Harvard Rampage On And Off The Pitch

After Friday night’s ‘festivities’ the HBS team was dreading the thought of the 11am start time on Saturday morning. The resemblance of the pitch to suburban Baghdad (post US invasion) didn’t help morale. However, a violent and profane pep-talk from Co-Captains Oliver Thomas (OA) and Mike Butville (OB) had the men fired up to play an aggressive and error-free game.

For the first 20 minutes, Harvard stayed true to this vision. The early loss of talismanic number 8 Mike Butville to a chin injury took some of the luster off this period, but the play was good. Big hits from Owen Stockdale (OI) and Jay Klug (OE) in particular laid the foundation for tries to Ben Stamets (NJ) and Brendan Rauw (HBS ’04). Stand-in kicker Baron Hanson (FAS) knocked over one of the conversions for a 12-0 lead.

Whether it was complacency, hangovers, or something else; things went pear-shaped at this point. Harvard’s forwards paused in their domination of McGill and there were some uncharacteristic errors from the backs. In this period of lackluster play, McGill punched in two tries, one of them converted to bring the score to 12-12. Which is where it stood at half-time.

After a well-deserved half-time blasting, the team rallied for a second half onslaught. All parts of the machine were working well. Big Derek Mendez (HBS’03) dominated the scrums, Josh Bresler (NE) threw brilliantly into lineouts, Joseph Tesvic (OC) sniped around the rucks dropping c-bombs (an Australian custom move), and Owain Hughes (HMS) delivered laser-precise service to his backline. Special credit must go to RCs Thomas Connelly (ND), David Winslow (NA) and Mans Larsson (NH), who despite having only five games between them, attacked and defended vigorously. Connelly crossed for his first try in HBS colors, as did rampaging Frenchman Pascal Ambrosi (NF). The stars of the day, however, were almost certainly Oliver Thomas (OA) and Koome Imathiu (OB). Thomas’ incisive running, crucial try and faultless defense were remarkable, and especially so given he was playing out of position. Imathiu’s running and linkup play with the outside backs was also impressive. Final score: 29-12.

Harvard vs McGill

Facing McGill at the opening whistle were…
1. Derek Mendez (HBS ’03)
2. Josh Bresler (NE)
3. Jay Klug (OE)
4. Owen Stockdale (OI)
5. Baron Hanson (FAS)
6. Pascal Ambrosi (NF)
7. Joseph Tesvic (OC)
8. Mike Butville (OB)
9. Owain Hughes (HMS)
10. Oliver Thomas (OA)
11. Ben Stamets (NJ)
12. Koome Imathiu (OB)
13. Thomas Connelly (ND)
14. Mans Larsson (NH)
15. David Winslow (NA)

Fresh legs to continue the domination were…
16. Brendan Rauw (HBS ’04) for Butville
17. Ami Banerjee (HMS) for Bresler
18. Jamil Khan (OJ) for Larsson
19. Jasper Camacho (NC) for Winslow
20. Brandon Bentley (KSG) for Connelly
21. Tim Keller (OA) for Stamets

On the disabled list, but still on tour were…
22. Luke Herbert (OE)
23. Thomas Lefebvre (NF)
24. Jeff Bohl (NB)
25. Ed Rhys-Jones (HLS)