Tulane Women USA Rugby Div. II National Champs

In a bittersweet ending to an inspired season the Tulane University women’s rugby side conceded the USA Div II Rugby championship, kind of. After capturing the spring season championship by defeating Humboldt State University 39-32 in Moraga, California on April 23rd, the Green Wave was to return to Moraga two weeks later to play fall season champion Davenport University from Michigan. A second trip to California in two weeks was a bridge too far for Tulane.

Division I fall champion, University of Connecticut, were unable to travel to California for the May 7th championship match against the spring champion because of conflict with graduation. USA Rugby cancelled the national championship; although, it is rumored that Davenport will have the opportunity to play Humboldt State on May 7th.

This is not the first time the championship has been cancelled. The current system with fall and spring seasons and separate champions has proven on other occasions to be untenable.

NORFC to 2016 National 7s Club Championships

The NORFC and Olympic Elite qualified from the True South and NORFC finished behind Atlanta Old White in the South qualification tournament. The two qualified for the national tournament

The following report by Evan Lappen (07.25.16) in Rugby Today

Ten qualifying tournaments in four regions culminated at the South 7s Championships in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday. A total of 12 men’s and women’s teams from the Carolinas, Florida, Georgia, and the True South Rugby Unions competed for the four spots at Nationals in Denver, Colo. on August 13th and 14th. With temperatures nearing 100°F all day, the South 7s Championships ended with Atlanta Old White and New Orleans representing the men and Orlando and Charlotte advancing for the women in Denver.

In the men’s championship, Charlotte (Carolinas), the Legion (Georgia), the Oklahoma Elite (True South), and Orlando (Florida) were grouped in one pool and Miami (Florida), New Orleans (True South), Atlanta Old White (Georgia), and Charlotte B (Carolinas, not eligible) rounded out the second pool.

After three rounds of pool play, Charlotte and Orlando advanced to the semifinals out of Pool A. Charlotte went undefeated prevailing over the Legion, the Oklahoma Elite, and Orlando by a combined score of 80-19. Orlando won its first two games before succumbing to the North Carolina team in its last match.

Pool B was more competitive as Miami, New Orleans, and Atlanta battled to identical 2-1 records. Miami opened with a 36-7 victory over New Orleans, beat Charlotte B, and then were blanked, 28-0, by the Old White. Following its loss to Miami, New Orleans let out its frustration on Atlanta winning 24-14 before crushing Charlotte B, 54-0. The Old White began with an easy 41-7 win over Charlotte B, lost to New Orleans, and shut out Miami. Atlanta and New Orleans advanced to the semifinals based on point differential.

In the penultimate matches, New Orleans scraped by Charlotte in one of the closest matches of the tournament, 15-12. The Louisiana club didn’t wait too long before they knew their opponent in the final as the Atlanta Old White clobbered Orlando, 31-12.

The Atlanta Old White attributed the success of the tournament to the team-centric attitude of the team. “Our coach, Ronn Omondi, challenged us to share the workload during the day,” said Atlanta captain Jamie Gasparella. “That can mean many different things in different games. The outcome was that we had different guys step up at different times in each game to shoulder the load, play with great intensity, and inspire the rest of the team. I believe that was the difference maker for us.”

The team first ideal powered the Atlanta Old White to a 28-5 victory in the cup final against a well-drilled New Orleans club. The Old White jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead and scored one more try in the second half as Zach Miller (2, 4/4 on conversions), Rashaud Moore, and Coop Jackson each dotted down tries.

Commenting on the final, Gasparella remarked, “New Orleans beat us earlier in the day and the reason why they won the pool play game was because of intensity from the beginning. In the final, we made a commitment to ourselves to come out with just as great of an effort and win that first battle. We came out with a lot of fire and passion and played with our backs against the wall leading to the momentum in our direction and we were running after that.”

The NORFC community came together to send the 7s side to Denver.

The following letter from NORFC club President inspired donations:


> > To the New Orleans Rugby Family

August 1, 2016

When your future is in your own hands, you know it couldn’t be in a
better place. That’s how I feel today about New Orleans rugby club
embarks on a new chapter. We are all aware of the extraordinary demands that the last few
seasons have placed on our players and our organization. From the
pinnacle of national championship competition, New Orleans rugby has
for the past few seasons faced a demanding road schedule and
doubleheader weekends in order to play at a high level.
That has been a difficult time for the club on personal and
institutional levels. But New Orleans rugby responded and fulfilled
its commitments on the pitch.
The season, however, have a new deal.
Earlier this year, our club was prepared to exit Division 1 play and
reenter the True South D-2 division and let the chips fall. During
our petition to join the True South D-2 club, however, the national
competitions committee recognized and acknowledged our geographic dilemma and the financial burden brought on by the excess travel.
The upshot: New Orleans Rugby has been granted waiver to compete
USARFU Division 1 independent, meaning we are no longer tethered to
a union. We do however, need to fulfill a quality schedule of our
own making (approximately 12 quality fixtures). We are currently in
the process of inviting some quality snowbird sides down to help fulfill our commitment.
This means the terms of our competition will be more self directed.
The ball, and our club’s future, is firmly in our hands.
The support and commitment of our club members, sponsors and
supporters remains as vital as ever as we navigate new waters, and
I’m confident we will find success.

