2005-04-29 / Sports

Undermanned Rockaway Rugby Fisheads Squeak by Lions

The famous line from “Field Of Dreams” states that “If you build it.... they will come.” The problem with the Rockaway Fisheads Rugby Club lately is that the same people keep coming out of the cornfield. Despite having built a successful program, Team Clubhouse and great team traditions.... “they have NOT come.”

Battling week to week with the same veteran crew and low numbers, the Fisheads continue to win.....and wait for their youngsters to come out of the high grass and on to the playing field. The wait continued this past Saturday as the geriatric gang c4obbled together a 25-19 victory on the road against a tough and determined Village Lions (Manhattan) side. It wasn’t easy, but then again it never is for the Fisheads.

Mustering up the bare minimum of 15, the Fisheads fell behind early as the Lions took a 7-0 lead. The home team was clicking on all cylinders in the early going and out-hustled the veteran Fisheads to the ball. They continued to dictate play for the first 20 minutes of the half but could not translate their dominance into points. Having weathered the initial storm, the Fisheads began to get going.

Keeping the ball in the Lions end and employing their trademark rough stuff, the Fisheads got on the board when Phil Tufano powered in from 10 meters out off a feed from Kermit Egan. The conversion failed and Rockaway trailed 7-5. The Lions answered back with another score to make it 12-5 lead.

Trailing 12-8, the Fisheads would face the next 40 minutes with the same 15 players and the spectre of fatigue looming. To make matters worse, Mike the Russian (AKA Boris BADenov) got himself “sin binned” and the Fisheads had to play short handed for 10 minutes.

Rockaway managed to stay even until the rule bending Russian returned. Boris BADenov made amends shortly thereafter and went over for a try off a line-out and maul drive to the goal. Grouch McCann’s sure hands provided the ball and the pack did the rest.

Again the conversion missed and Rockaway led by the slimmest of margins 13-12. Beginning to impose their will on the Lions, Rockaway used the same tactic and scored off another lineout/maul with the Russian once again doing the honors. Egan’s conversion missed however, and the Fisheads led 18-12. The lead was precarious and still left the Lions within a score and a conversion of the lead and a win.

Grouch McCann extinguished all hope for the home team when he stole the ball from a Lions forward in a maul and dashed in from 15 meters out. Egan’s conversion was good and Rockaway led 25-12.

The Lions scored another try to pull to within 25-19 and were threatening right up until the last whistle. Ron Kemly, Glen the Aussie, Desi the Aussie and Omar (Argentina’s Greatest Athlete) made several game saving stops in the final minutes and preserved the victory. The Fisheads next outing is the Long Island rugby Clubs annual Mothers Day tournament at Lido Beach on Saturday May 7. First Match will start around 9:00. All fans and all PLAYERS are urged to come out and support the team.

RUGGER PLUGGERS: Congrats to Tim Kelly and Grouch McCann for avoiding the sin bin and their usual “mother load” of infractions. Welcome to Desi the Aussie and Glenn the Aussie who are great players and couldn’t have come at a better time. Bob Johnson has announced that should the Fisheads once again make the play-offs in 2006 and lose in the 1st round, the next week’s opponent will be.. ...THE NEW ZEALAND ALL BLACKS AT CHRIST CHURCH.” If we play our game, we can win” said the at times delusional player-coach. That match is still tentative and if you are not “CIPPED” you Don’t play. WHERE ARE THE YOUNG GUYS??? If you love this sport, please do the logical thing....PLAY IT.

If the current trends continue, the club will be forced to change over to the Metropolitan Shuffleboard Union and a more age appropriate game for the current squad. Tooch Coyne still MIA (Marlboros In Action).

Former Local Ladies Man, current Local Family Man, and emerging Local Porcelain China Doll Tyrone Sperling still on injured reserve. Mike the Russian has been declared Russia’s Dirtiest Athlete, replacing former wrestling champion Ivan Koloff. Wrafter following Tyrone’s lead and hasnt been seen since the play-off. Oscar Prince celebrated Rastafarian Christmas last week and failed to appear. A Berserker sitting in the wilderness. Still no proof he exists. McMorrow a flash in the pan? We hope not. Oakey O’Connor continues his retirement and Met Union players are slowly discarding their clothes-line protectors.

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