Ruggers Nab Boston Area Title
The Harvard Rugby Football Club captured the Boston area Metro Region Championship Saturday at Soldiers Field by defeating Boston College, 20-13, in front of 300 fans.
The victory places the 5-1 Crimson among the top four of eight teams participating in the New England Championships October 24-25 at UMass-Amherst. And a win next weekend against Dartmouth could leave the Crimson seeded as high as first or second.
Although Harvard had to settle for a split on the weekend when it was defeated by nationally ranked Army, 22-0, on Sunday, Crimson coach Martyn Kingston was still happy with the doubleheader's results.
"The weekend was a success," Kingston said. "This year, we go into New Englands as champs of our division instead of as runner-ups, and although we lost to Army, it was important and successful because our guys got to see what a nationally ranked team looks like, and what two games in one weekend are like."
Saturday against B.C., Harvard used the kick to convert four penalty kicks as well as keep the favored Eagles off-balance, kicking the ball to keep the dangerous B.C. backs retreating instead of attacking.
In the game's first minute, senior hooker Vaughn Buffalo bulled into the try zone to put Harvard ahead, 4-0.
After B.C. retaliated with a score five minutes later to tie the game at 4-4, the two teams twice traded penalty kicks.
The Harvard forward pack, continuing its impressive play, pressured the visitors for a long period until 225-pound Deon Strickland lumbered in for the try. A Nathan Koenig penalty kick put Harvard up 17-10 at the half.
With 24 minutes remaining, the Eagles converted a penalty to cut the Harvard lead to four, 17-13, but Koenig converted his fourth penalty kick of the game to give Harvard its 20-13 victory, and the Metro Region Championship.
Closer Than It Looks
Although Army shut out the ruggers, the final score was not indicative of the game's action. Despite playing a weaker side, with seven line-up changes, Harvard held its own in the cold and driving rain, and only trailed 12-0 at the half.
The Crimson "Killer B's"-side (6-1) shut out both B.C. (38-0) and Army (13-0) while the "C"-side drew a 3-3 tie with the Eagles.