Match Report – Cornell (10/3/15)
Ithaca, NY – The Big Green travelled across to Cornell this past weekend to participate in their Ivy Season opener. Cornell had already won their first game against Columbia by a tight margin and were in the mood to carry on in that vein. The home side certainly started the game strongly, collecting two quick tries to their name, but Dartmouth demonstrated determination and grit to come back strongly to win the game 41 – 19.
When asked for his opinion after the game, Coach Hickie remarked, “We had an idea that we would have to weather the storm from Cornell and I am happy that we did that effectively.”
As mentioned before, Cornell kicked off the scoring in the first half with two tries that were both the outcome of hard worked and repeated forwards’ running close to Dartmouth’s try line. What followed after was a tightly fought contest with impressive defensive displays from both teams. As Cornell started to show their first signs of withering towards the end of the half, Captain Jack Braun ’16 was the first to fire up the Dartmouth retaliation, running in an individual try after shrugging off many attempted tackles. The second half started again with a quick Cornell try, but the Big Green responded more quickly after half-time substitute Hayden Aldredge ’17 collected a loose ball from a successful kick charge-down from Ollie Engelhart ’18 and put it between the posts to make the game 19 – 17 with Dartmouth still behind by two points. At around the sixtieth minute, a second power-substitute, Andrew Zhu ’16 received the ball out on the wing after slick hands through the backs line and powered through to score a try in the corner, putting the Big Green in the lead for the first time in the game. Zhu’s try gave the Big Green a burst of life as they preceded to run in multiple tries thereafter. Max Hannam ’16 had the next try after repeated phase play opened up an overlap for him on the outside to run the ball into the end zone. Quickly thereafter, Benji Hannam ’18 decided he wanted to outdo his older brother, running evasively for 60 meters dodging tackles left and right to score his first of the season. The last try of the game came from John Abraham ’16 after yet another successful series of linked passes created space for him to touch the ball down in the corner.
Coach Hickie expanded on his earlier comments, saying, “We are excited to finally get our Ivy Conference defense underway. We have learned a lot about our team over the past four weeks and following a very tough preseason series of games, we had to grind out a win over a physical Cornell side, but it is satisfying to return to Hanover with a bonus point victory.”
The Big Green welcomes Yale Rugby to the Corey Ford Clubhouse next week (Saturday 10th October) for their next game in the Ivy Season. The team will be looking to build on their success at Cornell this week in a bid to defend their Ivy League title.