Big Green Move on to Final Round of 8 with Win Over Clemson
Hanover, NH – Saturday afternoon, the men in green took to the grass at the awe-inspiring Brophy Field for the first time since fall. With the sun shining and a sizeable crowd on hand at the Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse, the DRFC hosted Clemson in the first round of the Varsity Cup, the nation’s premier collegiate XVs tournament.
Knowing the Tigers to be a tough opponent, ranked 15th in the nation by RugbyMag and coming off two straight wins, Dartmouth went into the match looking to implement the systems they’d worked on in the past week’s training and to improve from their previous week’s performance against Harvard. The home team got off to a good start, getting on the board first, and didn’t look back on their way to a 59-24 victory.
The Dartmouth fullback and captain, Madison Hughes, opened the scoring in the fourteenth minute, taking a well-timed inside offload from Dawit Workie and scampering the remaining 40 meters untouched to the try zone. Hughes would total 29 points in the match off three tries and seven conversions. The captain’s ability to set teammates up was also on point. Hughes hit Kevin Clark on the wing with a 20-meter pass for the team’s second and Clark’s first of two tries on the afternoon. The Big Green maintained a balanced attack throughout the match that saw Brian Flint, Zack Fowler, Neil Greene and newcomer Victor Muchatuta touch down for tries as well.
When asked for his thoughts on the match Hughes shared, “We were very pleased with the result against a good Clemson side. They challenged us in lots of facets of the game, and we were pleased with how we responded to that.
Hughes added, “It was fantastic being back out on our beloved Brophy Field. It's an extremely special place to play rugby, and we loved having the chance to get a run out there in front of our loyal home support. Having our fantastic senior class get one more opportunity to play out there was awesome, and thankfully we got the result such a day deserved.”
Senior locks Dylan Jones and Ned Kingsley spearheaded a strong Dartmouth defense as the Big Green held Clemson to a pair of tries in each stanza.
Senior Tyler Moragne was also a standout on the day as his consistent passing and decision-making from the scrumhalf position fueled a potent offense. The second half also saw several reserves get solid minutes. Good pressure at the contact point by Mike McDavid ’15 to cause turnovers complemented Phil Sheridan and Neil Greene’s successful efforts at the same task earlier in the match.
“The Varsity Cup is the premier collegiate XVs competition and to win a game in this tournament means a lot,” said Dartmouth coach Gavin Hickie. “We felt we did well against a very organized and well-coached Clemson team. Once again, our seniors stepped up and delivered.”
Hickie continued, "We have a lot of work to do this week before we face BYU but we are very excited to face the Varsity Cup champions in Annapolis next week."
As stated by Coach Hickie, action continues next Saturday in the Annapolis, MD Super-Regional as Dartmouth faces BYU in the Varsity Cup Quarterfinals.
The DRFC’s 2nd XV was also in action today in Princeton, NJ, competing in the Ivy League’s D1-AA qualifier. The squad matched up against 1st XV sides from the other Ivies and came away with a highly respectable 1 and 1 record on the day. The Dartmouth players bounced back from a tough 24-27 loss to Yale in the morning match to defeat Penn 28-26 just a few hours later.
Scoring Timeline 1st XV vs. Clemson:
14:00 Hughes 5, 2
21:00 Clark 5, Hughes 2
25:00 Clemson 5
29:00 Hughes 5, 2
35:00 Hughes 5, 2
39:00 Flint 5
40:00 Clemson 5, 2
Halftime Score: Dartmouth 33, Clemson 12
44:00 Muchatuta 5, Hughes 2
47:00 Clemson 5
51:00 Greene 5
56:00 Clemson 5, 2
58:00 Fowler 5, Hughes 2
66:00 Clark 5, Hughes 2
Final Score: Dartmouth 59, Clemson 24
The Team vs. Clemson
15. Madison Hughes © (Will Scheiman @ 71:00), 14. Kevin Clark, 13. Robbie Anthony, 12. Zack Fowler (Rex Littlefield @ 71:00), 11. Wil Chockley (James Sharpe @ 67:00), 10. Dawit Workie, 9. Tyler Moragne,1. Rett Young (Jake Blair @ 67:00), 2. Brian Flint, 3. Andrew Berson (Nick Brown @ 71:00) , 4. Ned Kingsley, 5. Dylan Jones (Mike McDavid @ 67:00), 6. Ryan Galloway (Victor Muchatuta @ 6:00), 7. Phil Sheridan (Khori Davis @ 71:00), 8. Neil Greene
For additional information on the club, please visit us at our new website www.dartmouthrfc.com