24 September, 2008

Another road trip, another sunny day in Boston, and Dartmouth Rugby bested Harvard 34-12 to open the season 2-0....

On another sunny day in Boston, Dartmouth Rugby bested Harvard 34-12 to open the season 2-0.

Dartmouth set the tempo early and kept the pressure up the whole way through. "We played composed and organized rugby on both sides of the ball and really controlled the match for the entire 80 minutes," said captain Conlan O'Leary '09, "Hopefully we can take another step forward next week against Yale."

"We definitely improved on last week's performance at BC," added co-captain Matt Alkaitis '09.

Dartmouth started off strong by dominating the early set pieces to set up the first Dartmouth try when Nick Downer '11 beat several Harvard defenders.

Minutes later, O'Leary set up Chris Downer '11 for a line break. O'Leary then finished off the breakdragging several would-be-tacklers along with him for a second Dartmouth score. Tommy Brothers '11 made the conversion and a penalty kick several minutes later to make the score 15-0.

Once again O'Leary was able to avoid several tacklers and find the fleet-footed Nick Downer, putting Dartmouth up 20-0.

It looked as though Dartmouth would take their shutout into the half, as they held off a hungry Harvard pack phase after phase. Eventually Harvard broke through for a converted try to make the score 20-7.

Unaffected by the late Harvard score, the Big Green came out firing on all cylinders in the second half and began right where they left off. Alkaitis found Alex Bowers '09 who crashed through several defenders to touch the ball down under the posts, giving Dartmouth a commanding 27-7 lead.

Dartmouth continued to control the match for most of the second half, although a defensive miscue allowed a speedy Harvard wing to break away down the sideline for a 90-meter try, cutting the Dartmouth lead to 27-12. However, the Men in Green kept the pressure up, pushing the Crimson deep into their territory. Mike DiBenedetto '10 was able to field a high ball finding Nick Downer, who once again flew down the sideline for the try, completing his hat trick on the day. Brothers converted the kick, and after the final whistle blew, the Dartmouth Ruggers had come away with a convincing 34-12 win.

"This was another step up from the BC win...hopefully we can make some adjustments and ratchet up our performance for a 5th straight weekend against Yale," said Captain O'Leary, "A big alumni crowd really helped at Harvard, and we look forward to another supportive DRFC crowd on Saturday at Yale."

The 2nd XV won 29-0 and the Develop side won 12-0, and the Dartmouth Women's team bested Harvard the next day 41-5 making it a 4 win Dartmouth weekend.

Yours in rugby,
Scott Henning

Average rating
(0 votes)