Fall 2010 Newsletter
Captain Nick Finger
President Sam Power
YALE 18 - UCONN 12[More Images]
This past weekend, Yale traveled north to UCONN for a rematch of their fall encounters. After having once lost to UCONN in September, Yale took victory in November. Saturday’s match would prove the season decider, and both sides were visible fired up. Yale would not hesitate to take control of this sloppy game to come away with an 18-12 victory.
Playing in cool conditions, Yale started on the offensive. After receiving the kick-off Yale was able to drive UCONN back deep within their own territory. Persistent pressure was to prove fruitful when UCONN conceded a penalty right in front of their posts. Flyhalf Rob Smith ’06 would convert the penalty into points giving Yale the 3-0 lead.
After the restart Yale continued to apply pressure. Quick ball from ferocious rucking put Yale on the front foot and would eventually result in a try in the corner. Strong linking between the outside backs provided space on the outside for fullback Sam Beutler ’07 to put away winger Henry Cook ’06. The missed conversion meant Yale held an 8-0 lead.
As the half wore on, however, UCONN began to take the initiative and kept Yale on the back foot. Good ball retention and strong running wore down Yale’s tacklers. Starved of any possession themselves, Yale spent the last fifteen minutes of the first half deep in their own territory. After two outstanding defensive stands by Yale, UCONN was able to rumble over for a try in the corner. The score meant Yale went into the half with an 8-5 lead.
The second half started off as the first had ended. UCONN again was able to dominate possession and would again convert it into a score – this time in front of the posts. The score was converted and Yale found themselves down 12-8 for the first time.
Yale was not to be disheartened. Fighting back through leadership from prop Sherman Wang ’07 Yale was again able to take the initiative. Maintaining possession well and pinning UCONN deep in their own half was to result in another penalty in front of the posts. Again the kick was successful and Yale narrowed the gap to 11-12.
Sensing they were taking the upper hand, Yale kept up the pressure. Despite poor handling as the game wore on, Yale was able to string together phases of good interlinking back play. The end result would be a try from fullback Sam Beutler ’07 under the posts. The conversion was good, and Yale took a 18-12 lead which would be the final score of the game.
The game was not pretty. Too many mistakes were made going into contact, and ball handling was nothing to write home about. Nevertheless, Yale showed the same heart they had in Argentina and were able to grind out a deserving victory.
The b-side game proved an excellent display of rugby. Not making the same mistakes the a-side made, the club was able to amass 39 points against the same UCONN side that had defeated Yale’s b-side in the fall. Strong play from rookies and veterans made the difference. Excellent running from Teddy Bunzel ’08 and Thomas Kidd ’08 showed the depth and talent Yale has to offer. Not only did Yale put up a number of scores, the defense was superb, shutting out a much big and more physical UCONN team. Every member of the b-squad was deserving of credit and showed their a-side counterparts that their positions are not set in stone. Such depth only shows the direction the entire program is heading.
Next week, Yale hosts Middlebury at home for their senior game. Kickoff will be at 1:00 PM. All alumni and friends are encouraged to attend to send off our seniors. The game will also prove a good test of strength for Yale ahead of the Ivy Tournament.