Dartmouth Demolishes Opposition In Ivy Championship

Led by wing Chris Downer’s three tries, Dartmouth College won the 2009 Ivy League Rugby Championship with a 62-13 win over Harvard in the final. Although the Harvard match was a blowout, it was the closest any team came, as Dartmouth outscored its three opponents by the combined tally of 275-13.

By Ed Hagerty © www.eRugbyNews.com NY, NY As one eRugbyNews wag noted, the competition could have been re-titled: “Big Green and the seven door mats.” Prelims To reach the final Dartmouth crushed a coach-less Cornell 112-0, and then annihilated Princeton 101-0 in the semifinal. Harvard defeated Columbia 31-22 in the first round and Yale 31-17 in the semifinal. Final: Dartmouth 62, Harvard 13 Dartmouth wasted little time in its pursuit of the 2009 Ivy League Rugby Championship as lock Anthony Arch touched down in the corner in the second minute, 5-0. Harvard gave a brief hint that they might make a game of it when flyhalf Johnny Miller hit a penalty seven minutes later, 5-3. But Dartmouth then posted 26 unanswered points beginning with Garret Fish’s touchdown in the 11th minute, 10-3. Dartmouth’s flyhalf and Captain Conlan O’Leary scored in the 24th minute on fourth phase ball following a lineout win and fullback Jeff Kolovson converted, 17-3. Four minutes later, Dartmouth center Phil Galligan picked up a blocked kick inside Harvard’s 22 and ran in a try that Kolovson improved, 24-3. Dartmouth wing Chris Downer closed out the half by scoring the first of his three tries, a 70-meter effort that started with a break by Ry Sullivan and ended with Kolovson’s conversion, 31-3.

Second Half The Big Green’s attack was slowed a bit during a second half in which Dartmouth would receive two yellow cards and one red. Harvard showed a bit of life at the restart when flanker Alex Groeneveld scored a second phase try in the 11th minute following a scrum at Dartmouth’s five, 31-8. But Dartmouth would then reel off 26 unanswered points, beginning in the 15th minute with wing Chris Downer’s second try following a feed from Tom Brothers. It was followed five minutes later by a 20 meter, tackle-breaking run by Paul Jarvis, a freshman flanker who played rugby at Greenwich HS. Chris Downer would then collect his third try in the 25th minute. All three were converted by Jeff Kolovson, 52-8. A try in the 29th by Nick Downer, Chris’s twin brother, would extend Dartmouth’s lead to 57-8. Harvard finally got back on the board with a try by center David Rentell in the 34th but Dartmouth would have the final word when Eric Estabrook ended the carnage with a try in the 47th, 62-13.

Dartmouth: Arch T, Fish T, O’Leary T, Galligan T, C Downer 3T, Jarvis T, N Downer T, Estabrook T, Kolovson 6C. Harvard: Miller P, Groeneveld T, Rentell T. Dartmouth Coach Alex Magleby Asked about the very obvious gap that now exists between Dartmouth and the rest of the Ivy League teams, Dartmouth Coach Alex Magleby, a Dartmouth alum and former Eagle 7s player replied: “There’s no systemic difference. Dartmouth grew a lot from our tour to California and competing in this year’s National Collegiate Championship. We have players who look at every day as an opportunity to get better. Our attitude is that we must improve; that is our ethos. As to the 275-13 point differential in their three matches, Magleby by replied: “We continue to build; our guys worked their tails off for the past six months and work does it. It’s the same thing Cal does; our players work hard every day. “We are the smallest Ivy and guys don’t get into Dartmouth based on their rugby prowess, so we focus on things we have. And those things are a strong rugby tradition, enthusiastic students and alums who had great experiences when they were here who contribute to our program.” As to attracting athletes from other sports Magleby said: “There’s a long tradition of rugby attracting crossover athletes from other sports and we get a lot of those guys. They come to rugby because it presents an opportunity for them to remain competitive at the collegiate level.”

Contact: Ed Hagerty
Email: Rugbymag@aol.com