Fall 2010 Newsletter
Captain Nick Finger
President Sam Power
YALE 12 - Harvard 37
This past weekend Yale traveled up to Cambridge, MA, to play rivals Harvard in a regular season match for the first time in recent memory. Unfortunately Yale was to fall on the losing end of this 130 year old rivalry, unable to snap the surmounting losing streak against the Crimson.
Full of confidence and determination Yale started the game strong but were unable to use their possession. Yale's backline was unable to find its rhythm, failing to make the gain line on several occasions. Harvard, on the other hand, was able to pounce on all Yale mistakes, opening up the scoring with a breakaway converted try. For the first 30 minutes Yale was unable to dominate the game, playing defensive rugby and absorbing the pressure Harvard threw at them.
After falling behind by another penalty and drop goal, Yale finally clicked and was able to maintain pressure deep within Harvard territory. Finding themselves close on the Harvard line Yale pushed for their opening score of the game. Unfortunately the ball was held up when Yale did cross the line, and after Yale lost the ensuing scrum Harvard was able to relieve the pressure. The half would eventually end with Yale down 13 - 0, but Yale were optimistic after their ability to control possession and considered themselves unfortunate to not come away with a score.
Playing into the wind in the second half Yale again stumbled and could not find rhythm at critical stages. Harvard again managed to use Yale's mistakes and turnovers mounting an impressive offensive campaign and rolling off another 24 unanswered points. Despite being down 37 - 0 Yale continued to persevere. With 15 minutes to go in the game Yale was finally able to send hooker Jordan Hanson '07 over the line for his first try of the season. Center Bobby Cardone '06 made the ensuing conversion bringing the score to 37 - 7.
Gaining confidence from their score Yale began to find their feet. For the last 10 minutes of the game Yale retained possession and again mounted an attack deep in Harvard territory. The continued pressure was to allow flyhalf Rob Smith '06 to chip a ball to himself on the stroke of full-time for an unconverted try in the corner. Yale's late surge brought the final score to 37 - 12. Despite the disheartening score line, Yale found solace in their ability to score 12 unanswered points and continue the fight until the end.
The b-side was not to fair much better than their a-side counterparts. Harvard opened up with an offensive surge, scoring several unanswered tries to begin the game. By the second half Yale managed to absorb the Harvard pressure and began to string together an offensive effort of their own, yielding 2 tries. Unfortunately the late scores were not enough to overcome their opposition, but yet again Yale showed its tenacity and ability to fight until the end. Particularly encouraging was the play of rookie flyhalf Garrett Spitzer '09 and fullback Poppins Wheelock '09, whose progress is indicative of the depth and talent on the club.
Fortunately for Yale they will receive another opportunity to tackle the Crimson this season when Harvard comes to New Haven on November 19th for the Harvard-Yale weekend. Both A and B sides will be eager for revenge and another chance to turn the rivalry around, and we strongly encourage all alumni to attend the festivities.
Next week Yale returns to New Haven to host Brown University for parentsí weekend. The game will unfortunately not be on Yale's regular pitch, but instead at the home of the New Haven Old Blacks. As always all the support received is appreciated and we look forward to seeing as many familiar faces as possible.