Archives for July 2014

Deep South Rugby Memorable Events 2013-14

This is the annual look back at the past rugby year and an attempt to list main events from the 2013-14 season. Items are in no particular order; although, NORFC going to the division 1 final would be hard to top. Please, send suggestions for other events and people that should be included to:

#1 NORFC faced Life in the USA Rugby Division 1 Men’s Club National Championship Final. To get there, they defeated the Sacramento Lions 62-32 in the quarterfinals and the Dallas Reds 34-29 in the semi-final. NORFC lost 39-7 in the final. (*The national championship had something like an east and a west division this year as some top level clubs like Glendale, Seattle, Denver,  and San Francisco split off to play in a newly formed  Pacific Rugby Premiership.)

#2 Montgomery Yellowhammers made Division 3 national quarterfinals. To get there they won the inaugural True South Div. 3 title by defeating Tallahassee 60-27 and defeated Asheville 32-8 in the round of 32 and Gainesville 17-14 in the round of 16. The Yellowhammers fell 25-12 to Old Blue of NY in their quarterfinal match.

#3 Loyola (Deep South 2014 champ) defeated Sewanee 14-10 to advance to NSCRO South Championship. The captured the south championship by defeating Valdosta State 19-15 and Montclair State 43-13. In the national round of 8 Mount St. Mary’s University from Emmitsburg, MD, came from behind to defeat Loyola 24-23.

#4 Cam Falcon   (Shaw, LSU. NORFC) was selected to theUSA Men’s National 15s squad for the 2013 Americas Rugby Championship. This team competed as the USA Selects, and full international caps were not awarded. The Americans defeated Canada Select and Uruguay and lost to the Argentina Jaguars.

#5 LSU loses 50-19 to Central Florida in the round of 16 of the Division 1-AA College National Championship. Central Florida went on to defeat Arizona 64-13 in the final.

#6 NORFC players selected to play with Houston in the Elite City 7s tournament that coincided with the USA vs Scotland match in Houston in June, 2014. (* = NORFC)

Houston Sevens Roster
Will Burns, *Chance Doyle, *Adam Ducoing, Ruben Gonzalez, Kenneth Hepburn, *Bobby Johns, Pete Kanick,i Levi Kereti, Alex Miles, Connor Mills, Matt Radzavitch, Chris Saxon, Chris Slater, Brad Vaughn

#7 The New Orleans Royales  competed in the Elite division of the 2014 Las Vegas Invitational. The Royales won 2 and tied one in their pool. They beat the national side of Peru (35-0), the select side Atlantis (22-7) and tied Bahamian select side cOUScOUS (19-19). In the knock-out round they lost to Lionhearts (31-14) in cup quarterfinal and Mapleleafs (26-12) in consolation semi-final.

#8 Loyola University is ranked 8th and University of West Florida 13th by the NSCRO 2014 ranking of top 15 small college men’s 7s rugby sides.

#9 Deep South area players (*Bishop, Smith, & Moyes) are selected to play for US South Panthers vs Cayman Islands in North American Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) championship: Lucas Baistrocchi (Florida) *Tyler Bishop (Tallahassee) Waymon Cassel (Greenville) Wayne Chermely (Knoxville) Cathal Doyle (Life) Ty Elkins (Charlotte) Amro Gouda (Charlotte) Jesse Hackworth (MTSU) Chad Haynes (Knoxville) Stephen Hickey (Augusta) Jason Hinchman (Charlotte) Matt Hughston (Charlotte) Charlie Hutchings (Tampa Krewe) Chris Milledge (Charlotte) *Drew Moyes (Univ Mississippi) Ben Paul (Columbus/Fort Benning) Jesse Posnansky (Athens) Chris Sigmund (Charleston) *Brendan Smith (Birmingham) Tom Snow (Chattanooga) *Chris Scott Terrell (Montgomery) Jonathon Toombs (Nashville) David Winiarczyk (Old White).  Bishop, Moyes, and Smith were also selected to play in US South’s 33-6 win over Bermuda. Chance Doyle from NORFC was also selected for Bermuda match.

#10 Tallahassee won the south pool of Division 3 in the new True South region. Battleship placed 2nd over Okaloosa and Gulf Coast. Pensacola and Panama City did not compete. Tallahassess lost to Montgomery in True South Div 3 Finals. Tallahassee moved to Florida Union at end of 2013-14 season.

#11 Shaw defeated Brother Martin 47-22 for Louisiana/Deep South High School Championship. Because of conflicts with exams and proms, no Louisiana team participated in regional play.

#12 With effect from September 1, 2013, USA Rugby South ceased to exist as an operating body for overseeing rugby in the former south territory. USA Rugby South would continue to support select sides.

#13 New Orleans Royales (NORFC 7s side) qualified for the 2013 national club side 7s as 2nd seed from the south. Atlanta Old White defeated the Royales in the final. At the national championships in Pittsburgh on August 10th the Royales lost their 3 pool matches to Old Blue, San Fransico Golden Gate, and 1823 (Columbus) with 40 points for and 57 against. On the 2nd day the Royales went undefested to gain the Bowl trophy (9th place) . In the Bowl final they defeated 1823. At the time of writing the New Orleans Royales had qualified for the 2014 National club side 7s tournament in Seattle to be held weekend of Aug. 9-10 as South’s #1 seed by defeating Atlanta Old White 26-5 in championship of regional tournament held in New Orleans.

