Rugby Pulls Away In Second Half to WinBy Peter Lamb and William Kreamer
On Oct. 30, Halloween eve, the MIT Rugby Football Club faced its rival from down river, the Harvard Business School Rugby Football Club, and eventually came away with a 24-10 victory.
Both clubs arrived at the pitch last Saturday with momentum in their favor: MIT was coming off its first win of the season, an assertive 36-0 victory over the Boston Irish Wolfhounds, and HBS arriving after a dominating performance at the Wharton Rugby Tournament.
Harvard tried to take control of the match by opening with a quick score. HBS forwards gained possession of the ball and swiftly passed it out to their backs, catching MIT’s defense off guard, and scored an easy and relatively unchallenged try (similar to a touchdown in American football) to make the score 5-0. Harvard’s kick to convert the try for an extra 2 points, however, missed the posts.
MIT’s man of the match, R. Thibault G, brought the Engineers right back and countered with a try of his own, tying the game at 5 points each. The kick for extra points was taken by Rory F. Monaghan G but just missed left of the posts.
From there on the game turned into a war of attrition, with both teams’ defenses securely entrenched and the respective offenses battling each other over possession. MIT and HBS matched each other move for move, play for play.
The worst injury of the game occurred when William Kreamer SM ’00 entered a tackle and took a boot to the back of the head, opening a gash over his right ear. Although Kreamer was severely injured, he stayed in the game.
Late in the first half, Brian C. Fore G, a winger, broke though the HBS lines to touch down in the far corner and give MIT the lead, 10-5. The conversion kick taken by Frank O’Sullivan G missed, leaving the score at a nail-biting 10-5 in favor of MIT entering halftime.
MIT opened the second half with the momentum in their favor, and continued to display excellent ball control and movement, driving deep into HBS territory. MIT’s efforts eventually lead to a third score by Thibault to make it 15-5. The conversion by O’Sullivan made it 17-5, giving MIT a bit of breathing room and the opportunity to take some chances on offense.
Late in the second half, Harvard made a strong charge to score once again by breaking through MIT’s defense. But the fresh legs of rookie Peter A. Lamb ’08 sealed the match. He displayed impressive speed while teaming up with James Partridge G to score his first try of the season shortly before the end of the game.
MIT showed that they wanted to win this game more. Coach Stephen “Willie” Wilhelm described this tough 24-10 victory as a “beautiful win.”