(Berkeley) Sophomore fullback Harry Adolphus bagged 4 tries and 44 points as Cal roared past Dartmouth 99-7 in the opening match of the Big Green’s spring tour.
It wasn't a fair fight, the two teams meeting at radically different points of the season. Dartmouth’s plan to attack wide failed at scrummage. Though blindside Ryan Galloway and lock Ned Kingsley were evident at the breakdown, visiting turnovers foiled early scoring chances while unleashing Cal’s counterthrusting scrumhalf Nick Boyer and center Jesse Milne.
No one will think less of the Easterners’ ambition. Traveling every March without fail, Dartmouth are the most assiduous tourists in all of American rugby, and past masters at going from zero to sixty over a truncated spring schedule.
No administrative artfulness can repeal the imbalances of America’s climate. The heart of the matter is therefore how teams adapt, individually and collectively, to the task of providing robust competition.
With a modest student body of 4,100 and no sports scholarships, the Ivy League school also stands among US rugby's foremost overachievers, recently collecting a pair of 7s crowns while yielding future internationals every five years or so. Eight times in the past 11 seasons, Dartmouth has won its league championship, according to the school site.
Dartmouth moves on to play Cal Poly on Wednesday, a reserves match against Santa Barbara Academy on Thursday, and the Southern California senior team Back Bay on Saturday. The Bears, meanwhile, face a pair of away rivalry games in the University of British Columbia on Sunday and then St. Mary’s two weeks hence.
A surprisingly large contingent of 200 or so Dartmouth alumni came out to Monday night’s Witter Rugby Field contest, their green regalia emphasizing St. Patrick's Day and, more important, vindicating the Varsity Cup’s vision of fielding teams with a national following. Cal and the Big Green could meet again in the VC final in Salt Lake City, though defending champ Brigham Young lies in Dartmouth’s side of the 12-team championship.
California 99 Dartmouth 7 (halftime: Cal 47-7)
Tries: Harry Adophus (4), Nicklas Boyer (3), George Vrame (2), Matthew Chipman (2), Jesse Milne, Josh Tucker, Paul Bosco, Jack O'Beirne
Conversions: Harry Adolphus (12)
Harry Adolphus; Josh Tucker, Anthony Salaber, Jesse Milne, Josh Tucker; Russell Webb (Brad Harrington), Nicklas Boyer (Paul Bosco); Scott Walsh, Jack O’Beirne, George Vrame, James Kondrat, Tomas Zerbino, John Spradling, Alec Gletzer, Tiaan De Nysschen (Edward Tandy). Replacements not entirely available
Try: Kevin Clark
Conversion: Tyler Morange
Wilson Chockley; Robbie Anthony, Kevin Clark, Zack Fowler, James Sharpe; Dawit Workie, John Descalzi; Rett Young, Brian Flint, Andrew Berson, Ned Kingsley, Dylan Jones, Ryan Galloway, Jack Braun, Neil Green. Replacements not available
Referee: Tim Lew (Northern California)
Attendance: 1,000 (estimate)