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Match Report for

University of Massachusetts - Amherst Women (1st) vs. Northeastern University Women (1st)
15 October 2016

Location: rugby pitch is located behind football stadium

University of Massachusetts - Amherst Women: 29    Northeastern University Women: 32

UMass and Northeastern played an exciting contest that was an absolute treat for all attendees. The host scored first thanks to a robust set of phases from their forwards. UMass controlled the first quarter of the game as Northeastern could not get their offense going until they swung the ball out their speedy #14 who broke three tackles to knot the game with 20 minutes left in half.

UMass retook the lead in the 26th minutes as their team cleaned up their ball handling issues and allowed their forwards to control the game. As the first half wound down, Northeastern scored along the touchline to even the score at ten. However, the host took advantage of a few untimely penalties and regained the lead 17-10 as the half expired.

In the 44th minute, Northeastern scored under the posts and tied the match at 17. UMass quickly responded four minutes later thanks to a knock-on during the re-start and a beautiful back play to retake the lead 24-17. Five minutes later, the visitor's #14 scored again towards the near touchline. However, the conversion kick was unsuccessful which preserved UMass's lead, 24-22.

In the 62nd minute, UMass scored another try, thanks to their forwards, however, the conversion kick failed to keep it a one-score game, 29-22.

Conditioning played a crucial role as the hosts were showing fatigue as they were not setting their defense line to stop the visitor's open-play offense. Northeastern made a strategic substitute in the 68th minute, bringing on a freshman prop (#25) who bulldozed the UMass defense, allowing her team to play continuous rugby. In the 72nd minute, Northeastern was within the five-meter line, but clinch tackling and sloppy ball handling allowed UMass to remove ball out of their try zone, thanks to a great counter attack from their #11. At midfield, Northeastern took advantage of a penalty and elected to let their backline run their offense instead of finding touch. The ball finally worked its way to #14 as she scored her 4th try of the game with 90 seconds left. The conversion kick was near the touchline and proved too sharp of an angle for a success kick which would have tied the game.

Fortunately, the conversion kick happened with thirty seconds left on the clock, which allowed for one last kickoff. After #25 had drawn in UMass's defense, Northeastern's backline overloaded the near side which enabled them to take the ball at pace. Northeastern made a perfect offload pass to their fullback, who found a hole in the UMass defense and raced to the try zone to complete a miraculous comeback.

Both teams played an amazing game and it was a real shame that UMass had to lose in such heartbreaking fashion.

Referee: Alec Tolivaisa