Fisheads Float Past Long Island
The new and improved Rockaway Rugby Club continued with their winning ways over the weekend, as they defeated long time foe Long Island Rugby by the score of 26-0 at Riis Park. The Fisheads have now posted three victories against divisional opponents this spring.
Later in the day, the Fisheads
bowed to the Syston Rugby Club from Lester England by a score of 19-0.
In a much anticipated rematch, the Fisheads looked to avenge last season’s tough loss that ended a three game winning streak and sent the Fisheads spiraling downward for the rest of the season. Knowing that they would later be taking on the touring lads from Lester, coaches Israel and Johnson decided to rest several key players for the first match. With Johnny Oak, Kenny Stokum, and
Wayne Fox among those sitting out the first game, Rockaway had an excellent opportunity to evaluate some of it's up and coming talent, like Tommy Leonard, Nate Tenczan, and Mike Conicelli. The young neophytes did not disappoint, as both Leonard and Nate played a part in the first try of the afternoon.
After spinning the ball wide to his wing, flyhalf Wrafter took third phase ball back to his forwards where the pack drove forward and touched down in the corner for a 5-0 lead. The next 20 minutes of the match were spent with the hometown on their heels. Long Island was using their sizable weight advantage to maintain possession inside the Rockaway 22- meter line. With their backs on the goal line, the Fisheads made tackle after tackle to keep the opponent out of the endzone. Finally, a clearing kick by Wrafter got the Fisheads out of danger and seemed to weaken the spirits of Long Island. Noteworthy, during this time, was the strong defense played by Rockaways Keith Serper. In a new role as first center, Serper made an endless amount of stops against the hard interior running of Long Island.
The Fisheads added to their lead with 15 minutes left in the half. After
regaining control of the ball, Rockaways loose forwards McCann, Cowhead, and Brad Conza punched relentlessly at the defense, loosening things up for the backfield. A weakside play by Kermit Egan sprung winger Dirk Diggler, who carried down to the 5-meter line before John McMorrow was able to touch down
for a 15 point lead. Another score by Johnny Oak gave the Fisheads a commanding 21-point lead at the half.
Rockaway picked up right where they left off in the second half. John
McCann used his patented dummy pass to fake out three Long Island defenders to put Kermit away for another score. With the game in hand, the Fisheads added one more score to bring the final to 31-0. There was much rejoicing on the Rockaway sidelines and the Fisheads quickly got ready for their match against Syston.
The old backfield of Wayne Fox, Johnny Oak, Tusch Coyne, and Mike Getler reunited to take on the English. They were joined by Tippy Tipaldo and Ken Stokum to form a respectable side. Unfortunately, the wear and tear of the earlier match left Rockaway tired and unproductive. After trailing 5-0 at the
half, the Fisheads let up and dropped a 19-0 decision.
Losing the second match did not deter Rockaway from celebrating at the
post match party. A fine array of barbecued delights were presented by Tyone and Tom, refreshments were enjoyed by all three teams, and a joyous time was had by all. The Fisheads won the boat race and slide competitions, and t-shirts and other paraphernalia were exchanged amongst the players. The national
anthems of England, South Africa, New Zealand, and the U.S.A bellowed through the walls of the clubhouse and the party went on until the wee hours.
This weekend the Fisheads do battle with perennial powerhouse Montauk Rugby. Game time is 1 p.m. at Riis Park. All are welcome to come and enjoy the action.
Fishead fans Mary Mary Egan, Jean Egan, and Reg Courtney joined in on the post match celebrating and even participated in some of the competitions.
Kiwi Brad Conza treated the crowd to his version of the New Zealand
"Haka" which brought an ovation from everyone in attendance.
Other neighborhood notables at the party included Jim Coyne and Jewel,
Cliff Shevlin, Jerry Reen, and Spike Walsh.
Has anyone seen the Great Kazoo? He was again a no show, after assuring everyone he would be there via the Internet.
South Africa's self-proclaimed "best player" Dirk Diggler has yet to
score a Try for Rockaway, but does however seem to be quite adept at chatting up the ladies. The Fisheads only hope he will put in the same effort on the field.
An angry Kevin Coursey showed up at the clubhouse demanding to know who on the team was computer literate.
Surfing legend Torty Johnson made his seasonal debut at flanker and had a fine game without complaining about anything.
Young studly Fisheads Tom Leonard and Tyrone Sperling would like all eligible females to know that Ruggers wear tight shorts, form fitting
jerseys, and are available for conversation after the match.