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An Ill Wind Blows at Amherst; Ruggers Split With Jeffs in Opener

By Keith Salkowski

It must have been the weather. On the heels of a surprising 9-0 victory over the Bermuda All-Stars during spring break, the Harvard rugby club could only split a pair of contests last Saturday with the Amherst Lord Jeffs.

The weather--especially the wind--was an important factor in the games, in which the B team took a 15-4 decision while the A squad lost, 7-3.

In the A game the Crimson got off to an auspicious start. With a brisk breeze at his back, Captain Peter Hilton connected on a penalty kick from 30 yards out to give Harvard a 3-0 lead with only five minutes gone.

But the Crimson failed to capitalize further on their climactic advantage, and the half ended with Harvard possessing a thin 3-0 lead. "That was the key. We should've scored more points with the wind at our backs," Hilton observed.

The Crimson nearly made the slight lead stick, but with seven minutes to go in the game Amherst literally pounced on a crucial Harvard miscue to take the lead. The Cantabrigians won a ruck on their own five-yard line but a Harvard forward fumbled the ball in the endzone and Amherst recovered for the try.

Less than two minutes later the Lord Jeffs made good on a 25-yard penalty kick. Despite some furious last-minute activity, the Crimson could not overcome Amherst's 7-3 lead.

In the B game Harvard started off facing the wind and played Amherst to a scoreless half-time deadlock.

The Lord Jeffs scored a try in the first few minutes of the second period but from there on in it was all Crimson.

John Stafford began the scoring parade by connecting on a free kick from 30 yards. Ten minutes later Xavier Duralde scored a try and Will "Kamikaze" Chang followed with the conversion. Jay Joseph concluded the spree with a 25-yard jaunt into the endzone and Chang again converted.

Next weekend the B and C squads will host contingents from Brown while the A players will attempt to redeem themselves at the Ivy League tournament to be held in Providence.

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