The hardy boys from Mad River, Vermont were expected to be one of Harvard’s toughest opponents this season and they didn’t disappoint on Saturday, September 15th.
They had an enormous forward pack and a group of backs that were wily and experienced. They started the match off in control, marching down the pitch on their first possession and scoring a try right between Harvard’s goal posts. Determined not to let down the large home crowd, Harvard came back tough. Craig Canton (OJ) was a one man wrecking crew with big hits and rumbling runs all over the pitch. Despite controlling the match for most of the first half, Harvard continuously turned the ball over in the tackles and was unable to score. The class of 2009 continued their strong showing from the last match with Randy Goldstein (ND) and Marco Di Falco (NG) controlling the rucks and mauls despite the wet conditions. The half ended 7-0 in favor of Mad River and with the Harvard players feeling frustrated and deflated.
Co-Captain Jeff Todd (HLS), who was not playing due to an injury sustained in the previous weeks game, gave a rousing half time speech and helped correct some of the errors being committed by the Harvard players in the first half. Harvard started off the second half better with the forwards taking the ball into contact low and strong and producing it cleanly for the backs to work with. Allen Rowe (OD) and Carter Gaffney (OB), who both sat out the first half due to nagging injuries, came into the match shortly into the second half to help inject some new energy into the weary forward pack. Rowe had several runs that cut right through the Mad River defense while Gaffney, despite having several penalties early, was able to make for it by stealing three Mad Rive line outs. Harvard scoring started early in the second half with Jon Wyler (OC) finding the corner of the try zone after a break my Mark Wayshak. That try was followed up by a run right up the middle by the team’s new center, CONTACT _Con-3CFB21931D /c /s /l Brendan Whitworth (OJ), which ended up with a Harvard score right between the posts.
Despite his injury, Todd couldn’t resist coming into the match and helped the forwards dominate the tired Mad River pack in the set scrums during the second half. The Harvard scoring continued with a try by Co-Captain CONTACT _Con-3CFB2193E /c /s /l Liam Patrick (OC) and a second score by Whitworth in the corner, after which he let out a mighty war woop. Patrick was a perfect four for four on conversion kicks including two near impossible kicks from the far corners.
The second match of the day was a B-side game against Tufts. For many of the B-side players it was their first ever live rugby play. The more experienced Tufts team took the match 34-7 but the new Harvard players played with intensity, running and tackling hard the entire match. Harvard’s only score of the match was set up late in the second half by Brian Clymer (NH). Paolo Morra (NA) carried two Tufts defenders across the try line with him to prevent Harvard from being blanked in the match. Other outstanding efforts where made my Sean Eldridge (NE) and Wilkie Catron (OF) in the forwards and Tim O”Rourke (OD), Joe Graves (OI) and Ben Mayson (NI) in the backs. Overall, it was a great effort by Harvard’s newest ruggers and it is clear that several of them will be challenging for spots in the A-side soon.
The day’s hard play was rewarded during the seasons first rugby social at Tommy Doyle’s later that evening. HBS Rugby’s next home match is September 29th at 1:00pm versus Berkshire at Cumnock Fields. That match will be followed up with a B-side contest versus Suffolk Law School at 2:30pm. Please come out and support your Harvard ruggers.
The HBS Rugby Team is looking for new players. The club practices and plays matches in both semesters and has annual tours to the Wharton School of Finance, Montreal, London and the MBA Rugby World Cup at Duke University. If you want to be a member of the most competitive sports team in the Harvard Graduate Community contact team Co-Captains Jeff Todd
The Harvard Business School Rugby Football Club would like tto thank our sponsors: Anglo Irish Bank, McKesson, RR Donnelly Private Equity Services, Tommy Doyle’s Irish Pub and Newcastle Brown Ale.