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Written by Alex Goff    Thursday, 27 October 2011 22:42    PDF Print Write e-mail
Speed in Backs Pan-Am Key
RUGBYmag Premier - Exclusive News

The USA 7s team backs are something of a question-mark, but an exciting question-mark, going into this weekend’s Pan-Am Games.

 
Written by Press Release    Thursday, 27 October 2011 19:07    PDF Print Write e-mail
College Playoff Brackets Announced
Colleges - College News

BOULDER, Colo. - The brackets for the men’s and women’s collegiate rugby playoffs are set for the 2011-2012 season.

Listed below are the tournament brackets for each division within the men’s and women’s competitions. The women's playoffs will be held from April 21-22, 2012 with the championships taking place on May 11-12 at a venue which is yet to be determined.

The opening round of the men's playoffs will kickoff on April 28-29, 2012. The men’s collegiate national championships will be held on the weekend of May 18-19. A venue is yet to be decided upon.

A national champion will be determined in Women's College Division I and Division II, while the men’s collegiate playoffs will determine national champions for Division 1AA and Division II.

USA Rugby Men's College Division 1A is a separate conference-based competition with 26 teams.  The top two teams from each of the four conferences advance to the playoffs.  The D1A Championship will be held on May 18-19.






 
Written by Alex Goff    Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:59    PDF Print Write e-mail
Doylestown Rebuilds and Keeps Winning
Clubs - Men's DII Clubs

Doylestown were national DII club finalists in 2010, losing in overtime, and that loss kind of stung a little, but the club continues to play superbly in Mid-Atlantic DII, going undefeated last year in league play, and looking to do the same again this year.

Surging once more. Doylestown's Denny Reilly dares anyone to stop him, with Kevin Reilly and Rich Carrol in support. Photo couresty Doylestown Rugby.“We’re confident,” said Doylestown Head Coach Bill Tomlinson of his 5-0 team, which plays 0-5 Jersey Shore in their final match this weekend. “But we aren’t overconfident. Jersey Shore has been a good club in the past and we’re not going to look past them by any means.”

The 5-0 record is a bit of a surprise for Tomlinson, given that he entered the season having lost five starters.

“We had some questions on players, whether guys from the B side could step up, but they have,” he said. “It didn’t hurt that Irish-born flanker Barry McDonogh returned after a season away. His leadership has been key, but at the same time, Tomlinson gave a bunch of players the chance to sink or swim in A-side, and they still have their heads above water.

“In retrospect our toughest game was the first game of the season against Wilmington,” Tomlinson said of his side’s 32-27 defeat of the Delaware club. “We got out of that and built confidence from it. The guys have put in a lot of hard work, and while I think the league competition is not as strong as it has been, I am proud of how hard they’ve worked.”

This weekend, Tomlinson will likely test a few players who have been itching for A-side time. But it just helps build the depth in a club that remains one of the top DII clubs in the country.

Tough guy Rich Carroll at prop helps lead a solid forward effort that includes brothers Kevin and Denny Reilly, who can play lock or loose forward, while flyhalf Brian Beauregard has been outstanding. Beauregard can kick goals, too, but he doesn’t have to, as outside center and captain Mike Weir has been brilliant in that aspect. Having taken that responsibility away from Beauregard, Weir has allowed his flyhalf to concentrate on running the offense, which has scored 272 points in five league games, including 91 against Hibernians.

 

 
Written by Alex Goff    Thursday, 27 October 2011 17:12    PDF Print Write e-mail
Club Player of the Week: Michael Bunce
Clubs - Men's DII Clubs

Michael Bunce for Montauk. Carley Hatcher photoMichael Bunce is the co-leader in try-scoring for the Montauk Rugby Club with five in league play.

The former USA U20 flanker suits up at No. 8 and openside flanker for the undefeated DII team, and has been a part of some new-found success for the club.

“When we were last really successful, it was in DIII, and I was playing for the club when I was 16 or 17,” Bunce told RUGBYMag.com. “I left and moved on, but now I come back and this has been a lot of fun. The guys here, I went to school with some of them. Our dads or uncles all play. We’re friends.”

According to club president Garth Wakeford, Bunce has taken on a more vocal leadership role. He should. He has played in Scotland, played for the Junior All Americans, and has coached as well.

“We get involved in coaching right now,” he said. “We’ve recruited a lot of really good athletes. With them it doesn’t matter if they don’t know exactly when to roll away or release the ball. We can help them with that and help coach them a little while we’re training.”

