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In Troop’s (D3) most recent game they travelled to Reading and were handed a 52-12 defeat against a very tough opponent. Hunter Valentine scored both tries in this game and Dan Callahan made a conversion kick. For his efforts Hunter was awarded “Yardsbrew Brawler of the Match” and got to take home a 6 pack. Izak Du Plooy also played a strong game and was awarded Man of the Match by the Coaching Staff.
After the match Coach Clark informed me “We got to see the level of rugby that we need to play in order to compete at the top of the division. Reading was a solid club that performed their game plan flawlessly. We were able to disrupt them and hold them in the first half, but playing 60 minutes of defense is always tiring. It was a pleasure to watch the team as the score line does not show the level of effort and teamwork that went on during the game. This is by far the greatest I have ever seen the team play. I know I have said that in several of these write ups, but the team continues to take steps forward. We had lots of great individual efforts as well as a solid foundation for next season.”
After several weeks off due to circumstances beyond our control the Exiles (D1) finally played a match earlier today. Unfortunately the result was a 40-7 defeat at the hands of Rocky Gorge. I caught up with scrumhalf Pat Boyle on the sideline after the game and he explained very simply that Rocky Gorge capitalizes on every mistake that you make. They have 15 guys on the field looking to be opportunists at all times.
Coach Owen Jones kept things in perspective and informed me that “Rocky Gorge has established themselves as the team to beat in recent years and today we took a big step towards challenging their position. It has been an emotionally challenging few weeks for the players and it was pleasing to see them channel those emotions and come together. The scoreboard accurately reflected the flow of the day and we now have the benchmark for the work that lays ahead.”
I also had the opportunity to catch up with Captain Joe Midwig who told me “it was a tough battle back and forth with a few balls not falling our way. I think everyone was focused and played their hearts out. I’m excited to see how we come out against Pitt next week.” As I mentioned previously, that match against Pitt is a big one and I’d like to see a really good turnout from our supporters.
For his efforts, Rich Casey was the Exiles Man of the Match today and the Coaching Staff also wanted to highlight the performances of Gareth Jones, Ben Janssen, Joe Midwig, David Jones, and Jeff Hall who all played hard and will each be in contention for Brawler of the Match.
The last thing before I sign off is that I would like to thank Greg Mininger and Paul Abrams for taking time to come out and work with the Otters on Tuesday and Thursday of this past week respectively. The kids were on spring break and numbers were light so this made it a good week to do some individual skill development. Greg took the kids through a kicking clinic on Tuesday while Paul did a scrum clinic on Thursday. Both of these guys have a vast knowledge of the game and it was generous of them to take the time to help pass some of that knowledge along. Thank you both.
The Exile game against PAC that was scheduled for last Saturday ended up not happening. We are working with the Union to figure out the plan moving forward and once we’re sure of what our schedule is going to look like as a result we’ll be sure to get the word out.
The Troop was able to get a match in but unfortunately it wasn’t the result we were looking for. In one of those classic mud-pit rugby matches Troop fell to Wilkes-Barre on the road 22-5. Our try was scored by Joey Rufo. Coach Clark chose Ross McMonigle as his Yards Brew Man of the Match for his tough running with the ball in hand and his physical defense in the face of a much larger pack.
Gary Citrone was voted as the Brawler of the Match by his teammates for his strong play in the set pieces and for some really great open field running including two runs of at least 50 meters in the second half, the first of which set up Joey for his try and the second of which almost got Dave Gross over the line. Dave Gross also deserves a mention for playing strong defense at both the outside center and flanker positions while Greg Mininger and Ryan Tower deserve recognition for their intensity and toughness in the backline.
After the match Coach Clark complimented Wilkes-Barre for being well coached and sticking to their system. Playing defense for most of the game really cost us but this match showed us what we need to work on going forward. Captain Callahan added that Gary Citrone had a stand out performance on both sides of the ball. His consistent tackling and hard running kept us competitive and that we need to stay disciplined in order to have a chance to win. Two yellow cards were very costly in this game and prevented us from being able to adapt to our opponent until the game was already decided.
Up next is an away game vs Reading.
On the youth scene it was a tough day for the young guys but hopefully it was a good learning experience. The Narberth Otters traveled to Media for a U-19 match and ended up falling 50-19. A bright-spot for the Otters was senior Isaac Martin who broke off two try scoring runs from inside his own half and almost added a third before offloading the ball to Adam Judkowski when he ran out of gas. Nate Nagvajara added two conversions.
For the Nomads it was a 40-20 defeat at the hands of Blackthorn. Scoring tries for the Nomads were Michael Carter and Pablo Berrios-Cruz. Alandy Fleury went 2/2 on conversions and 2/2 on penalty kicks. Nomads of the match were Minh in the backline and Hamir in the pack. Coach Brunson stated that both young men gave terrific efforts in the match.
