HBS Rugby Get First Tour Victory in Canada Against McGill

Harvard made the long journey up to Montreal to play their annual fixture against the McGill University MBAs last weekend. Having narrowly lost to McGill in the previous year, Harvard was keen to make amends this time around. The situation was complicated by the conflict between the infamous Priscilla Ball on Friday and the 2:00PM kick-off in Montreal on Saturday. Fortunately, the eight RC’s arrived on time and in reasonably good shape given the early start.

Harvard started the match very strongly, dominating the set pieces and also retaining the ball well in the loose. McGill, who had only played one game together before this match, defended valiantly but were unable to disrupt the strong Harvard forwards. Eric Zuncic (NA) put in an excellent performance of aggressive running and rucking, and Harvard’s Canadian native Seth Ross (OB) was his usual terrier-like self making life very difficult for the McGill team whenever they did have the ball.

McGill’s defense finally ran out of steam in the 20th minute when Mike Lloyd (HLS) returned a failed clearance punt. He passed to Kevin O’Boyle (NG) who smashed into the last defender. The forwards arrived quickly, providing great support and securing the ball before Sean Eldridge (OE) crashed over the line carrying three McGill defenders with him.

Despite dominating possession, Harvard struggled to put more points on the board. A number of promising opportunities were squandered due to silly mistakes, but eventually Randy Goldstein (ND) capped off his solid all-round performance by driving over the line for a well-deserved try.

McGill staged something off a fight-back in the last ten minutes, finally winning some possession and trying hard to provide something for the home crowd to cheer. However it was not to be, as great tackling from Patrick Cleary (NF), Joe Harrington (HLS) and Olly Tompkins (NH) prevented the McGill boys from putting any points on the board.

O’Boyle rounded things off for Harvard with his first try for the club – picking a great line and running at pace, he found the Canadian end zone completely unprotected and touched down for an unexpected last-minute score, much to the delight of the Harvard spectators that had made the journey up. After two try conversions by Doug Haber (NE), the final score was 19-0.

The HBS Rugby Team is always looking for new players. The club practices and plays matches in both semesters and this year has tours to 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 the club at rugby@studentclubs.hbs.edu. As always, HBS Rugby would like to thank its sponsors: The Boston Consulting Group and Tommy Doyle’s Irish Pub.