Cleveland Takes Teams to School Ahead of Playoffs

Evan "Turbo Prop" Johnson on the Run

Evan “Turbo Prop” Johnson on the Run

The Cleveland Rugby Club defeated two college teams in successive weekends. They put up over one hundred points on Ohio University last week in Athens,OH and put together a performance against Ohio State University that netted them over 50 points this weekend.

Both matches were hard-hitting affairs where execution was the name of the game.

Against OU last week, continuity was a bit of an issue as timing was off when running offensive lines in that backs and defensive assignments were missed on a few occasions. The Club had a number of absences in that lineup at that game and a number of players were out of position during the match. On the plus side, set pieces were solid and the Club dominated the scrums and lineouts. The forwards for the Club capitalized on mistakes made by the Bobcats and stole the ball away on a number of occasions. The backs also made life difficult for their opponents, smothering the attacks by OU, for the most part, and not allowing them many chances to mount an offense.

Ohio University didn’t roll over and die, though. They made nuisances of themselves at the breakdown, turning the ball over frequently in a back-and-forth battle that lasted the full 80 minutes of the match. They also exploited players out of position and placed chip kicks over the defensive line to create tries and put points on the board.

This past weekend, the Club came to the match with a fool complement of players and subs to spare. The preparation and personnel present paid dividends against the Buckeyes as attacks were more crisp and the flow was certainly back in the offense. The ball transferred easily from one side of the field to the other and from forwards to backs, and vice versa, during open field play. The ball was held securely at the breakdown for the most part, which helped the offensive flow. The flow got disrupted a bit as the Club called upon its reserves to finish out the match. Defensive structure suffered a bit and the offense slowed as the fresh legs took the field. Fortunately, their skills were enough to protect the established lead and add on a few points to ensure they got the win. As competition gets more serious, these subs will need to play tougher if they hope to be effective against the stronger competition down the line.

Nick Musarra Grabs One for a Try

Nick Musarra Grabs One for a Try

While Ohio State didn’t seem to have an answer for the Club’s lineout formations, they made things more than a contest at the scrums. Though they were smaller in the forwards for the most part, OSU used superior positioning to put pressure on Cleveland’s pack. At every scrum they threatened to steal the ball from the Club and kept their ball secure for the most part. Despite some muddy conditions the scrums stayed up and safe the entire match.

The toughness of the competition facing the Club had only gone up in recent weeks, and that tend will only continue in the near future. They play host to the Detroit RFC and the West Side Mouth-Breathers before heading up north to tangle with the Tradesmen. The Club will need to take care their issues in execution, sort out their subs and cut out the penalties if they hope to have success down the road.

post

Club Opens Spring Against Strong Cincy Side

The Cleveland Rugby Club fell to the Cincinnati Wolfhounds 27-10 yesterday. The Club stood toe-to-toe with the visiting team’s forwards, going hammer-and -tong at each other in crunching tackles and contested breakdowns. The home side’s backs appeared to be more than a match for their opposites, snuffing out their offense for the most part and converging on their speed merchants to eliminate their offensive strikes.

Mental errors and penalties piling up led to the Club’s downfall yesterday, though. The team fell back on old habits that led them to squandering scoring opportunities when deeply entrenched in enemy territory; and when the chips were down they let frustration get the better of them. Chirping at one another and the referee only added fuel to the frustration fire on Saturday and put the game out of reach.

The Club did have bright spots in their performance, though. The forwards more than held their own in the set pieces, standing firm in the scrums and stalling out the opposition mauls in lineouts. The back line executed plays with speed and passed with accuracy. All 15 men defended hard and never stopped playing.

Going forward, the Club’s players will look to continue to build on their conditioning and tighten up the intricacies of their play that make all the difference when the match is in the balance.

Practice goes as usual on Tuesday and Thursday as the team prepares for their annual pilgrimage to Athens, Ohio to take on Ohio University.

post

Shots from the Road

The Cleveland Rugby Club traveled south to participate in Nash Bash 2015 with a measure of success. Plus sides: the Club bested the Chicago Blaze 30-24 and a good time was had by all. Down side: the Club members were stood up by the St. Louis Royals on Sunday so the trip’s competitive leg was incomplete.

All in all, everyone had a good time and stayed out of jail. Big thanks goes out to Nick Delguyd and Aaron Zone for coming down to help complete the team’s competitive and definitely social efforts.

Below are a few shots from the Club’s match and the social scene around the city.

Brandon Wolfe Makes the Tough Calls

Brandon Wolfe Makes the Tough Calls

Miles Stealing Ball from the Chicago Blaze

Miles Stealing Ball from the Chicago Blaze

Nick Musarra Doing the Tough Poaching Job on an Isolated Runner

Nick Musarra Doing the Tough Poaching Job on an Isolated Runner

 

Line-out Against Chicago Blaze

Line-out Against Chicago Blaze

Nashville... Before the Bash

Nashville… Before the Bash

Nash Bash 2015 Fields

Nash Bash 2015 Fields

Nash Bash 2015 from a Distance

Nash Bash 2015 from a Distance

Nash bash 2015 Banner

Nash bash 2015 Banner

Honky Tonk Central: Party HQ for Nash Bash 2015

Honky Tonk Central: Party HQ for Nash Bash 2015

Downtown Nashville

Downtown Nashville

 

post

Schedule for the Club’s Southern Campaign Settled

The first part of the Nash Bach 2015 Tournament schedule.

