Archive for April, 2011

Grey Rugger Talk: George Saul

1. What teams have you played for and during what years?

Dulwich College Prep School 1969 – 1972
Dulwich College 1972 – 1976
Royal Engineers 1976 – 1977
Old Alleynians 1977 – 1980
Old Edwardians 1980 – 1995
Diss 1995 – 1999
Danbury 2000 – 2002
CT Grey 2003 – present
 
2. What originally got you into rugby and what has kept you playing over the years?
 
 

I started playing at eleven as the school I was at frowned (quite correctly) on the round ball game, so there was no alternative for Wednesday afternoons except Poetry Reading and Divinity Classes. Not having a literary bent, and having been thrown out of Sunday School for smoking, my selection was already made for me. I remember our first practice and our coach took one look at me and said “front row”. It is so enjoyable that I have not felt the need to try anything else since. It was several years before I realised that there was a ball involved, and the inflated pig skin that we had back then would weigh about twenty pounds once it was wet with clay and mud clinging to it.

 

3. What is your greatest moment in Rugby?
 
Unquestionably the time five years ago when Keith, Harry and I were on the field at the same time during a game with All Japan. It is rare enough for two generations to play together, and is an amazing memory for three. For the record, Keith kicked all our a***s, Harry had a late tackle that was so late it is still happening, and I revelled in the chance just to be there.
My father-in-law Keith Davis was 75 at the time, and donned the red shorts for tackle-free protection. This lasted at least thirty seconds when he was floored by an opposing flanker. He couldn’t walk for a week after the game and told me that he had had the time of his life.
 

 

4. What are some humorous moments you have had with the Grey on and off the field?
 
Humor – are you kidding? Have you seen the guys I get to hang out with, there’s a total sense of humor bypass in the lot of them. There have been way too many funny moments to mention and it is this sense of fun that keeps us playing the game well after we should know better. You don’t stop playing rugby when you get old. You get old when you stop playing rugby.

 

5. Brian Doheny gave his perspective, as a back, answering the question if there was rugby in the afterlife and if so what it would be like.  So I put that same question to you.  Is there rugby in the afterlife and if so what would it be like?
 
I cannot imagine that there is anything else after this. If you haven’t worn out every part of your mind and body in this life, then you haven’t really lived, and I doubt you are going to get the chance to do much more damage afterwards. I like to think that when my time is up, my last check will bounce, and there is not a single part left that medical science could possibly want. Anything short of this, and I’ll feel cheated.

 

6. You prefer to play loose-head prop.  Can you tell everyone why that is?  What other positions have you played over the years?
Are there any other positions?
 
I had a wavering moment in my teens, when I grew several inches one year and thought I was born to be a number 8. I added long hair, platform heels, flared pants, those strange rounded collars, kipper ties and chatted to girls after the games. The rapid decline from first team rugby to the extra fourths soon put that hair-brained scheme to rest.
 
We had a tradition in England that swapped the backs and forwards for the game that was played the day after Christmas. (Boxing Day) I tried something called fly half a couple of times. Utterly ridiculous.

 

7. If you had to compare each of the positions for a rugby team to Star Wars Characters – which positions would be which characters?
 
I have no idea what this question means. I know there are prop forwards and then there are all the other people that cause the mess for the props to clean up. I don’t really know what these people do, or why most of them are on the field.

 

8. What do you like most about playing for the Grey?
 
The remarkable thing for me was to discover the underground success that the game is enjoying here in the United States. I honestly believed that I had retired from playing when I stepped onto the boat to sail over here eleven years ago, and was astonished to find a grass roots game in Danbury CT of all places. A couple of seasons with them and I quickly realized that I was old enough to have fathered the entire team, so was delighted to run into the Grey and all its finery. Rugby clubs are the same all over the world, and the game attracts right-thinking people from all walks of life.

 

9. What is a social event, that the Grey currently do not do, that you would like to see the team get involved with taking on?
 
Gentlemen’s smoking concerts. All the rage in the seventies, and time for a revival.

 

10. You have generations of rugby players in your family.  Can you tell us about them?
 
As far as I am aware, I am the only rugby player in my family. I believe that my father-in-law, Keith, had a run out some years ago for a team from one of the smaller colonies, but I forget whether that was a success for him. My step-son, Harry, has occasionally tried to play, but has had issues with the mud under his fingernails. 
 
 

 

Friday, April 29th, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

Royal Rugby

http://www.universalsports.com/news-blogs/blogs/blog=thescrum/postid=531357.html

Rugby on hand for royal wedding
Gareth Thomas, Sir Clive Woodward, Mike Tindall to sit on groom’s side
of the aisle
By Buzz McClain, Universal Sports

Kate Middleton is a rugger hugger.

It’s a compliment, trust me.

