalf to drop the ball while passing into his in-goal area, where Jakaitis’ quickness got him to the loose ball just in time to touch it down and tie it up 12-12. With no time left for a restart, Jakaitis lined the kick up from the right-side 15-meter hash, just inside the 22, and with confidence, slotted the game-winning conversion for Mystic River, making the final score 14-12.
Mystic River’s Premier side followed up by playing the Connecticut Selects (CT). The scoring opened with a try from fullback Nick Fujiwara after a perfect pass from wing Vini Daley. Then, the Cambridge boys connected again, this time Fujiwara finding Daley with space. After a CT yellow card, number 8 Cam Davidowicz beat two defenders off a 5-meter scrum as he centered a try, setting up an easy conversion. With the score 17-0, Mystic was awarded a penalty try and CT was shown another yellow card, making the score 24-0. Mystic was able to force one more turnover in CT territory, and after impressive hands in tough weather, wing Brian Patterson was there to finish and make it 31-0 at half.
Several minutes into the second half, Daley got downward pressure on a loose ball on CT’s goal line for another Mystic try, his second of the day, making it 36-0. Adnan Kawuma, co-captain center, didn’t waste any time before picking one from the base of a ruck deep in CT territory to make it 43-0. Center George Kokkalis put the finishing touches on the day with a crash line up the middle off of a scrum, sliding between the uprights to make the final score 50-0, Mystic. Mystic’s Premier side scored 8 tries on the day and converted 5 of them, including a penalty try.
This Saturday, 6/5, Mystic River is entering a side into a friendly NERFU tournament being hosted at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton. Mystic will play Boston Rugby Club at 10:15am (Field 2) and Providence Rugby Club at 11:15am (Field 2) in pool play, and depending on pool play results, their final match will take place at 1:30pm or 2:30pm. This will close out Mystic River’s spring 15s season as they look to maintain their undefeated record by going 3-0 across 120 minutes of rugby (40 minute matches).
The men are also preparing for their annual sevens season, which will feature three Mystic teams (Premier, Developmental, Open) this summer, with more details coming soon. Sevens trainings are every Tuesday & Thursday, beginning next Tuesday, 6/8. Stay tuned for more updates!
Lastly, there will be more information coming out shortly regarding the Collegiate Select Side and their summer schedule, as well as the Mystic Youth Rugby Program and its upcoming start date of Monday, 6/21. Spread the word as we enter another decade of Mystic Youth Rugby, picking up right where we left off in 2019!