Yale traveled north to play Dartmouth
This Saturday marked the opening game of the fall season for the Yale team, who traveled north to Dartmouth to take on a squad that had beaten them 91-0 on their beautiful pitch less than a year ago. However, many things had changed for the Dartmouth squad, which graduated 24 seniors last season, 12 of which were starters.
The Yale squad, on the other hand, lost far less experience, missing only 3 seniors from their starting line-up, and seemed to enjoy greater chemistry and confidence than a year ago. This newfound poise was demonstrated early as Yale was able to find overlaps out wide and score their first try at about the 7 minute mark of the first half, courtesy of winger Ryan Selinas (2008). Yale would increase their lead to 12-0 later in the half when Thomas Kidd (2008) intercepted a pass made by the Dartmouth fly half and took it the other way for a try. Kidd also converted the kick on the score.
However, the rest of the half was dominated almost entirely by Dartmouth, who spent the last 20 minutes in the Yale end. Fitness, which would be a factor for the Yale squad later in the game as well, worked against the Elis here as high tackle attempts allowed the Dartmouth backs to break easily through the line, offload, and score. The Dartmouth squad managed three tires of this variety and led Yale 17-12 at the half.
At the outset of the second half, the Yale team showed renewed determination. With great phase play, the team marched down the field into Dartmouth territory. Kidd notched his second try of the game when he placed the ball under the posts at about the 48 minute mark. An unsuccessful conversion left the game tied at 17. For the next 15-20 minutes, Dartmouth controlled the pace of the game and won the battle for possession and territory. Yale was caught sleeping twice on quick penalty taps and eventually yielded a try with about 20 minutes remaining in the half. This left the score Dartmouth 22 Yale 17.
Fitness came into play late in the game as Dartmouth brought out fresh legs in the pack. This move allowed their squad to begin winning the battle in the scrums, which, to that point, had been evenly fought by both sides. However, even without the legs to play at maximum intensity, the Yale squad fought valiantly and nearly scored a try on a play that was eventually ruled a knock by the referee. A late score by Dartmouth made the final score Dartmouth 29 Yale 17.
In the first B-side game, Yale showed some signs of brilliance. Even though the Dartmouth team had the advantages of knowledge and experience, the young Yale squad battled until the very end. Playing exceptionally well were Brian Wayda, 2009 who led the backline for the squad and Richard Anantua, 2010 who recorded the first try of his career.