Men’s Fall 2016 Recap

The Fall 2017 season kicked off with many new faces joining the veteran ranks of Charles River. This tremendous growth aided the Men’s side in an explosive season, which saw the team finish with only 150 Points Against (the second least Points Against in NERFU Division III, only to be narrowly bested by #1 seeded Saratoga Stampede with 143 points against overall).

The season started with a strong showing on the road against Freedom RFC (NH). Charles River lead most of the match until a last minute score by Freedom secured them the victory, 14-8. Pushing ahead, Charles River next faced off against division rivals North Shore RFC. The fiery back and forth contest ended in a Rats victory, 20-15.

The next weekend saw Charles River on the back on the road up to Mad River/Stowe RFC. Both teams cycled through periods of intense phase play, surrounded by the green mountains of Vermont with the sun shining down. With under a minute to go, the Rats were able to turn the ball over and score the winning try, propelling them to a 32-25 win. The Rats took their momentum from the win in Vermont and proceeded to impose their will in Connecticut against New London County RFC, with a final score of 31-14.

One of the toughest tests the men faced came in the form of #1 seeded Saratoga Stampede RFC. Two quick try’s put Saratoga ahead in the opening minutes. Undaunted, the Rats fought back, using fundamental rugby to shock Saratoga and catapult the Charles River back into the match. The final 10 minutes saw Charles River camped out 5 meters from the opponents try line, running phase after phase to try and pull ahead. Saratoga’s defense remained steadfast, and Charles River fell 29-24.

Heads held high after their heroic effort, the men soldiered on to Springfield where they decisively won 28-8 against the Rifles RFC. Unfortunately, the victory did not carry into the next week. Charles River played a hard fought match against MIT, but too many penalties conceded led to a loss. It’s worth noting the Rats did not let a single try in, and all of MIT’s points came from penalty kicks in their 12-0 victory at Moakley Park. With new found focus from the loss, Charles River hosted Boston Maccabi RFC on a chilly fall day in Southie. The Rats’ solid game plan, stalwart defense, and unmatched fitness led to a massive victory with a final score of 44-10.

In the last match of the fall season, the Charles River Rats were clinging to playoff hopes as they squared off against their 40 year old Boston rivals Old Gold RFC. In a back and forth contest, both clubs played their hearts out on a beautiful day in South Boston. By half-time, the score was only 8-8. Both clubs knew what was at stake, and came firing out of the gate for the start of the second half. Late in the game, the Rats found themselves down a man due a yellow card. Both teams wearily battled on until Old Gold scored a try in the corner at the 80th minute to end the day and edge Charles River out of playoff contention.

Charles River finished the fall of 2016 with a 5-4 record, in a season that saw tremendous club and individual growth. Led by new Head Coach John S. Faherty, there is no doubt this is a special team that will aim to shock the league in 2017 and set its sights on making another playoff run.