Be careful what you say about the Schuylkill River Rugby Club.
Known in recent years for their success on the club 7s circuit, Schuylkill River nevertheless doesn’t want to be know only for 7s.
“The one thing that is always in the back of my mind is, we don’t just want to be known as a 7s team,” said Pat Boyle, who captains both the 15s and 7s squads. “The guys are very cognizant of that. Most of the best 7s teams in the country all have fantastic 15s side, and we want that, too.”
Well they look the part so far, having won all three Mid-Atlantic league games, beating previously-undefeated Norfolk in the process. Playing 7s doesn’t hurt, either, as most of the team’s forwards play 7s in the vibrant MARFU social bracket. Everyone came into the fall fit and ready to go, and it shows.
“Definitely Norfolk was the toughest game so far, and it does feel good to get started on the right foot,” said Boyle. But at the same time, all the three wins mean is we can’t finish worse than 3-11. We beat all three of those teams last year, so we have to raise our expectations.”
And their level of play. Schuylkill has been bolstered by the work of former Kutztown flanker Jamie Gregory, who is a sparkplug, and oft-overlooked lock Tom Weishaupt, who, said Boyle “is one of the most underrated players on the East Coast.”
They form a forward pack that is less known than its Greg Ambrogi, Owen Jones-led backs, but still is doing the job.
“What we’re looking for is consistency, and to be a little better than last year,” said Boyle. “It’s a 14-game season, and it’s a constant grind, so it’s not a case of making sure your top 23 on that day are in sync, but more that the top 40 are all in sync. We need consistency throughout the entire roster, and we’re not putting too much into winning the first three games. We know coming up we have the Maryland Exiles, and they beat us last year. We know we have huge tests waiting for us.”