News and Announcements
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!
On Sunday April 8 the Narberth Otters hosted Coventry at Edgeley Field for their first league match of the 2018 season. The hard work and focus that the Otters put into their pre-season preparations paid dividends as the boys scored early and often en-route to a 79-10 victory. Due to some uncertainty regarding the weather and the timing of the match Coventry was a bit shorthanded on the day with only 13 available players. The teams agreed to play without wings (high school rules require an 8 person scrum) and the extra spacing on the field proved beneficial to Narberth.
Jack got things off to a good start by scoring a 60 meter try in the early going from the fly half position which was quickly followed up with a try from Mason and a score from Cameron. The Otters next possession featured a slick passing sequence from Antonio, Ifeyan, and George who worked the ball to the goal line and earned a penalty which Cameron was able to turn into a try via a quick tap. From there Evan scored a couple of tries off of backline moves before Ifeyan stole a lineout without lifters and raced in from 40 meters.
Ifeyan’s second try of the day came when he caught a Coventry clearance kick at midfield and was able to run the ball all the way in by himself. The Otters then stole a scrum and scrum half Phil find fullback Nate for the finish. The last play of the half featured Ifeyan starting the break and then finding Evan who completed his hat trick and gave Narberth a 62-0 lead.
At half-time Coach Gabe Gliwa was able to move some players into new positions and get some of his less experienced players onto the field. The important of playing a full match was emphasized and the guys headed out for the second half. George quickly picked up a loose ball in the midfield and scored it followed by Jack scoring from flyhalf off a scrum and Cameron scoring off of pick and goes to push the lead to 79-0.
Coventry showed some positive signs late in the game as they began linking their forwards to their outside center who had a strong finish to day by scoring two late tries to make the final score 79-10.
After the match prop Davon was awarded man of the match honors for his strong play in the set piece and breakdown as well as a thunderous tackle that he made to snuff out a Coventry attack.
The Otters return to action on Sunday April 15 for a match against Cardinal O’Hara.
Tries: Cameron 3, Evan 3, Jack 2, Ifeyan 2, Mason, Nate, George
Cons: Nate 7
Season Scoring Tally:
Tries: Cam (8) Evan (8) Nate (6) George (4) Ifeyan (3) Jack (3) Mason (3) Nick (2) Antonio (1)
Cons: Nate (14) Owen (1) Wyatt (1)
Following the cancelation of their regularly scheduled match on Sunday March 18, the Narberth Otters traveled to Doylestown to take on St. Joe’s Prep’s second side after the conclusion of the Doylestown vs. Prep match. It was a great opportunity for the newer Narberth players to see high level rugby as Doylestown and SJP are perennially two of the top programs in the State and Nationally as well. Narberth picked up 4 Doylestown boys who were able to give valuable minutes including one who played hooker the entire second half. The final score of the match was 53-20 in favor of the Otters.
Coach Gabe Gliwa said that it was all in all a great game. This was the first time we got to see the boys play a whole 70 minutes on a full rugby field versus a turf football field. Our backs showed flash and our forwards helped in the open field. There were quite a few big breakaways that came about off of good passing and quite a few huge tackles that evoked big reactions from the crowd. Coach Gliwa added that Narberth kept Prep scoreless until the 2nd half when we had subs in and people playing out of position due to new guys mixing in.
The Otters return to action on Sunday April 8 vs Coventry with a 11AM kickoff at Garthwaite Stadium in Conshohocken (100 E 11th Ave, Conshohocken PA, 19428)
Tries: Nate (3), Evan (2) Mason, Jack, Cameron, George
Cons: Nate (2), Owen, Wyatt
Season Scoring Tally:
Tries: Cam (5) Evan (5) Nate (5) George (3) Mason (2) Nick (2) Ifeyan (1) Antonio (1) Jack (1)
Cons: Nate (7) Owen (1) Wyatt (1)
If you’d like to join us for the spring season please reach out to us at email@example.com
Our practices will be Tuesday nights from 8-10PM at Marcus Foster Memorial Stadium (1600 Staub) and Thursday nights from 8-10PM at Cruz Field (5th and Jefferson) with home matches taking place on Saturdays at Pennypack Park (7800 State Rd).
