Sports

Undefeated rugby team preps for Big Green rematch

Rolling through Ivy League, Bears aim to beat Dartmouth after falling narrowly in last meeting

By
Sports Staff Writer
Friday, September 26, 2014

Rugby will be seeking revenge at its home opener Saturday, taking the pitch against a team that slipped away with a  win over the Bears in one of their most hard-fought games of 2013. Dartmouth (1-0) has always been a formidable opponent, but this year Bruno (2-0) will be hoping to prove that it deserves to come out on top in the contest.

Last year’s 26-29 loss was a tough break for the Bears. “It was a pretty evenly contested game,” said Head Coach Kathleen Flores. “We tend to play the same style of hard-hitting, running rugby, as evidenced by the final score.”

Dartmouth went on to face Harvard in the Ivy Championships last year, while Brown settled for third place. Having already defeated the Crimson and with the ultimate goal of grabbing the Ivy title, the Bears’ next natural opponent is the Big Green.

Longtime rivals Dartmouth and Brown both host historically strong women’s rugby teams, though Bruno’s new varsity status will provide a newfound advantage. Because of its trimester system, Dartmouth has only played one game so far this season, crushing Princeton in its season opener. The Big Green showed off its athleticism, trouncing the Tigers 53-3. Standing out for Dartmouth was outside Center Audrey Perez ’17, who scored three tries in the game.

The Big Green, according to Flores, did not graduate any seniors, while Brown “lost 6 to 8 very experienced and committed athletes.” This does not seem to have slowed down the Bears so far this season, as younger members have stepped up and have not failed to impress.

Dartmouth also faces external pressure from campus events this week. As the team’s website notes, “The Big Green has its work cut out for it …  as sorority rush takes a big bite out of players’ schedules during the lead up to next weekend’s important match against Brown.”

The Bears have been focusing on their “contact work and decision-making” in preparation for this game, Flores said. Brown and Dartmouth have been very similar in terms of their relative strength and competitiveness in the past, so playing a solid 80 minutes of good rugby will be key for Bruno.

The game is Brown’s home opener, so the team encourages high turnout and energy from the crowd. Hoping to extend their conference reign to a 3-0 record, the Bears will be looking for consistency and performance. Constant improvement is a priority.

“Every game we play is just as important as the last,” Flores said. “We are working hard not to have expectations as to the outcome as much as to our own development of our performance.”

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