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Harvard's Rugby A Team lost a close game to Dartmouth Saturday, 13-10, in a game played under adverse weather conditions.
The A game was played in a steady rain, and the wet conditions hampered the backs and caused many "knock-ons" because the ball was hard to hold. Knockons, which are accidental forward fumbles, resulted in a high number of scrums Saturday. Scrums determine possession of the ball.
Harvard's B and C teams also lost Saturday, 10-0 and 7-4.
The A game was marred by controversial calls against both teams. "It could have gone either way. A couple of different calls and it would have been another game." Tom McKenna, Harvard's forward and scrum lock, said yesterday.
Harvard's As scored first after about 14 minutes of play on a 15-yard run by Kenny Otto. John Waciuma kicked the two-point conversion to give the Crimson a 6-0 lead.
A steady drive at the end of the first half of play produced Dartmouth's first score. "Their forward play was a little bit quicker than ours." McKenna said. Dartmouth tied the score by kicking the conversion.
Dartmouth opened the second half scoring on a penalty kick after four minutes of play. With the ball on the 25 yard line, Harvard was called for illegal use of hands in a scrum. Dartmouth tallied on the ensuing three-point penalty kick to take a 9-6 lead.
The Big Green widened its lead to 13-6 when it recovered a Harvard fumble on the Crimson's five yard line. With Harvard struggling to move from deep in its own territory. Dartmouth tacklers jarred the ball loose from a Crimson back and recovered in the end zone for the score. The conversion attempt failed.
The Crimson's final tally came with seven minutes left in the game. Captain Alex Wiggin made the try after Harvard had broken away to the two yard line.
Neither team could mount a serious scoring threat in the closing minutes of the game, although both sides moved freely between the 25 yard lines.
"The forward play in the second half was pretty even, but Dartmouth was holding on to the ball better and kicking better," McKenna said.
Harvard faces Old Maroon of New York on Saturday. The A game is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Soldier's Field behind the bubble.
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