The luck of the draw, unfavorable winds, a lack of psyche, and maybe even a poor horoscope all combined to sink the Harvard Rugby squad into the mire of defeat at the Ivy League tournament held over the weekend at Brown.
Saturday, the Crimson fell 6-3 to Yale in the morning, then succumbed to Princeton 4-3 in a brutal afternoon match. Only Sunday's forfeit win over Columbia, which placed Harvard seventh in the tourney, kept the ruggers from the ranks of the Ofors.
The past two years Harvard has drawn Dartmouth in the opening round of the tourney and both times the Crimson ruggers were dumped by the Green meanies.
Psyched for another epic battle with the Hanoverians, the city ruggers drew Yale, the perennial league patsies. It was in the bag, right? No sweat, right?
El Wrongo. Early in the first hwlf the blue-striped Yalies pushed across for a try and followed with the conversion to pull ahead 6-0. Facing a strong headwind, the Crimson attack could not counter; the unkind gusts disrupted all passing and kept Harvard out of kicking range.
In the second half, no doubt still astonished by the surprising Bulldogs, the Crimson could not get rolling. It wasn't until the end of the game that Dave Albala's penalty kick, too little, too late, put Harvard on the board.
"We were fundamentally sound," senior wing Richie Sherman said yesterday, "but we had absolutely no psyche, no killer instinct, no umph to push it in."
Banished to the loser's bracket, the Crimson then faced Princeton for their second battle of the day. Normally quite peaceful creatures, the Tigers went wild. Minutes into the game a Nassau nabob trashed one of Harvard's own and the war was on--kick in the shins followed punch in the stomach followed smash in the face. Smarting from its earlier loss to Yale, the Crimson wasn't taking things lightly.
"It was the most vicious match I've ever played in," junior Lou Marczuk said yesterday.
Princeton managed a first-half try but missed the conversion to make it 4-0. Again the wind was against the Cantabridgians and again they failed to score in the first half. And Albala's second-half penalty kick again brought the Crimson close--but this ain't horseshoes.