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Written by Alex Goff    Tuesday, 24 April 2012 21:45    PDF Print Write e-mail
Seattle Wins Again
Clubs - Men's DI Clubs


The Seattle Rugby Club notched another solid victory Saturday, beating Richmond to end their regular season in the the Okanagan Spring Brewery League with a 6-4 record.

Seattle overcame a physical and hard-working Richmond team to win 36-20. Flanker Farzhad Dourian and tighthead prop Vladi Mnatsakanov were both standouts, challenging the Richmond defense with a thundering runs.

Nate Olsen on the wing and Lokini Taufa at fullback countered effectively.

This sets Seattle up nicely for their playoff game this week. Seattle travels to Vancouver, BC to face 2nd-place Vancouver Rowing Club at Brockton Oval in Stanley Park. The winner of that game will face Bayside – the team Seattle beat last week, for the league title. 

“It will be good to play at the Brockton Oval again,” said Head Coach Kevin Flynn. “We go into the semifinal confident but aware we have a lot of work to do to beat Rowers.”

 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Tuesday, 24 April 2012 20:05    PDF Print Write e-mail
Tour of the Month: Xavier Enjoys Excellent Trip to Ireland
School Age - Boys


The Xavier varsity rugby team completed a highly successful and enjoyable tour of Ireland over Easter Break, touring the Emerald Isle thanks to RUGBYMag.com sponsor Irish Rugby Tours

Prop Ricky Comis makes hard yards against Derry. Bernard Doherty photo.
Lock Connor Sweet  takes clean lineout ball above the Derry defense. Bernard Doherty photo.
Flyhalf Jimmy Wolfer exploits a gap in the Derry defense. Bernard Doherty photo.
 Inside Center John Strehle makes a break with Kevin Cochrane and Phil Arvanitis in support. Bernard Doherty photo.

The team played matches against two of the top teams in Dublin and an all-star team made up of top players in County Derry.  The team improved dramatically over the course of the tour and is playing the exciting and skillful brand of rugby that Xavier teams have been known for over the years.

On Easter Saturday, Xavier took on Blackrock College, one of the top high schools in Ireland, where rugby is so important that the school actually fields 26 rugby teams.  The Xavier team battled Blackrock to a respectable 36-17 loss.  In three meetings over the past twelve years, this was the closest Xavier had come to upending the vaunted Blackrock team (Xavier lost by 80 points the first time they played a Blackrock team in 2000).

Men of the match were junior prop Ricky Comis and junior flyhalf Jimmy Wolfer.

Xavier next played Clontarf RFC, a strong club who had already advanced to the Leinster Cup Semifinals. Paced by two long-range tries by senior wing Charles Guiraud, the Xavier squad battled to a 24-7 lead with only 15 minutes remaining in the match, but gave up three tries and allowed the home side to tie the match on the last play.

Though frustrating, the result showed that Xavier’s attack had already improved dramatically, and convinced the players that they needed to be ruthless with their opponents once they earned a lead.

The last match was against the NW Presidents XV, an all-star team made up of the top players from City of Derry RFC and the four top rugby schools in County Derry.

This was a physical and exciting match that saw the lead go back and forth throughout the first half. Nevertheless, Xavier entered the second half with a 17-10 lead. Derry scored first in the second half to tie the match, but Xavier buckled down and scored the last four tries of the match to end the tour with an impressive 39-17 win.

Junior No. 8 Luis Carpio and senior wing Charles Guiraud (two tries again) earned man of the match honors while senior flanker Mike Gorman added two more tries and the halfback pairing of juniors Ryan McDade and Jimmy Wolfer played exceptionally well.

In between matches, the Xavier boys got to see a great Heineken Cup Quarterfinal match between Leinster and Cardiff in the brand new Aviva Stadium.as well as a classic grudge match between Leinster A and Munster A.

The players and their coaches also were treated with an afternoon playing hurling and Gaelic football at the Na Fianna GAA club.  The hotly-contested hurling was one of the true highlights of the tour.

After making the trip up to Derry in Northern Ireland, the team spent a morning exploring the Giant's Causeway (an igneous rock formation that slopes into the Irish Sea, and looks for all the world like a pathway built by a giant from Ireland to Scotland), enjoyed a formal reception by the Mayor of Derry and were given a guided tour of the walled city of Derry that included visiting the Bogside - the neighborhood where Bloody Sunday occurred over thirty years ago.

The City of Derry RFC and Lumen Christi College were most welcoming hosts who put on a formal banquet for both teams after the match.  In fact, the whole city of Derry seemed enthused about the team’s arrival, as Xavier was the first American high school rugby team to play there, and seemed eager for more American teams to come to Derry to enjoy their outstanding hospitality.

The exceptional tour itinerary was organized and efficiently orchestrated by Irish Rugby Tours and led by an outstanding tour guide, Steven “Stewie” Delaney.




 
Written by Alex Goff    Tuesday, 24 April 2012 14:18    PDF Print Write e-mail
Three Away Wins Begs Question of Who is Best
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


San Francisco Golden Gate beat Glendale, in Glendale.

Glendale, earlier this year, traveled to the Pacific Northwest, and beat Old Puget Sound in Seattle.

And just a couple of weeks ago, OPSB beat SFGG at Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay.

 
Written by Alex Goff    Tuesday, 24 April 2012 19:05    PDF Print Write e-mail
Huge Crowd for Notre Dame 7s Exhibition
Sevens - Collegiate Sevens


Notre Dame hosted Aspen in a 7s exhibition Saturday during the Notre Dame spring football Blue-and-Gold game.

Notre Dame in front of the big crowd. Photo Notre Dame Rugby.
Notre Dame looking for a try. Photo Notre Dame Rugby.
Aspen on attack. Photo Notre Dame Rugby.

This was a historic day for a Notre Dame rugby program that is still not that far from having been kicked off campus.

The exhibition, in front of over 30,000 fans, was prompted by James Aldridge, now playing with Aspen after a stint in New Zealand, and a former Notre Dame football player.

This was a special experience for all the players, and the fans were especially enthusiastic watching to 7s. The fans responded well to the big hits and the fast pace of game.

The roars began to build up about midway through the single 7-minute period when winger Dom Carsaro tried to win the corner, but was pushed out 10 yards away from the end zone. The first and only score came with about a minute left, when senior Dan Scheper made an  and passed to sophomore Byron Henry on a cutback. Henry split two defenders and found senior David Harrington, who offloaded in contact to senior Chris "Sparky" Pesigan to set him up for the 60-yard race to the tryline.

"It was the best experience of my life," said Sparky.

The Notre Dame 7s team is now preparing for the USA 7s Collegiate Rugby Championship at PPL Park in Philadelphia June 2-3. This experience at the Blue and Gold game will help the players for the CRC, too, as the size of the crowd won't be a shock. Notre Dame has brought in former Eagle (7s and 15s) David Fee to lead the 7s effort, and they will look to build on their 2011 finish, where they made the Challenger Cup final.

Click here for more on the CRC.

 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Tuesday, 24 April 2012 13:55    PDF Print Write e-mail
DI-A Bracket, Semifinal Scenarios
Colleges - Men's DI College


The DI-A bracket is set, as can be seen below, but the semifinal venues are not. Here are the scenarios:

On the left side of the bracket
- Life hosts if they win

- BYU hosts if they win and Life loses
- UCLA hosts if they win and Penn State wins

On the right side of the bracket

- St. Mary's hosts if they win
- Army hosts if they win and St. Mary's loses
- Arkansas State hosts if they win and Utah wins



 


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