News and Announcements
Before getting into the Narberth match report let’s take a moment to congratulate Roman Catholic on a strong season. Roman came into the year with a young side and the guys developed quite a bit as the year went on. In their state semi-final match against Father Judge they were narrowly defeated by a score of 27-24. Roman’s try scorers were Stermel, Conway, Wiggins and Kuneck with Stermel hitting 2 conversions on a rainy and windy day.
We’ve seen some of the Roman guys come out and run with our U-19 7s program. They have a ton of young talent and the potential to make a serious run at the D2 single school state championship next year. We are happy to have had the opportunity to work with some of their kids this year and we hope to continue to do so well into the future.
Experience is almost everything in high school rugby and Narberth’s 10 seniors really made a difference in their 61-14 victory over a very physical and tough Blackthorn side. Credit to Blackthorn’s players, and their parents, they had a good turnout on a rainy day and kept their enthusiasm up throughout the match which did end up them scoring 2 late tries.
Narberth’s forwards got things off to a strong start for the Otters with Captain Cameron making a punishing run off of a penalty tap and scoring a try which put him into double digits on the season. Next up was George breaking the gain line and finding Nate for the finish and then a 70 meter break from Ifeyan which led to a try for Phil to put the Otters up 19-0 early on.
Midway through the first half Nick started having a lot of success kicking off the deck, the first time leading to a try in the corner for Jack and the second time leading to his own try following a great pickup of a rolling ball. Jack and Nate ended the half strongly with tries to give the Otters a 47-0 halftime lead.
In the second half Jack scored off of a scrum to complete his hat trick and put the Otters up 52-0. This try was also significant for the fact that as Nate lined up to take the conversion kick he was sitting on 99 points for the season. Nate’s kick was up and good and he crossed the century mark while putting the Otters up 54-0.
Blackthorn’s big second row scored the next try with some really powerful running. I don’t have this player’s name but he deserves credit for battling hard all match. Evan scored next for the Otters followed by another try for Blackthorn to make for a 61-14 final.
Narberth next plays Hempfield at 10:30 AM on Saturday May 19 in the state semi-finals at Cumberland Valley High School.
Tries: Jack (3), Nate (2), Cameron, Evan, Nick, Phil,
Cons: Nate (8)
Season Scoring Total:
Tries: Cam (10) Evan (9) George (9) Nate (9) Jack (8) Nick (6) Mason (5) Ifeyan (4) Antonio (1) Phil (1)
Cons: Nate (29) Cameron (1) Nick (1) Owen (1) Wyatt (1)
On February 24, 2018 Schuylkill River Rugby held a free high school rugby clinic for players in the Philadelphia area. The attendees were mostly comprised of players from the Narberth Otters, North Philadelphia Nomads, and Roman Catholic High School which are all programs with active Schuylkill players on their coaching staffs. Due to the success of the clinic, and based on the positive feedback from the players, it was decided that Schuylkill River would be running a U-19 7s program for the first time in 2018 with the goal of participating in the Subaru 7s tournament on May 19 in Wilmington Delaware and the High School Rugby Championship division of the CRC tournament in Chester on June 2.
Now that the Rugby PA regular season has come to an end we are happy to announce that the U-19 program is starting this week. Practices for the U-19 program will start on Monday May 7 and will be on Monday and Wednesday nights from 5:30-7:30 at Arrow Athletic Field (set your GPS to Arrow Athletic Field, Magdalena St, Philadelphia, PA 19128). If you would like more information please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The U-19 program will be coached by Greg Mininger along with assistant coaches Ben Janssen and Dan Deal. Mininger is a very experienced high school coach who has coached several U-19 all-star teams for the EPRU/Rugby PA previously while Janssen and Deal are top level 7s players who have both played in the Collegiate Rugby Championship, the USA Rugby Men’s Club Championship, and for several elite select sides such as the famed Atlantis program.
