2004-09-24 / Sports

Fisheads Pounce Princeton In Road Victory

By Phil Tufano and Bob Johnson

The Rockaway Fisheads Rugby Club kicked off the fall season this past Saturday in spectacular fashion. On the road at the Princeton (New Jersey) Athletic Club, the Fisheads took it to the home team in their classic grinding style. Rockaway, fielding the oldest Division 2 A-side in the nation (11 of the starting 15 are over 35 years of age), slowly turned the screws on the much younger and fleet-footed Princeton side and pulled away for a 22-6 win.

Tim (The Road Grader) Kelly got things started early for the Fisheads when he picked up a mishandled opposition throw in and rumbled 10 meters for the game’s first score. Wayne Fox added the conversion from a very difficult angle, putting the Fisheads up 7-0. The Fisheads dominated the first stanza with brutal forward play and total dominance in the set scrums. Mike the Russian and Bill Kelly were exceptional as was Chris Svengari, all of whom showed excellent fitness. Despite the one sidedness of the action, rust was a problem as the Fisheads squandered away chance after chance with timing related miscues.

Rockaway only led 7-3 at half but those on the field and in the stands had a sense that the dam was about to break for Princeton.

Player coaches Mike Geraughty and Kermit Egan quietly pointed out the mistakes made in the first half and urged the team to tighten up the loose ends in the second half. The Fisheads responded with a much more polished second half performance. Princeton was completely battered by the stronger Rockaway side, who controlled the possesssion and scored 2 more tries (the first by the Rhino-like Mike The Russian) plus a conversion and penalty goal by Wayne Fox.

Mistakes were nearly eliminated as Rockaway completely dominated the second stanza. The Fisheads came away with a crucial opening day win on the road and hope to right the ship and return to form after an inconsistent spring campaign. 

Bob Johnson had a few nice runs, showing that he can still go north/ south at a good pace. Grouch McCann, amazingly, managed to avoid the “sin bin” but collected a few offsides and infringement calls, proving he is already in mid-season form. Barry Cowhead and Local Ladies Man Tyrone Sperling did their usual steady work and “Tooch” Coyne was a force as well. Oscar Prince “The Carribean Cougar’ showed once again why Bob Johnson and the other player/coaches have such confidence in him. Phil Tufano was having a good game but left with an injury in the later part of the second half following a 30-meter breakaway run.

Tufano is questionable for the home opener this week against Montclair. The rest of the side was unscathed and looks to keep the momentum going at home against a tough Montclair side this Saturday at home. Kick-off is at 1:00 p.m. at Fort Tilden.

Rugger Pluggers:

The 30th anniversary of the Rockaway Rugby Club will take place on November 13 at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club...all friends of the Fisheads are welcome to attend. You can e-mail Arthur Boyland at Rugbyooch@aol. com if you are interested in attending. Checkout the list of those who will be attending at www.rockawayrugby.com Family day is being moved to later in October because of the high volume of events taking place right now.

 Multi Cultural diversity is again rampant with the Fisheads this season, as Rockaway will be hosting to New Zealanders as well as an Englishman to go along with Mike and Vladdy from Russia and Oscar and Mark from Guyana.

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