News and Announcements
On September 30, 2017 Schuylkill River traveled to Baltimore for a MAC doubleheader. It was a good day to be an Exile as the team went 2-0 to pick up a couple of big wins.
D2 went first on the day and quickly found themselves in a 6-0 hole. Baltimore had a very solid kicker who was able to take territory and get them going early. Things turned around for Schuylkill when Matt Tyris got rolling and started ripping off huge chunks of yardage, including a 75 meter try that gave us the lead. Our scrumhalf Tito Callahan was able to find space around the breakdown and take it himself from 25 yards out for another try before half and a couple of conversions from Greg Mininger gave us a 14-6 lead at the half.
In the second half it was a back and forth battle but Schuylkill was able to drive deep in Baltimore’s half to set up a penalty kick from Ryan Tower that gave us an 11 point lead with just a few minutes to go. Baltimore was able to add a try late to make it a 17-13 score line in favor of River.
Callahan ended up being named man of the match and other strong performers included Matt Tyris, James Brunson, and Ryan Tower. A couple of players, including Matt Centanni and Pat Bellot made their overall rugby debuts this weekend and both of them definitely looked like they belong on the pitch.
Scorers: Tries – Callahan and Tyris, Cons – Mininger (2), Pens – Tower (1)
D1 went next and ended up playing a very exciting back and forth game. Brian Keown put us ahead 3-0 in the early going but Baltimore was able to come back with a quick try to take a 7-3 lead. Joe Midwig and Matt Giannascoli managed to simultaneously charge down a kick to lead to a try for Ricky Schneider and Ryan McHugh finished off a sequence of pick and goes soon thereafter to give River a 17-7 lead.
Baltimore had a strong points kicker as well and he traded penalties with Keown to eventually make it 20-13 which was the halftime score. Baltimore went on to put two more tries on the board to give themselves a 27-20 lead. Schuylkill remained calm and played steady from there leading to a sequence where quick hands on the goal line from Matt Chiaramonte to Rich Casey to Ryan McHugh made the score 27-25 Baltimore.
As the clock ticked down Randy Helsman found some space and fed Roman Lowery who squeezed through a gap to make the score 30-27 which ended up being the final. With the 4 tries Schuylkill ended up getting a bonus point in this match.
Afterwards Randy was named man of the match and other strong performers included Lucas Brickley, Roman Lowery, Geoff Matthes, and Matt Chiaramonte.
Scorers: Tries – McHugh (2), Lowery, Schneider, Cons – Keown (2), Pens – Keown (2)
Coach Owen Jones described it as “a fantastic day for Schuylkill River with both sides securing road victories. The players once again finished with great passion and earned two tries in the final ten minutes. Baltimore was a bruising team and we met them with physicality. The team is starting to find their identity, and with many games left, is looking to make a charge this season.”
Season Scoring Tally
Tries: Tito Callahan (2), John Sneh (2), Michael Bacon (1), James Brunson (1), Yuriy Trimba (1), Matt Tyris (1)
Cons: Greg Mininger (2), Ryan Tower (2)
Pens: Ryan Tower (1)
Tries: Rich Casey (3), Ryan McHugh (3), Roman Lowery (2), Rick Schneider (2) Joe Midwig (1), Jim Rosato (1),
Cons: Brian Keown (8)
Pens: Brian Keown (3)
Over the weekend Schuylkill River traveled down to Bethesda, MD for a MAC double header against the Potomac Exiles. In the first match of the day Troop (D2) spotted Potomac a 14-0 lead before the guys settled in and played what ended up being a hard fought 36-19 defeat while the Exiles (D1) had a repeat performance of the Norfolk match, going down 22-3 at the half before coming up just short at the end and finishing up with a 29-27 loss.
Following the Troop match, Coach Clark told me that he was pleased with how well Troop traveled down to the game and got ready to play. The early scoreline might not have indicated it but the guys were ready to go and dominated possession for large stretches of the match with multi-phased play and good use of teamwork in our system. It was a hard loss but the team continues to build week to week and improve their performance.
