With just one week of practice remaining before the game with Cambridge University on Saturday, March 26th, the Harvard Rugby team is rounding into top form. Regular scrimmages were held on Monday, Tuesday and Friday of this week, and the team showed great improvement. Competition is keen, and the full-time practice game scheduled for this afternoon is expected to be a close, exciting struggle.
Outdoor Practice Helps Speed
With outdoor practices the backs have been able to develop the speed and hard, running with which they hope to surprise the Cantab ball-carriers. Lining up in the scrum-half position is scrappy Al Osgood who was on the Princeton team of last spring. Playing in the backfield for the first time, Osgood is working out well and is showing plenty of fight, together with a fast "dive pass" to his inside backs. Behind him at stand-off, Harry Goff from Stanford has been turning in some fast, tricky running which has given him the edge so far over John Profit from Bermuda.
Kennedy, Constable Regulars
Holding down the center three-quarter positions in the back line are Joe Kennedy and Pepper Constable. Kennedy, Varsity end this fall, was on the rugby team two years ago and is back in his old berth this season.
A hard runner and good defense man, he is expected to give the Britishers plenty to worry about. Constable's speed and shifty open-field running show to advantage in rugby, where no blocking is allowed. A hard tackler, as those who played football against Princeton last year will remember, he is also one of the best punters on the field.
Harvard will probably also rely on him to kick the extra points, and the Cantabs will have their hands full trying to keep him from crossing the line.
On the wings so far are Bill Watt of last year's Varsity football team, and Gerry Desmond from California. Both of these men held the same positions on the team last spring, but they are being pushed hard for their places by Art Oakes and "Five Yards" Mike Cohen, line-plunger extraordinary.
Watt, weighing 180 pounds, runs very low and hard, and it takes a smashing tackle to bring him down. Desmond is not quite so heavy but makes up for it by his speed and tricky running. Cohen and Oakes are both developing rapidly and may yet get the call.
Fullback Berth Open
The fullback position is still wide open. Hans Carstein did a good job in this place on last year's team, but this spring Gav Hadden has been turning in some vicious tackling which may put him on the final fifteen.
Ed Barnes and Henry Kidder, Varsity wrestlers, are also potential fullbacks and may be tried out in the practice game this afternoon.
Among the forwards several new combinations have been used. Pete Knapp, J.V. football captain and member of the Rugby team last year, is back in his old position in the front row of the scrum; and Tom Gephart, a regular last spring, is playing wing forward.
With plenty of material to choose from, Harvard is confidently looking forward to its clash with Cambridge, who will arrive in Boston on the 25th, staying at the Harvard Club over the weekend.