Last Sunday, the lads took on the University of Central Florida for the USA Rugby D1AA Semifinals—our third meeting with the Florida side in the past twelve months. After an exceedingly chippy match over spring tour, Dartmouth’s intent was blue brain—play the system, ignore the antics. The first quarter of play was noticeably tense, with turnovers spilling forth from both sides as they vied for dominance at the contact point. Credit to Malcolm Robinson ’22 who put in a positively tenacious shift on defense, smashing back UCF runners phase after phase. His name, we have heard, is no longer to be spoken in the Sunshine State. Fuller Winton ’19 took down the ball in the lineout and charged forward to within 5 meters of the try zone to set the boys up. Then, Lewis '21 to Coleman '19 to Sheehy '20 out the back for Gyorgy Brevnov '20 flying in for the score to break the silence. Mason Koch ’20 earned a penalty at the breakdown, and Mike Weir '22 slotted the penalty to tack on another 3. UCF responded with a try of their own after a couple penalties conceded by the Big Green. In quick succession, though, our backs boots pinned the Knights back in their half, and a string of dominant tackles culminated in a turnover. Taking quick advantage, Lewis swung the ball to Weir straight away, Coleman again to Sheehy then to Jasper Green ’22 for his first of the day, opting to run directly over the last defender to put Dartmouth up 23-17 shortly after halftime. A big scrum from Andrew Skow ’21 and the forward pack drew the next penalty, 26-17. The Big Green's set piece was dominant. Strong defense from the boys put the black and gold on the hind foot in their own half once again, and freshly minted scrumhalf Jarret Lewis slipped through the attacking lines untouched with the intercept try. Andrew Badenhausen ’21, making a big start at 15 and earning his jersey on both sides of the ball throughout the match, touched down the next one on the outside. The pack struck again at the scrum, flush with the thick fresh legs of Chase “Quadzilla” Krivakis ’22, Sean Dowling ’21, JM Seibert ’19, and Shayne Miller ’22, turning over opposition ball and leading directly to a try on the wing from Luke Bienstock ’20. Bienstock powered his way down the sideline off a 22-dropout from UCF a few moments later, then gave inside to Coleman for the score. Love to see the selfless play from the fellas. The floodgates seemed to open wide into the second half, as the Big Green put up just over 30 points, giving credit to the strong and unrelenting effort from No. 1 through No. 23. Final score: Dartmouth 51, UCF 17. That’s 3-0 over UCF as well. Credit to the Florida boys for a match well-fought, and much more professional from both sides this time, nice to see in the Gentlemen’s Game.
The DRFC advances on to the final, 4th of May back down in North Carolina, against Chico State. The boys are knee deep in two big weeks of training for the match, and we’re quite excited to be back out on our magnificent pitches at Corey Ford. We’re incredibly lucky for the opportunity to lace up our boots and run on to Brophy or Battle any chance we can, and these sunny Spring days are nothing if not a reminder of that