The first part of the Nash Bach 2015 Tournament schedule.

The Cleveland Rugby Club kicks off their 2015 Spring Season on March 21 as they head down south to participate in the 2015 Nash Bash Tournament.

There will be no shortage of competition at this year’s competition and the Club has been lined up against two of the better squads in their bracket.

The Club starts off their weekend of rugby against the Chicago Blaze, a team some members might have only faced on the sevens circuit. The Blaze ended their Fall season with four wins and six losses, but they also compete against teams like Wisconsin and Metropolis. On the other hand, they beat the South Side Irish and Chicago Riot in close matches in 2014. Depending upon what form of the Blaze shows up and how the Club goes int o the match mentally, it could be a difficult day for the Cleveland Rugby Club on Saturday.

The second part of the Nash Bash Tournament 2015 Schedule.

The second part of the Nash Bash Tournament 2015 Schedule.

Sunday, they face off against the St. Louis Royals, a team that us a complete mystery to the Cleveland side. According to the team’s Web site, the Royals have put together an impressive string of wins going into the tournament, and they will have two matches under their belts when the weekend starts. The Royals have made a habit of putting up big scores against their competition while allowing them little, if any, opportunity to score. As stated before, the Royals have never matched wits with the Club so the outcome will be be very much up in the air.

What is for certain is that Nash Bash could go a long way towards getting the Spring started off right for the Club. Facing two tough mystery teams is exactly the test that the Cleveland Rugby Club needs before facing the devils they do know in the rest of the season. If the CRC can adapt and overcome in Nashville, there’s no reason they can’t have success in the remainder of their season.

 

Stay tuned for results. See you down south. See you at the Bash.

See you at the pitch.

post

Competition Is In the Air

Mark your calendars, rugby faithful! It’s Spring time and competition is in the air. The RBS 6 Nations tournament kicks off Friday, Fenruary 6, when Wales face off against England. In related news, the competitive schedule for the Cleveland Rugby Club is coming together. With the recent additions of NashBash and Ohio State University, the Club is looking to change up their list of Spring competitions. Both calendars are below, so carve out your Saturdays now, because they will be filled with rugby soon. See you at the pitch.

Watch the 2015 RBS 6 Nations Tournament at Fox and Hound in Mayfield with the Cleveland Rugby Club.

Watch the 2015 RBS 6 Nations Tournament at Fox and Hound in Mayfield with the Cleveland Rugby Club.

The 2015 Spring Competitive Schedule for the Cleveland Rugby Club comes together.

The 2015 Spring Competitive Schedule for the Cleveland Rugby Club comes together.

post

Change Is Here and Spring Is in the Air

It’s official. Now that the 2015 AGM is in the books the Spring schedule is official and we have new Club Officers. Ladies and gentlemen, here are your new Club Officers for the Cleveland Rugby Club.

  • President: Brandon Wolfe
  • Vice President: Charlie Bryan
  • Treasurer: Evan Johnson
  • Secretary: Billy Regan
  • Match Secretary: Kritter Regan

Also, we have solidified our Spring competition schedule for the most part. As it stands, here it is. So, gird your loins, get your cardio together and let’s get at the Spring:

2015 Spring Schedule for the Cleveland Rugby Club

2015 Spring Schedule for the Cleveland Rugby Club

post

Tis the Season

With the holidays upon us, there is so much to be thankful for. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever, there is one thing that everyone can celebrate – the return to rugby. Indoor practices begin in one month’s time.

Sessions will be 7:00am at the FORCE location on Richmond (26555 Richmond Road Bedford Hts., Ohio 44146). We will be practicing Saturday mornings starting January 10.

post

Fall 2014 by the Numbers

Numbers never lie. Here’s what the numbers have to say about how the Cleveland Rugby Club disposed of the most recent season.**

364 – The Cleveland Rugby Club scored a total of 364 points this season.*

  • The Club amassed 90 points against the West side Mouth Breathers and 137 against Dayton in the two matches played against these opponents.

    cleveland rugby club wins match and celebrates

    Cleveland Rugby Club celebrating a strong performance after a rugby match.

  • The team put up an average of 40 points a match.

6-2-1 – The Club ended the season with six wins, two losses and a tie. The season started off slowly, with the team only taking home two wins out of the opening five matches. After the halfway point of the season, the Club tore through the rest of their schedule.

33 – The Club was awarded 33 points in the Midwest standings for their performance throughout the fall, landing them in second place behind the undefeated Detroit Tradesmen.

35 – The gap between the Club and the Tradesmen was 35 points, the closest anyone got to stropping them this year. The Club was also the one of three teams to hold the Tradesmen to under 60 points.

