2007

2007 SCHEDULE

Date
Opponent
Venue
Kick off/Results
3/25
Training
Mountain Mist
Great numbers
3/31
Monmouth round-robin(pre-season tournament) Morris MastersNY All JapanGONY/Lions

.

Away
Preseason
4/7
Berkshire
Home
W-58-7
4/14
GONY
Away-Randalls Island
W-26-21
4/22
CT Jammers Murder Ball match
New Horizons Village Farmington, CT
Jammers 18-16
4/28
Massachusetts Old Boys(MOB)
Home
W-75-0
5/5
New London County RFC
Home
W-36-14
5/12
Village Lions
Home
W-53-5
5/19
John Falatyn Memorial
Rhinebeck, NY
W-22-14
5/26
Off-Memorial day
USA
With family
6/2
Old Man Of the Mountain TourneyAmoskeagPortland
Franconia, NH
W-22-5W-26-7
6/9
JoJo Moore TournamentAlbanyOMEX/GONYWhite Plains(Tourney Final)
Peekskill, NY
 W-30-5W-34-3L-28-9
7/28
Rhody Old Cocks
Block Island, RI
W-15-10
9/ 2
Training
Mountain Mist Outdoor Center
12:00
9/ 8
3rd Annual Ruckin Regatta
Morris, NJ
Morris W-19-12GONY-W-14-7Lion Kings-L-14-7
9/ 15
University of Hartford
Fischer Elementary School
W-36-14
9/ 22
Mass Old Boys
Worcester, MA
W-53-22
9/ 29
Off
Home
well deserved
10/ 6
NY All Japan
Home
W-34-5
10/ 13
Village Lions
Randalls Island
W-35-0
10/ 20
Gentlemen of New York
Home
W-55-0
10/ 27
Berkshire
Berkshire, MA
W-30-21

 

Fall 2007

Click to jump to Spring 2007

Grey Defeat Berkshire

In what was, at times, a contentious and downright chippy match the Grey defeated Berkshire 30-21. With the victory, the Grey finish the fall campaign at 8-1 and on a six game winning streak. The Grey ended 2007 with a 19-3-1 mark.

Grey raise Money for Connecticut Jammers

In the World Cup Pool, a total of $210 was raised for the 50 – 50 split with The Jammers . Matty Leonard, son of our own Matt Leonard was the winner of the pool. Matty has graciously decided to also donate his half of the winnings to the Jammers, so they will get the whole $210. Thanks to the Leonard’s for their generosity. The unveiling of Knucklehead Brewery’s Grey Swill (in Dark Ale and Blueberry) was a great success. Many thanks to Brewmaster Chris Budzik for donating the beer, to the players who stuffed $246 in the boot, and to Mike Meyer and Townsend Meyer & Associates for their very generous donation of $400. That mean’s we’ll be sending Jammers’s coach Bud Harvey a check for $646. So, in total, it looks as if the Jammers are receiving 846.00. Great job boys and roll on Jammers!

Grey Defeat Gentlemen of New York

Captain Lou’s Match report

Tim Branch played his third match for the Grey. Brian Doheny came yesterday but the numbers were so great we asked him to fill in on the other side. He says next week he will be at Berkshire. Eric Bronson who had mono and missed a few matches returned this week. Mike Hale, Bubba Gallarney, Norbert Deslauriers and Jay Rubino have recently joined the Club and have been impact players. We have great numbers and fun organization. Darryl and I had a tough time with selections this week. Nobody got more than two periods and we tried to get everyone at least 30 minutes. It was tough but these are good problems to have. I would guess we will have 25 at Berkshire so if we need four twenties I am sure they will accommodate us. We scored a lot of tries and controlled most of the ball. In the first period we made some stupid penalties and had some handling errors and we still put in two tries. Great job by all 36 or so players. George Saul, Kevin Trammel, Matt Leonard, Ed Carr and Tom Kubic led the forwards. Bill Hoadley John Kerr and Mike played well at scrumhalf. It was great to our backs breaking the gain line and scoring points. MOTM to Bubba and Barry Rita.GONY named Beav as MOTM. Next week will be a tough match. We need to cut down on the mistakes and play with discipline. Thanks to all the rookies and veterans for their commitment and let’s end the season with a victory.

Bombers Match report

After winning last years home match vs. GONY on a disputed try late in the contest, the Grey left no room for doubt this time. Jeff Levinson started the scoring frenzy and nine tries later; the Grey had a 55-0 win. While Dave Martin has been unable to forget last year’s loss, he will probably do his best to erase any memory of this years match. Other try scorer’s were Matt Leonard (2), John “Beav” Kubic, Jay Rubino (2), Bill Hoadley, Tony Johnson and Tom Kubic. Tom’s try can be seen on the YouTube portion of our website. Rubino also added four conversions and Norbert Deslauriers chipped in one conversion as well. It all added up to the Grey’s second straight shutout and boosted our fall record to 7-1.

