Archives for July 2013

July 27, 2013 Summary of New Orleans Rugby Foundation Meeting

The Mid-Summer New Orleans Rugby Foundation meeting was held on Friday, July 26, 2013, at noon at Joey K’s restaurant on Magazine Street.  The following people committed in advance to atend: Kerrigan, Reuther, Farnet, Buckingahm, McNulty, Goodell, Duhe, Ducoing, Tim Falcon, Bellaci, Boyd, Ormsby, &  Giepert

Louisiana Rugby has been formed as the SBRO ( State Based Rugby Organization). La Rugby is looking for Board Members, especially potential Board Members who are not presently affiliated with rugby.

It was agreed we will try to begin a middle school/junior high (7th thru 9th grades) competition this year. Our goal is four teams for the first year which could come from some of the high schools that presently have rugby.

We patted ourselves on the back for having a quality high school product, proven by Shaw winning the South against both single school and multi school teams. We have quality but now we need to start building up quantity. Our goal is to have at least two new high school programs next year. Potential new teams are St Paul’s, Rummel, West Jeff and Karr. St Paul’s seems to have an organization in place. Scully needs help organizing West Jeff. Hopefully Cody Cadella and Kevin Kern will have better luck with Rummel this year. Benji Haswell is a teacher at Karr and hopefully he can start a program there with some help.

Sonny Fontenot was at the meeting and will work to re-organize the SLU team together with a group freshman from the New Orleans High School programs who will be attending SLU in the fall and are eager to play rugby there.

We patted the Men’s Club on their backs for the 3rd place finish in division 1 and qualifying for the 7’s National tournament. They are obviously doing something right.
*The Men’s Club is set to join the Texas Union where both the division 1 and division 2 sides will compete. The benefit of this is that the team will travel together and play the same opponent each weekend. All of the Texas teams are supposed to have both division 1 and division 2 for NORFC to compete against.
The Men are also looking for a forward’s coach.

*Note: Clarification from Jerry Gallion

As clarification, NORFC is NOT joining the Texas Rugby Union.

Beginning this coming season, USA Rugby, not the local union, is responsible for the club competition structure and has divided the country into competitive regions. Even though NORFC is a member of the True South Geographic Union (formed by combining the old Deep South and Mid South LAUs), it has been assigned by USA Rugby to compete in American Competitive Region 4, which includes Texas, most of Louisiana, and parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma.

The distinguished field committee’s report is that sand will be added to both the Gretna field and the City Park field in August to help raise and level the fields. The fields will once again be planted with rye grass in November or December.
The rugby stadium in Algiers has a proposed finish date of November 2014.

As always we need more people to step up and referee. The referee’s society is targeting the NORFC Men’s Club for players who can referee high school games during the week. As a reward for Chance Doyle doing this last year, the New Orleans Old boys are paying for 1/2 of his Ireland Trip.  By Gary Giepert