You may remember that last year we targeted a number of quality
young recruits and invited them up to the Aspen Rugger Fest to
supplement our own player pool. Some of these recruits did in fact
play on the Nola Rugby First IV last season.
We are going to do it again this year and play to win the
tournament. I invite you to join us in Aspen this year to enjoy some
quality rugby while supporting your Nola Rugby Club. This year’s
Aspen Rugger Fest will take place on September 15-18. Some of the
Nola Rugby Old Boys will team up with Florida and play on the
September 15 and 16, while our young bucks will play on September 17 and 18.

Many of you have asked what happened to the past years Nola Rugby’s
2016 Hall of Fame, Purple Benefit Dinner, Awards Banquet, and Golf Tournament.
The short answer is the administration and players were spread pretty thin.
We did our best to fulfill our fixtures while we figured out how to
keep the ship moving in the right direction. Given we are a fully
volunteer organization, we sometimes lack the volunteers. We will
hopefully regroup and get all these events back on the books.
In addition to all our quality sponsors, Nola Rugby has been proud to have Cembell Industries in our corner. Larry and Mary Antonini
have been faithful supporters of Nola Rugby and I couldn’t be more
proud to have their support. I thank them both for their generosity and continued support. We are always looking for quality sponsors to
partner with Nola Rugby. Please stay vigilant to sponsorship opportunities.

has punched their ticket to compete in the finals of the USARFU National Championships in Denver Colorado in 3 weeks. Father Mike
has been asked to retrieve the collection plates from the vault in
the sacristy and polish off the past couple years patina. The club
and 7’s players have covered most of their travel and lodging costs
to date. I would like to get the players up to Denver to compete
without placing additional financial burden on them. My goal is to
secure $7,500.00 to cover the air fare and lodging for the guys. Our
boys have trained hard and played hard. Nola 7’s Rugby is 1 of 12 elite clubs to have earned their place on the national stage. Our Pay Pal account set up to help facilitate donations or you can send
a check made payable to NORFC to my address, 6965 Colbert St. NOLA
70124. Your generosity is always cherished and valued, when our
boys earn their way to compete for a national championship, I know I
can rely on you and your support. I will get the pump primed with a
$250.00 donation.
I have had the pleasure of leading the Nola Rugby ship for the past number of years, the patina I wear does not polish off. Likely,
this may be my last term as club president. I have been considering
stepping down for quite some time. I have had a tremendous run and
have been fortunate to influence the sport I love in the city I
love. I am going nowhere and will always stay involved in some
capacity. I believe a new broom sweeps clean and I look forward to
the onslaught of worthy candidates to put their hat in the ring. Thank you for all your support over the years.
Mike Kerrigan

$5700 was raised by the end of the fundraiser at Finn McCool’s on the Saturday before the team left for Colorado. Jeff Reuther provided the following list of donors:
Mike Kerrigan
Jerry Gallion
Jack Biven
Jack Mauer
Henry B Hahn
Jimmy Rehkopf
Saade Bou-Mikael
Tom Crosby
Jack Tillay
John Edginton
Daniel MacLeod
Jarrett Falcon
Nick Benvenutti
Neal Henderson
John and Jan Reuther
Adam Massey
Conrad Breit
Chris Beacher
Joe Guinta
John Long
Ron Gibbs
Cliff Fontenot
Lance Kiley
Bobby Johns
Adam Ducoing
Chance Doyle
Andrew Larkin
Jason Deleaumont
Robert Waterwall
Joseph Doucette
Dan Reid
Stanley Smith
Matt Austin
Seth Magden
Sean Malek
James Sims
Lisa Crawford
Buzz Phillips
Ian McNulty
Matt Sisson
Peter Maud

In pool play NORFC was winless losing
54-0 to Seattle Saracens, 21-19 to Austin Huns, & 28-12 to Kansas City Blues.

In knock-out play they lost 26-7 to Little Rock Stormers, 35-0 to Olympic Club Rugby, and ended the tournament on a winning note defeating Austin Huns 27-19.

