The New England Free Jacks, with Haverhill’s own Cameron “Cam” Davidowicz, play for the first Major League Rugby title in franchise history this weekend after winning their 11th match in a row in the MLR semifinals with a 25-7 triumph against Old Glory DC at Veterans Memorial Stadium last Saturday in Quincy.
This was the first Free Jacks playoff victory in franchise history – having lost to Rugby New York in last year’s semifinals. New England improved to 15-2 on the season and 23-2 at Veterans Stadium over the past three years.
The Free Jacks took an 18-0 lead into the half and then delivered the crushing blow off a turnover in the 64th minute when Irish scrum half John Poland found Canadian center Ben Lesage, who booted the ball forward inside the 10-meter line where Tonga wing Taniela Filimone gathered the ball and went in for the backbreaking try.
Old Glory DC broke up the shutout in the 72nd minute when Joaquin Diaz-Bonilla deftly booted the ball to Thretton Palamo, who spun past New England’s Reece MacDonald for the try to make it 25-7.
But New England’s Mitchell Jacobson – who led a dominant defense throughout the match – came up with a steal in the 77th minute to turn away Old Glory DC’s last-gasp attempt to extend its season.
New England will face the San Diego Legion for the Major League Rugby championship on July 8 at 3 p.m. in Chicago.