Fall 2010 Newsletter
Captain Nick Finger
President Sam Power
Yale Unable to Hold Lead Against Harvard
Saturday's weather was great for our first true home game, as the "home" game against Army was played on the New Haven Boulevard pitch. From the kickoff, Yale started off very well. After about 10 minutes of back and forth play, Harvard was able to pound the ball into Yale's zone. Yale was able to steal the ball from Harvard on its own 10 meter, only to turn it back over to Harvard with a poor decision to pass under duress deep in our zone. Two phases later, Harvard punched in a try to go ahead 5-0. For the rest of the first half, Yale dominated in almost all phases of the game. On three separate occasions, Yale put together excellent multi-phase possessions with mixed forward and back play, but all the hard work disappointingly ended in turnovers and costly mistakes. Finally, flyhalf Evan Edwards '09 was able to slot a 25 meter drop goal during Yale advantage to tighten the score to 5-3.
Five minutes into the second half, Yale was able to secure a lineout on Harvard's 22-meter line. Hooker James Pollack '09 made an excellent throw to back rower Tim Shriver '11. Off the throw, the backs were able to move the ball forward and wide. Pollack was able to get across the field, catch a great support pass from center Garrett Spitzer '09 and then put fullback Sam Cartmell '10 into space to score a try. The conversion was missed, and score became 8-5 Yale. At this point in the game, thing were going well for Yale, again gaining advantage in all phases in the game. Harvard was clearly on the ropes. At about the 15 minute mark, when Yale should have been putting relentless pressure on a downtrodden Harvard side, we fell asleep. A Yale player was sin binned, and we were now playing short. Harvard took advantage of a few costly penalties and tactical errors by Yale and was able to score a converted try to bring the score to 12-8 Harvard. Then a huge mental error in the line out, in which Yale lost their throw due to a delay of game, allowed Harvard to take possession and after a few missed tackles and poor defense, Harvard was able to score another converted try to make it 19-8 Harvard. Again, Yale made some costly mistakes and gave up a penalty in front of the posts which cost us another 3 points (22-8 Harvard). In the last 10 minutes, Yale applied tremendous pressure, pounding the ball inside Harvard's 22, but good defense by Harvard followed by bad decisions kept Yale out of the try zone. Final Score: 22-8 Harvard. Two players stood out for Yale: tight head prop Mike Horrell '10 and second rower Andrew Moir '10.
We did not lose the physical play or the skill play; we lost the game because we did not play smart nor make consistently good decisions. This game was Yale's to win, and we were able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
The match was phenomenal. I was unable to take notes because I was refereeing the match, but here are some of the highlights. The game featured good attacking play in the backs, led by Arturo Zindel '11 at flyhalf. He continued to mix great tactical kicking and good ball movement to keep the Harvard backline on it heels most of the game. The young forwards did a good job in the sets and and a great job in the loose. Two players really stood out in the forwards: flanker and second row Andrew Detty '09 (the man of the match) and newly-coverted number 8 Ross Brendel '11. Brendel was able to make some great runs off the back of the scrum and help relieve pressure off the scrumhalf. The B-side is now playing well as a unit and we continue to make great strides every week. Final score: Yale 37- Harvard 5.