News and Announcements
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.
The Narberth Otters finished their season against the West Chester Wolfpack on Sunday with a 61-5 victory. The Otters featured a balanced attack on the day that scored 9 tries with 5 coming from the forwards pack and 4 coming from the backline. Unfortunately it was not enough to get the Otters into the playoffs due to Downingtown earning a bonus point in their match against Media which was enough for them to earn the second playoff spot from Gold division by one point.
Tries: Nate, Adam, Boken (2), Evan, Cameron (2), Colin, Mason
Cons: Nate (8)
The Narberth Otters continued their recent run of strong play with a 57-19 victory over Coventry on Sunday April 30. The Otters got off to a slow start in this one and had to overcome a couple of early injuries in the first half but were able to take a 14-7 lead into halftime thanks to tries from Isaac Martin (20 meter run) and Jack Torbeck (30 meter run after breaking two tackles) that were both converted by Nate.
Nate got things off to a good start in the second half by making a beautiful dummy move and running one in from 40 meters out to put the Otters up 21-7 after his conversion. Coventry fought back to make it 21-14 before Jack Torbeck split two defenders with a dummy of his own to score his second try after strong runs by Colin and Jhamir. Nate also converted that one as well to make it 28-14.
At this point the Otters were able to put their foot on the gas a little bit as Adam scored from 40 meters following a solid pass from Jack, Ray scored from 5 meters off of a lineout, and Colin scored off a pick and go from 2 meters out following a 50 meter run from Ray which Coach Matt Taylor says consisted of 8 stiff arms and I believe him. Nate’s golden boot only comes out in big moments so we missed a couple of the conversions but still held a 45-14 lead.
70 minutes into the match Coventry scored a consolation try before Colin scored again, this time from 20 meters out and with a few stiff arms of his own and Nate added a final try for the Otters off a grubber kick following a strong run from Luke to set him up.
It’s a good performance from the Otters who close out their regular season schedule on Sunday May 7 against West Chester at the stadium in Conshy.
Tries: Isaac, Jack (2), Nate (2), Adam, Ray, Colin (2),
Cons: Nate (6)
After a long layoff due to circumstances beyond our control the Narberth Otters were finally able to get some rugby in this weekend against LaSalle’s Second XV. Father Judge and LaSalle played a league match earlier in the day so the match was structured as Narberth teaming up with the reserves from Judge to take on LaSalle’s second side over three 25 minute periods. The Otters played fast, transitioned quickly from offense to defense, and held onto the ball in contact in order to minimize turnovers, which enabled them to quickly put up 45 points in the first 50 minutes. LaSalle was a determined team and wouldn’t be completely denied however as they stormed back with 29 points of their own in the final period to make it a 45-29 match.
Tries for the Otters were scored by Toes, Jhamir, Jack (2), Evan, and Nate (2) with Nate making 4 conversions and Colin also hitting one. In addition to his try Evan made a huge hit against one of LaSalle’s centers who was hunting for the goal line and was awarded Man of the Match by Coach Gabe Gliwa.
It was a good day for the Otters overall and it should serve as something to build on as the team turns its attention back to league play and its quest for the playoffs. This Sunday the Otters travel to Coventry for what promises to be a good match and next weekend the Otters host their annual beef and beer fundraiser on Saturday (www.narberthrugbyclub.teamsnapsites.com for details) before taking on West Chester at home (11th and Harry Street in Conshohocken on Sunday). Additionally, at 3:30 PM next Sunday, May 7 Narberth is hosting an alumni game after the U-19 game for all former players.