Fall 2010 Newsletter
Captain Nick Finger
President Sam Power
YALE 29 - Norwich 22
On Saturday September 30, the Yale Rugby Football Club traveled to Norwich University for the 3rd match of the Fall 2007 season.
Though Yale seemed to be in control of the game from the offset, penalties due to Yale's over-aggressiveness at the defensive breakdown awarded Norwich a line-out close to Yale's try-line, which they capitalized on with an effective rolling maul.
Yale immediately bounced back putting attacking pressure on Norwich in their 22 and won a penalty for their effort. Thomas Kidd '08 converted giving Yale their first points of the match.Throughout the match Yale found gaps in Norwich's defense out wide, but occasionally failed to convert this advantage into points.
Yale's next scoring play came immediately following a darting quick-tap off a penalty, taken by scrumhalf Sean Walbridge '08, that took play just short of Norwich's try-line. With good support from the loose forwards and a quick recycle, the ball was made available allowing it to be spun wide for full-back Taylor Giffen '09 to crash over the try-line. The tight conversion was successfully made by Thomas Kidd '08.
Norwich had by no means given up on the match. A very well placed up-and-under kick allowed the Norwich winger to catch the ball in the air behind Yale's line of defense and run in another try.
The Yale pack put Norwich under a lot of pressure throughout the game, often stealing the ball in the line-out and forcing the Norwich #8 to pick-and-go off their unsteady scrums. On the offensive, the pack set up a good foundation. Yale's second try came from a 5m scrum, after Cameron Maloney '08 was deemed to have been held up in Norwich's try-zone after an aggressive run through their defense. In the subsequent scrum, the Yale pack got forward momentum in the scrum, allowing Sean Walbridge '08 to fake the pass out wide and run it in for the try untouched.
In the second half, Norwich relied on their forward's open play to keep them in the game and managed to score after numerous phases. Once again, Yale gave away too many penalties on defense that cost them field position, and often struggled to get themselves out of their own 22.
However, Yale maintained their superiority in the back-line. Their opening second-half try came when Brian Wayda '09 saw opportunity out wide, finding Pat Madden '10 who beat his opposite man and outpaced the Norwich full-back to the try-line.
A good turnover ball, supported by strong forward moment by the Yale pack, allowed Yale to draw in Norwich's defense and create space of an attacking play. Yale capitalized on this when Taylor Giffen '09 ran in his second try of the match.
The final minutes of the match were intense as Yale tried to hold onto their 7 point lead against Norwich's desperate attacks. However, in the final play of the game, Yale—being in possesion of the ball—decided to keep the ball close in hand and use its forwards to pick-and-drive off the rucks. After gaining 25 meters through forward interplay, Ben Swiss '08 dived over the Norwich try-line, but the referee decided the ball had been knocked-on in the grounding and the final whistle blew without the try being awarded.
Yale was victorious on the day, but knows it has to cut the number of penalties it concedes on defense and turn all of its attacking opportunities into points on offense.
Final Score: Yale 29 - Norwich 22
In B-Side action, Yale dominated as the day saw tries by winger Arturo Zindelmundet '11, and fly-half Sam Cartmell '10, who also converted his own try. Prop Justin Baker '08 is a senior new to the sport of rugby, but didn't take long to mark his first try, taking a short pass from the scrum-half, stiff-arming a defender, sprinting toward the try zone and setting the ball down in the try zone. Norwich was not prepared for the onslaught of the Yale offense, which saw center Matthew LaCasse '10 breaking the line again and again. Late in the game the Norwich side tried to make a comeback, but the final score saw Yale on top by several tries.
Final Score: Yale 22 - Norwich 12
Another senior made an impact in the C-side game, this time as prop Kingsley Desloriex '08 put a ball over the try line after a forward crash to bring the final score of the C-side match to 12-0, in a game where the strength and depth of the 38-man squad that traveled to Vermont was apparent.
Final Score: Yale 12 - Norwich 0