After going undefeated during their Ivy Rugby regular season in the fall, Dartmouth Rugby quickly returned to form in the semifinals of the Ivy Wildcard tournament Saturday in Princeton, NJ. The tournament, which will determine who represents the conference in the upcoming national Division I-AA playoffs, began for The Big Green with a matchup against Harvard. While the regular-season champs struggled a bit early on, they ultimately rose to the challenge from The Crimson and earned a convincing 51-7 win.
Captain and No. 8 Paul Jarvis seemed pleased with the team’s effort after the game. "The boys did well to adapt after a poor start. There were multiple dropped balls and missed opportunities, but our defense and territory control started to pay dividends and we were able to dictate the flow of the game."
Dartmouth was unable to take control early, as they made several mistakes that prevented them from putting up points. After several near misses, freshman fullback Madison Hughes finally broke open the scoring to give The Big Green a 5-0 lead. Lock Dylan Jones would be the next to notch a try, busting through several tackles to extend to lead to 12-0 after a successful Hughes conversion.
Harvard didn’t let this opening flurry go unanswered, as they turned several minutes of positive play into a try of their own to cut the lead to 12-7. Yet just when it seemed The Crimson was ready to make a game of it, Dartmouth started pulling away again, this time permanently. Jarvis opened the assault, running through several tackles to make it 19-7. He would add another try on one of the last plays of the 1st half to bring the score to 24-7 at the break.
The rate of scoring would accelerate as the 2nd half began. Prop Lawrence Anfo-Whyte would be the score first to score, motoring in from over 40 meters out to make the lead 31-7 after Hughes successfully made the subsequent conversion. Only a few minutes later, the fullback would score his 2nd try of the day, making an electric run from deep inside Dartmouth’s half to increase the advantage to 36-7. Finally Jarvis would score his 3rd try for the hat trick, making the score 43-7 and putting the game out of question. The Big Green would go on to win 51-7.
With the win, Dartmouth advances to tomorrow’s final. They’ll take on the hometown Princeton Tigers, who won a nail-biter against Brown 22-20 in the other semifinal. The game will kick off at noon.