The Machine took on the Enfield RFC Sept. 9 for a late morning game and lost. A win would've ensured a playoff spot.
“It was better than expected. Once again, I feel like the score doesn't dictate how close the game was,” said team captain Axel Lawrence following the match.
“I thought in the first half, we came up hard. Our line speed was good. We chopped them down low and we were able to create some turnovers that way,” said Lawrence. “As we got tired in the second half, we started to fall off those tackles. It's strictly a fitness and fatigue issue.”
The club was also short on players, having just two on the bench to start out and then a player left due to injury.
“Maybe if we had a few more bodies available, it could've been a little tighter game,” said Lawrence. “Hats off to the guys for showing up, putting their bodies on the line for 80 minutes.”
A handful of the players not only played with the Machine in the morning but with their university squad in the afternoon.
The Division 1 Machine will host a quarter-final crossover game next weekend — the date and time is still to be determined — versus the second place team in Division 2. There's a lot on the line.
“If we win, we stay (in Division 1); if we lose, we go down,” said Lawrence.
The captain said he was “proud of the effort” put in by the players Sept. 9 and hopes scheduling conflicts will not plague the team when they play their quarter-final at King's-Edgehill School.