2000-04-08 / Sports

Fisheads Home For A Month

Jack Acierno To Make Rugby Debut

After spending the first three weeks of their season on road, the Rockaway
Rugby Club returns home this weekend for the first of four consecutive
matches on their home pitch at Riis Park and 150 street.

On March 25, the Fisheads defeated divisional rival Manhattan Rugby at Randalls Island by a 34-24 score. After trailing 12-0, and looking completely in disarray, the Fisheads rallied for two scores just before the half to close the gap to 12-10. Despite spending the first 25 minutes of the match back pedaling in their own end, the Fisheads did not buckle, a long run by winger/neighborhood stud Tyrone Sperling finally got the ball inside the opponents 22 meter line. Now on the attack, Rockaway maintained possession and powered the ball into the try zone with an outstanding push from the entire pack. With the momentum now in Rockaways favor, Kermit Egan ended the
half with a weakside run past a Manhattan defender to cut the lead to two.

With the wind now at their backs, the Fisheads began the second half with a much more aggressive style of play. Forwards John McCann, Barry Cowhead, Mike the Russian, Ken Concepcion, Tippy Tipaldo, and Greg Russo crashed through the Manhattan defense and created opportunities for new flyhalf Kevin Wrafter and backfield mates Keith Serper, Johnny O'Connor, and Tusch Coyne. A 20 meter blast by John McCann from a kick allowed the Fisheads to control the ball deep inside Manhattan territory, where Kermit was able to find Serper weakside for another score. Only minutes later, eight man Barry Cowhead stole a lineout and wrestled the ball away from teammate Tom Leonard for the game clinching score. The final was Rockaway 34, Manhattan 24.

This past weekend, the Fisheads again headed north; this time the
opponent was longtime nemesis Lansdown Rugby from the Bronx.

After falling behind 3-0, Rockaway battled back to take a 5-3 lead on a try by Mike the Russian. Despite dominating play for most of the half, the Fisheads fell behind 13-8 by intermission. Although a tremendous effort was put forth by all in the second half, the Fisheads dropped a 23-13 decision. Great games were had by all, especially Mike the Russian, John McMorrow, Kevin Wrafter, and John Francis O'Connor.

This week begins the first of four straight weeks at home for the
Fisheads. Game time is Saturday 1 p.m. at the Riis Park football field at
150 street and Rockaway Beach boulevard. Hope to see you.

Rugger Pluggers:

Congratulations to Kevin and Karen Barrett on the arrival of
their new daughter Katherine and to Johnny and Laura O'Connor on the birth of their son Joseph.

The Fisheads welcome new players Brad Conza and Dirk Diggler, who have arrived from overseas to help the Fisheads reach the next level.
Three cheers to longtime Fisheads and Rugby gurus Tippy Tipaldo and Ken Concepcion, who have once again stepped up their performances and put forth outstanding efforts this season.

Has anyone seen the Great Kazoo? After boasting all winter about his
return to the rugby pitch, "the great one" has not been heard from and was last spotted changing a flat somewhere in Far Rockaway. Rumor has it, he has been spending quality time with good pal Kevin Coursey.

After vowing to party more in 2000, Jim Egan has since decided to go on
the wagon for Lent, except for Saturday nights and an occasional Wednesday.

The Fisheads anxiously await the return of Torty Johnson from his surfing excursion to Bali, Indonesia. Word is, he's been "tearing it up" and looks forward to returning to the tasty waves on the shores of Rockaway. We can't wait for the stories.

Opening day at Shea stadium was a popular outing for many locals this
past week. Many notable community members were in attendance including Wave scribe Brian Dickesheid, Jerry Reen, Johnny Briody, and Barney Johnson.

The Fisheads welcome Iona Rugby star Mike Connicelli to the club.

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