Schuylkill River Rugby returns to league action tomorrow (March 17) with a MAC doubleheader against Potomac. The Exiles (D1) currently sit in 4th place in the MAC with a 4-4 record and would qualify for the playoffs if the season ended today. Troop (D2) sits in 4th place in the D1B league with a 2-3 record and will be looking to get off to a good start this season as they begin their own playoff push.
Head 15s Coach Owen Jones was asked for his thoughts on the upcoming spring season and provided the following. “In the last three seasons, Schuylkill River has had three different head coaches. In two of those seasons, Schuylkill River has made playoffs and we are poised to make playoffs again this season and make it three for three. Three seasons, three different head coaches, three playoff appearances. That is no minimal feat I assure you, that is astounding. A true testament to the steadfast leadership of the Club off the field and to the exceptional abilities of the players on it. This fall was the first iteration of the D1 & D1B league format and it has had a positive immediate impact for us. With both sides having playoff and national championship pathways, there are 160 minutes of meaningful rugby played every weekend. Players are challenging one another, supporting one another, and improving one another. As we move forward to the spring, our focus needs to remain on manageable gains. Control what we can control, play to our strengths, improve in our areas of need, and continue to grow together as a team.”
The remaining schedule is:
March 17 – home vs Potomac
March 24 – bye week for trip to South Africa
March 31 – home vs Rocky Gorge
April 7 – away vs Norfolk Blues
April 14 – home vs Washington (Exiles) and Reading (Troop, non-league)
April 21 – weather make up week
April 28 – Playoffs begin
Stats and information:
Brian Keown enters the spring as our leading scorer on the season with a total of 53 points so far. Ben Janssen and Rick Schneider enter the spring as co-leading try scorers with a total of 5 each. The D2 leading scorers are Michael Bacon, Beau Lail, and Ryan Tower who have each scored 20 points on the season. 18 different players have scored a try for D2 this season while 19 different players have scored a try for D1 so far. After seeing 17 players lose time to injury during the fall season the team has developed a lot of depth throughout the roster and has shown that guys will step up when called upon. With 3 out of 4 matches at home this spring there’s going to be a lot of guys available each week and a ton of competition for playing time.
1.How long have you been playing rugby?
I have been playing rugby for about three and a half years now.
2. What other Clubs have you played for?
Besides Schuylkill I have only played at Millersville University (go killer bees).
3. What made you decide to play for Schuylkill River?
When I was coming into my senior year at Millersville (technically super senior) I was talking with our club member and Ville’ alum Loopy about my plans to continue rugby after graduation and I explained that I wasn’t just looking for a social club and he told me about Schuylkill and the opportunity that I would have to learn and advance my game. That really drew me to the club.
4. Your physical approach to the game has enabled you to see the field as a center and a loose forward. Describe the mentality you bring that helps you win the contact battle on the field.
The physicality and contact is what brought me to the sport of rugby. Coming up as a center I always tried to emulate the smash mouth players that were always looking for big contact or to blow out rucks. The mentality that I bring to the field is to look for the big physical battle and to win it.
5. What is your proudest rugby moment so far?
My proudest moment so far would have to be taking the MAC Open division with the U23 squad in 7’s. It was my first season with the team and we went undefeated through our last 15 matches I believe.
6. What do you hope to accomplish in your rugby career moving forward?
Going forward I hope to become a full game D1 player and help our team get back to nationals.
7. What’s on your pregame playlist?
I am pretty big on the pregame playlist. My playlist varies depending on how I’m feeling that Saturday. If I’m feeling pretty loose I’ll throw on some rap (Big L, Meek, Dave East, ASAP, etc…) and if I’m feeling like getting after some smash mouth play I’ll go with some hardcore (TUI, Expire, incendiary).
8. What are some of your best Philadelphia area cheesesteak recommendations?
Being from the Northeast area I am pretty partial to Steve’s prince of steaks, Joes steaks and Soda, and my number one go to is Jim’s however that’s not as convenient as it used to be now that I have to head all the way down to South St. (R.I.P. Roosevelt Mall Location).
9. You’re heading with us to South Africa next week. Is this your first international rugby experience and what are you most looking forward to?
