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Match Report for

Old Gold (1st) vs. Charles River (1st)
11 November 2017

Location: Moakley Park, Boston

Old Gold: 0    Charles River: 23

Moakley Park, and Boston in general, was in the middle of a cold snap on this particular rugby Saturday. At kickoff time, it was about 36 degrees, sunny, and with light winds. Luckily the pitch hadn't frozen overnight, and in fact, it was in pretty decent shape considering the location and time of year. I was looking forward to a good game between these two teams, given the 40-year rivalry and the playoff spot on the line.

Charles River kicked off promptly at 1400. There was some good back-and-forth rugby played by both sides in the first few minutes. A line break in the 7th minute led to a try for the Charles River #14, which was duly converted for a 7-0 lead to the visiting team. There would be no further scoring in the half until a Charles River 29th minute penalty goal, however. Despite that, the quality of the game was good, with few penalties. Old Gold came pretty close to scoring a few times but couldn't quite finish their moves. Both sides were also having a few issues with basic stuff like getting their kicks into touch, and there were quite a few scrums for knock-ons where I had no opportunity to play advantage. I had one complaint of ungentlemanly behaviour at the bottom of a ruck, which I didn't see, but a strong word to the offending team's captain seemed to do the trick and I didn't hear any further complaints.

The second half was very similar to the first. Charles River's #8 went over for a well-earned 45th minute try, and their defense held off Old Gold when they were under threat. We had more unavoidable scrums, and only a handful of penalties (perhaps a dozen in the entire match). Charles River maintained their 17-0 lead until they added 2 penalty goals at 67' and 71' to seal their well-earned 23-0 win. That lopsided score flattered their efforts, in my opinion, and doesn't reflect the strong effort that Old Gold put into the match.

Personally, I appreciated the opportunity to referee in New England for the first time, and of course also appreciated the compliments from both sides after the game. The temperature was only an issue later in the game when I found my hands to be almost too stiff to manipulate the score book. We don't get that kind of weather in California, but having played rugby in upstate New York in college, I knew what was coming!

Thanks to both touch judges, and to the teams for putting on a good game and an entertaining post-match social event. Good luck to Charles River when their playoffs start in the spring.

Referee: Preston Gordon