Fighting off opponents and officials with equal ease, the Harvard Men's Rugby Football club earned a berth in the England Championship finals with its 9-6 victory over Brown in Providence, R.I. yesterday.
The Crimson--which toppled Amherst, 20-6, and the University of Rhode Island, 26-12, Saturday--rebounded from a 6-0 halftime deficit to bull past the Bruins, gaining one of the tourney's final spots. Holy Cross, by beating Boston College, also moved into the final, rescheduled for Wednesday night.
Sloppy weather forced the postponement, as Providence city officials denied the teams access to the municipial fields originally designated for the tournament. All four semifinal teams moved across town to Brown, using university fields for the semifinal matches.
After the conclusion of the penultimate round, however, university officials followed their city counterparts's example, disallowing the late afternoon final--at least on university fields.
Both Harvard and Holy Cross agreed to play Wednesday, once again in Providence, to decide the regional champion. The Crimson has dominated the Crusaders in regular league play for years, so the Brown game was, in all likelihood, the true championship contest.
The Crimson needed only Andy Howard's try early in the second half and two kicks--conversion and penalty--by Rob Santos to triumph over the Bruins by the same 9-6 score that clinched the Ivy title two weeks ago.
It was with a taste of "disappointment" and "frustration" that the Radcliffe Rugby Football Club returned home on Saturday. Radcliffe narrowly missed capturing the Ivy League Tournament Championship, falling to Dartmouth, 6-4, in the finals.
Radcliffe paid for its last-place finish in the tournament last year, having to play its two preliminary games at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m., leaving it less than an hour to rest for the finals.
"The tiredness factor really affected our game," Co-Captain Iris Tong said. "It's unfortunate that scheduling was able to play a factor.
The team looked anything but tired in the first game, thrashing Pennsylvania, 24-0. After the Quakers, Radcliffe faced two-time defending champion Princeton, playing the Tigers to a 4-4 tie.
"Going into the tournament we thought, beside us, that Princeton was the strongest team," Tong said. "It was a well-matched, good game.
Flanker Claudine Moreno put the Black and White on the scoreboard in that game when she blocked a kick and carried the ball in for a score.
Radcliffe advanced to the finals against Dartmouth despite the tie by virtue of the fact that it had scored more points in its first game. Princeton had beaten Penn, 11-0. Dartmouth advanced to the finals with wins over Brown and Cornell Saturday morning.
The better rested Big Green squad downed Radcliffe, 6-4, winning by only a conversion.