After two hard-scrabbled victories, HBS went to Lynn, Massachusetts looking to establish technical skills and game management against North Shore Mens’ Rugby Club.
On a beautiful sunny day, the game began with a series of hard slogs up and down the pitch with HBS repeatedly driving up the field only to be turned back by turnovers and kicks. ÿHBS established solid rucking and good set-pieces, particularly dominated the line-outs early on.
Co-Captain Chris Trimble (HKS) broke the ice off a penalty, driving through several opposing players to place the ball in the trizone. ÿDoug Haber (NE) converted the extra points. Harvard immediately resumed the offensive. After several phases of rucking by the forwards, Curt Willener (OJ) had a long-breakaway run that ended in an unsportsmanlike high tackle by a North Shore back. ÿThe ref awarded a penalty try, which Doug converted to make the score 14-0 at the half.
During the entire first half, Harvard was consistently able to disrupt North Shore’s scrums, lineouts, and rucks, despite a significant size disadvantage in the pack. ÿRandy Goldstein (OD), Seth Ross (OB), and Ben Reno-Weber (OC) were particularly able to win several defensive rucks, resulting in demoralizing turnovers for North Shore. ÿJoe Harrington (HLS) dominated the line-outs. Anthony Bangay (NG) displayed great flexibility, rucking, running, chasing down balls, and receiving kicks. ÿScrumhalf James Joun (ND) was everywhere on the field, pulling the ball out of often messy loose play.
North Shore began the second half playing a man down with one in the sin-bin, and HBS took no time in taking advantage of it with quick outs to the backs. ÿUnselfishly dishing the ball both and forth up the field, the backline showed fantastic team play,. Mike Lloyd (HLS) took advantage of some sloppy play to kick the ball up the field and Doug Haber (ND) was able to display some soccer skills and score in the corner. Back play overall was excellent, particularly defensively with Evan Engstrom (HLS), Peter Baldwin (NJ), and Curt Willener (OJ) each putting in some big hits.
HBS’s final try came off of a scrum on their 5-meter line. The backs spun it out quick, but got held up just short of the line. With a quick out from the ruck, Chris Trimble popped into the corner.
Fitness began to be a factor for North Shore as the game continued. However, in the last few minutes, North Shore was able to put five on the board with a back line play to their wing.
The final score of 24-5 was secondary to a solid technical performance by
both forwards and backs going into the second and far more demanding part of the season.
During the B-side game, HBS fielded a mixed side of new players and
veterans. ÿSeveral new players exhibited real promise. ÿSecond row Patrick Cleary (NF) rucked well, creating the platform for Eric Zuncic (NA) and Brian Kaufmann (NA) to generate pick and goes.
In the backline Winger Brian (HLS) displayed blazing speed and fierce tackling- several times chasing down opposing backs attempting to break away. ÿOn the opposite side of the field, Kevin Wolter (NA) made solid stops and was able to break through the opposing line. ÿMatt Lawler (HMS) balanced solid fundamentals with a golden foot, including a perfect spiral ball from the half to North Shore’s 5m line.
The B-side jumped to an early lead on break-away runs by Ricks, who scored made a beautiful defensive read to score his first try in three years of HBS Rugby. Saul de la Guardia, former captain (HBS ’06) made the second score on his first return to the team, and almost had a third, which was called back by the ref. Down the stretch North Shore was able to put up two scrappy kick/run/scrambles to take the lead 15-12 as the clock ran out. ÿ
All in all it was a solid effort by both squads.
The Rugby Team would like to thank its sponsors BCG and Tommy Doyle’s for their continuing support.