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In a battle of two undefeated teams, AIC traveled to Chestnut Hill and upended Boston College 31-17 to take control of the ECRC. With the win, AIC moves to 4-0 while Boston College drops to 3-1 in league play.
In addition to home field advantage, Boston College got a fortuitous bounce from Mother Nature. Prior to the game and well through the first half AIC’s excellent passing and use of hands was hindered by a tremendous downpour. Nevertheless, AIC monopolized possession, forcing the Eagles to play long stints on defense.
“We had some chances in the first half but the part of the field we were attacking in was filled with puddles,” AIC head coach Josh Macy told Rugby Today. “We were kind of biding our time until switching at halftime, where it puts you in a part of the field where you can feel like you can actually attack.”
Ironically, AIC was finally able to capitalize on a turnover made by the Boston College offense leading to a try under the posts. BC scored a try of its own, and with less than a minute left in the half, had a chance to take the lead. The Eagles were knocking on the doorstep, but a knock-on over the try line kept Boston College from going up. At the break, AIC led 7-5.
“The fact that we held them, with the amount of possession we had in the first half, to seven points was outstanding for our guys,” Boston College coach Rob Conway told Rugby Today. AIC has been averaging roughly 60 points a game this season.
In the second half it dried up a lot, and AIC was able to use its explosive offense. “They started moving the ball a lot faster and a lot farther,” Conway added. “The defense held up pretty strong but Christian Adams was definitely the standout player for AIC.”
AIC had three tries in the second half before Boston College added one of its own, making the game 26-10. The try that really saw AIC start to pull away was several minutes into the second half. Wing Deshae Edwards stepped his counterpart and dashed down the sideline. A couple of offloads later, and Gavan D’amore-Morrison scored the first of AIC’s four second half tries.
“We started dealing with the realization that we can play rugby the way we like to play it. That is really what gave us the confidence going forward,” Macy added.
Christian Adams added the fourth try for AIC, making it 31-10. Controversy ensued as the referee showed Adams a red card for apparently stepping on an opposing player. It is unclear whether the kick was intentional. Regardless, Adams will miss at least one game to suspension unless the card is reversed.
While happy with the victory, AIC was disappointed with the red card. “It is frustrating when you play a whole game, the hardest game of the season, and it's physical and a weird situation happens at the end of the game. It kind of takes the wind out of your sails,” Macy lamented.
Boston College was only able to muster one more score and the game ended 31-17.
“From talking to Josh (AIC) myself and the referee at the end, we really didn’t think that the score line was indicative of how the game was really played. It was a lot tighter than the score line really says,” Conway concluded.
Macy added similar sentiments. "It was just a really good, clean game of rugby the whole way through."