Deep South Rugby 2015-16 Season

August 13-14th NORFC Competes at National Club 7s in Denver

NORFC quaified for the club side championships in Denver by finishing second to Atlanta Old White in the South Tournament.
At the national tournament NORFC lost 54-0 to Seattle Saracens, 21-19 to Austin Huns, and 28-12 to Kansas City Blues in pool play. In the knock-out round NORFC lost 26-7 to Little Rock Stormers and 35-0 to Olympic Club Rugby, and closed out the tournament with a 27-19 victory over Austin Huns.

July 9, 2016, New Orleans Loses 26-28 to Nashville at Tennessee 7s
New Orleans narrowly lost to Nashville, 28-26, at the 40th annual Tennessee 7s in Knoxville on July 9th. Nashville decided not to qualify for the South Championships, so New Orleans received the points to advance.
Six clubs participated: Knoxville, Bowling Green, New Orleans, Nashville, Ticks, and Oklahoma City. New Orleans emerged from pool play undefeated.
New Orleans defeated Knoxville, 40-5, in semi-final and led for most of final before Nashville’s late match comeback. The South 7s Championship begin on July 23rd.

July 9, 2016, Jesuit’s Massey on South U-19 Squad vs Bermuda
Gabriel Massey (Jesuit) was on South U-19 squad vs Bermuda at the Rugby Americas North U-19 Championships in Miramar, Florida.

July, 2016, LSU’s Bower Finalist for Player of the Year

Christian Bower (LSU) was finalist for Goff Rugby Report’s College Player of the Year.

June 7, 2016, LSU Alexandria 7th in NSCRO National 7s

LSU Alexandria defesated North Alabama 17-12 in the regional 7s national qualifier held in Chattanooga to qualify for the Penn Mutual/NSCRO national tournament in Philadelphia. LSU Alexandria went 0-3 in pool play (21-0 to New Mexicao Highlands University, 10-0 to Susquehanna, and 19-12 to Babson College), On Day 2 of national tournament they defeated Ithaca 26-10 to capture 7th place. New Mexico Highlands University captured the national championship with a 31-7 victory over St. Mary’s College.

Lawson of Jackson on USA South Panthers

James Lawson of Jackson RFC made the USA Rugby South Panther squad that played against Bermuda in Atlanta on May 7th.

5/14/16 Ft Walton Beach 7s

Okaloosa Islanders men’s club host the No Shoes Barefoot Beach Sevens Tournament with men’s, women’s, and high school teams. The event is sanctioned by USA Rugby.

5/5/16 Bayou Hurricanes State Champs/Perfect Season

The Bayou Hurricanes went undefeated in capturing the Louisiana/DeepSouth state title 28-12 against Jesuit. The Blue Jays would have had a perfect season, also, except for 3 losses to the Hurricanes.

4/23/16 Tulane Women USA Rugby Div II Champs

The Tulane Women’s rugby team defeated Humboldt State University 39-32 in the spring season championship final. The final was played in Moraga, California. Humboldt State is in northern California.

4/23/16 Tulane Wins Golden Eagles 7s

Tulane Men defeated the hosts, Univ of Southern Mississippi, in the final 40-14 to claim the championship.

4/19/16 Brennan Falcon Starts for the USA u-20 in World Trophy Tournament

 In the USA’s opening pool play match in the World U-20 tournament in Zimbabwe, Brennan Falcon (Shaw, LSU) started at #7 for the USA. The Junior All-American squad lost 46 – 44 to Namibia. The new 6 points for a try rule is being trialled by World Rugby at this tournament.

Brennan started at #7 in the USA’s second pool match victory where the u-20 All Americans were victorious over Hong Kong 32-12.

4/16/16 LSU Faces Univ of Arizona in Div 1A Playoff

LSU went undefeated to capture the championship of the Red River Conference. They gained home field advantage for their USA Rugby Div 1A play-off match with University of Arizona. The Tigers lost 30-10. Arizona lost to Utah in the Quarterfinals 36-14th. LSU would end season ranked #14 nationally.

4/10/16 Tulane University Women Make Div II Final Four

Tulane Univeristy Women’s Rugby team, under the direction of Coach Jessica Mallindine and in only their 2nd year back after disbanding over a decade ago following Hurricane Katrina, have become the first Louisiana women’s rugby side to advance to a USA Rugby final four play-off. In the Elite Eight playoff they defeated Eckerd College from Florida 30-10 and University of Arkansas 37-0 to continue their hunt for a national championship in California.

In the semi-final vs Salisbury College on April 23rd in Davis, California, the Tulane Women were victorious 53-38. Humboldt College defeated University of Southern California in other semi 45-10.

4/8/16 Brennan Falcon Selected USA Rugby U-20 World Trophy Squad

Brennan Falcon (Shaw, LSU) was selected for the USA Men’s Junior All American squad that will travel to Zimbabwe on April 14th to compete in the World Rugby U-20 World Trophy.

