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Rugby Crushes Harvard Business

By Eric Oliver
Team Member

On Saturday, the men's rugby team took on league rival Harvard Business School on Briggs Field. Dominating almost every aspect of the game, the Engineers fought to a 53-10 win.

MIT drew first blood less than five minutes into the match. Following an illegal high tackle on Matthew Cutler '95 four yards away from the end zone, injuring his collarbone and removing him from the game, MIT scored on a penalty play in which Ben Paul G plowed through the Harvard defense.

The conversion kick was good, and MIT led 7-0. Soon later, Harvard was being pushed back deep in it's zone and tried to kick out. The kick was blocked by Jaco de Plassis G and the ball took one bounce and landed right back in Jaco's hands, and he sprinted in for the second try. The kick made the score 14-0.

For the rest of the half the frustrated Harvard squad tried to drive into MIT territory, only to have field position returned to the Harvard end by long kicks or crashing runs. Two more tries by Paul and one more by de Plassis, along with two successful conversion kicks and one penalty kick, gave MIT a 29-0 halftime lead.

The goal for the second half was to keep the ball in with the forwards, which would allow them to pound the ball into the weakening Harvard defense. The strategy worked, as Paul scored his fourth try of the game, and his third off a penalty play.

The Crimson, down 36-0, mounted a small comeback, scoring a try and penalty kick, but the Engineers came back on a well executed play by the backs which had Downtown Warren Brown G feeding Rajesh Anandan '95, who scored untouched on a 10 yard run. Following another MIT successful penalty kick, the final score was tallied when a goal line stand by Harvard was overmatched by a thrust from the forwards, and the final score stood 53-10.

The B side, playing inspired rugby against a team of mainly A side players, pounded Harvard for a 10-0 victory. Possession see-sawed for the first several minutes, until a beautiful passing play by the backs deep in Harvard territory led to a pass from Justin to fullback Eric Oliver G.

Oliver cut between two defenders and faked another on the way to a 10 yard scoring run. Oliver's conversion kick bounced off the left upright and MIT led 5-0. The forwards took over for the rest of the half, pushing the Harvard line and keeping possession of the ball as the first half ended.

During the second half the MIT squad became more physical as the Crimson became more frustrated. MIT scored again on another feed from Justin to Oliver and MIT led 10-0. This turned out to be the last play of the match, as an altercation between the frustrated Harvard side and the fired up MIT side caused the referee to end the game.