 

It must be getting close to Halloween, because this is a scary picture.

Men of the Match for the Grey were Bubba Galarney and Barry Rita. GONY named John Kubic as their choice for Grey MOTM. Bob Sweeney was chosen by the Grey as the GONY MOTM. Tim Branch had an excellent match at wing and Norbert Deslauriers also played well before injuring his shoulder. Hopefully, Norbert will be sufficiently recovered for Friday’s Brown Bag Open. The scrum played very well again, with standout performances by Lou Petruzello, Matt Leonard, Jon Leone and Steady Eddie Carr. Jeff “the Ref” Bouvier had a solid match, keeping matters under control, while allowing play to flow as freely as an Old Boy’s contest can flow. Also, special thanks to Tom Ronciaoli for touch judging the entire match and putting up with our abuse in a good-natured fashion. Special guests, Joe and Andrew Scandariato made the trek from upstate New York to lend their support. Also in attendance at the bar were Rick Truncali and Paul Tappenden. This weekend saw the much anticipated debut of Grey Swill, a product of Knucklehead Brewery. Thanks go out to Mike Meyer and John Carew for their efforts. The beer was a critical success and helped turn many a rugger into a Knucklehead. (As if we needed any further help) Only one match remaining in the fall season and then all old ruggers can hibernate and rest their bones until the spring. Next weeks Berkshire match will kick-off at 1:00 PM up in Pittsfield, MA. Directions and park and ride locations will be forthcoming.

Grey Tame Lions

Captain Lou’s match report

Grey 35 Lions 0-A great win on the road as we scored 5 converted tries. The best thing we did was adapt to the conditions. The pitch was 53 yards wide and there was little space. We came up hard on their backs all day. We tackled well and stole some ball. We got wheeled a couple times in the scrum but we corrected that. The first period we did not take care of the ball but we got better at that later in the match. Jeff Levinson and Brendan Coffey had a try each and Bill Bishop had three and was MOTM.Jay Chabot great job kicking. Next challenge GONY at home who are very hungry to beat us. Let Darryl or I know if you’re in.

Bomber’s match report

Randall’s Island, NY-Rugby is a game that consists of 15 players, each with a specific job to do. If those 15 players do their jobs well, usually victory will follow. Sometimes however, it can seem that there is only one player on the field who really matters. Saturday was one of those days. In perhaps one of his finest performances in a Grey jersey, Bill Bishop carried the Grey to a 35-0 victory against the Village Lions “Lion Kings” at Randall’s Island, New York. Not only did Bill score three times, but he tackled anything within arms length of him, got up and made the next tackle and sometimes a third tackle. Yes, there were 14 others who also played well in this match, but the game turned on Bishops performance. The 35-0 score was not indicative of how toughly contested this match was. The Lions, playing before numerous supporters on their “Friends and Family day” did not go quietly into the night. The first of three twenty minute periods was, at times, owned by the Lion’s, but the Grey hung in there and late in the period forced a turnover that led to Bishop’s first try. Chabot’s conversion was good and the Grey led 7-0 after one period. One notable play in the first period was Jay Chabot’s attempted drop kick from about 35 meters into the wind. As the Grey won a scrum down, Chabot moved into position, and knowing that the period was about to end, hoisted a beauty that looked as if it was going to be good. Alas, the wind held the ball up and the fullback fielded it just short of the posts and kicked to touch to end the period. The second period began much as the first, with the Lions taking play to the Grey and with the Grey tackling well and countering. Another Bishop try and Chabot conversion put the Grey up 14-0. At this point play finally seemed to have turned the Grey’s way. Late in the period, another nice back-line movement, led to a Jeff Levinson try. Jeff, nursing a still healing separated shoulder, grabbed the pass, faked inside and darted to the corner for the score. Chabot made the almost impossible angle kick and the Grey led 21-0 after two periods. The third period began with the Lion’s desperately trying to get back into the game and running very hard to do so. The Grey bent at times, but a key tackle here or a nice long kick to touch there held the Lion’s in check. Bishop notched his third try of the day, on a run in which he broke at least three tackles, Chabot converted and the Grey seemed to have finally taken the fight out of the Lions. The Lions, however, had other ideas. Their fullback joined a back-line movement deep in Lion’s territory and broke free. He was slowed down by an attempted tackle at the Grey 22 meter line and then, out of nowhere Kevin McNamara and Kevin Trammel, neither of whom quit following the play, finished off the Lions final charge and preserved the shutout. The final Grey points of the day came on a nice little run by Brendan Coffey, that was preceded by some excellent rucking and mauling of the ball by the scrummers. Kerr converted and the Grey had the win. Man of the Match went to Bill Bishop. Thank you to the twenty or so Grey who made the trip to picturesque Randall’s Island. Also thanks to the Lions for the food, drink and excellent match. Oh yes, one last item. With their victory, the Grey once again retained the coveted “Sugar Bowl”, the trophy that the Grey and the Lions have so valiantly struggled to retain over the many years of this rivalry. Next week we are hosting the Gentlemen of New York (GONY), who for some reason, cannot forget that we beat them in the mud and blood of Meriden last fall. Game time is noon at Mountain Mist. Please let Lou or Darryl know if you will be there by Thursday evening. One last item, dues are due. Please remit your $125.00 to Exchequer of the Treasury Kevin Trammel, either by check or by PayPal through our website.Everyone have a great week and get ready for a tough GONY side. That is all.

