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Match Report October 7, 2017

Posted by David Codell at Oct 13, 2017 11:56AM PDT ( 0 Comments )

In Philadelphia Rugby action over the weekend Schuylkill River hosted the Pittsburgh Harlequins in a match for the Pelly Cup. The Cup is named in honor of Eric Pelly, a U-19 player for the Harlequins, who tragically passed away in 2006. In addition to honoring Eric, many of us on Schuylkill River consider this cup to also be in honor of one of our own who passed well before his time.

Jason “Face” Siddell was a promising player who battled every game and very often led the way with a big hit or a key try. He passed away just shy of his 25th birthday on Jan 4, 2008 and since then many of us have taken to saying his name as a rallying cry before or after our games.

We consider the privilege of wearing the Schuylkill River jersey, and dedicating our effort to Face’s memory, to be an honor and our guys always make sure to put forth their best effort in the Pelly Cup matches in memory of our teammate.

With the local Boys and Girls Club in attendance (read more here: Schuylkill ended up winning an exciting match 38-34.

The scoring started early with Pat Boyle making a linebreak on the first play of the match which led to a try from Ricky Schneider. The Quins struck back with a penalty followed quickly by another River try after flyhalf Matt Chiaramonte chipped over the top of the Quins line and Pat Boyle collected it to score. Cody Bukowski applied a lot of pressure defensively throughout the match and was awarded midway through the first half with an intercept try to put Schuylkill ahead 19-3. Pittsburgh was able to get one back before halftime to make it 19-10.

In the second half Boyle fielded a kick and transferred the ball to Ben Janssen who ran in a try from the midfield line. Pittsburgh’s big number 8 started to get going at this point in time and the Quins were able to quickly score two tries and a penalty to take a 27-26 lead. Schuylkill was eventually able to settle things down and grind out a sequence of 12-15 phases which culminated in another try from Pat Boyle.

Pittsburgh was able to strike back quickly off the base of a scrum to take a 34-33 lead as things started coming down to the wire. Buried in their zone the Quins looked for a clearance kick. The ball ended up staying in and was tracked down by Schuylkill’s Chino Deal who used a nice stutter and go move to create some space for himself down the sideline. Chino found Cody Bukowski in space and Cody was able to finish the play and give Schuylkill a 38-34 lead. On the last play of the match Pittsburgh had a 5 meter scrum and the 8man picked towards the corner. Three Schuylkill players met him there and were able to drive him out of bounds to end the match and preserve the bonus point victory.

After the match Coach Owen Jones selected Cody Bukowski as the Yards Brew Man of the Match while Ben Janssen was voted Yards Brawler of the Match by his teammates. Other standout players included Lucas Brickley, Ian Glatts, and Pat Boyle.

Coach Jones told me “a fantastic ending to the match secured the Pelly cup. Today’s victory marked the seventh consecutive successful Pelly Cup defense for us and today’s game carried extra weight as Schuylkill responded to the playoff loss to Pitt which ended our season last year. Our previous three games had seen us get behind early and make great late game charges. We revered that trend and got out to a lead today which proved pivotal. At fifty minutes in we were up 26-10. In the final 30 minutes we allowed 24 points including 17 in the final 20 minutes. We have to improve how we manage the game and work to play a more consistent 80 minutes. At the end of the day, this is a fantastic win that boosts our table standings and sends us into our bye week with positive momentum.”

Scorers: Tries – Pat Boyle (2), Cody Bukowski (2), Ben Janssen (1), Ricky Schneider (1). Cons – Matt Chiaramonte (4)

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), Rick Schneider (3) Pat Boyle (2), Cody Bukowski (2), Roman Lowery (2), Ben Janssen (1), Joe Midwig (1), Jim Rosato (1),
Cons: Brian Keown (8) Matt Chiaramonte (4)
Pens: Brian Keown (3)

Boys and Girls Club Weekend a Big Success!

Posted by David Codell at Oct 10, 2017 4:33PM PDT ( 0 Comments )

On Friday October 6, 2017 Schuylkill River visited the Northeast Frankford Boys and Girls Club with Philadelphia Women’s RFC ( as part of our ongoing joint program to engage in youth development within our community and help grow the game of rugby. What made this past weekend’s visit special was that Schuylkill, thanks to a lot of hard work and dedication from the Boys and Girls Club staff, was able to arrange for a group of kids to come to our match against Pittsburgh the following day.

Boys and Girls Club staff members Rafiq and Isaac generously donated their Saturdays and brought a bus load of kids to the match as Schuylkill River took on Pittsburgh in a battle for the Pelly Cup. The dozen kids that joined us wore their custom Boys and Girls Club Rugby t-shirts that were previously provided to them during our summer camp and were finally able to witness their first ever rugby match after spending the past year learning about the game.

After being provided a traditional Philly lunch of hoagies and soft pretzels the kids were ready to cheer us on and they were treated to a thrilling match that ended up being a 38-34 victory for Schuylkill River. After the match the Schuylkill players invited the kids to help us celebrate and take some photos hoisting the Pelly Cup.
The Boys and Girls Club had such a good time on Saturday that they have already made plans to come back out and watch us play our Friends and Family Day double header against Baltimore on October 28. A few photos of the kids enjoying their day can be found here ((

Match Report September 30 2017

Posted by David Codell at Oct 3, 2017 12:53PM PDT ( 0 Comments )

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)

Match Report September 23, 2017

Posted by David Codell at Sep 26, 2017 1:22PM PDT ( 0 Comments )

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)

Match Report September 16, 2017 vs. Norfolk

Posted by David Codell at Sep 20, 2017 12:20PM PDT ( 0 Comments )

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 for anyone who would like to follow along.

Thanks for reading,
Dave Codell