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Before last Saturday, Harvard had not beaten Dartmouth in rugby in four years. They still haven't. The Big Green swept the weekend series, edging the A team, 10-6, and dominating the B and C squads, 14-0 and 12-0, respectively.
Harvard's brightest hopes to break Dartmouth's domination lay at the A level, but a knee injury to Crimson co-captain Bob Wilsterman early in the game dimmed those hopes.
Co-captain Pete Hilton called the loss of Wilsterman "the key play of the game" because when the four-year A teamer was carried off the field Harvard lost their best forward, and had to move Carl Esterhay to prop and bring up B teamer Paul Robbins to play wing-forward.
Dartmouth drew first blood with ten minutes gone in the first half, when Big Green forwards blocked a Sal D'Agostino kick at Harvard's five-yard line and recovered the ball in the endzone for the try. The conversion was good and Harvard fell behind, 6-0.
The Big Green definately dominated the first half. "They were just a little bit hungrier than we were," Hilton said. "We were playing defensively."
Dartmouth upped its lead with five minutes gone in the second period. The Green won a loose scrum, and a quick pass across the field resulted in a four-on-three situation to Dartmouth's advantage. Harvard's Mark Anderson made a diving tackle at the goal line, knocking the ball loose, but the referee ruled it a try.
The conversion failed, leaving the Hanoverians with a 10-0 lead.
Following this, the second and final Dartmouth tally, the Crimson began "carrying all the play," Hilton said. The junior co-captain said that for the remainder of the game Geoff Bermen won "almost all" the line-outs, while Mike Faust and John Williams dominated the loose play.
Despite their new-found aggressiveness, Harvard could not crack Dartmouth's defense. The Crimson garnered their only points with two penalty kicks.
Midway through the second half a Big Green back was called for an off-side infraction on a set scrum at the Harvard 25-yard line. Hilton made good on the kick, giving the Crimson three points.
With five minutes to play Dartmouth was again penalized for being off-side, this time for failing to retreat on a free kick. Hilton converted from 30 yards out, closing the gap to 10-6.
Harvard kept the pressure on for the remaining minutes but could not break through for the try.
Dartmouth's B and C teams defeated their Crimson opponents even more decisively.
In the B game the Green scored half way through the first period when they blocked a free kick and recovered the ball in the endzone for the try.
Dartmouth thoroughly dominated play in the second half, scoring early and then late in the period. Only outstanding defensive efforts by Jay Joseph and Sid Anderson kept the final margin to a respectable 14-0.
Harvard's C team had never competed together before their game against Dartmouth and it showed, as the Big Green easily took advantage of the Crimson's disorganized play.
Dartmouth tallied in the first half on a blocked kick and a 25-yard run, and in the this week there were no excuses. In the The Greenies missed all their conversions, but still came away with a 12-0 decision.
Coupled with last weekend's loss to Cornell, the shelacking administered by Dartmouth evened the ruggers' record at 2-2.
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