Match Report - Boston College vs. Harvard University 10-10

Harvard vs. BC

Boston College
and Harvard University kicked off their fall 2007 campaigns in a gritty encounter on the banks of the Charles River Sunday in front of a healthy crowd of BC and Harvard fans alike. The two rivals delivered a nail-biter of a match which probably left both sides unsatisfied with the result.

BC exploded out of the blocks from the opening whistle. Their game plan for hard running and quick recycling of the ball promptly resulted in an overlap down the left, where the BC winger shook off a few tackles before offloading perfectly to his support runner who scored under the posts. BC would convert the try, 7-0.

Leading by example, Harvard captain Colin Kelly ’08 was able to regather his troops and settle into the game, stepping up the defensive effort. Solid forward momentum allowed for an extended passage of play in BC’s territory. Harvard were eventually rewarded for their efforts with a kickable penalty right in front of the posts, 7-3.

But BC proved to be the stronger attacking side on the day. Taking the ball at full speed, BC’s outside center Phil Albanese ’08 continually spotted gaps in Harvard’s defensive line and drove Harvard back. Before the end of the first half, a penalty to BC provided them an opportunity to extend their lead, 10-3.

In the second half, BC once again came out with passion, sending runner after runner crashing into the tenacious Harvard defensive line. BC looked particularly dangerous through the centers, but were unable to convert any opportunities. The penalty count against Harvard mounted considerably as they attempted to contest at the breakdown and slow down BC’s quick ball. It seemed only a matter of time before BC would light up the scoreboard again.

The turning point came with 10 minutes left in the game. Attacking near the Harvard 22 after several good phases of rugby, BC had numbers wide and a sure try were it not for the thieving hands of Harvard’s fly-half Rob Campbell ’08 who intercepted a labored pass and sprinted the 80m for a try under the posts. Harvard would convert to level the score at 10-10.

The remainder of the game pitted BC’s attack against Harvard’s unrelenting defense within their own 22. Penalties continued to plague Harvard and whenever they were able to relieve some pressure, BC would return moments later to threaten their goal line. Credit must be given to the Harvard boys and especially the forward pack around the fringes who refused to give up on defense. On several occasions a potential try to BC was stopped only by the desperation of the Harvard men who refused to allow anything over their line. The final whistle delivered an anticlimactic ending to a hotly contested match, a 10-10 draw.

Next week, Harvard meets Norwich whereas BC hosts U Conn.

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