Brown v. Harvard University Rugby

Harvard Rugby Field
Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts

September 26, 2015: 9:30 A.M.

An unusual 9:30 A.M. kick off was necessitated by a busy sports day at Harvard, but Brown left the campus at O-dark-30 to be ready to face the Crimson and the result of the match was Brown 17 and Harvard 36. Weather was not a factor as a sunny mild morning in the 60’s provided an ideal rugby backdrop for this first league match of the season for both sides. 

Brown gave up a quick converted try 3 minutes into the first half due to some poor defense out wide.  Despite getting on the board early, the Bears marked down field and got themselves in a good attacking position from a lineout.  A good catch and drive saw the ball quickly out to the backs where it was an easy 5 points for senior Keelan.  The try was converted by Coben and both sides were level once again. 

A lost ball in the contact area saw Harvard with ball in hand once again.  Then, a missed tackle would see Harvard once again on the board with a converted try.  A well-executed line out drive would send Landers over the line and put Brown to within 2 points of Harvard.  With 3 minutes remaining, Harvard would further their lead ending the half with an unconverted try.

Brown went into the second half determined to give Harvard a fight.  One minute in, a huge 20 meter line out drive saw the Bears once again over the line (Hester).  Unfortunately, that would be the extent of the points for the Bears.  Three more tries for Harvard put the nail in the coffin as Brown loses their first game for the season to their neighboring rivals from Boston. 

Difficulties in the scrum, poor tackling and the inability to stop Harvard from getting around the corner were factors that just played into the Crimson’s hands.  Due to a late start in the season, Brown had not been tested on the field since 3 weeks earlier.  No recent warm-up match played a part in Brown’s lack of composure at times and affected their ability to deal with the pressure on defense. 

On the positive side, there were moments of good continuity.  The lineout was extremely effective as Harvard were forced to simply back away from the maul and not contest it.  Brown has a week to compose and right some of the errors as they take on Columbia at home next Saturday. 

Referee: Emily Hsieh


Brown Squad
1.         Francis Rosenberg’18
2.         Graham Rotenberg ‘17
3.         Henry Richardson’17
4.         Connelly Denton’16
5.         Jake Rosenfeld’16
6.         Alek Coben’18 – replaced by Julian at 30th min
7.         Alex Hester ’18 – replaced by Nguyen at 30th min
8.         Calum McClelland’16 – replaced by Hester at 30th min
9.         Joe Paolino’17
10.       Tom Keelan’16
11.       Ammar Faizullabhoy’16
12.       John Landers’17
13.       Pete McHugh’17
14.       Nate Giacalone’16                               
15.       Thomas Kim’18

16        Mitch Sibley ’17
17        Jack Olson ’16
18        Mike Manning ’17
19        Eric Nguyen ‘16
20        Aaron Gotlieb ’16
21        Nick Ledru ’16


Referee: David Gonzalez

The second side match was an evenly contested game despite the size difference between the two sides.  Harvard, the larger of the two teams was able to get on board first early on.  Brown leveled the score at the 23rd minute with a Manning try off a maul however conceded 5 points at the end of the half to go into the break down by a try.  The second half saw the only points coming from some nice phase play after a line out.  Anesi was able to down the ball in the Harvard in-goal to end the game with a tie.

Much credit should be given to some good structure as well as good game management by fly half Jones.  Brown’s undersized pack also dominated the set piece.

Congratulations to the 10 new players (7 freshman) playing their first league match for the Bears.


  1. Alan Swierczynski ’18  / Tyler Johnson ’19
  2. Mike Manning ‘17
  3. Mitch Sibley’17.          
  4. Dakota Fenn ’19
  5. Jack Olson’16
  6. Ben Perez ’17 / Tom Chisholm ’19
  7. Alex Berman ‘19
  8. Paul Hopkins GS
  9. Trevor Anesi ‘18
  10. Tyler Jones’19
  11. Clarence Mokaya ’18 / Malik Sheryar-Hasan ’19 / Josh Pirll ’19
  12. Aaron Gotlieb ’16 / Davis Hartnett ’17  
  13. Eric Nguyen ’16 / Nick Hoynes ’18
  14. Nick Ledru ’16 / Rajesh Jayaram ’17 / Gueliermo Beltran ’17
  15. Liam Campbell ’17 / Federico Torti ’18