#14 Louisiana Rugby formed as an SBRO ( State Based Rugby Organization).

#15 St Pauls in Covington and West Jefferson Buccaneers played their first high school season.

#16 June 20, the Louisiana Exiles traveled to Life University to participate in the southeast R.A.S.T. (regional all-star tournament). The Exiles were composed of twenty five high school rugby players representing a host of local high schools including: Shaw, Brother Martin, Lake Area, Rummel, Jesuit, Destrehan High, West Jefferson, Catholic High (BR), and Mississippi.In pool play the Exiles defeated Florida 36-10 and lost to Tennessee 14-17. Despite losing a match in pool play, the Exiles won their pool based on point-differential. In semi-finals Exiles defeated Georgia All-Stars by a wide margin and lost the championship 21-14 to North Carolina.

#17 covered the following international rugby matches: USA vs Canada in Charleston, USA vs Uruguay in Montevideo, USA vs New Zealand Maori in Philadelphia, Las Vegas International 7s, Women’s International 7s in Atlanta, and USA vs Sacramento.

2014 Women’s World Cup Predictions: When Luck is Not Enough

In Moscow at the 7s World Cup in July of 2013 luck fell like snow in a Russian winter on the USA women. Enough solid play and a favorable pool draw saw them slide through to the semi-finals where New Zealand ended the world championship dream (19-10), but in the rain soaked 3rd place match Spain missed a conversion in front of the post as time ran out sending the match into overtime where a Vanesha McGee try sealed the Eagles’ victory.

That luck doesn’t seem to be following the Eagles to the Women’s 15s World Cup in Paris in August, 2014. In Pool B with the USA is the virtually unchallenged dominant side in women’s rugby, the New Zealand Black Ferns. The Black Ferns have 19 consecutive World Cup victories. The last time they were beaten in a World Cup match was by the USA (7-0) in a semi-final of the inaugural 1991 World Cup.  Canada traveled to New Zealand this summer for World Cup warm-up matches. They lost 8-16 and 21-33 to the Black Ferns. This is the Canadian side that destroyed the USA (51- 7) in April, 2014, and beat Australia (3rd place in 2010 World Cup) 20-0 this summer.

The 2014 version of the Women’s World Cup has 3 pools with 4 teams in each pool. Only the winner from each pool and one second place team with the most ‘competition points’ will go through to the semi-finals. Competition points are obtained by winning a match (4), drawing (2), losing by less than 7 points (1), and scoring 4 or more tries (1). The Eagles will be lucky to get 10 points: 4 each for beating Ireland and Kazakhstan, 1 for losing by less than 7 to New Zealand, and 1 for scoring 4 tries against Kazakhstan. Ireland is not going to be a team to let the USA easily score 4 tries. In the 2014 Six Nations Ireland defeated Wales 14-6 and lost to England 17-10. USA Women’s summer 2014 tour scores were a 10-7 victory over Wales on June 28th and 13-17 loss to England on July 6th.

Being a pool’s second place team in most tournaments would be good enough to qualify for the quarterfinals, but the 2014 version of the Women’s World Cup has no quarterfinals.  Only one second place team out of all 3 pools will join the 3 pool winners in the semi-finals on August 13th. Pool A (Canada, England, Samoa, Spain) has the best draw for a second place team. Canada and England (2nd place in 2010 World Cup) should play each other close and probably end up with the losing team getting a point for losing by less than 7. The other two teams are relatively much weaker. The loser of England v Canada (I’m predicting Canada wins.) should be able to run up 4 tries in each of those victories and thus end up with 11 ‘competition points’ and a spot in the semi-finals.

Pool C (Australia, France, South Africa, Wales) also is a better pool draw for the second place team.  France won the 2014 Women’s Six Nations and will give Australia (3rd place in  2010 World Cup) a battle to be the pool winner. Wales lost 27-0 to France during the 2014 Six Nations championship, and on July 4th South Africa fell 46-8 to France. The current French side has shown they can run up 4 tries against the current Welsh and South African sides.  If they lose to Australia by less than 7, they could  gather 11 competition points and a shot at a semi-final match on home soil.

If two second place teams have the same number of competition points, the team to go through to the semi-final will be decided based on point differential. Every team that is thinking they might end up second in the pool needs to run up points whenever they can to increase their chance of being the “lucky” second place team that makes the semi-finals. If teams are still tied after pool play and comparing point differences, try differences, total points, and total tries, the team that goes through to a semi-final match will be decided by the flip of a coin. Seriously.

Ultimately is it about winning or enjoying the game? If you are New Zealand, it is about winning (again). For everyone else it is about getting the shot to play the Black Ferns in the final. A main World Cup goal is ‘to showcase and to empower the boost in the women’s game’. Every team plays 5 matches (3 pool, 2 play-off). If your team does not win their pool or end up as the 2nd place team with the most competition points, they end up playing for 5th-8th place or 9th-12th place depending on how they finished in their pool. It seems that it would be better for the game to have a format more like the Men’s World Cup with at least 16 teams in 4 pools and the top 2 teams from each pool going to a quarterfinal. The fervor that erupted when the USA men reached the knock-out phase of the soccer World Cup illustrates how that can ‘empower a boost in the game’.

After the brief 9 days of pool play (Aug. 1st-9th) there will only be 4 teams in the hunt for the World Cup. If the USA wants to have a chance to be one of them, on August 1st they will need to come out hard and run in at least 4 tries against Ireland.