Grey Defeat New York All Japan RFC

Captain Lou’s Match report

Good win against a pesky Japan side. We tackled well and prevented them from scoring in the first 30 minutes. However we were a bit frantic in that first 30 minutes and we failed to finish. In the third period we slowed things down and our backs opened up great gaps to create scoring opportunities. We dominated the sets and won most lineouts and stole a few of Japans. We must make sure we keep possession if we take the ball in on a multi phase attack. Sean Sierra, Bob Coakley, Kevin Trammel, Ed Carr and Matt Leonard played great in the forwards. John Kubic MOTM scoring two tries and great support play. Sean Brennan, Bill Bishop and Norbert Delauriers led the backs with nice runs breaking the gain line that led to scores. MOTM also to Steve Tenenbaum . He filled well from fullback which resulted a pretty try and covered well on defense.

Bomber’s Match report

In the sixth installment of the Grey/NYAJ rivalry, the Connecticut Grey managed to come away with a 34-5 victory. The contest was much closer than the score indicates, as at times NJAC dominated play, but were unable to push across a score. Much to the Grey’s credit, they played defense with a bend but don’t break philosophy that served them well. On the unseasonably hot and dry day, the two sides agreed to play four 15-minute periods of rugby. Believe me, that was enough with the temperature approaching 90 degrees. The Grey once again showed up in droves with 35-40 players in attendance, along with our walking wounded Jeff Levinson and Darryl Ceccarelli Having lost the last two matches in the series after three straight wins to start the rivalry, it looked early on that the Grey would be in for a long afternoon. NYAJ controlled the ball for the first seven and a half minutes of the period, only to be denied a score by some good tackling and a couple of long, clearing kicks by Bill Bishop. After one of those kicks, the Grey were able to create a scoring chance and they capitalized. After some nifty passing by Bishop, Norbert Deslauriers, Darryl Garrison and others the ball found its way into the hands of Bob “Jimmy Neutron” Coakley. Bob gathered the ball in at around the 22-meter line and steamrolled his way in for a try, fending off a would-be tackler as he crossed the goal line.

 

 Bob Coakley scores the days 1st try,(L) Tony Johnson drives for the goal line (R) (photos by Jeff Levinson)

The conversion was missed (big surprise, Donny we miss you) and the Grey had drawn first blood at 5-0. The second period began with the Grey pushing into the NYAJ side of the field and threatening to score on several occasions. The problem was that Japan, whose tackling was excellent all day, would not allow the Grey to push one across. The play went back and forth for much of the period with neither team able to take complete control. So, despite some lengthy runs by Matt Leonard, Sean Sierra and Jay Rubino the second period ended with the score remaining 5-0 for the Grey. The third period was all Grey. Constant pressure by the forwards and some nice ball movement and runs by the backs resulted in three tries, all unconverted. The first two were dotted down by John “Beav” Kubic and the third by Steve” Bomber” Tenenbaum off of a nice pass by Norbert Deslauriers. The Grey led 20-0 after three periods. The forth period saw more of the same as Bill Bishop scored and lo and behold, converted for a 27-0 Grey lead. There was no quit in NYAJ as they countered with an unconverted try to make the score 27-5. John Carew added a late try and Rubino converted to make the final Grey 34-NYAJ 5. Many members of the NYAJ side commented how surprised they were by the Grey’s level of fitness and speed. (Admittedly, It helped to have close to 40 players in attendance.) The referee, Mike, also said he thought we would run out of gas eventually and praised the Grey for how well they got around the field. The party, as usual, was a gala affair with some singing until the neighbors got upset with some of our musical choices. (We apologized.) Next match is October 13 vs. the Lion Kings at Randall’s Island. Info on game time, directions and park n rides will be forthcoming. Lick your wounds and be ready to go on Saturday. Lets travel well and pay these guys back for the loss at the Ruckin Regatta.

