Mt. Washington Valley, New Hampshire – The Harvard Business School Rugby Football Club shut out the Mt. Washington Valley Bull Moose in their most lopsided victory of the season. With the upcoming Wharton MBA Rugby Tournament, the HBS ruggers are playing their best rugby at the right time. The solid play of the forwards set up mismatches and overlaps allowing the backs to take advantage of their speed in the game. Liam “Porsche” Patrick (NC), Quan “Maverick” Nguyen (OF), Mark “QB” De Ambrosis (NF), and Atsushi “Houdini” Oshiba (NF) combined for ten tries and seven conversions. At the same time, the defense never let up and shut out a team for the first time this season. The victory comes at a crucial time as HBS competes in the Wharton tournament in Philadelphia next weekend.
First Half Track Meet
The scoring came early and often as HBS put together their most solid showing of fundamental rugby this season. Stephane “Lou Holtz” Heuze (OB), sidelined with an injury, came in with a game plan that proved to be incredibly effective. “Let’s punch them in the face twice, compress their defensive line, and then get around the edge with our speedsters.” The ruggers did just that. On numerous line outs and scrum downs, HBS would crash the opposing line with inside center Mark “Man of War” Wayshak and forward Mark “The Bus” Cuthbert. They followed with more smash-mouth rugby with handoffs to forwards Owen “Hops” Stockdale, Carter “College” Gaffney, Jeff “Cavalier” Todd (HLS), or “Deceptive” Dave Fielding. Another clean ball and it became a track meet as the backs raced down the field taking advantage of the gaps created by the forward play. By halftime, Nguyen and Patrick had scored multiple tries on their way to a 33-0 lead. The Bull Moose did not challenge the HBS try line in the first half.
Second Half Defense
With pride to play for, the Bull Moose made several pushes into HBS territory. On two occasions, they drove to within five meters of the HBS try line. Even though HBS was outweighed by a combined 200 pounds, they would not relent. Crushing tackles by Gaffney, Stockdale, and Todd were key plays in the goal-line stands. The better-conditioned ruggers took advantage of the momentum switch and Atsushi, Patrick, and De Ambrosis were able to find their way past the try line leading to the final score of 61-0.
“I think one of the keys to the victory was our solid defense today,” stated John “Madden” Doran, sidelined with a shoulder injury. Alan “Tough” Ricks, Brian “Jock” Geary, and Rafa “Scrappy” Soto (NF) were just some of the guys playing hard and making solid tackles. “We took away their rhythm and did not let them take advantage of their size,” Doran said.
The Road to Wharton
At 2-2 in NERFU (New England Rugby Football Union) play, HBS has the opportunity to make an appearance in the NERFU playoffs for the first time in 10 years. “It’s pretty impressive that we’re even competing in this league. Our team has 100% turnover every two years while the other teams play together for several years and have much more stable continuity. We view this as a warm up for the business school tournaments,” stated Todd, one of the team’s co-presidents. Last year, Harvard Business School won the Wharton tournament giving up only nine points in six games. “I think we’re poised and ready to repeat as champions. Anything less will be a disappointment.”
Todd had five near tries as he stole numerous Bull Moose line outs but was unable to capitalize. He did set up one Patrick score with a nifty no-look pass. Patrick and Nguyen’s tries came on runs of over 30 meters as their speed proved too much for the Bull Moose. Heuze, Doran, and Flint McGregor (OE), all sidelined with various ailments, are listed as “probable” for the Wharton Tournament.
HBS finishes out their NERFU regular season with home games against Seacoast (October 15, 1:00 p.m.) and MIT (October 29, 1:00 p.m.).
The Harvard Business School RFC wishes to thank team sponsor Anglo Irish Bank, APAX Partners, Tommy Doyle’s, Sierra Nevada, and Magners Original Irish Cider for their generosity and continued support.