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Invigorated by an impressive trouncing of Cornell last weekend, Harvard's rugby team will attempt to bring its season's record to 3-2 this morning when it faces Dartmouth at 11 a. m. at Soldiers Field.
The Crimson will be seeking its third consecutive victory, and Dartmouth will be trying to forget a 21-3 beating at the hands of Brown last week. On paper, Harvard looks superior, but Crimson scrum-half Phil Ordway is wary.
"We never have an easy match with them" he says, "and I wouldn't attach too much significance to their loss to Brown. I'm not sure that the result was representative of either team, or that our match with Brown was that representative either."
Three weeks ago, the Crimson succumbed to a late second-half rally and lost to the Bruins, 9-3, but the adverse playing conditions may have prevented the contest from serving as a true test for either team.
"I wouldn't venture to guess what the result would have been on a dry field," says veteran forward Dave Ritchie, "but I think Brown might have had an edge."
So Dartmouth may deserve a little better reputation than it received after the Brown game, and Harvard perhaps a little less. But the Crimson is not the same team it was when it faced the Bruins, and it would be a mistake to judge it on its early October form.
Since then. Harvard has improved drastically in conditioning, back-field coordination, and forward coverage. It demolished Wesleyan two weeks ago. It crushed Cornell last Saturday. And it has managed to stay relatively injury-free in the process.
"We're expecting a really tough match," Ordway says, "but we think we're moving now."
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