The following is a short summary of Nick Conte’s past year as the Youth Rugby Development Coordinator in New Orleans, as well as a bit on the current state of youth rugby.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Summary of the 2012-13 CAA Rugby Service Term
Fall Season
In the summer of 2012, the New Orleans Rugby Foundation applied for a Coach Across America service grant with the Up2Us organization for a Youth Rugby Development Coordinator.  I was selected for the position and arrived in New Orleans on September 12th, 2012.  The responsibilities of this position were primarily to help run Youth Rugby NOLA and to expand the number of youth play rugby.
Over the course of the fall, I ran an outreach campaign to get word out about youth rugby.  By the December, I had reached over 1,200 students across the city in seven schools.  I was also asked to take charge of the sophomore Lake Area HS program.  To cap the season, I organized a “Day of Rugby” in December which highlighted youth and high school rugby.  We had over 35 youth players in attendance, all of whom took the pitch that day.  It was the largest gathering of youth ruggers in Louisiana.  We also held Louisiana’s largest pre-season high school tournament.
December saw the incorporation of Louisiana Rugby; a USA Rugby affiliated State Rugby Organization with the goal of fostering the development and growth of youth and high school rugby throughout the state of Louisiana.
Spring Season
The youth outreach paid dividends in the spring.  Our first spring practice had 18 youth ruggers, doubling our fall numbers.  By the end of the spring season we had 35 players participating in the scrimmages during Pan American Stadium’s HS Rugby Championship.  Outreach was slowed due to my additional involvement with Lake Area, a second youth practice on the West Bank, and Louisiana Rugby.  However, we still reached 400 students.
Lake Area took many strides forward.  We finished 3rd in the regular season, drawing a tie with Jesuit HS.  In the playoffs we finished 4th after a hard fought rematch against Jesuit.  Many of those seniors are now headed to continue their rugby careers at the university level.
We attempted to organize a Middle School league for April and May, but many schools were turned off by our desire for a contact league.  It became an experimental program with only Christian Brothers School participating.  The groundwork for that league is laid, we simply need more time next year.  We also decided to organize a Youth Rugby Summer Camp.
During the summer, I found employment with Tulane’s Ripples Day Camp as a full time rugby specialist.  There I was able to develop the skills of 600 youth, aged 5 to 14.  Tulane’s camp was hoped to be a major draw for participants in our own Rugby Summer Camp.  However, not enough campers pre-registered for the camp and we were forced to cancel.  As with the Middle School League, the initial groundwork is laid, we simply need to start planning earlier and with more coordination.
Current State of Youth Rugby
Overall, the past year has been a great success.  The number of consistent youth ruggers has tripled.  Over 2,200 other New Orleanian youth have been introduced to rugby.  Youth Rugby NOLA’s upcoming season promises exciting.  However, if there was one downside it was the organizing of Louisiana Rugby.  The institution has the potential to bring lots of resources to Louisiana by way of training, coach instruction, and equipment & grant funds.
In my mind, Louisiana Rugby acts as an umbrella youth organization, which does not necessarily interfere to local organizations such as the New Orleans Rugby Foundation or Youth Rugby NOLA.  The goal of Louisiana Rugby is to sprout rugby in areas where it does not yet exist, expand upon those areas where it does, and assist where possible.  It should not inhibit natural, grassroots growth.  Louisiana Rugby is an organization we should all be proud to be a part of.  With the right cultivation, it can be a shining example of what Louisiana is doing with America’s up and coming ruggers.  Though, that has not been the case since its inception.
I propose that we start anew.  Louisiana Rugby should be a collective of Louisiana’s best.  As such, I recommend the election of a full Board of Directors.  With the new rugby season should come a fresh beginning for this promising organization.
Personal Direction
I have been given the opportunity to be hosted and play with The Harvard Club, a decades old institution in Trinidad & Tobago.  So for the fall season, I will be away in Trinidad working to improve my skills for the spring NORFC season.
Thankfully, Coach Across America has granted us a second 900 hour service term which they will allow us to postpone until the spring.  So I will continue my position as Youth Rugby Coordinator upon my return.

R. Nick Conte

Youth Rugby Development Coordinator
Coach Across America/Louisiana Rugby

Top Thirteen Deep South Rugby Happenings 2012-13

1. New Orleans RFC finishes 3rd in Div. 1 National Club sides.

To get to final 4 NORFC defeated Chicago Griffins (41-17), Potomac AC (57-8), and Metropolis MN (15-10). NORFC lost to Seattle/Old Puget Sound (43-25) and defeated Denver Barbarians in 3rd/4th play-off (32-28). Life also from USA South won Div. 1 defeating Seattle/Old Puget Sound 27-26.

2. USA South wins the NACRA (North American Caribbean Rugby Association) championship with lots of Deep South help.

USA South captured the North American Caribbean Rugby Association Championship. To get to the final the USA South defeated Mexico (56-23), Jamaica (29-12), Cayman Islands (9-7), Bahamas (42-15), Bermuda (24-12), and in the final Trinidad & Tobago (26-18).

