News and Announcements
Schuylkill River RFC hosted the Philadelphia 7s tournament on July 22. This event served as the MAC Championship Tournament and was a huge success for the Club. Our U-23 Academy team continued their run of strong play winning the MAC Open Division Championship for the second year in a row and our Premier side successfully locked up a spot in the USA Rugby Club 7s National Championship Tournament which will take place over the weekend of August 12/13 in Minnesota.
The victory for the Academy was especially satisfying since the U-23 guys had made the finals of all 3 previous MAC Qualifiers this year finishing in second place each time. To finally get over the hump and take first place, and the divisional championship, in front of the home crowd was a huge highlight.
The Premier side didn’t fare as well, coming in fourth place. A lot of credit has to go to Beltway for winning the tournament, and the division, but the big takeaway here is that despite having some work to do Schuylkill River has earned a spot at nationals once again and will take on the Denver Barbarians, Belmont Shore, and the Charlotte Rugby Club.
I’d also like to take a moment to congratulate Philadelphia Women RFC on their performance at Philadelphia 7s, which saw them book a place in Nationals as well. They will be the number 8 seed. The Philly Women helped make our tournament a success not just for us, but also for Philadelphia and East Penn rugby as a whole.
As we prepare for the National Championship Tournament, and the end of our 7s season, on August 12/13 we’d like to thank all of the coaches, players, and administrators who helped make this season such a success from top to bottom. Whether it’s qualifying for nationals, winning the open division, or regularly putting 4 sides into tournaments, we have experienced an incredible level of success and would like to thank everyone.
7s Qualifier Update
With three of the MAC’s National 7s qualifiers in the books it’s a good time to give everyone an update on how things have been going so far this summer. The Premier side has gone 14-1 so far in qualifier play winning the Monk Vaughn 7s tournament in Richmond VA on July 8 and the Blue Ball 7s tournament in Wilmington Delaware on July 15 after finishing 3rd at Ruggerama hosted by Northern Virginia on June 24. The Premier side has outscored their opponents by a margin of 444-120 in qualifier play this season, which doesn’t include the North Penn and Lehigh Valley tournaments.
The U-23 Academy side has gone 10-4 so far in qualifier play and has made it to the championship game in each tournament. So far this summer the Academy is outscoring their opponents by a combined 351-192 margin. Unfortunately the guys haven’t been able to get over that final hurdle just yet with 3 second place finishes but we’re all really excited to see the young guys try and get over the hump this Saturday at our Philadelphia 7s tournament.
In addition to our Premier/Academy sides Schuylkill has also been sending two men’s open sides to most of the tournaments this year. Last week in Wilmington our men’s open side SR2 ended up taking fourth place in the open division while our second men’s open side SR3 finished the day with a 2-1 record in the social division.
Schuylkill is the only Club that I’m aware of sending more than two sides to tournaments on a regular basis and I think our Coaching Staff and 7s Director deserve a lot of credit for developing the entire roster from top to bottom. If you add up everything that all of our sides have done at the 3 qualifier tournaments so far it’s pretty cool to see that we’ve combined to score over 1000 points so far. Keep it up guys!
Here is the info for our 7s tournament if you need it for reference: (http://www.skillrugby.org/clubs/5023/announcements/1292588-2017-SR7s-Info)
Here is some info on Philly Women’s social event taking place afterwards: (https://www.facebook.com/events/113993882538392/?ti=as)
Thanks for reading,
Schuylkill River RFC will be hosting the 2017 MAC 7s Championship Tournament on July 22, 2017 at Turk Park located at the intersection of Turk Rd & Almshouse Rd, Doylestown, PA 18976 (https://goo.gl/maps/r2zjtbSwqQ52). The best men’s and women’s rugby teams in the Mid-Atlantic will compete in the Men’s Premier, Open, and Social divisions, as well as Women’s Premier and Open.
This tournament will be the culmination of a Summer-long series of MAC 7s tournaments. The Men’s Open division will determine which MAC open side team will win the season series while the Premier divisions will decide not only who wins the MAC Championship but also which two teams get to compete in the National 7s Championship Tournament in August. The teams and seeding for the MAC divisions are determined by the other MAC qualifiers and are not open to other teams but the Men’s Social and Women’s Open division will be open to any teams interested in competing.
The entry fee for all divisions is $250 for the first side and $225 for an additional side. In order to register, or if you have any questions, please contact Pat Boyle (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Dave Codell (email@example.com). Payments can be made via paypal at firstname.lastname@example.org or via venmo at Patrick-Boyle-36.
Schuylkill River RFC, Philadelphia Women’s RFC, and the North Philadelphia Nomads RFC are proud to announce that they have teamed up to run a summer rugby program at the NE Frankford Boys and Girls Club. The teams had already been doing monthly sessions with the Club’s kids, who are in kindergarten through sixth grade, so stepping up and doing a more ambitious weekly program was a logical next step. The ten week program sees coaches, players, and administrators from all three teams join forces to give back to the community and help develop the game on the grassroots level.
Schuylkill River President Dave Codell, who is also a coach and Board member of the Narberth Otters youth rugby program, was quick to credit the other teams. “Philadelphia Women’s RFC is known throughout the area for their stellar play on the field and for their level of commitment to doing community service work off the field. We are thankful that they invited us to participate in their flag rugby program with the Boys and Girls Club back in December and for the fact that we all have the opportunity to run such a great program together. The Nomads, and their incredible coaching staff, also deserve a ton of credit for the work that they have put in to grow the game and to serve as mentors for the young athletes that they are developing on a daily basis. The most credit however, goes to staff of the Boys and Girls Club itself for the amazing work they do day in and day out.”