Bunce has a solid rugby resume, and has now stepped forward to take control of the pack. He has opened his arms to the new football and lacrosse athletes recruited to the club, and brought the new players and the veterans together. The tries are nice, but they are ancillary to everything else.

“I’ve been around,” said Bunce, who has played at Pearl City, Boston and Tempe. “I’ve been in the playoffs. I think I can bring something to the club in understanding what it takes to get there.”

Something’s going right, as Montauk is 6-0 and looking at 8-0 in league play.

“Everyone’s excited,” said Bunce. “Our field is right in the middle of East Hampton. Everyone will walk by and just at least have a look. Guys with kids have no excuse not to come as there’s a playground right next to the field. It’s good for us, and good for the community.”

 
Written by Alex Goff    Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:35    PDF Print Write e-mail
Montauk Performances Rise with Off-Field Improvements
Clubs - Men's DII Clubs

It’s smooth sailing so far for Montauk as the fishing Mecca is 6-0 in MetNY’s DII.

Photos MJ Mackey, courtesy Montauk Rugby Club
Montauk men gather for an in-game chat.
Try time for John Glennon
New to rugby Jarryl Walker (center) and longtime player player Michael Bunce (left) make an intriguing combination.
Steve Turza
Connor Miller and Erik Brierly
Scrumhalf Brian Anderson is one of those players relatively new to the game or a position who continues to improve.

The town may be called “The End” because it’s on the eastern tip of Long Island, but it’s where you begin when you talk of top DII clubs in the region. Coming off a 4-4 season in 2010, Montauk wanted more. In the end a renewed commitment to what the club meant has translated to on-the-field success.

“Last winter we got together and created a recruitment and financial committee with input from a few of the younger players,” explained club president Garth Wakeford. “We established a code of conduct and saw ourselves as more than just a rugby team, but also as a community organization much like the rotary club.”

The club got involved in Toys for Tots and blood drives. They straightened out their finances and trademarked their name.

“We set up systems for running the club rather than the usual situation of one guy doing it all,” said Wakeford. “We got a few ideas for recruitment from some of our younger players who has just returned from college and the best idea was officially, by sending out a letter, inviting local youth who had successfully played college sports, but not rugby, to the club.”

That simple move has reaped benefits. Zach Brenneman (Notre Dame lacrosse), Mark Scioscia (Villanove lacrosse), and Jarryl Walker (arena football) have all embraced the game and played well.

With Head Coach Rich Brierley having a year under him now, he was able to solidify his game plan and defensive structures.

And the returning players, led by No. 8 Mike Bunce and league-leading points-scorer Gordon Trotter have taken to it all.

“Obviously rugby is a great team sport and our success is mostly a team effort from 1 to 22 but standout players exist,” said Wakeford. “Michael Bunce has taken up a leadership role in the forwards. Eric Brierley, Ricardo Salmaron , Conner Miller, Nick Lawler and Hamish Cuthbertson from the US Coast Guard.”

Trotter, added Wakeford, has been “immense, not just on the field but as club captain.”

It’s trotter’s job to get the kit sorted out and worked on communications between the teams. It all takes work.

“Being on the tip of Long Island means we still have a fare bit of travel for away games and we struggle to fill a B side, but by becoming a well-run club with a great support structure we hope to run two full sides in the future and continue with our successful kids camp in the summer. We are also going to host an upgraded Hamptons Sevens next summer which should be a big hit with everyone.”

“The response has been great,” added Bunce, who first played for Montauk as a teenager. “We’re getting the old boys out. On the club we’re friends first and teammates second. I played with a lot of these guys and went to school with them. I takes years of saying ‘you gotta come out, you gotta come out.’ And when they finally do, it’s like a light comes on. We’re having a lot of fun – I’m having a lot of fun.”

Next up for Montauk is 3-3 Rockaway, followed by 2-4 Connecticut Yankees. They should win those games to finish 8-0. That will set them up nicely for the playoffs. For Bunce, who has played for the USA at age-grade and been on playoff and Super League clubs, where a club needs to be to go deep in the national playoffs can be elusive.

“I know the guys are excited,” he said. “They say ‘we want to travel, we want to be there.’ That’s great. I think we can be really good. We’re not there right now, but everyone is improving every game, and getting more comfortable with his game. We’re close.”

 


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