In Troop’s (D3) first game of the Spring we went up against North Penn and came up just short in a 26-20 loss on March 4. Tries were scored by Kyle King, Matt Angelluci (2) and Michael Bacon, with King taking Man of the Match honors. Coach Clark said it was wonderful to watch and the best rugby he’s seen this group of players play. Captain Callahan added that a combination of cold, wind, and a lot of rust had us lagging in the first half but we cleaned things up and outplayed North Penn in the second half. Kicking was an issue for us in this one but we’ve got a platform to build on.
Troop’s second game of the Spring took place this past weekend and was a 46-7 victory over Delmarva. Izak Du Plooy, Kyle King (2), John Hines, Mike Martino (2), and Rich Grand were the try scorers along with 4 conversions from Ryan Tower and a drop goal from Greg Mininger. For his efforts, Ryan Tower was named man of the match. Captain Citrone felt that overall D3 did really well on Saturday. We were able to utilize the defensive positioning that we worked on all week at practice to stifle Delmarva’s attack. We worked our offensive system well and were able to start working out the kinks which will greatly benefit us as we go into our next couple of matches.
Gary wanted to give special mention to Cat Stevens for willingly playing for Delmarva when they ran out of healthy players (this was a friendly after all) as well as David Gross and Ryan Tower who got some experience in new positions and looked like natural fits. Coach Clark felt that D3 came out of the gate ready to make up for the lack of rugby games over the past two weekends. It was a hard hitting game against a larger team and keeping to the game plan enabled us to pull away and be victorious.
On the D1 side the Exiles played their first league match this weekend after warmup games against Monmouth and Old Blue. The Monmouth game was a 63-19 victory for the Exiles while the Old Blue match was a 53-15 defeat. The two matches showed us what we are capable of when everything is clicking for us and also gave us a glimpse at what we need to work on in order to play at the highest level consistently.
In their most recent game the Exiles defeated Wilmington 54-17 with tries coming from Dan Deal (3), Brad Volm, Cody Bukowski, Owen Jones, Chase Haberstroh and Steve Cragg with Matt Chiaramonte providing 16 points with the boot. After the match Coach Tom told me “managing several availability issues, the Exiles’ strong depth was showcased as the side came out firing on all cylinders and got out to a 42-5 halftime lead. Sharp execution in the midfield opened up holes on the outside and much improved tackling ensured we got the ball back quickly. In the second half, we began to throw 50/50 passes, didn’t commit to recycling clean ball, and tried to get the ball wide too soon, too early. As a result, we didn’t widen our lead from the first half. Overall, the tackling was much improved, our maul defense took a step forward, and our defensive structure was more sound. Lot’s to build on for our match next week against PAC."
With the win the Exiles move into 3rd place in the MAC and sit only 3 points behind the Pittsburgh Harlequins with a game in hand for 2nd.
On April 1 Troop travels to Wilkes-Barre and the Exiles travel to Potomac.
On the youth level the Narberth Otters won a well deserved 24-10 victory over the Kutztown Silverbacks yesterday. Tries were scored by Nate, Luke, and Jhamir with Nate also kicking 3 conversions and a penalty. This was a good start to league play for the Otters who previously won the Frostbite tournament in Lancaster a few weeks ago by winning 5 matches in two days. The scores are below:
Mt St Joe’s High School (Baltimore, MD) W 3-0
North Bay, Aberdeen, MD W 12-7
Carlisle HS, PA W 15-0
Calvert Hall College HS (Baltimore, MD) W 12-7
Hempfield HS, PA W 45-5
Schuylkill River won its second first place finish to earn the top seed in the region and Northern Virginia (NOVA) captured the second seed.
Original By Evan Lappen of RugbyToday| 07.24.16
Twelve teams entered the Mid-Atlantic 7s Championships in Richmond, Va. with hopes of representing the NCR4 Competitive Region at Nationals on August 13th in Denver, Colo. For the men, Schuylkill River won its second first place finish to earn the top seed in the region and Northern Virginia (NOVA) captured the second seed edging out Rocky Gorge by one point. Scion and NOVA advanced to Nationals on the women’s side after they have led the MAC all season long.
With three teams in play for the two spots to Denver, six standing points separated the clubs. After last weekend’s Slug 7s, Schuylkill River led the pack with 58.5 points followed by NOVA with 55 and Rocky Gorge with 52. Going into the final tournament on Saturday, Schuylkill had to place in third to be assured a spot in Nationals while Rocky Gorge had to finish two places ahead of NOVA to advance.
At the MAC 7s Championships, Schuylkill River was undefeated in pool play outscoring its opponents 83-5. In Pool B, NOVA and Rocky Gorge finished the opening round with 2-0-1 records after tying their head-to-head matchup, 12-12. Based on point differential, Rocky Gorge was awarded the top seed and would play the Pittsburgh Pandas in the semifinals. For NOVA, they were matched up against rival Schuylkill River in the second semifinal.