If you were wondering which side of this big-deal wedding in England you
were on, as a rugby fan, you’d be on Prince William’s side of the aisle.

And you’d be sitting with:

• Gareth Thomas, the former Wales captain, first Welshman to reach 100
caps and the first professional athlete to come out of the closet (he
was on the cover of Sports Illustrated last year); Mickey Rourke is
having his front teeth removed for realism when he plays Thomas in the
movie version of his life (no kidding).

• Sir Clive Woodward, knighted for coaching England to victory in the
2003 Rugby World Cup final in Australia against Australia in overtime
(thanks to Jonny Wilkinson’s four penalty kicks and a drop-goal in OT);
so that’s all you have to do to be knighted — beat Australia at home in
overtime.

• Mike Tindall, a beast in the backline for England, is engaged to Zara
Phillips, granddaughter of the Queen; he’s been told by Princess Anne to
get his broken nose fixed before their July wedding but he said no (good
for him, violating a royal command; but can he be sent to the Tower for
that?). When Tindall sings “God Save the Queen” before England matches,
he’s singing about his future grandmother-in-law. No one else on the
pitch can say that!

William is no stranger to the oval ball and has played quite a bit
despite public trepidation about him being, you know, the future King.
But he is the Vice-Patron of the Welsh Rugby Union, there’s a trophy
with his name on it awarded to the winner of the annual Wales vs. South
Africa match, and he’s accompanied the British Lions on a tour of New
Zealand (in 2005).

On a return visit to New Zeland last year he was hit in the crotch with
a pass by a schoolboy during a public appearance. William feigned
injury, grabbed his yarbles and laughed it off, knowing the poor kid was
scared to death he’d broken the Royal Jewels.

I think we’d like William.

By the way, his younger brother Harry is also a rugby player-fan and is
the Vice-Patron of England rugby.

Friday, April 29th, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

Change of Time Against GONY

Hello everyone, the game has been changed from a 1pm start time to a noon start time.  Please be at the pitch at 11am.  There also may be a High School match playing before ours – we will keep everyone posted.

-Meyer

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

Saturday’s Game Against GONY

Gentlemen, our game on this Saturday is a 1pm start time (please get to the field at noon).  Please let the Captains know your availability no later than Thursday loupetruzzello10@sbcglobal.net.  Also please remember that dues are $150 and we will be collecting them on the pitch this week.  The field is getting lined on Wednesday so please let Ronco know if you can attend troncaioli@cox.net (touch 7s will be played after).  

-Meyer

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

Grey Rugger Talk: Dave Martin (GONY)

1. What teams have you played for and during what years?

Started in 1980 with Fla State. One year at Southern Ct St College. Back to Fla and the Miami Tridents for about six years. In NYC with Manhattan and our old boys Les Vieux merged with NYRC and formed the Gentlemen of NY as a combined NY-Les Vieux old boys side when we couldn’t get full sides out for each team.  Also played for the Mystic River Hombres in Saranac and WARTS in Ft
Lauderdale.

2. You had hip surgery this last year. How is everything progressing?  Do you think after the operation most of your rugby time will be dedicated to reffing or will you be continuing with active play?

Hip is coming along nicely. After surgery I was cleared to play, although with a bit of head shaking from the doctor. I thought I was unwise to keep playing at the level I was at, which included a lot of game time and a lot of pick up games. So I switched to refereeing and playing just at Saranac and in Ft Lauderdale. I figured I could be a half ass player or half-assed ref but I thought as a referee I could get better. As a player, I figured I had peaked.

3. What are some of the highlights if your rugby career? What are you most proud of in your rugby accomplishments?

Oh lots of little things. That the Gents are still going strong. I played twice in Bermuda. I went to Dubai recently and got a run in at practice in the desert that was fun. Playing in Ireland was fun on the field at Trinity College. As far as playing, I have been a part of some great teams. I recently went back to Miami for a Trident reunion and most of my team was there. I still talk to many of the guys I played in college with. I was never the best player on the field, but I hope I always did what needed to be done. The push in the scrum, the lift in the lineout, the support in the rucks and mauls, decent hands and not too many stupid mistakes.

4. Gony and the Grey have a good relationship and rivalry. What do you like most about playing against the Grey?

I have always liked playing the Greys. It was usually a good hard fought match up and you guys are always great to hang out with at the bar. In many ways I shaped the Gents to be a bit like the Greys.

5. How many games did Gony play in 2010?  How many games do you have scheduled for the spring if 2011?

We usually play four games per spring and four per fall. That’s the schedule, however other matches and opportunities have popped up.

6. We are seeing a lot of growth in rugby in CT on the high school and college level. How is Ny coming along with growth?

We have a solid U19s program I help coach. We have both a boys and girls team. In NYC, Xavier HS is the best high school program in the nation. One of our Gents also coaches at a Jersey City, NJ high school. There is no question that rugby is active in the younger ages.

