2002-02-02 / Sports

Rockaway Rugby Football Club 2001 Summary

Rockaway Rugby Football
Club 2001 Summary

(This is the second installment of the 2001 summary. It will continue in next week's edition.)

Announcement: On February 3 at 3 p.m. is the Fishead Superbowl Party at the Rugby Clubhouse on Beach 113th Street. Call (718) 474-1725 for more information.

25th Anniversary Tournament

By John Tipaldo

The 25th Anniversary Rockaway 7's Tournament took place on June 16, 2001 in New York City at Gateway National Park Service Fort Tilden/Breezy Point Unit.

After two rounds of round robin play, the Men's Open bracket divided into the Cup, Plate, and Bowl following the traditional Hong Kong format. The Cup division finalists were Old Blue RFC (N.Y.) vs. last year's defending champs, the N.Y.A.C. Old Blue RFC won 19-0 over the N.Y.A.C. The Plate division, Old Blue "B" defeated the Village Lions 34-17 in a very offensive match. N.Y.C. Rugby, who filled out a side of motley rugby players to defeat tournament favorite FBI to capture the Bowl division.

Once again, the New York Women's Ruggers won their 4th straight title over Worcester Women. In the college/social division, Xaxier High School Rugby Club lost to the more experienced Fordham Alumni Old Boys.

On a day we all thought might be the first rain soak Rockaway 7's in 12 years, turned out to be a pleasant hazy/sunny day after the fog had lifted. All in all, 38 teams participated in the Men's Open, Women's Round Robin, and College/Social brackets. The crowd favorite youth clinic, consisting of 20 area youth between the ages of 7-14, were lectured and drilled on the sport of rugby eventually taking the pitch in a semi-contact match in front of a large enthusiastic crowd. Throughout the day, several hundred spectators enjoyed the competition, the rugby sing-a-long in the beer and food garden and short stroll to the beach.

Men's Open:

The first cup semi-final matched Old Blue vs. Boston Irish, both teams with a Rockaway native on their roster. Old Blue with Brian Geraghty won a tight match dominated by defense 17-12 over Tommy Lee and his Boston club. The second semi-final was won by NYAC over Long Island 34-14 and was marred by a Long Island player tackling an over excited fan who was cheered on by the crowd to do a try zone to try zone dance into the waiting arms of the U.S. Park Police.

The final between defending champ NYAC vs. Old Blue was expected to be an offensive show down, but Old Blues defensive set-up did not allow NYAC to penetrate the gain line and Old Blue prevailed 19-0. Old Blue's Nigel D'Arce was named MVP countless tries and impressive tackling. The plate semis included Rockaway A vs. Old Blue B. Rockaway, consisting of few veterans, several college and high school players had a 12-7 lead at half. Old Blues size and experience took over in the second half and they won 19-12.

In the second semi-final, the Village Lions defeated Lansdowne Rugby in a close match. Old Blue B won the final 34-17 over the Lions to claim the clubs second award of the tournament. Hooker Paul Keller and Prop Dave Hoehmann receive honorable mention for their fine play.

Since the resurgence of the Women's bracket four years ago, NY Women have dominated and were crowned champs again with a convincing 32-0 win over Worcester Women. Special thanks to Liz Cass of NY Women for helping to organize the bracket this year and making it another success. We would like to thank Long Island Women, Village Lionesses, New Paltz Women and Rockaway Women for promoting women's rugby in the N.Y. Area and we welcome their support.

This year's College/Social bracket was divided between the young and fast versus the old, big, and slow. The final consisted of the Xavier Young Men vs. Fordham Alumni. Xavier's, T.J. Mahoney and Pat BradyĆ¢018s excellent performance was the talk of the sideline. Fordham's experience prevailed 24-19 to defend their title despite a courageous hard fought match by an undersized Xavier team consisting of all high school students. Captain Mike Finneran was quoted, "Experience defeats Youth once again".

The youth clinic was sponsored by the Met. N.Y. Rugby Football Union, our local businesses and Queens City Councilman Al Stabile, was again a great success. It consisted of 20 soon to be Ruggers, between the ages of 7-14, who were given a two-hour clinic followed by a scrimmage and an awards presentation. A special thanks to Drew Fautley, Bob Johnson, Jerry Hunt, and Marty Rosenthal for making this years clinic possible. This clinic has become the highlight of the Rockaway Rugby Youth program.

Ruggers Pluggers:

Rob "OMEX" Mrotzek, is obviously trying to step away from rugby for a while since he decided to put on 50 pounds, making another spring comeback almost impossible. He has reached his ideal weight if he was 7 feet tall. See what happens when you move closer to Ratman.

The clubhouse threw a party last week and had a visit from the local N.Y. police dept. It seems the music was too loud. Puzzled, since we had no band and no D.J., I, asked the police officer, "Who filed the complaint?". It turns out the complaint came from upstairs, YES, the clubhouse apartment occupied by club member Tyrone Sperling. It seems his girlfriend had enough Wild Rover to last till. St. Patrick's Day and needed some sleep. Artie "Ooch" Boyland will be a papa soon. Due in April, if a boy - Marie and Artie will name the him, "Little Ooch" Boyland Their " Lamaze " class was stunned when he demonstrated the correct way to slide head first on a wet surface completely nude.

Jarrod "Aussie#5" Gould who was here since March and did not score for 9 months, scored twice on his final match day for Rockaway, a try in the last two minutes in the match with Union and another that lasted two minutes. Jarrod has asked for a return trip to the NYC coast to redeem himself off the field. Cansius College player T.J. Mahoney, against the will of his family, got a tattoo of the sun etched across his entire back. "May the sun shine upon you", was only a line from a poem!

T.A. moved from Long Island and back to Rockaway after meeting Lenny Nichtern at the local 7-11. Words were exchanges and slurpies were thrown. Lenny stated the Town of Massapequa was not big enough for two and he was there first. Larry Karlin will boycott the first match of the season since he was not invited to light the menorah at the Fishead's holiday party. Billy "Tim's brother" Kelly has signed a letter of intent to play for the fisheads this upcoming season.

A gold earring was found at the clubhouse. No females stepped forward to claim the jewelry, so Brian Nache simply pierced his left nipple and "wouldn't you know it" … a match. A collection for a "Free Celly Fund", during the Rockaway 7's netted $9.46. Since Tom & Tyrone were a few hundred dollars short, they left Celly in jail and went to Micky D's to split a Happy Meal. They saved the rest, to buy Celly a Zima if they ever saw him again.

Pete Baker is currently working in the soft porn industry in L.A., as a warm-up guy. Tippy celebrated his 40th Birthday at the Yacht club while watching the Jets lose. We ordered him a shot called "The Whistleblower" but he refused the shot because he wasn't familiar with it. The Tubridy bar will live on…. Jamesy, Timmy and dad, Tim Sr. recently took full ownership and will give serious consideration too fixing up the joint. T.A will be referee at every Rockaway home game until he utters the words "Nothing seen blue, play on". A Rockland reunion will take place the day we play at Danbury in the spring. Expect Woody, Macker & company to shed the "ball and chains" for this match.


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