Dartmouth Rugby’s Summer 7s side took the field for the first time in the Men’s Open Division of the New Haven 7s Tournament on July 16th and walked away withthe plate championship.
After a few weeks for the ‘13s to settle into their sophomore summer term, Dartmouth Rugby’s Summer 7s side took the field for the first time in the Men’s Open Division of the New Haven 7s Tournament in Cheshire, Connecticut, on July 16th. While the team was not able to win the whole thing, they did walk away with the plate championship, and, more importantly, all 15 players were able to get some well-earned playing time to help develop their skills for the 2011-2012 Ivy Rugby season.
The Big Green opened the tournament against Middlesex (Massachusetts) Barbarians. The match remained scoreless early on, until Christian Fisch ’13 managed to open things up with a try. After a successful conversion form Owen Scannell ’13, Dartmouth took a 7-0 lead. Fisch would help set up another score a few minutes later as his offload sprung Chris MacNaughton ’13 for a 60-meter run to the try zone and a 14-0 lead. A Middlesex try from a turnover by Dartmouth deep in its own end after halftime temporarily made things a bit more interesting, but ultimately Mike Burbank’13 would add a final, backbreaking try to secure the 21-5 victory.
In their next match, the Big Green would face Greenwich, starting an entirely different line-up from the Middlesex victory. The team would struggle much more in this game, giving up a try early on. Despite their best attempts to answer back, the Greenwich defense stifled them every time. Greenwich would get one more try before fulltime, ensuring the victory.
As a result of the defeat, Dartmouth was knocked down to the Plate division of the elimination round. The sting of the defeat appeared to have a negative impact on the team’s performance, as they gave up two tries early in their next match against Fairfield. They would begin to respond before halftime, as Simon Greenberg ’13 would go in for a try. On the ensuing kickoff they would falter again though, letting up a score to go down 19-7. But the team would cut the deficit down to a single point in the second half after Burbank caught the ball from a restart and motored into the try zone. After that, they would go on to complete the comeback when converted soccer player Justin Ciambella ’13 scored late in the match, giving the Dartmouth sophomores a 21-19 lead that they would hold onto until the end.
In the plate final, The Big Green faced off against the Connecticut Yankees. Again, they surrendered two quick tries to put themselves in an early hole. Just like last the previous match, however, they rallied with a try right before the half. Things would get heated in the second half, peaking with the opposing side having a player sent off due to a red card. Visibly fired up, the team replied with a try to tie the score at 12. The deadlock wouldn’t be broken until the end of the match as MacNaughton offloaded to Ciambella for the winning score as time expired, in turn earning The Big Green the plate championship.
All in all, the tournament stood as a good first test for a group of rising juniors that hasn’t had much experience playing together. The Big Green will look to build off their performance when they enter two teams into the Dartmouth 7s Tournament July 30th at Brophy Field.
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