3/30/16 LSU Captain Red River Player of the Month

Christian Brower was named the Red River Conference player of the month for March.

3/29/16 Cameron Falcon Signs Pro Rugby Contract

Cameron Falcon (Shaw ’11, LSU, NORFC) signs to play professional rugby with the Ohio team in the newly formed Pro Rugby league.

3/19/16 Spring Hill 7s

Saint Louis University defeated the University of Florida 19-12 in overtime to win the 2016 Spring Hill 7s.

The University of Alabama fell to Saint Louis in their semi-final 7-0. The Gators  slipped by Mississippi State 21-14 in their semi-final.

2/27/16 New Orleans Collegiate Rugby 7s Tournament

The New Orleans Collegiate Rugby 7s Tournament began Saturday, February 27th, at the NORFC’s home field in Gretna. Teams from Mississippi State, Tulane, Loyola, Spring Hill College, Louisiana Tech, Troy University, University of South Alabama, and University of Southern Mississippi participated. The tournament was organized by Matt Austin.

Tulane defeated Mississippi State 17-12 in the final.

Tulane, Mississippi State, Spring Hill, and Loyola met in the second round. Tulane beat Spring Hill and Mississippi State defeated  Loyola to set up the final. Spring Hill  took 3rd.

2/13/16 Brennan Falcon Starts for USA U20s vs Canada

The USA  U-20 side defeated Canada 19-18 in Austin in a match following the USA Eagles 30-22 victory over Canada in inaugural ARC championship. Brennan Falcon (Shaw and LSU) started and played the entire match.

1/29/16 Cameron Falcon on USA Eagle ARC Squad

NORFC hooker, Cameron Falcon, was selected to be one of the 37 athletes on the USA Eagle 37 member squad for the inaugural American Rugby Championship (ARC). The ARC’s initial plan is to involve USA, Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and Brazil in an annual “6 Nations” type competition. Cameron was selected as reserve for USA’s match vs Brazil on Feb. 27th.

1/23/16 First High School Match in Shreveport

The Shreveport area high school team played their first match ever against the Bayou Hurricanes from Houma. The Gary Kennedy Memorial Rugby Classic  held on Saturday, January 23rd, in Shreveport was three matches.  LSU played Louisiana Tech and  University of Alabama  in the first two matches. Shreveport, coached by Sammy Brock, took the pitch in the third match of the day.

Deep South area players in USA Rugby South Panthers 2016 NACRA Championship Campaign

On Dec. 12, 2015,  the USA Rugby South Panthers defeated a select side from the largely Virginia based Capital Rugby Union 41-32. This was a warm-up match before the Panthers begin their North American Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) 2016 championship campaign against the Bahamas in Nassau on January 9th.

The following is a quote from Christ Porter, coach of the Capital Union select side, as reported in Rugby Today:
“They (USARS Panthers) were quick in the backline and they hit things at pace. Their forwards hit the ball at pace and their backline hit all their moves at pace. Jeff Reuther is a great veteran player as he has really developed into a great leader and runs a great backline. Chance Doyle, from fullback, was hitting the ball at pace and their center, Amir Khan, from Detroit, did a great job. He as very difficult to take down, he has some really quick feet and made some good moves to set guys up really well.”

See more at: http://www.rugbytoday.com/clubs/rugby-south-outlasts-capital-union-select-side-match#sthash.VNZtZrYL.dpuf

The following are Deep South region players selected for USARS Panthers vs the Bahamas:
Zach Blalock Birmingham
Chance Doyle New Orleans
Ben Lopata Louisiana Tech
Jeff Reuther New Orleans
Thomas Savoie Louisiana Tech

2015 Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference (SCRC) All-Conference players from the Deep South area

SCRC Player of the Year – Matt Schick    #8   Alabama

1st Team

#8              Matt Schick                        Alabama

center       Ross Depperschmidt        Alabama

center       Dylan Turner                      Mississippi

2nd Team

hooker        Mathew Lund                     Alabama

lock              Jacob Matrella                   Auburn

flanker         Zach Carmello                    Alabama

scrumhalf   Jordan Speights                 Mississippi State

center          Nick Magnella                     Auburn

wing             Terrance Mathews              Mississippi State

fullback        Naoki Kawahara                  Alabama

Nov. 25th Week #11 (Final) Goff Rugby Report Div 1 Fall College Ranking
#16 LSU
#24 Alabama

11/21/15 Olympic Identification Camp in Mobile

Saturday, November 21st, an Olympic identification camp was held in Mobile, Al. Paul Holmes, USA Olympic rugby coach, and Justin Goonan, USA Jr. All American S&C coach, and Spring Hill College assistant coach, Callum Corley, held the camp at Spring Hill College.