Chance Doyle from NORFC scored the game winning try in the championship match vs Trinidad & Tobago. Other Deep South players who played with USA South during the run to the championship were NORFC: Jeff Reuther, Matt Upton, Saade Bou-Mikael , Tallahassee: Tyler Bishop, Kirk Swanner Birmingham: Brendan Smith, Auburn: Ben Winiarcyk, Panama City: Marcus Satavu

U. of South Alabama – Wes Darwin coach/technical

Here is roster from final match vs Trinidad & Tobago

USA South Roster





Matt Upton


New Orleans


Eduardo Herrera


Boca Raton


Jason Hinchmann




Saadiq Ziyad




Stephen Hickey




Kirk Swanner




Derek Wolfe




Brenden Smith




Saade Bou-Mikael

Scrum Half

New Orleans


Lucas Biastrocchi


Univ. of Florida


Ty Elkins




Jeff Reuther


New Orleans


Amir Kahn




Ben Winiarczyk




Chance Doyle


New Orleans


Wayne Chermley




Josh Wolverton


Little Rock


Dave Meehan


Boca Raton


Chad Haynes




Jake Finger

Scrum Half



Mark Fulmer


Little Rock


Matt Abernathy

Center/ Forward


David Conyers


Kennesaw State

Rene Daniel


Emory Univ.

Jody Hensley



Wes Darwin


South Alabama

Will Rogers



John Devonport

Team Manager


Kevin Kitto

South President


Sean Borman


Boca Raton


3. Tracy Moens (New Orleans Halfmoons) is honored in Houston at USA v Ireland.

During her long  playing  career Tracy (who started playing for the New Orleans Halfmoons)  was capped for the USA. Tracey played twice for the US, once in 1987 in the first women’s international match against Canada in 15’s. The USA won. Tracey played inside center. Then 10 years later she played on the first women’s 7’s national team in Hong Kong. In Houston Tracey was among a group of past national team players who were honored. She was given a signed ball,,,” which was nice!”

4. Cameron Falcon (Shaw/LSU) played hooker for USA Men’s Junior World Cup team  in France.

Below is a post from “This is American Rugby” on selections for the USA’s match vs Scotland.

Having suffered three heavy defeats in the pool play but also able to judge which players played the best, Junior All-Americans coach Jason Kelly has named his starting lineup for his team’s knock-out match against Scotland tomorrow. Once again captaining the side will be Tom Bliss. He will also once again pair with Conor Kearns in the halfbacks.

Up front Kelly has named his most experienced front row with Chris Banks and Henry Hall lining up at the props and Cameron Falcon playing hooker. Teli Veamatahau and Chrisian Ostberg will form the locks while Zach Bonte, Vili Toluta’u, and Alex Goff will be in the back-row. Goff has been once of the team’s more consistent players and has beat out the likes of Ross Deacon, who is on the bench, for playing time.

Link to entire article:

 2013 Junior World Championships Pool Standings

South Africa 3 0 0 154 43 111 1 0 13
England 2 1 0 163 37 126 1 1 10
France 1 2 0 70 59 11 1 1 6
USA 0 3 0 3 251 -248 0 0 0
New Zealand 3 0 0 104 42 62 2 0 14
Ireland 2 1 0 91 49 42 1 1 10
Australia 1 2 0 71 45 26 1 2 7
Fiji 0 3 0 21 151 -130 0 0 0
Wales 3 0 0 93 44 49 1 0 13
Argentina 2 1 0 92 54 38 1 1 10
Scotland 1 2 0 70 103 -33 1 1 6
Samoa 0 3 0 52 106 -54 1 1


5. Two Louisiana high schools are nationally ranked.

Rugby.Mag ranked Shaw 14th and Brother Martin 35th in the USA.

