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Dartmouth Wins Ivy Sevens Championship
After its victory in this year’s USA Sevens College Rugby Championship and a perfect run through their Ivy Rugby XVs season, Dartmouth came into Saturday’s Ivy Sevens Championship at the Irish Culture Centre in Canton, MA with no small amount of expectation weighing down upon them. But despite getting the best shot from all their opponents, The Big Green proved more than up to the challenge winning all five of their matches and capturing the championship after a 40-14 win in the final. Yet it wasn’t just the 1st VII who made noise on the day, as the 2nd VII also had a strong showing after being moved up to the Tier I championship after Penn dropped out last minute. Although they had to adjust to the shift on the fly, the team still played very well, advancing out of their group and taking 4th place.
Taken together, the efforts by both sides proved a fitting conclusion to what has been a fantastic fall for Dartmouth. Captain Paul Jarvis ’12 certainly seemed to echo this sentiment in looking over the fall, where Dartmouth’s 1st sides were undefeated in all competitions against Ivy League opponents. “Overall, it was a great way to end the fall season. The transition to 7s is never easy, particularly after a tiring fall 15s season, but all three sides acquitted themselves very well There were some great individual displays, but it was fantastic to see how the sides worked together as a team to string together long tries or play defense.”
The 1st side started off strong in the group play, dispatching Columbia and Cornell to start the morning. After that, they had their first shot at rival Harvard to close out group play. Much like in the final, the Big Green capitalized on several Harvard errors, using an organized defense to spur an aggressive counter-attack opportunities. This strategy set up several long tries, with scores being tallied by Madison Hughes ’12, Justin Ciambella ’13 and Lawrence Anfo-Whyte ’13 in route to the 36-0 win.
In the midst of all this the 2nds were also hard at work. After suffering a loss in their opening match to an organized Brown team, they quickly bounced back for a tight victory over Princeton with a match winning try and conversion on the final whistle. With this done, all they had to was beat Yale to advance to the semifinals. They completed the tasks with ease, beating the Bulldogs 1st team 26-0. Freshmen Wilson Chockley ’15 and Peter Savarese ’15, and sophomore Tyler Moragne ’14 and all scored in the game.
The two Dartmouth sides humorously enough found themselves playing each other in the semifinals based on their finishes in pool play–1st for the 1st VII, 2nd for the 2nd VII. While no one on the field took it easy on their schoolmates, the 1st VII proved superior, winning 31-5. With the result, the 2nd VII were bumped down to the 3rd place game, where they unfortunately lost again to Brown 45-7. There would be no such complications in the final for the 1st VII however, as they once again beat Harvard, this time by a score of 40-14. Hughes led the charge once more, netting four tries. Will Lehmann ’12 and Jarvis also scored in the game.
With the 2nd VII moving up to the Tier I Championship, only one Big Green side was left playing in the Tier II Championship. The 3rd VII played well on the day, beating the 2nd and 3rd sides for Yale, but unfortunately loses to the 2nd sides from Brown and Harvard prevented them form advancing out of their group.
Dartmouth will now begin preparations for the spring portion of the season, which will see them tour Argentina before playing in the Ivy Wildcard 15s tournament in April, where they’ll play for the right to compete in the USA Rugby Division I-AA National Championship.
On June 2nd and 3rd, the Big Green will defend their USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship (CRC) title, once again televised nationally on NBC.
Tickets for the CRC will not go on sale to the general public until January so Dartmouth fans have the exclusive opportunity to purchase tickets early and at a $10 discount off of regular price on all seating levels. Available now at http://usasevenscrc.com/tickets/dartmouth.