Minus the fifteen-hour flight I could not be more excited to be a part of the South Africa tour. Not only is this my first international rugby experience, but this is actually my first time really traveling out of the country. I am most looking forward to getting to interact with the baby big cats at the rhino and lion park and just the good times that will be had with the rest of the boys #Friendship.
10. We briefly touched on your physical approach to the game in question 4. Have you ever actually successfully completed a pass in your rugby career?
Ouch, shoulda went with the Linda’s question about how I keep the flow so nice! But yes, I have been known to complete a pass here and there. I actually started off last season by connecting with Mike Centanni on the wing who sped away with a game winner.
11. Our club has 2 sides in league play. As a back who had to learn to play with the forwards how do you feel you personally benefitted from being able to do live scrums in practice and watch the D1 guys playing your position on match day?
The D1 loose guys have been a wealth of knowledge and help in my transition from back to forward. Between Ben, Randy, Tiny Dave, JB, and McHugh there’s probably over a hundred years of combined experience that I had as an example of how to play as a loose forward. Actually, between Tiny and JB alone there’s probably over a hundred years. The live scrums in practice have been a great resource to both observe and get real game-like experience at in an area of the game that I previously had no experience in.
12. What would you say is the biggest benefit in general that our Club gets from our multi-side structure?
The biggest benefit is the competition that comes out of it. We are able to field two full sides at practice which gives us the ability to get full game play and real game situations going. It also gives D2 the ability to play against a higher skill level which leads to the better development of our newer players.
13. You’ve played both 7s and 15s for Schuylkill. Which do you prefer and why?
I love both and for different reason. I love the pace and constant action of sevens. It requires more reactive play and more discipline because of the amount of space that is given. On the other side, I love the strategy and grind of eighty minutes of fifteens.
14. Who has the strongest mustache game on the squad, you or Dipin George?
I think I take the mustache but Dip has the better facial hair overall. That Salvador Dali/goatee thing he had going on was great.
15. What was your impression of Schuylkill River Rugby before you joined our Club and how does the Schuylkill experience compare to your expectations?
Before I joined the club, I had the impression that this was a serious program that had a winning reputation. The club lived up to those expectations and built the social and philanthropic side of it as well. The selflessness and willingness of the men on the team to help in any situation they can has been apparent from day one and I honestly can’t say enough about the family type atmosphere that this team brings with it.
16. We’re still mentioning the fact that the Philadelphia Eagles are the current Super Bowl champions every chance we get. What did you do for the game/parade and what did it mean to you to see this city finally win the big game?
It still feels surreal that we won, even a month later. I stuck with going to my good luck bar which is Currans in Bensalem for the game. Post-game I headed to Cottman and Frankford to take part in the debauchery that was happening down there. I spent the parade in front of the Barnes Foundation with my girlfriend, our teammate Austin Lucas and his family and friends.
17. The Wu-Tang Clan is my all-time favorite band, which is why I frequently ask this question, in case you didn’t know. Who is your favorite member of the Wu?
For some reason, the Wu and rugby kind of go together don’t they? I’d have to say my favorite member is Dirt McGirt ODB himself.
18. Since March is Women’s History Month tell us about a woman who has had a major impact on your life.
Now you know I can’t just choose one. My girlfriend Leah has always been supportive and encouraging in everything that I do. She’s at almost every one of our games and has even traveled down to Richmond VA to watch our sevens side play. She drives me to be the very best that I can be in every aspect of my life and I still can’t believe she’s willing to put up with me. Of course, I can’t leave momma dukes out of this. My mom has made it to most of our home games and virtually every one of my sporting events growing up. She’s given me the support I’ve needed to succeed no matter what. I can’t thank these two women for everything they do to help me and I wouldn’t be half the person I am without them.
19. What does Philadelphia rugby mean to you and how do you try to embody those ideals?
Philadelphia rugby, to me, is all about grinding as a family if that makes sense. It’s not necessarily about being the most skilled player, but rather being the most dedicated and hardworking teammate you can be. The way that I try to embody that is just by focusing on doing everything I can to prepare and doing everything I can to lift my teammates up and make us a better club.
20. If someone reading this was considering coming to play for Schuylkill what would you most want them to know about our Club in order to convince them to come play for us?
Honestly, I would just want them to come to a game or practice and see the tightknit team atmosphere we have. I think that would be convincing enough.