In hopes of some quality leaf peeping, HBS Rugby traveled up to North Conway, NH to play their final league game of the regular season, against men’s club team Mt. Washington Valley “Bullmoose”. Mt. Washington stood to gain greatly from a win, which would have moved them from 5th to 4th place and into the playoffs. And by the end of the day, they would remind HBS Rugby, which had rolled through its competition thus far, that it still had work to do in order to reach its ultimate goal for the year: winning the World MBA Tournament down at Duke.
The leaves were indeed rather pretty, and the team might have lost its focus gazing into the beautiful scenery. But they had work to do, and came out bringing it hard to Mt. Washington Valley. Several players bravely set foot on the field despite hardship – Sean “Meatstick” Eldridge (NE) had pulled his hamstrings to the point that the back of his knees were fully bruised, Co-Captain Jeffrey “Mountain Man” Todd (HLS) again played with only limited range of motion in his arm, Dave “Who’s Your Daddy” Fielding (OD) brought his one-week old daughter up to the game, and Joel “Winter Coat” Hartel (NB) had not even yet bought a coat for his wife. And the team was without star player Brendan “Fan Favorite” Whitworth (OJ), who still made the drive to film the team and look attractive. Said Whitworth, with direct reference to Ron Burgundy, “Mmmm. I look good. I look really good. Hey everyone. come and see how good I look.”
The team put on a strong showing in the first half, and quickly built a solid lead. The forwards rolled a maul in for a try with little resistance, and Randy “Anger Management” Goldstein (ND) picked the ball up off a ruck, bulled over a couple defenders and outran several more for a well-deserved score. Jon “Sweetness” Wyler (OC) put one down after great continuity by the Harvard attackers, keeping the ball moving in the tackle. Jeff Todd put one in after beautiful forward play on a quick tap, and Liam Patrick (OC) added another score. The defense swarmed all over the field, leaving little room for the Mt. Washington Bullmoose players to maneuver when they had the ball. By halftime, it was 40-0.
The whistle blew for the second half, and Mt. Washington Valley came out hard. HBS initially maintained its edge, and put in two tries – one by Brian “Commitment” Geary on a long run through the Mt. Washington backline and the other by Patrick. But HBS bended and started to break as their strength began to be eroded by mental fatigue and injury (including a knee injury to Joe “Life All-Star” Harrington (HLS), a concussion to Allan “Barnacle Bill” Rowe (OD), and an ankle injury to Atsushi “Bear” Oshiba (OF)), looking vulnerable for the first time in the season. They weren’t getting low in the tackles, weren’t supporting their runners, and weren’t communicating on defense. Mt. Washington was able to add three tries before HBS recovered its poise, and that was how it closed, 54-19.
HBS, undefeated in the regular season, is now the #1 seed heading into the playoffs on November 3rd up at Stowe. It will spend the weekend between in Montreal, making the difficult choice between London Gentleman and Blackbeard’s Delight as it gears up for nights out.
The team still welcomes new players – come try it out, no prior experience necessary. Rugby is a fast-paced, exciting sport that has positions for players of all sizes and abilities Contact team Co-Captains Jeff Todd (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Liam Patrick (email@example.com) to get involved.
The Harvard Business School Rugby Football Club would like to thank our sponsors: Anglo Irish Bank, McKesson, RR Donnelley Private Equity Services, Tommy Doyle’s Irish Pub and Newcastle Brown Ale.