The Dartmouth men’s rugby team beat longtime rival the United States Military Academy at West Point to win the Collegiate Rugby Sevens Championship on Sunday. The 32-10 victory, broadcast nationally on NBC, marked a decisive end to the tournament, which was played in Philadelphia.
The Big Green dominated both halves of the match due to solid forward runs and repeated Army blunders. Co-captain Chris Downer ’11, who been injured with a cracked rib during the spring’s inaugural College Premier Division season, came up big in the match, and secured the team’s first try.
The Black Knights responded just two minutes later, but with neither team able to score its conversion, the score remained tied at five.
The Big Green took control soon after, as Nate Brakeley ’12, Bill Lehmann ’12 and co-captain Paul Jarvis ’12 each added a try to end the half at 22-5.
Dartmouth succumbed to one last Army run and try early in the second half, but was able to maintain its momentum to close out the dying minutes with two last tries from Downer and TJ Cameron ’11.
The Big Green’s win against Army comes just over two months after it ceded a 32-23 loss to the Black Knights earlier this spring.
Dartmouth was invited to the Championships after participating in last year’s tournament, in which the University of Utah came out victorious.
Dartmouth managed to overcome Utah in Saturday’s group play 17-12, and ended the first day of play undefeated by edging out the University of Notre Dame and Boston College.
The Big Green went on to vanquish semifinal opponent Central Washington University 24-12, converting its 17-7 halftime lead to a win and advancing onto the final game.
The Championships tournament was comprised of two 10-minute halves, markedly different from the Premier Division’s longer 40-minute periods. Played on a smaller field and with seven players per team compared to the Premier Division’s 15, sevens is a faster game that sees more ball movement and running, head coach Alexander Magleby said in an earlier interview with the Dartmouth.
Dartmouth is no stranger to rugby sevens, as Magleby is a former captain of the United States National Sevens team.