Scoring for Troop was scrumhalf Dan Callahan off a heads up pick and go and wings Yuriy Trimba and John Sneh. Ryan Tower added 2 conversions. With his try this week John Sneh is now on a two match scoring streak and looks poised to add more to his tally throughout the season.
The Troop Man of the Match this week was Matt Tyrus and other players who distinguished themselves include Beau Lail, John Sneh, James Teti, and Brian Taylor.
Regarding the Exiles’ match, Coach Owen Jones pointed out that earning an away victory is a tough task in our league, and went on to say that although this was not the result we wanted coming home with two points is a positive and meaningful contribution to league standings come end of year. Costly handing errors gifted our opponent with scoring opportunities that they capitalized on.
The Exiles have finished strong, incredibly strong in fact, for two straight weeks now. Coach Jones is looking forward to our next match against Baltimore where we need to bring the same efficiency and intensity that we have closed with to the start of the match and sustain it throughout.
Scoring for the Exiles were props Rich Casey and Rick Schneider, along with flankers Joe Midwig and Ryan McHugh. Brian Keown added 7 points with the boot.
The Exiles Man of the Match this week was Pat Boyle and other strong performances were turned in by Ryan McHugh, Matt Zebrowski, Jeff Hall, and Matt Giannascoli.
Our next match is a MAC doubleheader on Saturday September 30, 2017 against Baltimore with kickoff times of noon and 2pm. According to their website the field is located at Frank C. Bocek Park, 3198 E Madison St, Baltimore, MD 21205.
Season scoring tally:
Troop tries: Michael Bacon (1), James Brunson (1), Dan Callahan (1), John Sneh (2), Yuriy Trimba (1)
Troop cons: Ryan Tower (2)
Exile tries: Rich “Pond” Casey (3) Roman Lowery (1), Ryan McHugh (1), Joe Midwig (1), Jim Rosato (1), Rick Schneider (1)
Exile cons: Brian Keown (6)
Exile pens: Brian Keown (1)
Over the weekend Schuylkill kicked off league play with a double header against the Norfolk Blues. It was a disappointing weekend for us as Norfolk ended up winning both matches but the Blues deserve a lot of credit for making the long trip and playing well.
The stats for the D2 match are unavailable but try scorers included James “JB” Brunson, John Sneh, and Michael Bacon. The Man of the Match for D2 was John Hines whose communication and toughness in the backline was a real bright spot for a team featuring a lot of new faces. Other players who distinguished themselves on Saturday include former Narberth Otter Beau Lail, John Sneh, Dave Hilley, TJ McDonough and John “Cat Stevens” Vizzachero.
The D1 match featured a continuation of some discipline issues that cropped up in the first match and we quickly found ourselves in a 22-0 hole. In the second half the Exiles got 3 quick tries from Rich Casey, Roman Lowery, and Jim Rosato in what looked like it was shaping up to be a successful comeback. Unfortunately Norfolk was able to score once again to give themselves an 8 point cushion. Rich Casey scored his second try of the match right at the end to create a final score of 29-28 in favor of the Blues. With the 4 tries and the close loss Schuylkill was able to salvage 2 standings points and now heads to Potomac this weekend looking to get things back on track.
Tyler Kelly was named D1 man of the match for his play in the front row and other standouts included Rick Schneider, Jeff Hall, Brian Keown, Ben Janssen, and Graham Johnston. Schneider (loose head prop) and Keown (flyhalf, 4 for 4 on conversions) were particularly impressive making their D1 league play debuts. I’m looking forward to seeing good things from them in the future.
Schuylkill returns to action in a MAC double header on Saturday September 23 against Potomac. It is anticipated that D2 will kick off at noon and D1 will kick off at 2PM at Burning Tree Elementary School 7900 Beach Tree Rd, Bethesda MD 20817. I will live tweet the D1 match from www.twitter.com/skillRiverRfc for anyone who would like to follow along.
Thanks for reading,
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,