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After practicing every day last week, the Harvard rugby team has begun to take definite shape for its game with Cambridge University on Saturday, March 26th. In the early part of the week practice was held indoors in the small Carey cage. But though hampered by lack of space, a lot of valuable ground-work was done. With the beginning of outdoor practice on Thursday, the ruggers were able to put on their cleats and get a real work-out. Contact work started at once, and scrimmages were hold both Thursday and Friday. The Crimson showed generally good tackling and hard running for this early in the season, but a lot remains to be done before the 26th.
Faced with a Cambridge forward pack averaging 200 pounds a man, Harvard has been trying several different combinations in order to get weight in its forward wall. George Clowes is holding down his old place as hooker in the scrum, and Captain Ned Whitney is working out in the position he held last year, beside Clowes in the front row. Henry Miller has been shifted from look, his Varsity place of last spring, to the front row, on the other side of Clowes. Miller, weighing 175 pounds, supplies some of the much needed weight.
In the second row of the scrum, known as the "muscle-men of rugby," Butch Fisher, the "light from Law School," is filling one of the berths at lock, a position he held on the Varsity team two years ago. Fisher, a 200-pounder, gives plenty of push, and it would take a good man to get through or around him. Cabot Briggs, who has played at Oxford, is the other lock at present, with Bill Coleman, a center on the Varsity squad last fall, and 190-pound Dick Nason offering plenty of competition.
Austic Scott has been playing on one of the wings, where he has played on the team for the past two years. Weighing only 160 pounds, Austie is always in the thick of it. Fred Smith, a member of Princeton's rugby team of last spring, is on the other wing so far, fighting it out for the berth with Bob Cummings and Tom Gophart, who held the position a year ago.
Dartmouth Grid Captain
A newcomer to the rapidly increasing squad of over forty-five players is Gordon Bennett, last year's Dartmouth football captain. He has been working out in the third row of the scrum and looks like a good candidate for that position. However, Bob Downes, Varsity guard, is right in there, and there is always the possibility that Cummings and Gephart may be shifted. Neither Bennett or Downes have played rugby before this year, but they are expected to learn fast in the two weeks that remain.
Weight, speed, endurance and previous experience necessarily count in this first game of the season. The Cantabs, at the end of their season, will have all of these. An International match, the game on the 26th in the Stadium will have 45-minute halves! Since there are no time-outs and no substitutions in rugby, the Crimson will have to field fifteen men who are fast, who know the game well, and are able to take it.
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