Dartmouth Rugby took their first step in defending their 2011 USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship by going 3-0 in pool play in the 2012 CRC, securing the #1 seed out of Pool B and a place in the quarterfinals. Dartmouth now moves on to face a University of Wisconsin team that took the #2 seed coming out of Pool A in tomorrow morning’s quarterfinal matchup. If the Big Green are victorious, semi-finals matches will be televised Sunday on NBC Sports between 2-4PM and the finals will be shown on NBC from 4-6PM. In all 3 games today, Dartmouth was able to dominate the competition with suffocating and disciplined defense and efficient offensives possessions.
In their first matchup of the day against the Blue Hens of the University of Delaware, the Big Green got off to a fast start with a quick try from Madison Hughes ’15. Team captain Paul Jarvis ‘12 followed with two tries of his own to send Dartmouth into the locker room with a 19-0 lead. Dartmouth added two more tries in the second half from Hughes and Kevin Clark ’14, while only conceding one to Delaware to wrap up the match 31-5. Derek Fish ’12 completed the match 3-5 on conversions.
Dartmouth next faced off against a tough University of Maryland squad, who were poised to make a run at the defending champs with their elite speed outside. But Dartmouth once again got off to a quick start, with co-captain Derek Fish ’13 touching down in the corner on their first possession for a quick try. Maryland answered with a try of their own, forcing a turnover and scoring on a well-executed counter to take the lead 7-5. The Big Green responded with two more ties from Jarvis and Clark, to make the score 19-7 at the half. The second half was all Dartmouth, securing tries from co-captain Will Lehmann ’12 off a steal from fellow co-captain Nate Brakeley ’12 and Jarvis after a brilliant set-up from Hughes. Fish again went 3-5 on conversion and the Big Green took the victory with a final score of 31-7.
In the Big Green’s nationally televised afternoon tilt, they took on a physical University of Florida team who would initially cause Dartmouth some difficulty with their dominant possession at the start of the first half. But when the Big Green finally gained consistent possession, they took it to the Gators with two quick tries at the end of the half from Madison Hughes on a 50 meter line break and Will Mueller ’12, put away by Lehmann just before time expired giving the Big Green a 14-0 lead. The second half resulted in more pressure from Florida, yet the Dartmouth stood strong and responded with two tries off long runs from Hughes and Clark to close out the game 28-0. Fish was a perfect 4-4 on conversions.
With these victories, Dartmouth Rugby moves on to the single elimination portion of the tournament tomorrow, beginning with a showdown against Pool B runners-up Wisconsin. Be sure to check out the semifinal action on NBC Sports from 2-4PM and the final on NBC from 4- 6PM.
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