Fall 2010 Newsletter
Captain Nick Finger
President Sam Power
BEAST OF THE EAST RESULTS
YALE 14 - Northeastern 22
YALE 26 - Uni. of Albany 0
YALE 32 - UMASS 0
YALE 19 - Westchester State 10
This past weekend Yale traveled to Portsmouth, Rhode Island, to defend their 2004 Beast of the East Division I championship. Sustaining several injuries in last week’s Ivy League Championships and facing formidable Division I competition, Yale knew defending their title would be a challenge.
Yale opened the competition with a first round match against Northeastern University, a NERFU Division I opponent the likes of which Yale will face in their transition to Division I in the fall. Yale opened the tournament on defense. Right from the kick-off Northeastern went on attack, settling themselves deep within Yale territory. Yale successfully managed to keep their attack at bay, but without possession of their own, were unable to clear their lines. Northeastern’s persistence would eventually result in a try, forcing Yale to play with increased urgency to get back into the match.
From the restart Yale showed their offensive potential, stringing together multiple phases and gaining territory all the while. After numerous phases on the Northeastern goal line, Yale managed to punch in a try of their own through prop Ben Swiss ’08 that was successfully converted by winger Bobby Cardone ’06. A few minutes later, flanker Sean Walbridge ’08 intercepted a pass off the lineout and took it in for another Yale score with Cardone again making the successful conversion.
Yale would enter the half up 14-10, but that would prove the last of Yale’s scoring of the match. Yale came out flat in the second half, lacking the possession they had in the first. Without possession Yale were forced to play defense for the remainder of the game. Despite ferocious tackling and strong overall defense, Yale was unable to keep Northeastern out for the rest of the game. Two Northeastern players were to cross Yale’s try line before the game was over bringing the final score to 22-14.
Though Yale lost the game, Yale again proved their defensive capabilities and their ability to play with division I opposition. The points put up against Northeastern would prove to be the only points Northeastern would allow in the rest of the tournament as they shut out the remainder of the opposition in winning the championship.
Yale next opponent was the University of Albany. In what would prove to be a game in which tempers flared on a less than stellar field, Yale would prove victorious through strong phase retention and a dominant backline. Scoring two tries in the first half and another two in the second, Yale took command of the game and did not look back. When the dust settled, Yale would finish on top 26-0.
On Sunday morning Yale returned to Portsmouth to compete in the consolation bracket of the tournament, hoping to face rivals Harvard in the consolation final giving their seniors one last chance at beating the Crimson. In order to get to the final Yale had to overcome another NERFU division one opponent, UMASS. Yale picked up just where they left off on Saturday evening, playing strong offensive and defensive rugby, securing possession and recycling well. Despite a few handling errors and again battling a sub par field, Yale would dominate their opposition. Tries by captain and center Mike Atkins ’04, center Jack Mahoney ’07, and flanker Ervin Yeo ’07 put the game well out of the reach of UMASS who fell 32 – 0 against a determined Yale team.
Unfortunately Harvard failed to live up their side of the bargain, falling to Westchester State in the consolation semifinals 12-0. Despite the loss, Yale was still in search of victory and came out firing against disciplined Westchester team. Playing a similar style of rugby to Yale’s division II nemesis Coast Guard, Westchester proved no match for Yale. Yale would open the scoring, and despite some mental errors, never let Westchester take the lead. Tries again by Captain Mike Atkins ’04 and flanker Sean Walbridge ’08 sealed the deal, and Yale left the match on top by a score of 19-10.
Yale’s 3-1 record over the course of the tournament won them the consolation bracket and third place overall at the tournament. Despite the disappointing loss the previous day to Northeastern, Yale took solace in knowing that they had again proved their ability to compete successfully in division I competition. In addition, this years Beast of the East tournament allowed several of Yale’s B-side the opportunity to enter the Division II bracket in a team combined with Brown. Several rookies got valuable time, and some seasoned vets got in some B-side time of their own. Despite bowing out of the division II bracket early in the tournament, the Yale B-side showed their constant commitment and dedication to the team in supporting their A-side through the duration of the cup. Yale’s third place finish was as much a tribute to the support of the entire club as it was to Yale’s skill and determination.
Next week Yale looks to finish the year with a win over Princeton on their home pitch. Kick-off is at 2 PM with a Barbeque and the Senior Banquet to follow. As always all alumni and fan support is much appreciated.