1970: Crimson Ruggers Chase Ivy Title
The battle of the undefeateds will determine the Ivy League rugby championship here Saturday as the Harvard A team puts its unmarred 6-0 record on the line against an impressive Brown fifteen with a 7-0 season mark.
Published On Thursday, November 12, 1970 in the Harvard Crimson "There's no reason why we can't beat Brown," commented squad co-captain Phil Ordway, "if we're mentally and physically ready. And we will be." Harvard has created one of the nation's leading defensive records, shutting out the last two opponents. Only one try has been scored against the A team all season, and opponents have averaged just three points per match. But Brown has one of the nation's leading offensive attacks, averaging over 20 points a game in steamrollering highly-rated opponents. Yale was crushed, 29-3 and the Bruins also stunned Penn State, 29-0, en route to winning the Penn State Tournament. The two squads have faced three common opponents, with Brown beating Boston College, 12-3; Dartmouth, 19-10; and the Harvard Business School, 21-3. The Crimson won all three contests too, but by less impressive margins: 8-3, 10-6, and 6-0, respectively. Part of the difference in scores, however may have been the muddy, rainy conditions that hampered offenses in Harvard's games against Dartmouth and the B-School. Last fall, Brown topped the Crimson, 9-3, with the margin of victory coming on two controversial penalty kicks. Brown then went on to win the league championship. Harvard has already knocked off two previously undefeated teams this fall, stopping Cornell, 14-6, and upending Princeton. 13-0, last weekend. The Princeton game was "one of the dirtiest rugby matches I've ever played in," according to Ordway, and injuries to two Harvard ruggers forced the Crimson to play much of the second half short-manned, as no substitution is allowed in rugby. The first Harvard tally came on a slashing 15-yard run by Buckey Hayes midway through the first half. Two to Go Near the end of the first half, a 65-yard play involving seven passes among the scrum put Paul Reppun in control at the two-yard line. Lee Sheehy then stepped the ball in for he try. The final score of the match came late in the contest, with Harvard playing two men short. Hayes and John Stranger combined to blast the final 15 yards for the closing try. The Harvard B team also socked its way to a rugged 6-0 triumph over Princeton last week, with two players requiring stitches immediately after the match. A strong kicking game kept the ball inside Princeton territory most of the match, but the second squad could only break through twice.