The Pride of Harvard Business School Starts Season with Victory over Sidney Sussex College

2011-2012 HBS Rugby Scrum Down

HBS Rugby dominates the scrum

For almost 50 years, the men of the Harvard Business School Rugby Football Club have been dominating their opponents, both on and off the field.  Coming off a strong opening night victory against Sidney Sussex College of Cambridge University, this season promises to be no different.

After an entire summer of having to “play nice” with others in summer internships and boring jobs, the HBS ruggers were eager to get out on the field and hit some people replica watches.  Unfortunately for the lads of Sidney Sussex, they happened to be those people.  After quickly taking possession of the ball after the opening kick, the HBS side jumped out to a 10-3 lead in behind the leadership of team co-captains Derek Poppinga and “Fats” Dlamini and club co-president Jonas Akins.  A Sussex penalty kick, followed by a breakaway try for the Brits, allowed them to briefly take a 13-10 lead as the first half ticked away.  Determined not to trail going into halftime, HBS quickly bounced back and scored a try as the first half expired.  The HBS ruggers never trailed again, and ran away from Sussex in the second half.  Final score, HBS 34 – Sussex 13.  Afterwards, both teams met on the field for beers, songs, and camaraderie, all things that HBS ruggers do extremely well.

The victory over Sussex is not the only success that HBS rugby has had since the conclusion of last year’s season.  This summer, the team proudly represented the school in a pre-season sevens tournament in New York City.  Because so many current HBS ruggers were busy running the world during their summer internships, many HBS Rugby alumni in the NYC area strapped their boots on and competed for the Crimson once again.

The first game pitted HBS against its perennial opponent, the Wharton Warthogs.  HBS got off to a rough start as their former, once-athletic captain, James Joun ’10, aggregated an old knee injury within the first few minutes of play, meaning that the team had to play the rest of the tournament with no substitutes.  Fortunately, the rest of the game was an onslaught of Crimson as the team soundly defeated the Warthogs, 34-0. Sean Eldridge capped off a strong game with 3 tries, while solid Germain Chastel, Jamie Ianelli, and Matthew Rooney each chipped in with a try each.

The Village Lions, a local NYC men’s club who had just come off a strong spring season, was HBS’s next opponent.  The Lions came out hard, but not as hard as Jacob “Hardman” Turner, who punished the opposition with his (sometimes high) tackling. Charles Angel, Matt Devlin and Sean Eldridge provided the offense, with Rooney providing the kicking. Final score, HBS 17, Lions 7.

In the semifinals against Columbia Business School, fatigue from the lack of substitutes finally set in on the HBS team.  They came out hard, but Columbia had fresh legs and defeated HBS by a try in a hard-fought match.  In the third-place match, HBS faced the tournament organizers, NYU Stern.  The scoring was led by Sean Eldridge, who also inflicted some crushing tackles on the opponent //  Matt Devlin bullied his way to the end zone, running over a defender with the same zest as a RC looking for an investment banking internship.  In the final minutes of the game a silhouette appeared against the backdrop of the New York skyline, it was the man himself, Tom “I am fast, and I brought this girl to watch me play rugby” Fast.  Armed with his air CB34s, shoulder pads, and his speed, Tom took a kickoff 60 meters and outran his support in the process.  He then made two game saving tackles, and HBS won the game by a score of 17 to 7.

After reading about all of these amazing accolades and great dudes, you may be asking yourself, “Self, how is it that HBS came to have a rugby team and is able to recruit so many manly men on a yearly basis?”  Well that’s a great question (and self-reflection), and I have the answer for you.

2011-2012 HBS Rugby Team

2011-2012 HBS Rugby Team

Prior to the formation of the HBS Rugby Club in 1963, the Harvard Business School sporting culture was dominated by softball, bowling, croquet, argyle sweater-wearing, and ping-pong.  Dissatisfied with these options, two Scottish MBA students, Jim Johnstone ’65 and Morris McInnes ’65, founded the HBS Rugby Club.  And thus, a glorious tradition was born.

An Ivy League favorite, rugby is the roughest, most testosterone-charged sport known to mankind.  The game combines the speed of track, the endurance of soccer, and the contact of football with really, really ridiculous good looks. Off the field, rugby is a very social sport, and the team is known as the strongest brotherhood at HBS.  Its past rosters are made up of over 1,400 alumni, including a long line of industrial titans. The team is sponsored by Boston Consulting, Global Rescue, and Harpoon Brewery among others. When these gentlemen aren’t walking old ladies across the street, protecting your girlfriend from muggers, or otherwise making the world a better place, you will find them at the fine establishment known as Tommy Doyle’s, also a team sponsor.

The team has built upon the founders’ success and currently competes against men’s teams in the New England Rugby Football Union and against other schools in annual tournaments at Duke, the University of Texas, and McGill.  This year’s team returns over 20 players from the incredible group that took second place overall at the MBA World Championships at Duke in April.

The HBS rugby team invites you to be part of the storied tradition, holding open practices every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.  The team welcomes graduate students from throughout the Harvard community, and no prior playing experience is necessary.  Regardless of whether you join the team or not, come watch us on the pitch and join us at Tommy Doyle’s after all home matches for a beer.  And when you see an HBS rugger on campus nursing a black eye or icing his sore ribs, pat him on the back and thank him for proudly representing the best business school on earth.

September 21, 2011

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “The Pride of Harvard Business School Starts Season with Victory over Sidney Sussex College”

  1. Fats says:

    Beautifully written by a beast of a man! Love it.

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  • Fats says:

    Beautifully written by a beast of a man! Love it.


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