7 – That’s the number of new players that joined the Club this season. Thank you for your contributions Trent, Taryn, Joe, Dilbert, PJ, Q and Paul for becoming a part of our team this season.

*Overall score numbers affected by the forfeit by the Impalas and do no include scores from the rescheduled match against Detroit RFC.
**All numbers are taken from the USA Rugby Stats Web site.

post

The Rugby Ball Celebrates 50 Years of Rugby in the City

Join the Cleveland Rugby Club as we celebrate 50 years of rugby in our fair city. On Saturday, November 22, the Cleveland rugby community will gather at the Inter Continental Hotel to celebrate our sport’s history in the city and look towards its future. The Rugby Ball is a black tie optional occasion and set to be the social event of the year for the rugby community.

Here’s a list of all the amazing speakers that have been assembled to spend the evening with the city’s rugby community. Here are their bios, in brief:

Tom Selfridge: Cleveland native and USA Rugby Hall of Fame Inductee, USA Eagle Player and Manager, USA Rugby Executive Board

Nigel Melville: Current CEO of USA Rugby and former scrum half and captain of the English national XV.

Dr. John Bergfeld: The founder of rugby in Cleveland, John is also a highly acclaimed orthopedic surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and former team doctor for the Cleveland Browns.

Dan Arbeznick: Northeast Ohio youth and high school rugby developer, St. Ignatius High School Coach and Manager, and Ohio referee.

This line-up of speakers covers rugby from the past, present and into the future. Hear what all the voices from every era of Cleveland rugby have to say about their experiences and the state of the sport in the Cleveland area.

post

A Free Pass After A Hard Match

For the second weekend this Fall, the Indianapolis Impalas forfeited a would-be road match. This time they were supposed to take on the Cleveland Rugby Club, who were coming off of a hard-fough nail-biter against Pittsburgh the weekend prior. While this weekend will see the Club’s Developmental side taking the field, last weekend’s match had the A sidegrinding out a last minute 26-22 win.

Whether it seems like it on the surface or not, this weekend could be a majot deciding factor in how the remainder of the Fall season goes for the Club. Coming off of the victory they had in Pittsburgh, it would be easy to write-off any competition that might come their way this coming Saturday. That would be a huge mistake on the part of the Club’s players because that is not only how you get embarrassed but that is how you also get hurt; and the Cleveland Rugby Club’s ruggeres cannot spare anyone getting mentally of physically damaged. They will need to be sharp in every aspect of their game if they want to finish strong and remain relevant in the standings. Also, this might be a great opportunity for the developing talent of the Club to gain some much-needed playing time. With injuries piling up and players in the midst of recovering, these developing talents will likely see a great deal of playing time and gaining experience before the final matches of the season would be greatly beneficial. If all goes according to plan this weekend, the roster for the Club should be more experienced and one weekend healthier – not a bad way to go into a slate of matches that are against teams that are very beatable.

For those who are unaware, the Club went to Pittsburgh last weekend and wrestled a much-needed win away from the home team. The match was far from perfect on either side. The referee was very liberal with the penalties, dishing out ten meters for even the slightest amounts of back-talk. With the penalties flying fast and furiously, possession and momentum was on a constant shift. On top of all that there were the usual handling errors and penalties of impatience that find their ways into an 80-minute match.

When the Club’s players scored during the match it was by force of will. The Cleveland club’s opening try was off of a line-out, typically a portion of the match that is a toss-up for the Club’s forwards. On this occasion against Pittsburgh’s forwards, they asserted their will with a driving maul that all but strolled across the try line and allowed fill-in front rower, Joe Brown, to get the try. Preston Lowden hooked up with the backs at the end of a long run to cross over for another one his team’s tries to help put a cushion on their lead. Nick Viviani put over a pair of penalty kicks during the match as well; but the bulk of the team’s scoring came from Tren Szente, who had a pair of tries on the day – one of which came during the final minutes of the match after a series of pick-and-go movements deep in Pittsburgh territory.

Even though the Club secured the lead with minutes left in the match, they were far from free and clear. They had one kick off to handle and time to kill, a combination that could easily spell the demise for a club with a slim lead. The Club slowed down the match by putting the ball in the capable hands of the forwards and had them inch their way down the field as time ticked off the clock. Unfortunately, the methodical move was thwarted by a late penalty that put the lead in jeopardy and nerves on edge. Fortunately, Shawn Riley sealed up the match as Pittsburgh tried to swing the ball out wide after sucking in the Cleveland defenses. Riley, normally known for his offensive prowess, snuffed out the attack with a game-saving tackle and poach attempt. The Club was awarded a final penalty, and when they kicked the ball clear the whistle blew and the victory was secured.

The final three matches for the season see the Club come up against the West siders, Dayton and Detroit RFC – three teams they have a good history with First up, they host the West side. They kick off next week at the Metro Parks Pitch at 1:00pm.

post
Folder Name

 

Please log in to vote

You need to log in to vote. If you already had an account, you may log in here

Alternatively, if you do not have an account yet you can create one here.