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.


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.


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.

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