Dartmouth Gets Gritty Win Against Physical Austin Side

With time winding down in the fourth quarter, Dartmouth had seen its two‐try lead evaporate with the sunset. A man down and tied 17‐17 with little more than ten minutes left, the Big Green found itself in an unfamiliar position. "We haven't won a tight game in a few of our recent opportunities," said co‐captain Mike DiBenedetto '10.

Big Green Earn Well‐Fought Victory as Collegians Outlast Quality Men’s Club 31‐17 Austin opened the game with a long string of possession, capped off by a try on a quick tap that capitalized on an error in the Dartmouth positioning. Co‐captain Sam Edandison '10 remarked about the Black's physicality to open the match, which noticeably set back the under‐sized Dartmouth side.

"They were aggressive around the ruck and were able to slow the game down." The Big Green would bounce back with speed and skill across the pitch. Nick Downer '11 would touch down a try out wide to even the game at 5 all, with Tommy Brothers '11 adding the conversion from the side to put Dartmouth out in front. A chip kick on the wing over a defender from Chris Downer '11 to himself would extend the Big Green lead to 12‐5. Derek Fish '12 would push that lead to 17‐5 in the third quarter. But Austin would come charging back in the fourth quarter. Two quick tries by the Blacks with Dartmouth's Will Lehmann '12 off with a yellow card put the score at 17‐17. "With their physicality, they were able to make a run at the end to tie the game," remarked Edandison. With its back against the wall, however, Dartmouth showed its resilience, scoring twice to put the match out of reach for Austin.

"We were able to pull it out due to our ability to spread the ball," explained DiBenedetto. "It was nice to see the team hold off the Austin surge and score a couple of late‐game tries to win. It was helpful to get some quality video and training sessions in following the Arkansas State match as we hadn't been able to do so as a 1st XV group since early November.

We look forward to similar improvements before our matches this weekend." Dartmouth Man of the Match Paul Jarvis '12 commented, "It was a great team win...The Austin Blacks were a very physical opponent, and we struggled at the breakdown at times. However, we were able to capitalize on our linebreaks through good support running, and we played a more expansive game that opened up gaps in the defense.”

During the post‐match ceremony, it was pointed out that the Austin Blacks had not lost to a collegiate side in over 20 years. Captain Matt Dinger '10 commented, "Once again we were very well hosted by our opponents and alumni in the area." Former Dartmouth co‐captain, Mike Evans ’00, hosted a BBQ for the team in the day leading up to the Blacks match at his home in Austin. Joe Daly '71 hosted the Big Green touring side at the Salt Lick BBQ in Austin on March 24th.

The Dartmouth 1st XV will take on the University of Texas next on Friday, March 26th at 7:00 pm with a 2nd XV match to follow at 8:30.

Contact: Taylor Stevenson, Press Secretary, Dartmouth Rugby
Email: taylor [dot] stevensonatdartmouth [dot] edu