2003-05-23 / Sports

Rockaway Rugby Fisheads Tames Village Lions 20-14

By John O
Rockaway Rugby Fisheads Tames Village Lions 20-14 By John O’Connor

Last Saturday, the Rockaway Fisheads Rugby Club hosted the Village Lions RFC in nearby Fort Tilden. The Lions, the Division 3 Champions last season will now be playing Division 2 in the fall. With newly acquired French scrumhalf, Tim "Rek" Nage and a slew of new players, the Fisheads didn’t know what to expect. Arriving promptly at 12:45pm for a 1pm game, the Fisheads quickly took warm-ups and sized up the competition. Tardiness was blamed on Friday’s Happy Hour at the Irish Circle.

Soon after the opening kick, they figured it out … on this day… THE BACKS WILL RULED! With long runs, scoring and defense, the Fisheads planned to dominate. "Oakie" O’Connor was back to his old form with his stutter step/fake out move and over-powering speed. He was warned of his high tackling defense after one vicious cloth-line hit but won the referee over when he adjusted his technique and lowered his tackles.

The first score of the day was on 2nd phase play, when the backs moved the ball down the line, Fox to Oakie to Stony Brook Kev back to Oakie then to Tyrone Sperling. Tyrone placed a "up and under" down the sideline and caught the ball off a bounce. Tackle at the 5 meter line, Tyrone passed off to Kermit Egan for the score. Oakie was also available for the pass. Nice play! Wayne hit the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

With the overload, the ball reached Tim Kelly, who turned the run into a maul when would-be tacklers attempted to take down the 20th year veteran. Forwards, Tim Curley and Mike "the Russian" joined in and pushed for the goal line. A couple of short bursts and set-play enabled Mike Annicelli to dive for the goal line, scoring a try. My favorite Englishman and fellow Met fan, Wayne Fox hit the conversion for a 14-0 lead. FYI: You can see the kicking guru, Wayne Fox every Friday, conditioning himself 2 for 1, at the Irish Circle Happy Hour.

The Village Lions battled back with an attack up the middle. A penalty play ensued at the Fishead’s 5meter line. After several minutes of defense, the Lions pushed over for a try just before the half. Rockaway led 14-7 at whistle.

Rockaway changed some tried players for "young guns" at the half. Adam Lynch and John Turchiano joined the forwards. Back-line stayed the same as O’Connor said, "if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it", besides "we’re fit as a fiddle".

Barry "Cowhead" received a blow to the eyebrow requiring 10 stitches to close the wound. "Tape me up and send me back in", he demanded.

Soon after the start of the second half, the Fisheads were awarded a penalty kick, 30 meters out. Mr. Fox again accepted and drove the ball, hooking it through the up-rights. Rockaway 17-7.

The Lions came back with a try from the backs as they capitalized on missed tackles and non-commitment of their forwards to the "ruck". Please note: Oakie O’Connor was not responsible for this flaw in the defense. Rockaway lead was cut, 17-14 with 25 minutes to play.

After fighting back and forth for several minutes, John McCann was sin binned for 10 minutes for what the referee, "Carl" called, "professional fouls" against #7. Captain, Kermit Egan chastised McCann several times for being too aggressive and putting the team at a disadvantage. McCann left for the sin bin wondering, what the professional foul was? And didn’t Kermit miss the tournament last week?

Down a man (10 mins.) and with a 3 pt. lead, the Fisheads held ground, kicking for touch and holding possession. The Fisheads managed to get in the Lions territory and cause a penalty in their favor. Mr. Fox, (a.k.a. Foxy or Wayne-O), hit another kick for 3 pts. Rockaway lead was 6pts. when the Village Lions attacked back.

Rockaway RFC has finished the spring season with a winning record of 8-2. Call the Club hotline 718-474-1725 for upcoming tournaments. ROCKAWAY 7’s is June 14th, Father’s Day weekend. To enter a team in the tourney, you should e-mail us at rockawayrugby@aol.com

Rugger pluggers:

John McCann said there would be grass by the last match and he was correct. Sadly, all seven blades of grass were destroyed after play was complete last Sat. afternoon.

Watching Englishman Wayne Fox wear "Kelly" green was so enjoyable; it should be an annual event. Did I mention, you can visit Wayne every Friday at the Irish Circle Happy Hour? Just look for the pile of bad betting slips and overcrowded plate of buffet food. If you mention his love life, you’re subjected to "down the hatch".

"Sin Bin" McCann blamed the two other players wearing #7 that day for his "professional fouls" Overheard from the sideline, "the Kevin Coursey Whistle".

MIA Sat: John McMorrow was helping Kevin Wrafter bleach his hair blond just in time for his cousin’s senior prom. Laura O’Connor and sons were at the game. Matt Frank was trying out for the N.Y.A.C. 7’s team this summer. Hey Matt, they expect you to show up if you’re selected … which, might be a problem. Lets go Mets !!

Clubhouse news:

Rugby Clubhouse’s gift shop still has t-shirts, socks & jackets available for sale.

Attention: Mark your calendar: Rugby Clubhouse Volleyball Night - Wednesday, July 2nd, 2003. Kid-Friendly Night with "Bouncy Room/Ride" for the kids, BBQ, Horseshoes and more. Bring your bike that night. Plenty of room, bike right in! For more information about the Rockaway Rugby team and clubhouse, visit their website at http:// www.rock awayrugby.com


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