LSU’s Falcon & Troxler USA U-20 Invite

Brennan Falcon and Cameron Troxler with LSU were invited to tryout for the USA U-20 All-American team. The camp will be held December 19 – December 22, 2015 in Casa Grande, Arizona.

USA Rugby South Panthers NACRA Side

The USA Rugby South Panthers Select Side squad selected to compete for the NACRA title.

Squad: Tyler Bishop (Tallahassee), Zach Blalock (Birmingham), Irving Carcamo (Charlotte), Waymon Cassel (Nashville), Casey Davidson (University of Georgia), Nathan Driggers (University of Georgia), Ty Elkins (Charlotte), Daniel Falkner (Appalachian St.), Jarrett Gartin (North Atlanta), Amro Gouda (Charlotte), Jesse Hackworth (Middle Tenn St U), Matt Hughston (Charlotte), Corey Jones (Little Rock), Amir Khan (Detroit Tradesmen), Ben Lopata (Louisiana Tech), Zach Miller (North Atlanta), Ron Omondi (Atlanta Old White), Alejandro Ospina (Charlotte), Jeff Reuther (New Orleans), Nathan Ring (Nashville), Thomas Savoie (Louisiana Tech), Todd Sherer (Columbia), Doug Stillwell (East Carolina), Calvin Storey (Raleigh), Kermit Tyler (Atlanta Renegades), David Winiarczyk (Atlanta Old White)

10/24/15 Louisian Youth/Rookie Rugby Fall Tournament

Louisiana Youth/Rookie Rugby holds end of fall seaon tournament, Saturday, October 24th, at Gretna Park (860 Gretna Blvd) and then watched the New Orleans Loup Garoux team play the Houma Hurricanes at 3 p.m. Louisiana Youth Rugby is for children between the ages of 7-12 that may be interested in joining us for our spring season.

10/9/15 LA Tech’s Crawford Player of Week

Oct. 9th  Louisiana Tech University #8 Will Crawford was chosen as Gift-Time Rugby Network Spotlight Player of the Week.

10/3/15 NORFC Garreth Stubbs Passed Away 

Oct. 3rd Garreth Stubbs passed away of an apparent heart attack. Garreth was a true Welshman, born to rugby,
and he made a significant contribution to the New Orleans club both
on and off the pitch during the early 1990s until he was diagnosed
with diabetes, forcing him to retire from the game he loved.

9/18/15 Louisiana Represented in Aspen

A few Old Boys and a bunch of Young Boys just went to Aspen the weekend of Sept. 18th. Young players from around the New Orleans and Louisiana area were invited to come along. Recruiting, reloading, and reshuffling the deck was the primary mission. The tour group came away with 2 wins against Glendale and the Denver Barbarians. Two matches were lost, one against Aspen and one against The Misfits. All in all, it was a successful weekend of rugby.

9/5/15 Lake Area High School Team Disbanded

Sept. 5th What follows is an email from Matt Austin about seeking to include the Lake Area’s players in a multi- school club as Lake Area administration goes to main stream sports:

” I met with Lake Area’s AD yesterday and they will not be fielding a single school team. They will still help the boys as they can, but there won’t be financial or organizational assistance from them as they are focusing on LHSAA sports as they now have a full sports compliment, which they didn’t when they started rugby. I think that by support that they mean they will let them use lockers and train with the football team.

I am going to make the effort to organize a city club team to involve
players from Lake Area, Warren Easton, Holy Cross (1 player so far), and anyone else interested in playing who doesn’t have a school team. I want to ensure that those players don’t stop playing rugby for lack of a team.

Anyone interested in helping to make the club team happen, please contact me and we can set up a meeting of interested parties. I know many guys want to help but are busy. But even if anyone can help coach a day a week even that would be a big help. I’m at Jesuit teaching now and would like to be there coaching, but if no one steps up as a head coach for that city club, I will. For now I’m going to commit to at least organizing the structure and setting the team up. Send the word out, especially to those who would like to help, but may be short on time or experience.

I’m working on a few division possibilities. I’ll work a few scenarios and have those prepared soon. Matt”
Fri, Sep 4th It is reported that the youth Shreveport team is 100 % sure. A second Shreveport High School asked to be included for the 2016-17 school year.  A coach was in place and would train under the 1st Shreveport team for this year.

8/7/15 NO Royales Win Shreveport 7s

Aug. 7th New Orleans Royale wins Shreveport Horseshoe Casino and Hotel Bossier City Louisiana 7s.