Grey defeat Massachusetts Old Boys

Captain Lou’s Match Report

Twenty-nine players contributed to a sweet win on the road against a very good Massachusetts side [MOB]. Thanks to MOB for a fine job hosting. Hopefully we can play them twice a year. Both sides had players in the age range of 35-68. We were ahead 10-0 after the first period. Barry Rita and Sean Sierra scoring tries. MOB came back strong in the second period with our own Jim Burke scoring two tries. Our depth showed in the second period as the match opened up. Brendan Coffey had two tries and the score was 36-17. Bob Coakley was strong in the sets. We did well in the lineouts and stole a few of Mobs. Brendan Coffined Carr, Sean Sierra and Bubba Gallareney played well in the forwards. MOTM to Norbert Deslauriers who did an excellent job reffing two periods and played well in the third. We need to tackle better especially against Japan who we play on 10/6.Next week is a bye week so keep the fitness up as we have 4 matches in October. Thanks to everyone for the solid commitment on the road.

Bombers Match Report

Close to thirty members of the Connecticut Grey traveled up to Medford, MA to face off against The Massachusetts Old Boys on a beautiful field at Pine Banks Park. Three Grey would tally two tries each (Sierra, Coffey and Bishop), while Rita, Garrison and Trammel each notched a score of their own, This nine try barrage led to a convincing, though hard fought, 53-22 victory.The Grey started the scoring early, when Jay (you didn’t see me on the pitch) Rubino started a nice back line movement, which resulted in a Barry Rita try and a 5-0 Grey lead. Jay played his usual solid match at fly half. The remainder of the period saw play cycle to and fro over the wide pitch until with only seconds remaining, the Grey were awarded a penalty at the 22 meter line. Disdaining the penalty kick, Rubino called for Sean Sierra and quickly toed the ball through the mark. After a short run which drew several defenders, Rubino dumped the ball off to Sierra, who juked his way in for the try. The 1 st period came to an end with the Grey on top 10-0. The second period started with a flourish of offense by the MOB, led by none other then our own Jim (don’t call me Benedict Arnold) Burke. To the consternation of the Grey onlookers, Burkie used his considerable rugby guile ( craft: shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception) to draw the MOB even by tallying two quick tries. Next time he’s touch judging when not in the match. However, not to be outdone, the Grey regained the initiative and went on a scoring binge of their own. Vice-captain Darryl Garrison pushed across the first of four consecutive tries.

 The Grey win a lineout and JK opens some gifts at last weekends MOB Match.

Two consecutive scores by Brendan Coffey and one by Bill Bishop quickly followed this. Coffey’s second score was a thing of beauty as he kicked the ball down field and outraced several defenders to touch down for a try. This outburst made the score 36-10 and the Grey were feeling pretty good about themselves. The Grey’s self-congratulatory mood was quickly dampened when the MOB scored a converted try off of the restart. By the time this deluge of tries had ended, the Grey led 36-17 after two periods.The third period began with the MOB desperately trying to get back into the game. This resulted in a very open style of play on the wide pitch. Bill Bishop took immediate advantage of said style and ran one in for his 2 nd try of the afternoon. The MOB then responded with a pretty try of their own off of a kick and chase in the far corner of the field to make the score 41-22. The Grey added two more tries, Sean Sierra’s second of the day and another by Kevin Trammel, for the final 53-22 margin. Saturday was a fine day of rugby, well hosted by the MOB and played on a beautiful pitch. The day was made even more enjoyable by a sideline 50 th birthday bash in honor of John”Bonenose” Kerr. John becomes the latest Grey to cross the mystical 50-year mark, succeeding in raising our clubs average age by a bit. A well-deserved man of the match went to rookie Grey, Norbert Deslauriers, who did a fine job refereeing the first two periods and also played very well in the third period. A good day of sports on Saturday…victories by the Grey, Sox, Yanks and Huskies gave everyone plenty to smile about. Next match is in two weeks vs. New York All Japan. This is a home match and we will need plenty of bodies to keep up with this young and speedy group of ruggers. NYAJ loves to play a wide open style of play and keep the ball moving. Enjoy the week off, heal if you need to and above all stay fit. Cheers Lads!

Old age overcomes youth in U of H match

Captain Lou’s Match report

We had a good turnout for the University of Hartford match. We played four 20-minute periods against the youngsters outscoring them 34 -14 after 3 periods. In the last period we managed about 4 or 5 more tries against a rookie side. We controlled a lot of ball and stole a lot of their ball with our experience. In the first period we were in their end most of the time but failed to finish. We were warmed up in the second period and things opened up nicely. Bob Coakley, Jim McCormack, Bubba, Sean Sierra and Bob Chester were impact players in that second period in the forwards. Mike Hale and Pete Pereira got the ball moving from the halfback positions and the tries came as we were able to finish. Mike Hale and Bubba scored two tries each and Jon Leone scored and then he was done playing for the day. MOTM to Bob Coakley and Mike Hale . It was a nice win but we go on the road next week. The ability to win on the road really measures how good a team we are. I encourage everyone to make the effort to travel next week. Keep up the fitness and be ready to go next week.

