2004-06-25 / Sports

Fisheads Take Rugby Crown For Second Straight Year

Fisheads Take Rugby Crown For Second Straight Year

The 28th edition of the Rockaway 7’s Rugby Tournament was held last Saturday (June 19) at Fort Tilden. With multiple championships up for grabs, the action kicked off early at 10:00 a.m. and continued unabated until 7:00 p.m. Great rugby, a youth rugby clinic, and the debut of the Rockaway Fishtails women’s rugby club were the feature attractions of the day. A post tournament bash, headlined by renowned U2 tribute band 2U followed the event, with the famous "Rockaway Rugby Clubhouse" hosting post tournament revelers. No major injuries were reported.

Rockaway Rugby President Bob Johnson and Sevens chairman John McCann called the day a "tremendous success. This tournament has become a local fixture and a rite of summer here in Rockaway Beach. We couldn’t be more proud."

And well they should be as the local favorites, your Rockaway Fisheads repeated as Club Division Champions, defeating Old Blue in stunningly efficient fashion. Tournament MVP Oscar Prince and Mark the Cougar, two of Rockaways newest stars, set the pace with speed and passing the likes of which haven’t been seen for years in these parts. Coupled with the bruising play of Irish Pat and the athleticism of Brendan "Explosion Head" Lunny, the locals blistered all that opposed them.

Rockaway 7’s guru Kermit Egan, still a force in his early 30’s, piloted the super talented Fisheads to glory. "This is the best group we have ever assembled...bar none," said the hard-nosed and talented scrumhalf. "Nobody can touch us at this level and we may consider moving up to the qualifier next year."

Egan, who shaves his legs for aerodynamic advantage is considering a "Leggs" pantyhose endorsement, recalling the days of "Broadway Joe" Namath who capitalized in similar fashion in his 1960’s heyday. Egan says he is open to the pitch and is not ashamed. "I’ll do anything for an edge" said the far from effeminate Rockaway "quarterback."

Rockaway "B" also did well, reaching the plate Division Final under the leadership of "Grouch" McCann., who had a stellar afternoon. The locals did well throughout the day, before bowing to Xavier Young men in the final. Xavier made quick work of an aging but competent FDNY side earlier in the afternoon as the teens made the smokeaters recall images of Rocky Balboa chasing the chicken in a famous scene from "Rocky 2".

Speed does indeed kill in the 7’s version of Rugby and the crafty firemen were simply outrun by the defending national high school champs. With several Rockaway A-siders on the squad, the FDNY had some success on the day, re-grouping and reaching the semi-finals of the Bowl bracket before losing to eventual champions Suffolk RFC. Suffolk defeated the Village Lions in the Bowl final in a double overtime slugfest.

The Rockaway Fishtails ladies side was competitive but overmatched in the ladies Bracket, won by Beantown, a perennial national power. Fishtails founder and captain, "Blackout" Becky Brouder was pleased nonetheless, labeling the club’s debut effort "outstanding" and vowing to take the division next year. "A little work and some adjustments here and there and we will be an elite women’s squad...you can take it to the bank" Brouder, the spirited leader of the "Tails", said. "Watch out because we mean business and are here to stay."  

The aforementioned elite Qualifier Division was taken by the NY Athletic Club Superleague Squad, paced by former Fishead Matt "Head" Frank. The Old Blue Superleaguers had no answer for the AC and were pounded in a disappointing elite final. Come again, or show up for the first time next year. You will not be disappointed!!!!             

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