After nearly a month of pre-season training, Dartmouth Rugby finally began its fall season in earnest with the opening of the Ivy Rugby 15s season. The first weekend of conference play saw the Big Green make a road swing through New York to take on Cornell and Columbia, and as has been the case in the past, they made easy work of their less experienced opponents.
The team kicked things off Saturday afternoon in Ithaca, where they beat the overmatched Big Red 97-3. They followed it up with another rout the next day, as they defeated the Lions 64-0 in New York City. On the weekend as a whole, The Big Green beat their opponents by a 161-3 margin.
“Columbia and Cornell were young sides, so it’s tough to get a measure of where we are,” noted head coach Alex Magleby ’00. “Was the linebreak created because we had superior footwork skills based on a week of effective work? Or because the defense was a step slow? There are some obvious areas we improved on over the week, but some areas a more experienced side, like an Army, would have exploited, so we have to decipher which are the false-positives.”
As might be expected, Dartmouth had a hot start in their match against Cornell. Aided by tries from fullback Madison Hughes ’15, lock Nate Brakeley ’12, and a pair from wing Kevin Clark ’14, The Big Green jumped out to a 26-0 lead within the first ten minutes, as they were able to go-forward in virtual all of the contact exchanges. The fast start was impressive considering the team only had time for a limited warm-up after the long bus ride in from Hanover.
They would continue to add on the points for the remainder of the half, heading into the break with a 66-3 lead. From there, Coach Magleby took out his allowed 7 starters, letting the reserve bench get some extended playing time. Although they were in no real danger of surrendering the lead, the substitutes still performed admirably on the way to closing out the 97-3 win. The 2nd XV followed suit in a shortened match, shutting out the Big Red B-side 37-0.
The only major difference for the Big Green the next day against Columbia would be the lack of a rush to get to the field on time. Once again, Clark and Hughes would wreak havoc in the early minutes, with each of them putting in a try stemming from handy catch-pass work from the Big Green interior backs. Their counterpart in the back three, wing and soccer-convert Justin Ciambella ‘13 would soon get in the act as well with a score of his own after a deft pass from co-captain and flyhalf Will Lehmann ’12, to increase the lead to 19-0. Hughes and Clark would each score another to put The Big Green up 31-0 going into half. In the second forty minutes, Lehmann, center Michael Burbank ’13, and wing Christian Fisch ’13 would also score off of quality continuity from the forwards on the way to the 64-0 final.
Dartmouth Rugby will open the home part of their Ivy League schedule Saturday, Oct. 1st when they take on Yale at 11 am at Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse. The game will kick off a historic day for Dartmouth Sports culminating in the first night home football game in school history against Penn. The Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse is located at 9 Reservoir Road in Hanover, 1.8 miles north of the Hanover Inn, off of Lyme Road. Directions can be found here:
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