Rachel Drapper (MBA ’21) reports on HBS Ladies’ first touch rugby tournament victory on November 3.
The HBS Women’s team awoke on Saturday to perfect rugby weather, sunny skies, crisp leaves underfoot, and barely a breeze to be found. Despite discovering there had been some pilfering of the team’s packed lunches, spirits remained high and emergency sandwiches were bought. The team arrived in Weymouth ready to take on Yale and Dartmouth. Captain Drapper ran warm-up drills and introduced many of the squad to the laws of the game.
The first match against Yale was off to a great start with Christina Byrd spotting an overlap and gaining vital yards on the wing. With Yale on the back foot, HBS continued to apply pressure. Some swift steps from Tara Menon saw a break for the line and a subsequent try. A few dog legs in our defense and some speed from Yale paved the way for their first try, and HBS doubled their defensive efforts with Kelly Hurtis leading the charge. Marie Beudels made vital yards with strong running lines and steps inside to tie up the defense. Further tries came from Byrd and Oyana Lusk on the wings, helping HBS outpace the Yalies and pick up a victory in their debut match.
After a brief respite, HBS was back on against Tuck (Dartmouth). Looking stronger than ever with great shape and control, the HBS team was gearing up for what was promising to be a close game against a well-practiced Tuck team. An early try from the Queen of Step (Menon) and subsequent break through the center from Captain Drapper put HBS ahead. Tuck pulled together and provided a counter try, but any overlap on the wing left space for a further HBS try from British ringer Olivia Hatton, making it 3-1 up at half time. A consistently strong defensive effort on the wing from Julissica Norton ensured that HBS didn’t concede any more points. The second half went quickly (partly because Tuck requested a reduced half due to tiredness!), but there was still sufficient time left for some HBS tries. Byrd was seen pacing up the wing, Kelly Hurtis sped around the defensive line to score, and Menon stepped in to put another score on the board. Tired but satisfied, HBS left the Boston Brawl tournament undefeated, a very respectable maiden outing. Well done, ladies!
Here are the players from the victorious team: Rachel Drapper, Olivia Hatton, Marie Beudels, Kelly Hurtis, Julissica Norton, Christina Byrd, Oyana Lusk, Tara Menon. A shout-out to Hatton, Drapper’s best friend from England, who made the flight to Boston to play at the team’s debut outing.
Drapper is on the lookout for new recruits to the team (from any Harvard school). No experience is required. Please email her on [email protected] if interested.
Rachel Drapper (MBA ’21) is an RC student who is passionate about rugby and has founded a women’s touch rugby team since starting at HBS this fall.