2013 Boys HS Top 25

May 15 2013 presented by Selective Service

Crnt (Prev) Team Notes
1 1 Gonzaga (DC) 51-3 over Pride (8)
2 2 Xavier (NY)
3 3 Sacramento Jesuit   (Calif.)
4 4 Penn (Ind.)
5 11 Herriman (Utah) 41-19 over Snow Canyon   (10)
6 5 Dixon (Calif.)
7 7 Charlotte Catholic   (NC) 57-0 over Providence   (25)
8 6 Greenwich (Conn.)
9 9 St. Joseph’s Prep   (Pa.) 46-12 over Woodland   Hills
10 10 Snow Canyon (Utah) Lost 41-19 to Herriman   (11)
12 13 St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.)
13 15 Chapin (SC)
14 17 Shaw (La.) Won South
15 8 Perry Street Pride   (DC) Lost 51-3 to Gonzaga   (1)
16 Unr Ravenwood (Tenn.) 34-5 over South Doyle   (16)
17 13 Park Hill South (Mo.) 2nd in Missouri to KC   Jr Blues (MS3)
18 18 St. Ignatius (Ohio) Lost 40-19 to Brother   Rice (MS 33)
19 19 Wilson HS (Calif.)
20 20 East HS (Colo.) Lost Colorado Final   47-13 to Colorado Springs (MS2)
21 21 Lake Travis (Texas)
22 22 Torrey Pines (Calif.)
23 23 Capital HS (Idaho) Won Idaho semi
24 24 St. Edward (Ohio)
25 26 Lincoln (Ore.) 44-14 over Prairie
26 27 Reynold Raiders (Ore.) 29-12 over Battle   Ground
27 25 Providence HS (NC)
28 28 St. Thomas (Texas)
29 30 Bishop Hendricken   (Mass.)
30 Unr Nakahi (Idaho) Still undefeated in   Idaho except for loss to Capital
31 12 Unionville (Pa.) 37-33 over Cumberland   Valley
32 16 South Doyle (Tenn.) Lost Tennessee Final   to Ravenwood
33 Unr Edina (Minn.) Undefeated in   Minnesota
34 Unr Burnsville (Minn.) Undefeated in   Minnesota
35 Unr Brother Martin (La.)


6. University of Louisiana – Lafayette  wins the Deep South College Conference & U of West Florida is ranked 28th by NSCRO.

On March 9th in the inaugural NSCRO (National Small College Rugby Organization) South Cup the University of West Florida represented the Deep South Rugby Conference. They finished 3rd defeating Sewanee 31-30. In the final (reffed by Deep South referee Alex Sharland) Duke won 24-5 over U. of North Florida. UWF lost 55-19 to Duke in the semi-final. Duke went all the way to the national championship where they lost to St John’s 31-16.


On April 6th the Deep South Rugby Conference championship was held. The Final 4 were U. of West Florida, U. of South Alabama, U. of Louisiana Lafayette, & Tulane. The final saw U. of Louisiana Lafayette defeat U. of West Florida 31-20.


In NSCRO’s final ranking of the 211 NSCRO rugby sides in the USA, Univ of West Florida was ranked 28th (tied with Wayne State)

7. Deep South Rugby Union merges with Mid-South to become True South.

See article with Jerry Gallion

8. Montgomery Yellowhammers win Div 3 USA South Title

South Playoffs – April 27-28 in Fort Myers, FL
Semi-Final (4/27): Montgomery Yellowhammers 37-34 Palm Beach Panthers (FL)
Semi-Final (4/27): Hilton Head (SC) 19-5 Charlotte D3 (NC)
Final (4/28): Montgomery Yellowhammers 22-7 Hilton Head (SC)
The Montgomery Yellowhammers are the South #1 seed; Hilton Head (SC) is the South #2 seed

Montgomery lost to Kalamazoo Dogs (Michigan) 18-5 in the round of 16.

9. LSU finishes top of western division of new SEC Div. 1 rugby conference.

LSU lost to Eastern division champ U. of South Carolina in play-off.

10. Southeastern Rugby Conference player of the week

The following players from the Deep South area were named players of the week for the western division of the Southeastern Rugby Conference.

Week 1 Allen Alongi LSU

Week 2 Josh Oriez U of Alabama

Week 3 Will Middleton LSU

Week 4 Josh Eloy (sp?)  MS State

Week 5 Malcolm Gardner UM & Ben Winiarcyk Auburn

Week 7 Allen Alongi LSU

Week 8 Sebastian Kanyab (sp?) Auburn

Week 9 Malcolm Gardner  UM

11. covers National Teams covered the following tournaments involving USA national sides: NACRA 7s tournament Ottawa, IRB Women’s 7s in Houston, USA v Ireland in Houston, & Rugby World Cup 7s in Moscow.

