Dartmouth improved to 4-0 in Ivy League play with a 57-7 away drubbing of Harvard Saturday. The Crimson gave the Big Green their closest scare of the contest last month, a 17-point win for Dartmouth, but the Ivy champs were better this time around, running in nine tries to Harvard’s one.
“It was the first game of the season last time, and it was a little bit of the still getting to know each other stage, and like every team, with everyday you progress and you work on a few things and the plan is to get better and better,” said Dartmouth coach Gavin Hickie.
“We’re going pretty well right now. We’re taking most of the opportunities that are presented to us. Harvard are a big, physical team, and I personally was very worried about today, and it’s kind of hard to measure, but we’re taking our opportunities when they’re presented, and that’s the difference right now.”
All of Dartmouth’s tries were touched down by different players, signaling a balanced attack. But one guy was all over the field, making big plays defensively and at the breakdown – openside flanker Erik Warnquist.
“He has probably been our standout player this year,” said Hickie. “He’s only a sophomore. He’s new to rugby, but he’s a natural-born flanker. He’s an out and out seven.”
Dartmouth now appears to have a stranglehold on another Ivy championship, and the Big Green aren’t making a run at the American Collegiate Rugby Championship this fall. So it may not be until next semester that they’re really pushed.
“You want to be tested every weekend, that’s not to say that we’re not, but right now we’re probably a little bit stronger than a couple of the other teams. Every team’s got their own personal work-ons and we’re the same,” said Hickie of playing in the Ivy.
“For us, it’s a matter about setting goals. I’ve got one eye down the line on Varsity Cup and our spring tour to California. We know we’re playing Cal, and these are the games we’re preparing for now. That’s not taking anything away from the Ivy League. These are our opponents and we respect them and our sole ambition is to beat them, but we know in time there will be some very tough games coming up. We want to compare ourselves against the best rugby programs in the country, and we’re still always striving to grow and develop regardless of who our opposition is.”