LA 2016 High School All-League Selections


Tulane Women Can Claim 1/2 of a USA Rugby National Championship

imageIn a bittersweet ending to an inspired season the Tulane University women’s rugby side conceded the USA Div II Rugby championship, kind of. After capturing the spring season championship by defeating Humboldt State University 39-32 in Davis, California on April 23rd, the Green Wave was to return to California two weeks later to play fall season champion Davenport University from Michigan. A second trip to California in two weeks was a bridge too far for Tulane.

Division I fall champion, University of Connecticut, were unable to travel to California for the May 7th championship match against the spring champion because of conflict with graduation. USA Rugby cancelled the women’s division I and II national championships; although, it is rumored that Davenport will have the opportunity to play Humboldt State on May 7th.

This is not the first time the championship has been cancelled. The current system with fall and spring seasons and separate champions has proven on other occasions to be untenable.

DeepSouthRugby.net has asked several questions about the split season championship and how it evolved and if it is under review. We have yet to received confirmation of receiving our questions, but we have been waiting several weeks for an answer.

Below is our interview with Jessica Mallindine, Tulane’s coach:

How did you become the Tulane coach?

Two years ago there was an email that went out to the womens rugby community asking for help coaching by Tulanes coach, Woneta Stallworth, who was a grad student at the time. I started going out to help intermittently the Spring of 2014. At the time they only had about 8 or so girls and were trying to set the ground-work for a functional club. By the time Fall came around, they recruited a very large incoming freshman group and Woneta asked if I would please help her as their assistant coach, primarily to help with backs-related skills and general support as they started to play in friendlies and tournaments. In Decembe of 2014 Woneta graduated and they asked me to take over as their head coach.

I have been working with Tulane for two years. I have never coached before, any sport. I am learning as I go and we have, to a large extent, grown up together in the sport.

When did you feel the team could win the spring championship?

I don’t think I or the team went into the Spring Championship thinking we could win. There were jokes about it at practice early in the season but I think it was generally felt that expecting us to go far in our first year as a competitive club was a little out-landish and unrealistic.Our original goal was to make it to Regionals. Once we achieved that goal every game became about playing our best game so that if we lost we knew that we had played to the best of our ability and could away proud of what we have accomplished. It just so happened that our best game kept winning matches. Even right up to the Final, we would get get together and talk about what they could do to improve themselves or what we wanted to tweak to see if we could get a little better at a specific aspect of the game. Never once did we talk about how we were going to win it and to some extent I think that really gave them room to step onto the field with no pressure. Their only concern was that they individually and, subsequently as a group, gave it everything they had.

What do you think of the idea that the spring season winner and fall season winners sort out their own play-off by the end of … July?

I think, in concept, it is a great idea. The issue arises when you are dealing with short turnarounds to raise money and travel as well as factoring in missed class time. Particularly, with the Spring Champions, they do not have any time to prepare following their Spring Championship win. There are only a couple weeks to book everything and raise the funds. Given how costly the tournament up until that point is, it really pushes the limit on what a club ca reasonably do. Of course the other issue is timing. Both DI and DII teams backed out this year because of graduation, which falls on the same weekend. This Championship schedule as currently laid out will most likely always conflict with finals and graduation.


4/13/16 Update: Mobile Area Rugby Foundation and Battleship Rugby

Rendition of the Brookley Field rugby complex

Artist’s rendition of future home of Battleship RFC released.

“It has been a lengthy process and everyone has worked diligently to get to this point.” From Robert Corley, Chairman, Mobile Area Rugby Foundation Coordinator,

To our teammates (new and old), friends, family and supporters, I hope this email finds you well in these early months of 2016. For some, the recent passing of friends and family members may darken the skies. Trust that you are never alone, and your Battleship family will be WITH YOU and your family at all times. Please allow me to offer condolences from my family and your Battleship Rugby family. While this can be a difficult time, there is much to celebrate around the Battleship community and still plenty of work left to be done.

Mid-last year, the administrators and club members of Mobile Area Rugby Foundation and Battleship Rugby Football Club began discussing the future of rugby in the Mobile area. The executive committees of both organizations explored the best pathways for growing rugby, at all levels, across southwest Alabama. A recommendation to consolidate the two entities was presented to both organizations’ constituents and approved at the Battleship Rugby AGM in August. As part of the reorganization, Mobile Area Rugby Foundation acquired new administrative duties, including rebranding all non-collegiate rugby in Mobile as Battleship Rugby. This will include Battleship’s U12 flag rugby league, the U19 7’s, and the senior men’s and women’s teams. This transition has not been without its opportunities and we realize updates have been lacking. Please trust this is merely a function of the admin hard at work growing rugby in all channels and know the flow of information will improve over the coming weeks and months.

