Sometimes, Mother Nature just doesn’t cooperate. HBS Rugby’s plan to close the regular season and celebrate their storied rivalry with the Beavers of MIT by hosting a free BBQ was foiled by near-freezing temperatures, pouring rain, and bitter wind. While many fans braved the elements to come cheer on the ruggers against their evil and insipid foes from across town, not a soul was interested in staying outside longer than was needed, and the BBQ was cancelled. Luckily, cold beer was made available after the game to warm up fans and players alike.
With kickoff rapidly approaching, even the referee had doubts about playing in such foul weather, asking captains Tony Carango (OA) and Shoney Katz (OC) if the game should be called off. The answer from the team was unanimous: “are you kidding? This is perfect rugby weather!”
Indeed, HBS had been looking forward to the matchup with MIT for several weeks, especially after encountering one of their backs at an Octoberfest party in Boston last month. Though suffering from an injury and thus unable to play against us, this “eager Beaver” took the opportunity to run his mouth and only gentlemanly restraint prevented HBS from inflicting further injury upon him that evening. So it was with fire in their eyes and hearts that HBS took the pitch against MIT, and neither rain nor wind, mud nor puddle was going to extinguish this flame (though post-game beers did seem to do the trick).
Once the game began, HBS established a dominating style of play in the forwards that took advantage of the sloppy conditions and made the most of the considerable size advantage in the pack. Despite giving up an early try on a fluke play, HBS controlled the ball well, playing for possession and marching down the field time and time again. Jorge O’Hara (OI) scored the first two tries on breakaway runs, and Josh Hall (OF) and Baron Hanson (FAS) scored on opportune plays off of scrums and rucks in the first half of play. Hanson also converted after his try to bring the halftime score up to 22-7.
Under the posts at halftime, Carango and Katz gave their final pep talk of the fall season. Recalling a match earlier in the year when they asked for 30 second-half points and were given even more, the captains asked this time for 35. Substitutions were brought in, and HBS went right back out in the second half to continue their dominating play. Dan Gertsacov (NJ) plowed his way in for a try, and Josh Hall scored his second try of the match off of another strong HBS scrum. MIT attempted to stage a late rally after David Merle (OF) was ordered into the “sin bin” by the referee for being French, but even playing a Frenchman down, HBS was able to hold tight. When the final whistle blew, it was victory for HBS, final score of 37-17. Thankfully, Carango and Katz had not specified “second-half points,” so they were not let down.
Man of the match honors went to NF’s Daniel “Buzz Lightyear” Morris, as much for his solid work all season as his fantastic play in this game.
Morris was all over the field (to infinty and beyond!) making key tackles and blowing the opponents off the ball in support of his teammates.
Rugby is indeed a team sport, and while scoring plays often make the highlight reel (or in this case the Harbus), it is the grunt work in the trenches by the rest of the players that make those highlights possible.
So cheers to Daniel Morris and all the rest of the HBS ruggers who made the fall season a success by giving it their all on the pitch. Your names are too many to list here, but you know who you are.
HBS Rugby would also like to thank each and every one of our fans who braved the elements to come watch our big game. We sincerely appreciate the courage and commitment you showed, and hope we rewarded you with a fine game of rugby. Until spring, we’ll see you in the fine drinking establishments of Cambridge and beyond!