Crimson's Ruggers Trim Green, 10-3; Tupouniua, Wilson, Wise Pace Attack
Harvard's undefeated ruggers rolled over the Green this morning at Soldier's Field, 10-3.
With Harvard down 3-0 in the closing minutes, Crimson-stripers Bear Barnes and Sione Tupouniua blocked a kick near the Dartmouth goal line. Barnes picked up the loose ball and went in to tie the score. Billy Wilson's conversion gave Harvard a 5-3 lead--all the margin it needed for its fourth straight victory this season.
Trying desperately to come back in the closing minutes, the Green gave the Crimson a safety margin on a 3-point penalty try for blocking. Wilson again split the standards to move the Crimson out of range, 10-3.
The two Ivy League rugby rivals played to a scoreless deadlock in the first half. The Green kept the ball on Harvard's half of the field, but time after time the Crimson defense warded off Dartmouth scoring threats. Harvard's Parker Wise--who left a trail of green jerseys wherever he roamed--choked off a Dartmouth sweep with a vicious tackle about 5 yards from pay-dirt.
Dartmouth opened the scoring mid-way through the second half when the Crimson was caught squirting in the scrum. The long penalty kick proved good, and for a time Harvard appeared to be fighting a losing battle against the clock.
Crimson Captain Sione Tupouniua, who twice popped his shoulder on smashing Dartmouth tackles, said after the game that his team was "kind of scared--especially during the first half--because Dartmouth was hitting hard."
Tupouniua and Wise looked anything but scared in leading the Crimson attack throughout the game. Gil Bettman and Paul Buddenhagen shook off their first half jitters to pace the drives. Tobey Champion and Kevin Raferty also starred in the loose.
The overly-aggressive visitors from the North Woods found Tupouniua's Tongan band of genteel rugby particularly confusing. They were equally confused by the big junior's Dartmouth socks and repeatedly passed to his flashing green legs.
Tupouniua led Harvard's post-game victory celebration with Tongan war chants. The Crimson stands 4-0 for the season, including wins over Tufts, Columbia and Cornell.
Harvard's rugby "B" Team defeated Dartmouth with another come-from-behind drive, 6-5.