I want to thank the current Battleship Men’s players, coaching staff and administrators for the grit they displayed in playing through this past season. The competition cycle started off promising but fell short of expectations. There is no lack of talent or determination in the current XV’s team, and we look to build upon the efforts displayed by our storied veterans and novice-players alike.

The 2015-2016 season also witnessed Mobile’s first women’s XV’s and 7’s sides taking the pitch. At the GRU meeting earlier this year, Battleship Women’s RFC was approved to enter the True South’s competition cycle for 2016-2017. This is a huge milestone, and the women have earned their accolades every step of the way. We will continue to grow the brand many of you have built and serviced through your hard work, sweat, and broken bones.

Roughly two years ago, Battleship Rugby’s home for nearly 20 years was condemned by the City of Mobile due to structural concerns with the lighting and the clubhouse. This came as a shock considering the close relationship we have all fostered with the Business Innovation Center and the City/County of Mobile.

After exploring a number of options, we determined that the best course of action would be to identify new strategic partners and a new home for Battleship Rugby. We have since agreed on Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley as the new location for rugby operations. Many of you have probably heard rumblings or mentions of this new arrangement. The limited information broadcast publicly is intentional, as we would like to hold off on publicizing our move to Brookley until we have established our presence within the Aeroplex. Over the weekend, the first of three shipping containers was delivered to the site, where it will be upcycled for storage and a viewing pavilion. I have attached a rendering of the final product we intend to call home for Battleship Rugby. There are some significant steps in phase 1 that will need to take place for all of us to recognize the fruits of our labor.

We have initially budgeted a sum of $10,000 to complete the construction of this site. That money has been earned, built and protected by all of you, for this purpose. I remember discussions in 2001 where Steering Committees and Old Boys envisioned a home of our own, aside from the BIC. I was invigorated by the long-term planning and had faith in the club administrators to take action that would allow Battleship to flourish and prosper for many years after my playing days. You guys have positioned us to make a bold move to ensure the program’s sustainability, but also to increase the visibility of rugby in Mobile. For that, I thank you. Without the members of Battleship Rugby, past and present, there would be no purpose to all of this and no history to preserve.

Some of you have been called upon to make connections, bridge gaps, or to provide services to help us create the new home for Battleship Rugby. A huge thank you goes out to you for your time and effort to help us preserve our legacy. In the coming weeks and months, many others of you may receive emails, calls or a knock on the door asking you to use your time, money or material to realize our goal of building a new, lasting home for our club. You all have done so much in the past forty years, a thank you is just not enough. The work we have done in the past twelve months to earn your trust and respect is just scratching the surface. Our aim is to reward your efforts with a facility deserving of the time you’ve spent away from families at fish fries, BBQs, and scraping aluminum.

Whether you are a current member, recent BOB, or a revered founder of this fine institution, please consider donating time, money or material to help us to complete the construction of our new home. You can donate to the facilities fund through paypal at Mobile Area Rugby Foundation Inc. If you can contribute time or material (dirt, grass seed, dozers, seeders, mowers, lighting equipment), please contact rcorley@mobilerugby.org so we can complete this facility for the Fall social cycle.

You should anticipate monthly updates on the progress of not only the facility, but our growing Men’s, Women’s, and Academy Programs. Currently, we are preparing to launch a touch rugby program, a highly-competitive Summer 7’s program, and defend our U12 flag rugby gold medal at the Alabama State Games. We will also be announcing this week a vacancy in the Men’s XV’s and 7’s Head Coach position for the 2016-2017 competition cycle. In addition, we will be deploying a Rookie Rugby P.E. curriculum for homeschoolers in early May. If you are interested in getting involved in any of these programs, please feel free to call or email me directly.

In closing, there are a number of great things on the horizon for Battleship Rugby. You all have paved the way for our current opportunities. For that, I thank you. We do have a lot of work to do over the next few weeks and months, and we could use your support to accomplish our vision. Please consider contributing in any manner. We have many needs and will be making additional program changes to ensure the viability of this club and organization. How will you help shape the future of Battleship Rugby? As a player on the 2001 National Championship team, I take great pride in the history and the future of this organization. As a player that began his career in the wake of Battleship’s 1992 National Championship, I have immense respect for those who paved the way. Help us realize the vision we have all talked about for nearly twenty years.

With you, Robert Corley

Source: BOB Old Boys List

Ireland to play All Blacks in Chicago next year

Ireland to play All Blacks in Chicago next year

The Irish Times has reported that Ireland will play the All Blacks in the US for the first time. Ireland last took on New Zealand in November 2013.

