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Only a few fans watched, the field was muddy and the wind was cold, but the Harvard and Amherst rugby teams plodded valiantly up and down the field today in a vicious and sloppy battle. The fact that Harvard upset the Jeffs 3 to 0 on a second-half penalty kick tells little of a contest in which both teams played below their best.
The Crimson, going into the game with a 2-2-2 record, was rated as underdog to Amherst, which won the Eastern rugby union championship last year. Four Crimson ruggers were out of the game, including Dick Shulman, Harvard Rugby Club president, who is ill with hepatitis.
But Amherst, a team composed primary of football players, had not played a game this season, and the Jeffs' lack of finesse was apparent throughout the game: their inexperience was the key to the Crimson victory. Four times in the second half, Jeff fouls gave Harvard penalty kicks. Three times the kicks fell short, but with about 15 minutes remaining in the second half, Richard Carey, playing scrum half, eased a beatutiful 30-yard kick over the goal posts for the winning point.
Amherst desperately tried for the tying score, and with four minutes remaining in the game, the Jeffs only break-away of the second half gave them a line-out on about the five yard line. But the Crimson stole a loose ball and was able to kick out, preventing an Amherst score.
Harvard's strongest play was in the scrum, where the forwards cleared the ball well and stemmed several Amherst drives in the waning moments. The Crimson's Jerry Pick, the star of last week's victory over the New York Rugby Club, again played an outstanding game at second row forward.
The Amherst game was preceded by a preliminary contest matching the Crimson second fifteen against the Boston Rugby Club. Boston had tied the Crimson first team earlier in the season, and was clearly superior to the more inexperienced second-stringers. Boston eventually won, 14 to 0.
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