MRFC Dominates Against Fort Wayne, 55-7

posted Oct 17, 2011, 6:49 AM by Karl Seibert   [ updated Aug 5, 2015, 8:46 AM by Auston Lopez ]
15 October 2011

Ann Arbor, MI

As the Michigan team continues to gel, Ft. Wayne seemed direction-less on a beautifully sunny, chilly Saturday.  Michigan has been focusing heavily on continuity at the breakdown throughout the week, and it certainly showed during the match.  While not impossible, Michigan is not likely to be given a spot in the playoffs, but they showed real heart in the 55-7 pounding of the Indiana based franchise.

A heavy down field wind was at Michigan's back in the first half, and coming off two second half losses, the boys knew they had to get working right off the stick.  Recent acquisition Jamie Hickey, slotting in at fullback, would open the scoring with a great finishing run 10 minutes into the game.  The rugby was all Michigan's; excellent work maintaining possession guaranteed plenty of space for Michigan runners.

Fort Wayne, pinned going backwards for much of the first 15 minutes, seemed aimless on attack.  Big, burly forwards did their simple work well, running straight at the defense, but the Michigan line held very strong.  Forced errors and hungry poachers kept the possession statistic heavily leaning toward MRFC.

Flyhalf Aaron Dodd made up for a missed penalty at 18 minutes by dotting down under the posts four minutes later.  He did well to ensure a kickable conversion.  The Michigan backline generated many big line breaks and hard work from the forwards saw the ball being played increasingly inside Fort Wayne's half.

Center Charlie Berklich scored of such a break 26 minutes in, and a Dodd conversion brought the score to 19-0.  Number 8 Colin MacFarlane would have the last say of the half; his try would make it 24-0 going into the shed.

Heading into the second 40, Michigan was full of energy, but now facing a big wind, the boys had plenty of work cut out.  The kickoff, Michigan's first restart of the day, was followed with good pressured and Michigan pinned Ft. Wayne in their 22, eventually forcing a kick.  A promising start.

Berklich would score not 5 minutes into the half as Ft. Wayne continued to unravel.  Michigan allowed the visitors plenty of time to regroup, though, giving referee Kevin Wornham 4 opportunities to penalize the hosts inside their 22.  Ft. Wayne had done well to gain the territory, but Michigan's defense was too strong.  It wasn't until the 4th pe
nalty in 4 minutes that they finally worked an overload, isolating wing Eoghan McGreevy and charging over for their first (and, fatefully, only) try of the match.  31-7

Not to be outdone by Berklich, Hickey nabbed his second try of the day just moments after Ft. Wayne scored.  Scrumhalf Karl Seibert had taken a penalty quickly and caught the defense napping; Hickey caught an offload at incredible pace to score under the posts.  The Michigan backline was looking very dangerous.  For most of the final 20 minutes of the game, Michigan was in complete control, a good sign as replacements poured in and skipped no beats.

Seibert would capitalize on a massive line break in the 63rd minute, linking up with Dodd to sprint over the line. 

Berklich would grab his hat trick with 15 minutes left.  50-7 with quarter of an hour to go and it was all but wrapped up.  Michigan was not quite finished, though.

Openside flanker Josh Knight, nose to the grindstone the whole game, fabricated a line break from nothing and laid up a perfect offload to Seibert, who trotted 20 or so meters ending right under the posts.  55-7 at full time.

Michigan travels to Traverse City this weekend for their final regular season game.


XV:

1. Douglas Chapman
2. Ted Pixley
3. Brian Zimmer
4. Doug Chenoweth
5. Matt Frech
6. Ryan Rogel
7. Josh Knight
8. Colin MacFarlane
9. Karl Seibert
10. Aaron Dodd
11. Kyle Harris
12. Pete Mulhearn
13. Charlie Berklich
14. Eoghan McGreevy
15. Jamie Hickey

16. Naveen Aravapalli (Zimmer, 63')
17. Jeff Burke (Pixley, 63')
18. Avi Giladi (Chenoweth, 55')
19. Matt Daniel (Frech, 63')
20. Neil Mattouka (Mulhearn, 58')
21. Raj Patel (McGreevy, 66')
22. Tobi Ebouda (Rogel, 67')

Tries: Berklich (3), Hickey (2), Seibert (2), Dodd, MacFarlane
Conv: Dodd (5)
Pen: -
Drop: -


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