The HBS Rugby Football Club suffered a debilitating defeat Saturday with a 35-nil stomping provided by the honorable gentlemen of the New London Rugby Union.
When the HBS ruggers heard of the upcoming match against New London, we quickly fell under the illusion that the players would be from old London (tophats, British accents, tea, and a strong affinity for popped collars and paying double for everything). In preparation for the match, the HBS boys did what we always do in preparation for a team coming from across the pond: Hide every Coldplay CD in sight and lay out a dazzling array of pastel scarves to distract their toughest linemen.
Sadly, New London is not across the ocean, rather, a quick 20-minute drive north. Based on the demographic of the New London team, I have concluded that the quaintÿsea village is populated entirely by ex-cops and firefighters with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Penalties, rather than playing talent, seemed to be the A-side’s greatest weakness as repeated offside calls set the Crimson squad in their backyard for most of the first half. Despite strong ball positioning by Doug Haber and aggressive rucking by the front pack, the newly formed Crimson squad simply lacked the cohesion of a well drilled team that had the luxury of training for several years.
The second half saw stability on the scoreboard, with the Crimson team winning scrums and lineouts while pushing New London towards center field on numerous occasions. Unfortunately, such efforts were in vain as New London seized the opportunity to exploit breaks in the Crimson line and score an additional try before the match ended. ÿ
Despite such a defeat, team Captain James Joun remained optimistic for the rest of the season: “The players will soon realize that playing well drilled teams that train hard all year long is great training for what really matters: going head to head against other MBA teams. The fact that we lost to these guys by a wide margin last year and closed the gap to 35-nil this year is huge. We had three starting players that had never played before, an entire team that was still learning each others’ names, and here we are holding a twenty-year-old rugby club to one score in the second half. I think these games really test our limits and push us to be the best in the Ivy League.”
On the B-side, the Crimson ruggers played extremely well and had a more palatable score of 25-30 (New London). RC Anson Frericks displayed tremendous willpower and skill, breaking multiple tackles, gaining critical yardage, and scoring a nail-biting try in the second half against a formidable defense. Overall, the B-sides rucking and passing demonstrated noted improvement and will surely improve in time for the MBA world championships next spring.
The HBS Rugby Football Club is the oldest athletic club at the Harvard Business School and boasts over 1,000 alumni from across the globe. KPMG, The Boston Consulting Group, Global Rescue, Tommy Doyle’s, and Harpoon Brewery are all sponsors of the team, and we are grateful for their continued support.