Fall 2010 Newsletter
Captain Nick Finger
President Sam Power
Yale Places Fourth in 2009 Ivy League Rugby Tournament
On April 25th and 26th, 2009, the men of Yale participated in the final Ivy League Rugby Tournament. The Bulldogs hoped to post a good finish at the tournament to provide momentum heading into next fall's inaugural Ivy League Rugby Football Union season.
Saturday's games were hosted by Yale at New Haven's home facilities. Thanks to support from the Yale Club Sports and Facilities offices, as well as alum Ralph Bosch, Yale was able to erect a second set of posts and to provide two fields for play. Hosting proved to be an unequivocal success for Yale. The New England Referee's Society (with some help from the Met New York Referee's Society) was gracious enough to provide referee's at short notice, and the games went off without a hitch.
Game 1: Brown
Yale kicked off the tournament against perennial rival Brown, anxious to avenge their upset loss in last year's tournament. Yale came out firing and set the tempo with physical play early in the match. Yale scored the first points of the match via an Evan Edwards '09 linebreak to take the score to 7-0. Brown was not about to lay down, however, and retorted with a penalty goal to bring the score to 7-3. Yale slotted two more penalty goals to bring the count to 13-3, and captain Patrick Madden '10 intercepted an ill-advised Brown pass and took it the distance to put Yale ahead for good, 18-3. Brown was able to put in a last-gasp try to bring the count to 18-8, but could muster no other response. The forwards rucked hard, tackled aggressively, and dominated the set pieces while the backs were able to find space and cut up the inferior Brown backline. A full team effort sealed the Yale victory.Final Score: Yale 18 - Brown 8
Game 2: Harvard
After beating Brown in the first round, Yale found itself matched against archrival Harvard in the semifinals. The Yale seniors were understandably eager to end their final matchup against Harvard with a win. Harvard started off the scoring with a try in the corner, utilizing their size advantage in the forwards to maul in a 5 meter lineout, bringing the score to 5-0. Yale quickly answered back with their speed advantage, as wing Matt Lacasse '10 beat his opposite number to the corner, sped into the try zone, and centered the ball to give Evan Edwards '09 an easy conversion to bring the score to 7-0. At this point in the match, however, Yale's aggresiveness and passion may have been their greatest enemy. A series of silly penalties and poor tactical decisions allowed Harvard to open up a 24-7 lead going into the half.
Not content to let Harvard run away with the match, Yale played perhaps its best rugby of the season in the second half. The men of Yale began taking over every phase of play, terrorizing Harvard's lineout, applying relentless pressure on defense, and running hard in the backline. Yale played a majority of the half on the front foot, always seemingly one pass away from a sure try, until conceding a freak try and conversion midway through the half. After answering back with a penalty goal, flanker Philip Constantinou '11 slotted into the backline, took a short pass and refused to be denied, scampering 35 meters on a brilliant run that displayed both speed and power. Yale converted the try to bring the count to 31-17. However, with the tournament's shortened half structure (30 minutes instead of the usual 40), the men in blue simply ran out of time in the match. The many near-miss tries left the Bulldogs wondering what could have been, but in the end they were unable to overcome their old foe Harvard.Final Score: Yale 17 - Harvard 31
Yale took the pitch at Columbia's Baker Field, a pristine field turf facility, looking to send their seniors off with a win against Princeton. Unfortunately, a slow start once again sealed Yale's fate. High tackling, poor defensive pressure, mishandled kicks and other general tactical errors saw Princeton jump on Yale early, leading 24-0 at half. Once again, Yale surged back in the second half. The second half scoring was opened by flanker Philip Constantinou. Yale began applying relentless defensive pressure, and lock Tim Shriver '11 was able to use his height and leaping ability to charge down a kick from the Princeton flyhalf. Phil was in perfect position to scoop up the blocked kick and rumbled the extra 20 meter to touch it down between the post. A brief lapse in concentration (and some questionable refereeing) allowed Princeton to score another try, but the men of Yale still would not quit. Flyhalf Evan Edwards '09 capped off his storied Yale career by dummying his opposite man and bulling through the Princeton line to touch down (and convert) a try at the death. Despite the outcome, the men of Yale battled hard and certainly sent their seniors out on an effort they could be proud of. The Yale underclassmen will certainly have this match fresh in their minds when they open the Ivy League season at Princeton in September.Final Score: Yale 14 - Princeton 32