12. Krebs Field was dedicated in Birmingham in honor of one of the founders of rugby in Alabama,  Eddie Krebs. See article in 2012-13 archive)

13. Lori Sutherland (the energy behind the founding of Mississippi youth rugby on the Gulf Coast) moved to California.

Please suggest other Deep South news items that you would like added and votes for  the top 3 of 2012-13  by emailing

July 3,2013 Moscow RWC Day 3 & Beyond

Headlines – US Women Show They Can Win Bronze & US Men Beat New Zealand (19-5) -with only 3 and a half minutes to play

On the final day of play the Eagle Women defeated Ireland in the cup quarterfinal (14-5). The Eagles trailed 5-0  for most of the match.  Nathalie Marchino injected some offensive spark when she came  on in the second half to score a try and set up a movement that saw a hard running  Vix Folayan score under the post.  In the semi-finals New Zealand was in command the whole match scoring a try within 15 seconds of the kick off.  New Zealand player Portia Woodman was too much for the Eagles (and for any other side) to handle. She scored 12 tries in Moscow averaging 2 tries per match. The final score was New Zealand 19 – USA 10. This set-up the bronze medal match with Spain. The Eagles had already beaten Spain (19-7) in pool play. Spain beat Australia (14-10) in quarterfinal play and lost to Canada 10-0 in their semi-final match. In the bronze medal match the US narrowly escaped defeat when Spain missed the winning conversion attempt from in front of the post. A soggy pitch and wet ball possibly contributed to sending the match into overtime where Vanesha McGee  scored the winning try. When asked how she was so often able to come up with the  magic to score the game winning try, Vanesha credited the teamwork which allowed her to do her job as the finisher on the wing. Eagle hooker Kelly Griffin credited teamwork as what enabled her to maintain her incredible work rate through-out the tournament and Eagle prop Jillion Potter, who played with tremendous heart throughout the tournament, concurred that teamwork was what kept her going.

The Women Eagles were certainly lucky in how the draw worked out. Their relatively easy pool put them in a spot where they  did not have to face a combination of New Zealand,  Canada, or England in knock-out stages.  England went out to New Zealand in the quarterfinal (24-7). The sevens World Cup showed with a good draw the Eagles can take the bronze in Rio, but the bad news is some teams are showing they are improving quickly (Russia, Spain)  or emerging quickly (Ireland, Fiji) and will be more and more competitive in the coming years. The Netherlands, Australia, & South Africa are also capable of an exceptional match that could knock-out the Eagles. There is a lot that needs to be done to make the Eagles a confidently dominant side, like the All Blacks, that would ensure a medal in Rio.

The US Men  fizzled in a plate quarterfinal against Argentina (28-5). Zach Test’s effort was once again excellent  and he scored the Eagles only try. The Eagles’ play continued to be largely  drive into contact and dig the ball out, but Argentina controlled most of the possession. Beyond 10 and a half minutes of almost glory against the All Blacks and the first 4 minutes against Georgia the men didn’t show they could be medal contenders. Questions still remain if they will qualify. Once again they lost to Canada (15-14 in pool play) and if Olympic qualification rules allow one team from NACRA (North America Caribbean Rugby Assoc.), it is unlikely it would be the USA.

IRB wisdom in choosing Moscow as the site for the tournament was often questioned. The IRB claimed they were looking to move rugby sevens into emerging rugby territory. The largest crowd probably approached 10,000 on the final day. One reporter who had attended all of the previous 5 Sevens World Cups said attendance was “abysmal” . Fans who had traveled from all parts of the world complained of the costs of visas and the prohibition against beer and alcohol in the stadium. At least half the Russians I  met were gruff, serious, and seemed to be xenophobic. I had heard an NPR program about this shortly before I went to Moscow.  That said,  many Russians were warm and friendly and sincerely wanted us to enjoy our visit.

On June 13th the IRB announced there would be another Sevens World Cup in 2018.  Countries are beginning to prepare their bids. Perhaps the possibility of a full stadium is not an important criterion to use to judge bids, but consideration of the possibility of a visiting spectator having a positive experience should be.