Bombers match report

It was a match up of old vs. young, fast vs. not so fast, and experience vs. inexperience. Despite some bruising play, experience won out. The Grey took on the University of Hartford’s A-side for the first 40 minutes of what was to be 80 minutes of rugby. Despite owning territorial advantage for the 1 st 20 minutes, the Grey found themselves down 7-0 to a very tough and fast U of H side. A very nice 60 meter breakaway led to the Hawks first score. The Grey were able to regroup in the 2 nd 20 and put up 17 unanswered points, highlighted by Pete Pereira’s drop goal from about 20 meters out. So the 1 st 40 minutes ended with the Grey up 17-7 and with U of H having nothing to be ashamed of. The Grey rucked and mauled well and Hartford was tenacious on the defensive side. The 3 rd 20-minute period saw Hartford bring on their B-side and many changes in the Grey line-up as well. Again, the Hawks played well, as they managed to punch in a converted try to make the score 17-14. A fine run by a young Hawks back resulted in this score. Again though, old age and treachery was able to overcome youth and inexperience and at the final whistle of the 3 rd period the Grey led 34-14. The final period saw U of H bring on their C-side. At this point years of experience on the field went something like this: Grey-3.5 centuries, U of H- 37 minutes. The result was predictable and the Grey poured over 4 or 5 tries. The youngsters deserve credit though; they hit hard and played a clean match. The final score will go down as 34-14, the score after 3 20- minute periods of play. A good day for the Grey was a bit dampened by what looks like a season ending injury to speedy wing Jeff Levinson. Jeff was injured on a hard but clean hit early in the match. The injury appears to be a separated shoulder (hopefully no broken bones), but hey we aren’t doctors. Jeff’s speed on the outside will be missed. Get well soon, Jeff. Admittedly, falling on this field was like landing on I-84. Despite the overnight rain, the field was as hard as a rock and had more holes in it then the New York Giants secondary. So with the fall season well under way, the Grey move to 3-1 with a rematch versus the MOB up in Boston looming next week. Details of time and place will be released as soon as they are received. Lets have a good showing boys, because they owe us one after last year and are sure to have a strong side up there next weekend.

No truer teammates

When Meriden’s Tom Roncaioli needed a kidney transplant, his fellow players on the Connecticut Grey Rugby Football Club underwent tests as prospective donors. Mike Kosilla proved a match.


By Sean Krofssik
Record-Journal staff


MERIDEN — Tom Roncaioli’s house on Valley View Drive is filled with rugby balls and memorabilia.
Team photographs cover the walls. The photos are from his many years on the rugby pitch. They re­flect the places he has gone and the accomplishments he has earned. They also show the friends that he has made and, above all, the one who saved his life. Roncaioli, 48, played football for a short time at Maloney High School but he didn’t get much enjoyment out of the sport. With his body build, he was typecast as an offensive line­man. He wanted to touch the ball.
Roncaioli discovered rugby when his older brother Craig was on a team at UConn. Tom Roncaioli went on to play for the Hartford Wander­ers and, starting in 1985, the Con­necticut Grey, a premier team for players 35 and older.
From the beginning, he fell in love with the game, his teammates and the sportsmanship. He appreciated how everyone on the team got to touch the ball. “The camaraderie was phenome­nal,” Roncaioli said. “You never had to be a superstar. The beauty of rug­by is all 15 guys can touch the ball and can run with it and score it. You still have your superstars and fast guys who are highlighted more, but the fact remains at any given time you could get your moment in the sun.”
In a dark time in his life, many of Roncaioli’s rugby friends reached out to keep him in the sun. In the end, the teammate who would touch him deepest of all was the one closest to him on the field all along. * On the Grey, Roncaioli was a sec­ond row player with Mike Kosilla. During the week they lived in their separate worlds — Roncaioli as a de­liveryman for Coca-Cola and Kosilla working as the Zoning Enforcement Officer of Bloomfield. But on Saturday after Saturday in the fall and spring, when the Grey played games against teams from across the Northeast, they lined up next to each other on every play.
Then, in rugby tradition, after the games, both teams would congregate at a pub. For the Grey, after home games, that meant the Old Dublin in Wallingford. “The first thing you do at the end of a rugby match is shake everyone’s hand on the other team,” Grey presi­dent and player Dean Jorgensen said. “And then you shake the hands of everyone on your own team’s hand. Then you find the guy with the same number as you on the other team and buy them a beer. It’s a game of mutu­al respect.” Another benefit from being on the Grey is the travel. The team has gone to Ireland, England, Canada and Bar­bados. Everything was going great for Roncaioli and the Grey until one day in February 2005, when he just didn’t feel right when he landed on the trip to Ireland. Roncaioli was born with Polycystic Kidney Disease, a genetic disease that shows up in adulthood. It’s been a con­dition that has affected many of his family members. When the disease takes effect, it causes kidney failure. According to the National Kidney Foundation PKD affects more than 600,000 Americans and an estimated 12.5 million people worldwide.

