Dartmouth’s 40-14 defeat of Harvard in the final of the Ivy League 7s wasn’t a foregone conclusion, but it was not a surprise, either.
The defending USA 7s Collegiate Rugby Championship invitational winners, Dartmouth might have been without some of the players that made last June’s victory happen, but they weren’t barren of talent.
“We were certainly rusty,” said Head Coach Alex Magleby. “But it was good to get out and throw the ball around and play some 7s. The [Boston Irish] Wolfhounds did a good job hosting, and we had a good crowd, and the players enjoyed it.”
Magleby ran out three teams – his B team stepped in to fill in for late-scratch Penn, and his C team competed well in the B-side bracket. Dartmouth’s Bs finished 4th.
Harvard did well to overcome a very strong Brown squad to make the final, and competed well in the contact area. But coached by former USA 7s team captain, Magleby, Dartmouth was just more on top of their tactical approach to the game.
It was tactics, as well as athleticism, that won the CRC for them in June.
“I think we’re not quite fit for how we’d want to play compared to June,” said Magleby. “We have a lot of work to do to get better.”
Freshman Madison Hughes showcased his open-field running skills and took to the 7s well, but Magleby said the victory was a team effort.
Dartmouth will not move on to the USA Rugby national championship in December. The date conflicts badly with the school academic calendar and the players will not be allowed to attend.
According to reports connected with the competition, the Ivy League’s bid now becomes an at-large bid, rather than being passed on to 2nd-place Harvard.