New England Free Jacks

Free Jacks dominate Miami, extend lead in Eastern Conference

New England dominated in its return from its bye week.


Coming off a bye week, following a win in Chicago, the New England Free Jacks were back at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Quincy on Saturday, facing the Miami Sharks for the first time. The Free Jacks proved rested and ready for the return home, winning 25-3.

While Miami has played tough in all matches this season, the Free Jacks proved that they remain the class of Major League Rugby (MLR) with a dominant two-way performance.

“We are a team that prides ourselves on how we defend. I think there's some really good goal line stands where we resisted multiple phases from these guys and I think that's showing their physicality. It shows a lot of team connection. I'm really proud of them,” said head coach Scott Mathie.

Playing in windy and rainy conditions didn’t stop the Free Jacks, who scored a try within the first four minutes by Captain Josh Larsen. Jayson Potroz made the conversion, making the score 7-0. 

Miami slotted a penalty kick by Felipe Etcheverry, making the score 7-3. Potroz answered back with a penalty kick, charting 10-3. Potroz continued his impressive form on kicks, increasing the lead to 13-3 with a second kick.

Coming out of halftime, the Free Jacks continued to show combined offensive and defensive efforts in the second half. Within the first minute, the Free Jacks forced a Sharks turnover and Piers von Dadelszen scored to increase the lead to 18-3. Deeper into the second half, Cam Nordli-Kelemeti scored a try, followed by a steller kick by Potroz.

The Free Jacks shut out the Sharks the rest of the way, ending the match 25-3. 

Reflecting on the win after the bye week, player of the match Josh Larsen said, "Just a chance to reset and refresh and look over our first four weeks of the season. I think defensively we had some good sets here and defended well, which I'm really happy about. Still planning to work on it.” 

After a strong start to the season, New England sits atop the Eastern Conference with a 4-1 record and 19 points, putting it four ahead of NOLA Gold. The Free Jacks will look to continue this streak next Saturday in Houston against the SaberCats at 8 p.m. ET at SaberCats Stadium. The match will air on NBC Sports Boston.

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