 


Mike Kosilla of Ellington (left) and Tom Roncaioli of Meriden (right). Kosilla donated his kidney when Roncaioli needed a transplant. (Left Rob Beecher /Record-Journal, Right coutesy of Ruggers.com.)

“When I landed in Dublin, I got re­ally sick and nauseous and I’ve flown all over,” Roncaioli said. “I never did the math why I was violently sick. I got off the plane light headed and I felt like I was going to throw up.” It was at that point that PKD was af­fecting Roncaioli. “I have always been diagnosed with PKD, since I was 15,” Roncaioli said. “I lost my mom to it and a lot of relatives to it. I have a cousin who had a trans­plant. I never thought what the symp­toms of kidney failure were. My mom and my aunt were already gone, so I had no one to ask.” When Roncaioli returned to Meri­den he called his doctor to schedule a physical. He underwent a battery of tests. The results were not good. “I remember the day,” he said. “It was a very snowy day and I called the (doctor’s) office because I had an ap­pointment. I wanted to see if they were still open because of the snow­storm. A woman picked up the phone and said the office was closed, but the doctor wants to talk to you.” The doctor had questions about Roncaioli’s normal creatinine level, which was usually between 2.5 and 2.7. “You better call your nephrologist because it’s at 9.7,” Roncaioli remem­bered the doctor responding. “(His kidneys) had gone into failure.” * The next day Roncaioli was in New Britain General Hospital for peri­toneal dialysis, a process in which a tube is inserted into his sternum. A sterile solution is then fed into the tube and waste that healthy kidneys would usually remove drains out of the tube. While on dialysis, he was still able to work as a juice truck driver for Coca-Cola. However, dialysis spelled the end of his athletic career. “When I went on dialysis I knew I had to quit rugby,” Roncaioli said. The Grey’s annual banquet, held March 5 that year, was normally a joy­ous occasion for the players. It usually marked the end of another great sea­son. Roncaioli could not bring himself to attend. He told team president Jor­gensen that he didn’t want to ruin the fun for everyone else. The club was unaware of his condition at that point. Jorgensen wanted to know how he could help. “I said I don’t want to be on dialysis for any length of time and I don’t want to go on a (kidney donor) list because that writes your ticket for being on dialysis for a long time,” Ron­caioli recalled. “I said I need to get some candidates for kidney trans­plants. (Jorgensen) said, ‘Don’t worry, Tom. I will take care of it and mention it to some people (at the banquet) and I will tell them what you’re thinking.’” Then Jorgensen took it a step far­ther. He emailed everyone he knew in­volved with rugby. The nationwide search for a kidney donor produced a list of 45 people, including 20 who were involved with the Grey. “That’s not just players,” Roncaioli said. “But wives, friends of the club, guys that I played against and guys I played with. I had one guy named Tim who was a Navy Seal in New Orleans and I played four games against him and he e-mailed me and said he would be tested for a candidate. I couldn’t re­member who he was. He said, ‘I’m there if you need me.’ ” Jorgensen was not surprised by the huge response. “There is no better sport for frater­nities than rugby is,” Jorgensen said. “He was on dialysis for a long time. We couldn’t let that continue, so a bunch of us went and got our kidneys scanned. It became a competition to help this crisis in need. People were anxious to get through the screening.” At a trying time in his life, many of Roncaioli’s rugby friends were reach­ing out to him, especially Ellington’s Kosilla. * Kosilla, who like Roncaioli is also in his late 40s, is well-built, soft-spoken man who is known for he’s kindness. He was one of the first rugby players at Southern Connecticut State Univer­sity. After college, he continued in the sport through the New Haven Men’s Club before joining the Grey in 1995. “(Roncaioli) was in the backfield when I started and through the years he came up with us big guys in the pack,” Kosilla said. “We played side by side.” Almost as soon as it was announced that Roncaioli needed a new kidney, Kosilla said he had a funny feeling he would become the donor. “It’s kind of freakish, but I was sit­ting there and I said, ‘It’s going to be me. I know I’m going to test and it’s going to be me,’” Kosilla recalled. “When you look at the individuals who tested, I knew I was probably in the best position to do it. I had a boat­load of sick days. Whatever goes wrong at my job can wait until I get back or the city planner can handle things. My livelihood didn’t depend on me pounding the pavement.” So he immediately signed up to be tested. Kosilla said the most difficult part of testing was seeing all of the kidney patients on dialysis waiting for a donor at the hospital. “It’s tough down there,” Kosilla said. “You see them on the waiting list and they are getting tested the same time you’re tested. That’s a tough way to live. It can’t be a lot of fun on dialysis.” Soon, Kosilla’s earlier premonition proved correct. “Hartford Hospital called after the second round of testing,” Kosilla said. “I was told that I was the best match.” Kosilla decided to become the ulti­mate teammate and donate his kidney. “Hospitals and operations don’t bother me,” said Kosilla, who was treated for a broken jaw while in high school and later in his life had his gall bladder removed. “I wasn’t worried about the operation at all. I knew I was in good hands because they do so many of these down there.” Besides, as an active motorcyclist, Kosilla had already agreed to be an or­gan donor on his license. “I figured if I hit the side of that van, they could use my eyes and my heart,” Kosilla said. “Better to leave it here than take it with me.” Kosilla was well aware of the fact that donating his kidney would mean the end of his rugby career. “He said to me he was thinking of retiring (anyway),” Roncaioli remem­bered. “He was thinking of calling it quits. He has three kids. He had a lot of family responsibilities to deal with. He said to me, ‘What better way to give teammate a kidney and I don’t have to play anymore.’ I don’t have to hear, ‘Why aren’t you playing? Why are you giving it up?’” The decision might have been an easy one for Kosilla, but other had reservations. Kosilla has been married to his wife, Anne Marie for 18 years. They have three children: Brian (17), Evan (15) and Olivia (11). “There was a little bit of a strain on the family,” Kosilla admitted. “My wife wasn’t exactly thrilled with the notion. The issues come up that you don’t think of, like what if one of the kids needed (a kidney). Or what if one of my brothers or sisters needed one and here I am giving it to a friend and, before rugby, a total stranger.” Kosilla eventually got the full sup­port of his family, which proved to be important because things didn’t go smoothly for Kosilla. * Kidney donors typically give their left kidney because the surgeon can remove it laparoscopicly. However, Kosilla’s right kidney had a small cyst on it. It was decided that Roncaioli would get the right kidney since the cyst would not harm him. Unfortunately, donating the right kidney also requires more recovery time. When kidneys are removed la­paroscopicly, the patient typically re­covers in the hospital in three or four days without complication. When there is an open surgery of a kidney transplant, like Kosilla did, it takes six days of recovery on average in the hospital and much longer to return to work. On the day of the surgery, Nov. 15, 2005, Kosilla felt peaceful. The car ride with his wife to the hospital was as calm as ever as he belted out differ­ent songs they would hear on the ra­dio. After getting into the hospital, he remembers the prep work and then being rolled into the operation room and waking up at the end of proce­dure. When Kosilla awoke he had an eight–inch incision and a collapsed lung. He met Roncaioli that night after the transplant. Kosilla was still numb from the epidural, but he was walking the next day. “When they took it out, I hadn’t had as much as an aspirin and it’s been a year-and a half since the operation,” Kosilla said. “I didn’t have pain pills when I got home. The operation itself went very well. I developed (diges­tive) complications after the operation that didn’t go so great.” Once the digestive issues were tak­en care of, Kosilla returned to work af­ter two months. “It took a lot longer than I expected,” he said. “It’s amazing how much you sleep after an operation like that. I went into the operation in fairly good shape and the urge is just to lay there and watch TV.” It was a much quicker recover for Roncaioli, who still doesn’t know how to thank Kosilla. “There’s nothing in the world that I can do or say other than show my hu­mility and say, ‘God, Michael, if it was­n’t for you, it would be over,’” Ron­caioli said. “He’s a part of my family and I’m a part of his family. “It’s a mutual friendship,” Roncaioli continued. “He has nothing to be thankful for, but I’ve got so much to be thankful for — that he was there. Every second of the day he could have backed out.” According to Ron Sallerson, Direc­tor of Development and Marketing of the National Kidney Foundation, there are three types of kidney donation — by a cadaver, a living family member or a Good Samaritan like Kosilla. “In New England in 2005, there were 425 cadaver transplants, 175 liv­ing family member transplants and only 150 Good Samaritan procedures,” Sallerson reported. “So what Mike did was very impressive.” Sallerson said there are currently about 1,000 people in Connecticut on dialysis, with 706 candidates for trans­plants. “Tom had PKD, but the need for kidneys is going up,” Sallerson said. “Obesity, diabetes and childhood obe­sity have become huge problems. All of those things lead to kidney failure.” The transplant ended the rugby ca­reers of both Roncaioli and Kosilla, who remain close to the Grey. “It kills me. It’s the hardest part,” Kosilla said. “A lot of guys when they retire from the team you don’t see them at the games anymore. They kind of just fade away. In my case, I re­ally didn’t retire. I made the decision to donate my kidney. I was set to play until I was 50. I was four years away, but I would have liked to have gone until I was 50.” Other than not being able to play rugby any more, Kosilla’s life is virtu­ally the same. He still works out, rides his motorcycle and coaches his chil­dren’s sports team. He has to drink 100 ounces of water a day since the trans­plant. “No regrets. Not a one,” Kosilla said. “Honestly, to Tom’s credit, he had many other people and with the anti-rejection drugs, they are actually able to take a donor that doesn’t match that well. If it wasn’t me, it would have been someone else.”

