Brown Men Finish Third in the 2008 Ivies

Brown won two of three, beating Yale in round one, losing to Harvard in round two and coming back on Sunday to beat Penn ( who had beaten Princeton) for third place. What was characteristic for Brown was its commitment to the team pattern, solid defense and the inability of any of Brown’s opponents to outplay our forwards.

Columbia University New York City, New York April 26 and 27, 2008 Brown was able to score against all of their opponents. Without going back to the records, it would appear that this is Brown’s best Ivy finish since Brown last won the Ivy’s in 1996. I am sure, there is an alum who will correct this statement if I am wrong but the finish is impressive nevertheless and ends Brown’s spring season with 8 First XV wins against 4 losses. Dartmouth, who did get to the National Collegiate Sweet 16 did beat Harvard for the Ivy League Tournament Title. Brown 27 Yale 7 The first match was against Yale, who frankly has had Brown’s number the last several years. But this time Brown met Yale’s offense head on. Although Yale dominated the early going, Brown took control physically, causing three Yale penalties, all converted by sophomore wing Sam Rabb’s accurate kicking, and a 9-0 Brown halftime lead. Early in the second half, another Yale penalty was successfully converted by senior scrum half Tom Flaherty and a 12-0 lead. 13 minutes into these shortened 30 minute halves, a solid offensive sequence saw the ball in the hands of center Shawn Kitchner’07, then prop Bob Forrester’10 to fly half Winston Mi’09 scoring from halfway, with Flaherty converting for a 19-0 Brown advantage. Brown gave Yale a penalty which Yale ran in and converted to put 7 points on the board, but Brown then took a poor Yale lineout throw and cleaned it up. Number 9 Flaherty passed to Mi who found number 8, senior Rob Neville for the final try, again converted by Flaherty to end the match. Brown Squad v. Yale 1 Bob Forrester ’10 2 Jay Smith ’10 replaced by Harrison in second half 3 Andrew Alvarez ’11 4 Ben Mossbarger ’10, replaced by Rall Walsh ’10, 10 min. blood sub 5 Alan Gabel ’08 6 Chaney Harrison ’11, replaced by Gabe Heidrich ’10 in second half 7 Matt Waller ’08 8 Rob Neville ’08 9 Tom Flaherty ’08 10 Winston Mi ’09 11 Ben Baker ’10, replaced by Adam Emrich ’08 in second half 12 Shawn Kitchner ’07 13 Nick Stoker ’09 14 Sam Rabb ’10, replaced by Dow Travers ’11 at halftime. 15 Hao Li ’10 Brown 8 Harvard 21 Brown and Harvard play very similar styles. Both had good sequences during the match, but we did not react well on penalties, giving up three converted tries on quick “tap and go” moves. We were the equal of Harvard in scrums and lineouts, and again defended well, but just didn’t have the instincts and tactical sense to take advantage of the opportunities afforded, nor to defend Harvard’s opportunism. Harvard scored first at 7 minutes after a Brown penalty, for a 7-0 advantage. The game then played even for 20 minutes until a Harvard penalty afforded Flaherty a penalty kick which he drilled for three points and a 7-3 Brown halftime deficit. Unfortunately, 3 minutes into the second half, Brown gave up a penalty and Harvard once again ran the ball in for a 14-3 lead. A Harvard player was “sin binned” at the 19 minute mark for repeated infractions, and Brown’s number 8 Rob Neville ’08, at a five meter scrum, picked up and ran in for a try. The conversion was missed but Brown had 8 points. With only three minutes left in the match, Harvard scored yet again off a penalty to put the match out of reach at 21-8. Brown Squad v. Harvard 1. Bob Forrester 2. Jay Smith 3. Andrew Alvarez 4. Ben Mossbarger, replaced by Rall Walsh 5. Alan Gabel, replaced by David Bloom ’08 in second half 6. Chaney Harrison 7. Matt Waller 8. Rob Neville 9. Tom Flaherty, replaced by Dave Riley ’10 in second half 10. Winston Mi 11. Ben Baker, replaced by Ben Lux ’09 12. Shawn Kitchner 13. Nick Stoker 14. Dow Travers 15. Hao Li Brown 22 Penn 10 The emotional roller coaster of Saturday requires great mental discipline to come out ready on Sunday. Despite the position that Brown was in, playing for 3rd place, the team was not mentally ready to take it to Penn at the outset of the match. But to Brown’s credit they were strong enough to hold Penn and kept the match close in the first half. Brown broke the ice with a penalty kick by Rabb at 18 minutes for a 3-0 lead, but two minutes later a Penn center ran outside for a try and a 5-3 lead. Five minutes later Penn again put their center wide for a second unconverted Penn try and a 10-3 lead. As the half ended however, Brown center and captain Nick Stoker’09 passed to wing Sam Rabb. Rabb lost control of the ball but fullback Hao Li’10 cleaned up the ball and scored for a 10-8 Brown deficit at halftime. In the second half it took Brown 21 minutes to gain control as the ball was again worked wide to Rabb, and he was driven over the line by his forwards. Rabb thanked his support by nailing the conversion and Brown took its first lead 15-10. With Brown in control and only five minutes left in the match, the Brown backs finally worked one of their favorite backline moves putting Li away under the posts, converted by Rabb for the final score. Brown Squad v. Penn 1. Bob Forrester 2. Jay Smith 3. Andrew Alvarez 4. Rall Walsh 5. Alan Gabel, replaced by Bloom in second half 6. Chaney Harrison, replaced by Heidrich in second half 7. Matt Waller 8. Rob Neville 9. Tom Flaherty 10. Winston Mi 11. Ben Baker, replaced by Brad Arlington ’10 in second half 12. Shawn Kitchner 13. Nick Stoker 14. Sam Rabb, replaced by Ben Lux ’09 in second half 15. Hao Li With a tournament finish on the line, not everyone gets to play, but everyone on the squad is of great value. I would like to give our thanks and appreciation to the following squad members: Chris Carney ’10, Dylan Cyr ’09, and Matt Bubley ’09. This is the end of the spring 2008 season. We hope to see many of you at the annual Alumni v. Undergrads match to be held on Commencement Weekend. The match will be on Saturday, May 24 with a kick off at 2 P.M.