In an epic tour de force the Harvard RFC brought back the bacon in an utter dismantling of international MBA teams competing in the London Business School Rugby Tournament.
Over a span of two days the men of HBS battled against some of the world’s best, with quality teams competing from Smurfit, INSEAD, and London Business School. The final carnage, strangely reminiscent of a Conan the Barbarian narrative, was a tribute to the countless hours the club has spent training since the beginning of the spring semester.
Though the final score may suggest otherwise, the LBS tournament was a grueling two day gut-check for the RFC with tough games frequently scheduled one after the other. Indeed, with bodies strewn on the pitch and fresh blood on the faces of nearly every man, few could argue that any of the participants had left anything in the tank in their pursuit of the championship cup.
The tournament began with an imposing draw for the men of HBS. In their first match the RFC lined up against the defending World MBA Champions from Ireland’s Smurfit School of Business. Expecting a typically brutal battle HBS came out shoulders lowered, jaws clenched. After a first half of smash-mouth, in-your-face rugby, characterized by concussion-worthy tackles and violent mauls, the match ultimately turned on the RFC’s ability to play a full forty minutes of rugby at a sustained pace. With their Irish opponents clearly fatigued by the end of the match the men of HBS ultimately prevailed by a final score of 12-0.
Although impressive in their first win against the defending champs, the RFC had little time to celebrate as they were forced to match up against a typically tough London Business School squad on the back end of a double header. The LBS team, perhaps a bit intimidated by the RFC’s showing in the early game, came out of lead foot and heavy heart. Showing an ability to play big and small ball, using their agility and speed to their advantage, HBS stretched the field wide using every meter of the pitch to sprint over, around, and through the flailing arms of LBS’s helpless defense. Final score: 51-0.
In the penultimate game of the tournament, the Harvard RFC competed against their French friends from INSEAD. With a spot in the championship at stake, the RFC was relentless, marching the opening kick-off methodically down the field to make it 5-0 only minutes into the first half. The onslaught continued for the balance of the game with HBS securing their place in the finals by a final score of 25-0.
Exhausted, bruised, and smelling of a thoroughbred, the men of HBS retired to their urban jungle that evening satisfied that they had accomplished their goals for the day, and yet eager to keep their win-streak alive in the morrow’s championship. The morning came early with pounding heads and bleary eyes a testament to another evening of local Anglo-American festivities. Shaking off the cobwebs, however, the Harvard RFC was able to dig down deep and summon the intestinal fortitude for one last push. In a hard fought game that will be remembered for an epic goal-line stand, the RFC claimed the cup in a gutty win against their Irish opponents. Final score 21-0.
What’s next? The RFC looks ahead to the World MBA Championships, April 8-9, on Duke’s campus in Durham, North Carolina. Although fortunate to have had a successful start to their spring season the club will not take the tournament’s success for granted. LBS and INSEAD will be come-back determined, and a fully loaded Smurfit squad will surely be ready to avenge their losses come tournament time. With a bit of luck and a healthy dose of old-fashioned hard work over the next seven weeks the RFC hopes to provide a worthy challenge for the World MBA Champions.
The Harvard Business School RFC wishes to thank team sponsor Anglo Irish Bank, APAX Partners and Magners Original Irish Cider for their generosity and continued support.