Dartmouth went 5-0 Saturday in Princeton, NJ en route to the Ivy 7s Championship. The Big Green’s second side won the JV bracket, too.
Dartmouth’s A-side, in just its second 7s outing of the fall, conceded just two tries on the day, to Penn in the final and Princeton in pool play, showcasing some impressive defense.
“That’s an area we can always work on,” said Dartmouth coach Gavin Hickie. “That’s an area you can control quite well, and I think that’s an area we’ve been focusing on.”
The two main holdovers from last season’s CRC Championship squad, Kevin Clark and Madison Hughes, were outstanding Saturday. Both scored their fair share of points, and stepping up in replacement of numerous graduates were Wilson Chockley, Justin Ciambella and captain Michael Burbank.
“Michael’s leading the team so well,” said Hickie. “He’s jelling the whole thing together.”
Hickie, also known as the ‘Lineout Coach’, is considered 15s expert having played hooker for Leinster, Leicester, Worcester and the London Irish. He also serves as the Junior All American forwards coach. But he’s no stranger to 7s, either, having played for Ireland’s 7s National Team and with Leicester. Hickie says the team is still using the systems put in place by Eagles 7s coach Alex Magleby, and that he is building on that.
“From a European point of view, 7s isn’t the biggest of things,” said Hickie. “Here in the States, it’s closer in parity with 15s, so you’ve got to remind yourself how big it is. At Dartmouth, being two-time CRC Champions, it’s huge.”
By winning Ivy 7s, Dartmouth qualified for 7s Nationals to be played later this month in College Station, Texas. Dartmouth also qualified last year but declined its bid. This time, the Big Green are going.
“We’ve got to pick our squad and get our flights booked and we’ll be in Texas,” said Hickie. “We sat down and we had a chat about it. My feelings, which I’m very strong about, would be any opportunity in which you pit yourselves up against the country’s best teams and play for any national title, it’s well worth it.”
Dartmouth 38-0 Columbia
Dartmouth 36-0 Harvard
Dartmouth 19-5 Princeton
Semis: Dartmouth 31-0 Brown
Final: Dartmouth 15-5 Penn