Suffering noticably from the effects of a somewhat alcoholic Friday night bus ride to Princeton, Harvard's rugby club suffered three decisive losses at the Tigers' hands on Saturday morning.
"We held them pretty well in the first half," co-captain Ned Kuntz said yesterday, "but a lot of us ended up with the dry-heaves in the second. We sort of fell apart after that."
"We paid for Friday night," agreed Kuntz's fellow co-captain Joel McLafferty, "on Saturday morning."
They paid dearly. Three well-coached Princeton teams ran wild over the Crimson, taking the A-team contest, 24-6, the B game, 26-3, and the C game, 18-7. "It was," Kuntz observed, "kind of a rough day."
The Harvard A-team managed to cling within striking range of the Tigers until the contest's last ten minutes. Down 8-0 early in the second half, it capitalized on a try by wing forward Tommy Vann to narrow the margin to 8-4. Dave Wagner followed quickly with a conversion, making it 8-6.
But disaster then struck, as the previous night's events suddenly caught up with the Crimson squad, virtually eliminating its defense. Princeton cashed in for three tries and two conversions in ten minutes. Fortunately for Harvard, the game ended there.
Unfortunately for Harvard, there were two games left to play.
Rugby is played with 15 players to a side and no substitutions. Since Harvard had mustered only 35 players for the weekend, ten of its ailing representatives had to compete in two separate contests.
The Crimson's lack of depth was sorely felt in the B-game, which Princeton dominated throughout. Only a first half penalty kick by fullback Sam Pillsbury staved off a shutout as the Tigers rolled up 26 points.
The C-team turned in the Crimson's best performance of the day, sparked by a spectacular 60-yard breakaway run by freshman Barkley Jones. Wagner, in second game of the day, followed with his second conversion. But Princeton quickly tallied on two fluke plays--helped, a Harvard player said afterwards, by questionable officiating--and put the game out of reach.
The loss left the A-team's record at 2-3. Next week it must face Brown, a perennial rugby powerhouse which enjoys--like Princeton--a relatively large budget and a professional coach.
The following weekend the club will tackle Yale in its last contest of the season.