Director of Rugby Pat Boyle, who also serves as the Director of 7s for Schuylkill’s nationally recognized program stated that “we are beyond excited to start our U19 7s program, and that was the clear next step in our program’s development. We launched our U23 7s program 2 years ago, and it has been a resounding success. The U23s gave us a lot of confidence we can start developing players even earlier and there is an appetite for it.”
Head 15s Coach Owen Jones, who also ran the U-19 clinic added “rugby is a social game, a global game, and a community game. Our Schuylkill River community extends beyond just our own men’s club and includes local university and U-19 clubs. Past players have given back to the rugby community by taking coaching roles at these clubs and have introduced the game we all love to a younger generation of athletes. Philadelphia is recognized nationally as a rugby community, as evidenced by USA Sevens hosting their Collegiate Rugby Championships in the city with this year’s event being the eighth consecutive year. It is our responsibility as stewards of the game to introduce and engage the younger generation of athletes. We were thrilled at the invitation from Narberth U-19 to attend a practice session of theirs at the start of this spring season as well as have the opportunity for Schuylkill to host a U-19 clinic which was attended by U-19 athletes from several local area clubs. By showing these young rugby players what the sport can bring to them athletically, socially, and professionally, we hope they too will fall in love with rugby as we all have.”
Narberth Head Coach Gabe Gliwa was asked for his opinion of Schuylkill’s recent work with the Otters and had the following to say “This is the second year in a row we have established a working relationship with S’kill. As a guy who played at the college level and men’s level I know the difference in level and style of play from one to the other so I knew the huge difference in style of play from HS to men’s club but that is why I had to have them working together. I want to be sure I prepare these guys for their next step in a rugby career and if possible put them ahead of the guys they will be competing with when they join a college team. S’kill has been fantastic in introducing these guys to other elements of the game that they may not be used to competing against other 15-19yr olds. Beyond that I am only one guy who played a few positions throughout my career, these clinics and joint sessions gives these guys a chance to pick the brains of long tenured players in their position.
Finally, in just a few short years all of the HS players will graduate from college and hopefully be looking to continue with the game on a men’s level. If these introductions, session and clinics can cement the relationship between Narberth and S’kill and lead to my boys playing for my old team…..bonus.”
On Sunday April 29 the Narberth Otters traveled to West Chester to play the Wolfpack and Roman Catholic faced off against the first place Hibernians. The outcomes of these matches were a contrast of how important it is to have experienced players as Narberth was able to rely on their senior leadership to pull off a 38-12 victory while a Roman side full of underclassmen played a solid match against a more experienced Hibernians side before falling 31-17.
Ifeyan got Narberth on the board early to give the Otters a 7-0 lead and Nick followed with a try set up by a nice pass from George to make it 12-0. The Wolfpack stayed in the fight and scored in the corner right at halftime to make it 12-5 at the break. During his halftime speech Narberth Coach Gabe Gliwa made a couple of adjustments and the Otters returned to the field determined to earn the victory.
The tone was set early by senior captain Cameron who took the ball on a penalty play and absolutely smashed the defensive line. When Cameron get the ball again on another penalty soon after that it was clear that the defense was nervous about having to tackle him and he was able to score under the posts to make it 19-5. George was the next Otter to score off a penalty tap by making a nice move at the goal line and George also scored off a switch pass from Phil to push the lead to 31-5.
As Narberth got their subs into the match Nick moved from wing to scrumhalf and scored a nice try on a pick and go to give him his first multi-try game since his epic 4.5 try (Nick swears he and Nate scored a try together simultaneously, I’m just gonna go with it) performance against Coventry back in 7th grade. West Chester’s flyhalf then made a great line break and earned a penalty try in the process to make it a final score of 38-12 in favor of Narberth.
In the Roman Catholic match John Stermel opened the scoring with a penalty kick from 30M out to give Roman a 3-0 lead. This was followed by two quick tries from the Hibernians to make it 12-3 in favor of the Hibos. James Kuneck was able to beat the opposing fullback to the ball on a kick and chase to make it 12-10 following a conversion from the steady boot of Stermal. The half ended 12-10 in favor of the Hibernians.
