Princeton starts the Ivy Rugby season with a win in New Haven
An early morning 5am wakeup call was needed to get the Princeton team out of bed, fed and onto the bus for the drive to New Haven. Our game against Yale had to be scheduled for a 10 AM kick off due to the Yale gridiron game. Yale’s rugby pitch was being used for parking so our match was played on New Haven’s Old Blacks’ RFC Boulevard Field, which sits snugly next to the picturesque West River.
Princeton started well and scored a few tries before Yale hit back and scored two well-worked tries just before half time. Things were made harder for Yale in that they sustained key injuries to their fullback and outside center early in the match. The score was 26-12 to Princeton at the break.
The Tigers knew they would have to work very hard in the second half since Yale always has the capacity to storm back. Last week, Yale played the powerful Cornell team. Down to only 14 men for virtually the whole game, the Bulldogs fought back from a 24-5 half time deficit to win 39-34.
When the second half kicked off, both teams traded tries and the score moved to 33-17. Princeton found more continuity after making a few adjustments and the game ended at 61-17. Princeton’s Man of the Match was Captain Adrian Odunayo, who, together with his Co-Captain Max Weber, led from the front. A good combination of both Backs and Forwards scored the Princeton tries. Max also had a great kicking day, making 8 out of 9 conversions.
Many thanks to the New Haven Old Blacks’ RFC for allowing us to use their field. Thanks also to Yale RFC for finding an alternative pitch for us to play our fixture on Saturday. Finally thank you to Harley Griffiths, who had to change his whole schedule at the last moment to come and referee our match. This was much appreciated.