Schuylkill River continued its tear this summer by dispatching NOVA, 21-7, in the semifinals and Rocky Gorge beat Pittsburgh, 28-21, to face the top club. With winning its semifinal, Schuylkill River locked up its place in Nationals and Rocky Gorge had to beat the Philadelphia team to book its ticket.
In the final, Schuylkill River starved the young Rocky Gorge squad to win 19-5. The Exiles led the entire game taking advantage of Gorge’s turnovers in their own end. Schuylkill’s Pat Boyle scored his team’s first half tries and Brian Keown connected on both conversions for a 14-0 halftime lead.
The Exiles extended the lead to 19-0 after Bruce Dolan broke the line for a long run and dished back inside to Cody Bukowski for the try. Determined to be not shut out, Rocky Gorge’s Jordan Bakouche scored in the final moments of the match. In the end, it was the skill and experience of Schuylkill River that proved to be too much as it won 19-5.
According to Schuylkill River’s captain Pat Boyle, the key to the tournament was “playing within the system, continuing to improve, and when the opportunity arises to do something, taking advantage of it. Defensively, we really stepped up. I don’t think Gorge crossed the 50 meter until the final play of the game… The combination of all things has really put us of the front foot these last two weeks as we haven’t lost a game.”
Rocky Gorge had the outside chance to still advancing to Denver, but NOVA did its job in the third place game barely surpassing Pittsburgh, 19-17. With the victory, NOVA earned the second spot to Nationals by one point.
This will be Schuylkill River’s sixth year in row to make Nationals and seven out of the last eight. When asked what the Exiles have to work on, Boyle responded, “Getting comfortable with the speed of the game and making sure the younger guys understand the margins between getting to the cup round are very small. Every game is played with such intensity and everything is amplified. The talent is incredible and the error in your local union might not punish you in a game, but out there, it will. We are focused on us, what we need to do, and go on from there.”
The Scion Sirens and NOVA ruled the Women’s Premier Division all summer and, as usual, they met again in the final. After winning its pool play by a combined 117-0 and stomping NOVA, 27-0, in its first match, Scion celebrated its fourth tournament first place trophy winning 24-12. Scion enters Nationals on a roll and will look to flex its muscles against the country’s top teams. NOVA, who earned the share of first place last weekend, joins Scion in Denver as the second seed from the MAC.
Updated 17:59 – 25 Jul 2016 by Randy Helsman
Eight hours of rugby in Columbia, Md. was cut short on Saturday when lightning and rain stopped the Mid-Atlantic Conference’s Slug 7s.
Originally Written By Evan Lappen, RugbyToday | 07.18.16
Eight hours of rugby in Columbia, Md. was cut short on Saturday when lightning and rain stopped the Mid-Atlantic Conference’s Slug 7s just before the cup final matches in the Men’s and Women’s Qualifier division. It was determined that the finalists in each division would share the tournament championship and qualifier points. For the Men, Schuylkill River and Norfolk split the title and the Scion Sirens and Northern Virginia (NOVA) would be co-champions in the Women’s Qualifier.
Hosted by Rocky Gorge, the 26th annual Slug 7s featured over 560 athletes competing on 47 teams spread over five divisions. The Men’s Qualifier was composed of Schuylkill River, Baltimore-Chesapeake, Rocky Gorge, and Norfolk in one pool and NOVA, the Pittsburgh Pandamonium, Washington, and the Washington Irish in the second pool.
During pool play, one group was hotly contested, while the second had a clear winner. Schuylkill River beat Rocky Gorge and Norfolk convincingly and edged Baltimore-Chesapeake in a track meet, 43-38. Norfolk also advanced to the playoffs with wins over BC and Rocky Gorge.
In the second pool, three teams completed the opening round with identical 2-1 records. NOVA, Pittsburgh, and the Washington Irish ended up tied and NOVA and the Irish moved on based on point differential.
In the semifinals, Norfolk upset NOVA in an extremely close match, 10-7, and Schuylkill River slipped past the Irish, 15-5. With about 20 minutes to go until the start of the cup final, the tournament was called for lightning and Norfolk and Schuylkill River were named co-champions of the event.
In the Women’s Qualifier, Scion and NOVA were the runaway winners of the day poised to meet the final after going undefeated in all of their matches. Scion was especially dominant scoring 150 points, giving up only ten points, and blanking Philly, 53-0, in the semifinals. On the other hand, NOVA breezed through pool play outscoring its opponents 88-15 and was challenged by the D.C. Furies in the semifinals. Ultimately, NOVA persevered to win, 17-12. With sharing the first place tournament points, Scion and NOVA have basically locked up their tickets to Nationals.
With the Mid-Atlantic Championship next weekend at the Monk Vaughn 7s in Richmond, Va., it’s a three horse race for the Men with Schuylkill River, NOVA, and Rocky Gorge jockeying for position. Schuylkill River and NOVA have the inside track to advance to Nationals, but Gorge could break into the top two with top finish in the final tournament.
Updated 17:54 – 25 Jul 2016 by Randy Helsman