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There were no surprises this week in the ECRC as all of the conference heavy weights won their matches. Boston College hit the century mark over Albany, AIC overcame a sluggish first half to win convincingly over Fairfield, UMass edged Northeastern and New England College outlasted UConn.

AIC struggled out of the gate against Fairfield. After crushing Albany the week prior, the Yellow Jackets may have been a tad over confident coming in. Fairfield had a strong first half, with AIC leading 19-8 at the break.

“In the first half we definitely were not playing system rugby and we were getting by on shear athleticism. Fairfield really came to play. They were tough, they were physical and they wanted it that first half,” AIC Interim Coach Rob Guiry told Rugby Today.

The Yellow Jackets made some adjustments at halftime and played a much smoother second half. AIC went on to win comfortably 52-13.

“After a lot of things were addressed at halftime, our leaders really stepped up in the second half. We just started playing AIC rugby in the second half. I think after our blowout against U-Albany we came into this match with a little bit of a lack of focus and we were just able to get it together in the second half,” Guiry added.

Jihad Khabir once again lit of the scoreboard, tallying four tries. AIC, however, will be without the talented flyhalf next week because he was invited to Chula Vista for an OTC camp.  

With the win AIC moved to 3-0 in league play.

New England College had been hampered with injuries over the recent weeks but was finally firing on all cylinders this week. The result showed as the Pilgrims cruised to victory 44-7 over UConn.

“For the first time in three week we were pretty much back to full strength. We didn’t have any backs playing in the forwards and we even had some reserves that were prepared and ready to go in. That helped us tremendously,” NEC coach Tal Bayer told Rugby Today.

Overall, NEC played a much cleaner game. It was the first time in three games that the Pilgrims did not receive any cards. Bayer indicated that the cards might have been a by-product of individuals playing out of position.

“I think when you have three or four guys totally out of position, having to play backs in the forwards, you end up with a lot of stupid mistakes,” Bayer added.

It was probably the most complete and clean 80 minutes NEC has had this season. It played AIC tough the first week but cards hampered the second half of that game. UConn hung tough for the first half this week, but NEC proved to be too much in the second half.

“The second half we just kind of blew the doors off,” Bayer said.

The Pilgrims moved to 2-1 with the win.

In the other two games UMass opened its conference campaign with a win over Northeastern 29-8 and Boston College crushed Albany 107-0 to move to 2-0.