After two successful seasons, the men's and women's rugby clubs faced off in their respective playoffs over the weekend. The men earned a key victory over Norwich, 59-12, to propel them into the final round of the Northeast playoffs next week in Albany. The women's club fared just as well, taking second place in the Northeastern tournament at Boston. Their finish earned them a spot at Nationals in the spring.
On Saturday, in the cold rain and over a field inches thick in mud, the women worked together to beat Cornell in an exhilarating match that won them a berth in the finals of the tournament
Though the ground shifted beneath them in waves, the pack managed to drive over Cornell's forwards and dominate in the lineouts, while Dartmouth's backs worked on staying deep to run onto the ball and ran in four tries for a final score of 24-10.
On Sunday, Dartmouth donned knee pads and swam through puddles hoping to dowse Radcliffe in hopes of capturing the Northeastern title. Wing Stacey Davis '99 rallied the team when she broke through several defenders to score in the first half (only the second try scored against Radcliffe all season, the other also by Davis in Dartmouth's first match against them). Dartmouth's forwards, led by Alex Prinstein '98, played aggressively throughout the game, thwarting attempts at pushover tries and making it difficult for their backs to run successful plays. Hampered by the damp conditions, the backs also did their best to penetrate Radcliffe's defense, and prevented Radcliffe's wings and fullbacks from being offensive threats before losing, 37-5.
For the men, seven Dartmouth players scored tries to lead the Dartmouth Rugby Football Club to the win over Norwich in the second round of the Northeast playoffs at Sachem Field. Captain and scrumhalf Doug Burnaford '98 scored three tries and winger Dave Miller '98 had 14 points to lead the Big Green.
Late in the first half Dartmouth was penalized for rough play, but Norwich was unable to convert on the penalty kick. Unfortunately, the Big Green knocked on the counterattack, but Dartmouth caught Norwich in possession and were awarded the scrum just outside the Green goal. Flyhalf Mark Oldham '99 tried to clear the ball with a kick, but the ball hit the post. Luckily, Dartmouth recovered the ball and put it into touch, but taking advantage of the DRFC's earlier mistakes, Norwich drove over from the lineout to close the half at 22-5 for Dartmouth.
The second half saw Norwich unable to mount a challenge as Dartmouth ran away with the victory over their rival from across the river. The Big Green are just one victory away from earning a spot in the National Sweet 16, which takes place in the spring.