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Dartmouth opened their Collegiate Rugby Championship account with a very impressive 31-5 defeat of a highly-regarded Delaware team.

Dartmouth played precisely to their game plan, pinning Delaware in their own 22, and waiting like a shark looking for an injured fish.

The Blue Hens started to work their pattern, but were asking a bit much of themselves. A switch move 15 meters from their line resulted in a turnover and, just as quickly a Dartmouth try. That was quickly the story of the game. Dartmouth turned the ball over, showed their teeth, and struck.

“Sevens is all about possession,” said Dartmouth captain Paul Jarvis. “It’s similar to 15s in that regard. All the good teams will keep possession for the majority of the time. Sevens, with the short clock, it’s even more important. We gave away some penalties we would have preferred not to.”

Derek Fish, who missed the tournament last year due to injury, was shifty and dangerous, and scampered in for an early try, while Jarvis added two and Madison Hughes and Kevin Clark also scored.

Delaware spent almost no time in the Dartmouth end until late, when they scored in the corner. But by then, the message had been sent.

Dartmouth 31
Tries: Fish, Jarvis 2, Hughes, Clark
Convs: Fish 3

Delaware 5
Tries: Mattina

Also in Pool B, Florida impressed hugely with a 19-7 defeat of Maryland. In this case, Maryland had the possession, at least in the first half, but spent way, way too long trying to get a try.

Maryland scored in the first minute, testing the Florida D well and then seeing Trevor Tanifum just stretch over. But much of the rest of the half was Florida defending in their own 22, and doing a superb job. A turnover opened the door for Josh Nicdao to go long range. That was a big play for Florida, as they tied it up just before the halftime whistle.

Florida turned the tables on Maryland in the second half, keeping the ball and making sure that if Maryland had it, Tanifum wouldn’t go anywhere. Lucas Baistrocchi capped off a nice game with 14 points after he scored two second-half tries, but that was all the result of good team play, and excellent ball movement.

Florida 19
Tries: Nicdao, Baistrocchi 2
Convs: Baistrocchi 2

Tries: Tanifum
Convs: Cima