7. You are very involved in rugby as a whole. Outside of Gony, tell us about what else you are doing and what you have done?

I am definitely cutting back. I was for five years on the board of directors for the NYRC. I am working on a project with the Met Union to see if we cant find more rugby fields now and in the future. As I am now a full time referee I am active I the Ref Society. I have served as a president of both Manhattan and the Miami Tridents. I also organized two reunions for Florida State. I also coach the boys U19s. that’s enough.

8. What are some things you think that the Grey and Gony can help do to grow Old Boys Rugby?

I think that all we can do is let players know we are there. I am done chasing guys to come out and play and begging players to join us. IF they want to play all we need to do is keep our teams alive. It gets harder when you have kids and our players come from all around NYC. That does make it harder when your home games are two hours away through NYC traffic. But hopefully, all guys have to do is come out play and remember how much they enjoy rugby.

9. What are Gony’s plans for playing against the Grey this season (feel free to give all the detail you want – no one reads these articles except for me)?

Against the Greys our plan is the same. Get as many guys to commit to playing as we can. Numbers, it’s all about getting our numbers out. As you have seen when we get all our guys out, we have a pretty strong team.

10. What is your favorite moment on or off the field involving the Grey?

The so called Mud Bowl will always stand out as one of the most fun games ever played. Dean called me to try to cancel the game due to almost hurricane like rain and winds. But we all arrived and played in a constant downpour. Each step in the field was sinking ankle deep in mud. The Greys pulled out a try with like four minutes to go by sliding into the try zone from about 10 meters out. Any other day that would have been a tackle. No try. But that day, it was a try. No one deserved to lose that game. The picture is priceless.

Dave Martin’s email is dave@secondrowproductions.com if you wise to comment to him on his interview.

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

Update on Kevin Costello

Kevin Costello was injured in Saturday’s game and had to be taken by ambulance to the emergency room.  He broke three ribs (8, 9, and 10).  They were mildly displaced and fortunately there was no threat to his lung.  He is home now and healing.  He wanted to thank everyone who helped him (with a special thanks to Linda).  Kevin’s email is kcostello45@comcast.net so you can drop him a note as he is recovering.

Kevin you were playing a great game before you got injured.  We look forward to seeing you back out on the pitch when you get better.  If there is anything you need (lawn mowed, help around the house, or etc.) please let the club know.

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

Touch 7s this Wed.

Just a reminder everyone that we will be having touch 7s this Wednesday at the pitch at 5:30pm.  Please come down and help us tend to the pitch and then afterwards we will be lining.  Its usually the same guys lining the field every week and we would like to see some new faces.

Monday, April 25th, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

Grey VS Springfield Math Report

 The Rifles or Rusty Muskets showed with very little artillery and ammo.  About 5 or 6 rifles and a couple hand guns.  Thanks to all the Grey who filled out the Rifles squad to provide 60 minutes of Rugby.  Recommendation to Burt is we Play Springfield away all the time.  If we schedule a home match we need to invite Worcestor and Danbury to assure we have an opponent.  We may have to play three away for one home match but we need a full team to play.  Bill Bishop had his usual great day with four tries.  Charlie Mattison, Beaver, and Bill Hoadley had some long runs.  Tom Kubic was all over the field and doing a great contesting for ball at the tackle.  Mike Powers and Cleveland strong in the second row and good loose play.  The rain stopped and the pitch was in fairly good shape.  Good day of Rugby despite the numbers situation.  Lots of Rugby as we play every weekend to June 11 except 5/28.  Hope we continue to get good numbers especially road trips.

Monday, April 25th, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

Touch Rugby

Thank you everyone who came down last night and lined the field.  The lining was finished in about 20 minutes with everyone chipping in (Barry, Ronco, Mac, Bud, Mike Besso). 

It was a great workout and a lot of fun playing touch rugby for about an hour or so.  Bud scored the winning try, Barry experimented with new passes (behind the back), and Ronco scared the living hell out of all of us with his Bow and Arrow (you had to be there to witness it).   Great time all around. 

We will be playing on Wednesday of next week  at 5:30 pm.  Come on down and help us line the field and throw the ball around for a while.

-Meyer

Friday, April 22nd, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

CT Grey Schedule Change for This Weekend.

Hello everyone, our game tomorrow against Springfield has been changed and will start at 2:30pm rather than 1pm.  At 1pm Amity High School will be playing Fino’s team at our pitch so come on down and support U19 Rugby. 

 
-Meyer 
 
PS. Our schedule change is not because of U19 rugby (they were originally going to play at 11am or so). Our schedule change is because Springfield let us just know that they can not make it until then.
Friday, April 22nd, 2011 CT Grey News Comments Off

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