Fall 2010 Newsletter
Captain Nick Finger
President Sam Power
Poor Conditions Dictate Play at Cherry Blossoms
Yale traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in the annual Cherry Blossoms Tournament. The Elis were optimistic about their chances in the tournament, hoping to defend their crown after winning the tournament last year. However, poor field conditions, especially on the second day of the tournament, hampered Yale's style of play and kept the boys from defending their crown.
Game 1: Indiana (PA)
On Saturday morning, Yale opened the tournament against the men of Indiana University in Pennsylvania. Despite possessing a considerable size advantage over the Yale side, the Indiana University squad could not handle the Bulldog's dynamic backline and active forwards, who cut up their opponents to the tune of 36 points in a tournament-length 40 minute game. Additionally, the Yale defense was stout, tackling their opponents back with aggression and, other than a mental lapse which resulted in a penalty for the opposition, shut out their foes. Wing Taylor Giffen '09 was particularly effective in this contest, scoring two lengthy tries and kicking well throughout. Yale breezed to a 34-3 win.
Game 2: Georgetown
Saturday afternoon, Yale met a fiercer challenge in the squad from Georgetown University. The Hoyas played solid, efficient rugby throughout the shortened half, and Yale appeared to come in slightly overconfident after their commanding win in the previous game. The game was largely a defensive struggle, with Yale conceding just 6 points on two silly penalties, showing their considerable youth. With center and placekicker Tom Kidd '08 going down early in the game after aggravating a previous hamstring injury, Yale was unable to convert center Patrick Madden '10's brilliant interception-turned-try, and fell to the Hoyas 6-5.
Game 3: Mary Washington
Yale began play on Sunday by turning in another dominating performance against Mary Washington. The Bulldogs awoke Sunday morning to torrential downpours in the nation's capitol, and by the time they arrived to the pitch mid-calf deep puddles of rain and mud had collected on the pitch, severely hampering Yale's back-oriented attack. Despite the inclement conditions, Yale played with intensity and pulled out a 19-3 win.
Game 4: James Madison
Yale's 2008 Cherry Blossom tournament came to a disappointing end against James Madison on Sunday afternoon. After the morning's game against Mary Washington, the local weather only got worse, with the pitch resembling a swamp by the match's kickoff. The James Madison squad featured a large, bruising pack whose style was well suited to the extremely poor conditions, which made passes of more than a meter or so nearly impossible. Although the Yale squad played hard, they failed to adjust their play to the conditions, attempting to swing the ball wide and committing many knock ons. Additionally, several foolish penalties once again resulted in James Madison points. Although Yale eventually adjusted to the conditions, getting the ball to their forwards, it proved to be too little too late. Despite not allowing a try the entire match (and for that matter, the entire tournament),Yale fell to James Madison and was eliminated from the tournament.
Despite not defending their crown at Cherry Blossoms, the Yale squad has to be pleased with its smothering defense and solid overall play. Man of the tournament honors were given to prop Michael Horrell '10, who scored three tries over the weekend in addition to dominating in the loose.