By Gerry Thornley
The Irish rugby team is to break new ground by playing New Zealand in Chicago next November, with a return fixture against the back-to-back World Cup champions to be held in the Aviva Stadium later in that same autumnal window.
The Irish Times has learned that Ireland will meet the All Blacks in Soldier Field, Chicago, on Saturday, November 5th, before hosting a Tier 2 country a week later at the Aviva Stadium. They will then play New Zealand again on November 19th as a prelude to rounding off a busy November window and year with a game against the World Cup finalists Australia on the 26th.
Soldier Field, which is home to the Chicago Bears American football teams, hosted its first international rugby union test match when the All Blacks beat the United States 74-6 in November 2014. The match was a 61,500 sell-out, and although only 23,112 attended Australia’s 47-10 win over the USA Eagles in a World Cup warm-up match last September, it will be a surprise if the combined popularity of both Ireland and the All Blacks did not ensure a sell-out for their meeting next November.
Sam Burgess has left Bath with immediate effect, returning to Australia. Photograph: David Davies/PA‘A total mess’: Clive Woodward hits out at ‘arrogant’ English RFU
New Zealand celebrating in Twickenham after winning the World Cup. For all of Dan Carter’s magnificence, Ma’a Nonu was the key figure in delivering tries.Photograph: AFP Photo /Franck Fife Gordon D’Arcy: World Cup was won with offloads and line breaks
Gerry Thornley’s country-by-country report card
The World Cup highlighted the willingness of Irish supporters to travel long and far to support their country and the IRFU will thus be tapping into the Irish diaspora for a first ever meeting with the All Blacks in America.
These high profile tests are also in keeping with Joe Schmidt’s desire to face the world’s leading teams more regularly, and in addition to the Six Nations, adds to a three-test tour of South Africa next June in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. Six clashes with teams from the Rugby Championship in one calendar year is unprecedented and emulates the six games Argentina, Ireland’s World Cup quarter-final conquerors, will have against the same opponents in 2016.
Ireland have never beaten New Zealand in 28 attempts, dating back to 1905, and never came closer than in the countries’ most recent test at the Aviva Stadium in November 2013, when the All Blacks won 24-22 thanks to a try in over time by Ryan Crotty and a twice taken conversion by Aaron Cruden. They are now set to have two cracks off the World champions next year.
Ireland’s November 2016 schedule
Saturday 5th: Ireland v New Zealand, Soldier Field, Chicago.
Saturday 12th: Ireland v Tier 2 team, Aviva Stadium.
Saturday 19th: Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium.
Saturday 26th: Ireland v Australia, Aviva Stadium.

Higgins Ashes to be Spread on Favorite Pitches

Expanded Old Boy Division Expected at Nov. 7-8 Battleship Tourney

Organizers are expecting a larger contingent of Old Boy teams at the Nov. 7-8 Battleship Invitational Tourney at Battleship Park in Mobile. Many are attending as a final farewell to Montgomery, ORB and Gypsy rugby player Gene Higgins. Gene died earlier this year and requested that his ashes be spread across many of the rugby pitches that he played upon. Many Old Boys who played with and against Gene will be in Mobile for the tourney.
Paul Ivey has posted on Facebook details surrounding “Gene’s Machine” at the tournament. The goal is to make this a memorial and worthwhile event “which includes benefits to Jennifer as well as memories for ourselves.” Ivey is producing jerseys for the tourney (cost is $45 per shirt). Paul is also producing t-shirts and hats to help Jennifer with her expenses. Contact Paul at 334-799-1061 for more info.

New Orleans Masters Rugby Tournament switches from spring to fall in 2016

In an effort to provide the best experience possible, the New Orleans Rugby Football Club has made the decision to change the dates of its annual old boys tournament from the spring to the fall. The tourney, officially the New Orleans Masters Rugby Tournament, will be held in City Park in New Orleans, a little over four miles from the French Quarter. The one day tourney will be held on Saturday, October 15, 2016, which should line up with the Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival (although that festival date is still TBD). Divisions will include 35+, 45+ and a 55+ exhibition match. Funds raised will benefit NOLA area youth rugby teams.
Why the change?
“As you may be aware, NORFC has sponsored the French Quarter Festival (FQF) Masters Tournament for a number of years in April,’’ writes NORFC’s Dale Thayer. “The FQF has grown so large and combined with other events the same weekend that flights and lodging prices have skyrocketed. We have also heard from many of you that the spring is awkward timing with many club teams in the playoff hunt.
“For this reason, we are moving the old boys fixture to the fall. In the past, we have also held the tournament at our home pitch in Gretna, LA. We have also heard from many that playing within the City of New Orleans would be a better experience. With regard to Old Boys, we agree. The tournament will be moved from this point forward under the historic Live Oak canopy of City Park.”
For more information about the New Orleans Masters Rugby Tournament, contact Thayer at dale.thayer@gmail.com or 504-444-6005.