This year’s Roman Catholic team is predominantly made up of underclassmen and the experience advantage showed when the Hibernians were able to score two quick tries to extend the lead to 24-10. Roman didn’t give up though, and they managed to score another try to make it a 24-17 match before the Hibernians iced the match with a late try to earn a well-deserved 31-17 victory. We’re looking forward to seeing the Roman players continue develop over the next couple of years and win these matches that are close at halftime.
Tries: George (2), Nick (2), Cameron (1), Ifeyan (1)
Cons: Nate (4)
Season Scoring Tally:
Tries: Cam (9) George (9) Evan (8) Nate (7) Jack (5) Mason (5) Nick (5) Ifeyan (4) Antonio (1)
Cons: Nate (21) Cameron (1) Nick (1) Owen (1) Wyatt (1)
On Sunday April 15, 2018 The Narberth Otters traveled to Cardinal O’Hara and earned a 53-5 victory. The match was played in a rain/sleet storm with extremely heavy winds but the Otters were able to stay focused on the task at hand to earn the win. The Otters got on the board thanks to a try from George which was followed up by a penalty try earned by speedster Nick flying down the sidelines to put them up 14-0 before O’Hara quickly answered back to make it 14-5. The rest of the first half was a back and forth battle until Jack was able to score a try on the last play of the half to give the Otters a 19-5 lead headed into the break.
At halftime the message to the Otters was to take control of things early in the second half with the wind at their backs and George executed the game plan perfectly scoring two quick second half to push the lead to 29-5. Mason then followed up with 2 tries of his own to push the lead to give Narberth a 39-5 victory before tries from Nate and Jack made it a 53-5 final score.
Team Captain Cameron McKendrick put it best saying that it was a great team effort with everyone playing solid rugby and Club President Simon Herriott praised the kids for their physicality up front and their ability to play with speed at the back despite the rough conditions. Despite not getting on the score sheet Ryan, James, and Freddy should be mentioned for the work they did controlling possession of the ball and Ifeyan, Antonio, and Evan should get credit for their physical play on offence and defense to set the table for their teammates.
George was named man of the match for his three try performance and Narberth returns to action on Sunday April 29 with a match against the West Chester Wolfpack.
Tries: George (3) Jack (2), Mason (2), Nate (1), Nick (1)
Cons: Nate (3) Nick (1)
Season Scoring Tally:
Tries: Cam (8) Evan (8) George (7) Nate (7) Jack (5) Mason (5) Ifeyan (3) Nick (3) Antonio (1)
Cons: Nate (17) Cameron (1) Nick (1) Owen (1) Wyatt (1)
On Saturday April 14, 2018 Schuylkill River Rugby hosted the first annual HazBowl old boys match in honor of Michael “Hasbro” Leland, a former Temple University and Second City Troop player who passed away in 2017. Haz was a much loved member of the Philadelphia rugby community and his dedication to the brother and sisterhood of rugby touched many people. Haz was the first person to make you feel like a member of the family and would always be there for a teammate in their time of need. The attendance at this event showed that many people connected deeply with him and wanted to play in his honor. The match featured approximately 60 players and we look forward to announcing the date of HazBowl II once the 2018-19 league schedule is announced.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Alex Yankowski, Austin Lucas, and Carlo Sena among others for donating food, setting up the snack bar, and manning the grill throughout the day. Clarence Stringer, who in traditional old boy fashion simultaneously scored a beautiful try and snapped his hamstring with some fancy footwork, deserves recognition for flying up from Turks and Caicos to participate in the match. Chris Metzger from Narberth Youth Rugby deserves our thanks for both volunteering to referee the old boys match for free and for giving Yankowski a yellow card for talking too much. Last, but certainly not least, a huge thanks to Tim Emgushov and Wayne Megill who were unable to attend the event but both put in a ton of effort to put the rosters together.
Looking forward to HazBowl II in 2019!