“It’s all about the kids,” added Nomad coach, and Schuylkill player, James Brunson. “When you give some of your time and energy to put a smile on a kid’s face it’s extremely rewarding. Rugby is a game that I love so I’m looking forward to helping grow that same love for the game with these kids over the summer.”
Philadelphia Women’s RFC Captain Kate Hallinan, who has also been involved in rugby programs at other youth organizations such as Philly Girls in Motion, echoed many of the sentiments expressed by the other volunteers and said “Community service is a big part of my team’s identity and we really enjoy working with these kids. We’ve been going back and forth with Schuylkill and the Nomads since December to figure out a way that we could all work together on a larger scale so it’s great to have this opportunity.”
Schuylkill River Board Member Ryan McHugh is another of the volunteers for this program and had this to say, “I grew up right around the corner from the Boys and Girls Club so I’m pumped to have an opportunity to give back to my community and help teach these kids the greatest sport on earth. When Rafiq from the Club asked us about doing extra sessions over the summer it was a no brainer for me.”
The Club is anticipating that as many as 130 kids will participate in their summer program and the Club’s hours are expanding from 15 hours per week in the school year to 40 hours per week in the summer which makes this a great opportunity for the teams to lend a hand where it’s needed and help provide these kids with a summer that they’ll never forget.
On June 17, 2017 Schuylkill River RFC traveled to Hatfield, PA to compete in the North Penn 7s Tournament. This tournament saw the program accomplished a feat we are not sure any 7s program in the Country has done in recent times by sending 4 sides to another Club’s 7s tournament. The boys were not there to just show their numbers however, as Schuylkill River won both the Premier and Open Division of the tournament.
The tournament was split into 2 Divisions (Premier/Open) with SR Black and SR U23 competing in the Premier, and SR White and SR Grey competing in the Open.
In the Premier Division, SR Black was too much for the competition as they went 5-0 en-route to the Championship. The scoring was impressive, but only surrendering 5 points on the day was what made Coach Chris Ryan the happiest. “It was the result we wanted, but I was really impressed with the defense today. Teams threw a lot of different styles of play at us today, which we often don’t see, and the guys only slipped up 1 time the entire tournament” reflected Ryan. After winning their 2 pool play matches by a combined score of 89-0, SR Black faced the Northeast Irish in the quarterfinals and kept rolling with a 47-0 victory. The semis saw the boys in black give up their first and only try of the tournament to the Molly Maguire’s, but the end result was another win 42-5. In the finals, Schuylkill met Old Gaelic who was having equal success on the day with a 4-0 record, but that would end in the final as SR won 49-0 to hoist the cup. Coach Ryan ended with saying “we played unselfish and didn’t try to out athlete teams. Playing disciplined especially when the score lines got high is difficult, but the boys were able to. Now we need to keep that discipline as competition gets tougher next week.”
Although the U23 Academy didn’t have as much luck as SR Black in the Premier Division, it was a great learning experience. “The guys learned a lot today especially at the breakdown. Some teams we played weren’t your traditional 7s players, or teams, but they are great and physical rugby players. The boys found out quickly the breakdown is a little tougher on the next level, and we’ll fix that quickly as we prepare for the coming weeks.” Said Schuylkill Director of 7s Pat Boyle. The Academy side battled Runner-up Old Gaelic in the first match of the day, and for 10 minutes battled to 7-7 tie. In the end, Old Gaelic’s veteran savvy, and giving away 2 high tackle yellow cards, were too much to overcome in the 24-12 loss. The next pool match and subsequent quarterfinal were both against Doylestown which saw a familiar theme, too much turnover ball at the breakdown. Despite winning, or being tied in the second half of both games, Doylestown wore down the U23’s to eventually win both matches. “Doylestown has physical rugby players, and they saw our guys were a little smaller, and they went at us. Unfortunately, we wore down, but the guys are better after those games and really excited for this week.” Added Boyle.
Over on the Open side of the tournament, SR White found equal success going 5-0 and capturing the Open Championship. Pool matches were an early indicator of the day as the team racked up wins over North Penn and Wilkes Barre with a combined score of 74-0. The quarters and semis led to more impressive wins over Whitehorse (31-10) and Harrisburg (40-12). With the Championship on the line vs. South Jersey, SR jumped out to a 21-7 halftime lead, and held serve in the second half monsoon conditions to win 31-12. “Obviously, any time you go 5-0, it’s a good day, but I think the guys wanted a crack at SR Black in the Premier, which would have been fun. Regardless, really impressed with how the guys played the system and trusted each other especially with some new faces. These guys are all motivated to get to the first side, and they played with that fire all day,” noted Coach Mike Burch.
SR Grey battled all day, and despite some injures and a learning curve, just missed out on some upsets. “Grey was up against it today both with inexperience and some injuries they took during the day, but they really improved which cumulated in a great comeback against Lehigh Valley,” said Coach Burch. After suffering a narrow loss to the Allentown Blues 10-5, and harsh defeat to South Jersey 46-12, the boys were a bit rattled heading into the playoffs. Getting down 24-0 at half in the quarterfinals to Lehigh Valley didn’t help the cause. The second half saw a different team though as they fought to 24-21 in the final minute. Unable to steal the kickoff, Lehigh Valley was able to control the ball and kick to touch to end the game. Despite the loss, the boys showed massive improvement as we head into the thick of the schedule.
This week, the club heads to Leesburg, VA to compete in NOVA 7’s, the first National Qualifying tournament.