Grey Make successful Fall Debut in 3rd annual Ruckin Regatta

Denville, NJ Sept 8, 2007-Seventeen players went to Morris for the 3rd Annual Rucking Regatta. The first period we played Morris. We came out fast scoring two tries and dominated the period.Beav scored and Mike Myer got his first try for the Grey.MOTM to Mike Myer.Final score 19-12.The second period we played GONY.It we was a close match but we came on top 14-7.Beav scored again and was MOTM.The last period we played the Village Lions. Fatigue was a factor so we had a few GONY fill out the side. We lost 14-7.Dean Jorgenson scored his first try as a Grey and was MOTM.It was a 20 meter scamper after he supported another Grey who had just broke through the Lions defenders. The period ended with us on the attack about 20 meters out. It was a good day of Rugby for a good cause.

    A lot of good things happened. Mike Myer did a great job at hooker and scored his first try. The scrums were solid and we ran a few backrow plays. Sean Sierra did and great job at eightman and was excellent in support played Carr Dominated in lineouts winning ours and stealing a few.We ran a Blarney Stone that led to a try. It was a play we just worked at practice the week before. Norbert Delauriers played his first match in 10 years and did an awesome job at number 9.Don Brancard and Beav continued with the great play just as they did on Block Island slicing and dicing through the defense.Along with Darrell Garrison they came up fast and shut most attacks down. I think Darrell had about 5 bird dogs because of the pressure. Kevin Trammel did a super job an Fullback fielding kicks and bringing the ball forward in counter attack. We still need to work on fitness. After about 25 minutes the opponents were beating us to the breakdown. Next week we face a young side so do some training on your own. We will get at least 4 periods so lets come to Hartford with numbers and teach the young kids the game we all love. Cheers to the 13 players who attended training and traveled to Jersey. this is a good base but we need numbers. There are only six more matches before the snow flies. Get fit and come out and have some fun.

Connecticut Rugby takes a big step forward.

New Haven Old Black Face The Hartford Wanderers in what is hoped will be an annul Fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis and Cystic Fibrosis

Sage Park, Berlin Connecticut August 23, 2007 On a pitch fittingly known as Scalise Field, a fine Rugby match took shape, We all know that the Hartford Boys wanted a clear victory and that the New Haven Boys wanted a decisive one as well. What we ended up with were two well drilled sides…well…. drilling each other. If memory serves both sides and supporters acquitted themselves quite well this fine August eve. The evening was made even better by the attendance of the former Berlin Strollers, Old Blacks and Wanderers who once again met at the pitch on which they had all once fought.,many moons ago. This was a special night of rugby…for are we not all ambassadors of our fine sport in anything we do? This evening was done with an aplomb that would have made party planers proud. From the initial warm-ups to the Star-Spangled Banner, the night was moving in a proper direction.

 

Hartford prepares to kick off in Thursday nights battle with New Haven. (Photo courtesy of Bill Bishop)

The Fans were of many allegiances , yet they became one, only showing allegiance to a run well made, a kick well placed and a tackle well done. In the end, allegiance counted for little in the hope of a match well played. They got what they wanted ,the vets and the novices. With stunning ball movement, countered by severe tackles, and even better loose play, the advantage taken here or there, a game Hartford side staked themselves to an early lead. However, not to be outdone,the brutish New Haveners came back to lead 14-10 at the half. Halftime was a time for healing and drinking (by the supporters and players alike)) No idea what the sides did to stoke themselves up for the final and surely brutal showdown. And brutal and beautiful it was. Two evenly matched sides looking for an advantage over the other. The advantage was found by New Haven, who had to rip it from the grasp of their foes and use it for final decisive victory. Well this was not Trafalgar and an easy victory was not to be had. Hartford fought back brilliantly and downed a final try to make the final score 27-22. A well-fought mach by two evenly matched sides. Both sides gave their all, but more importantly showed the crowd that this brand of Rugby could be played well, hard and fair, with neither side having to apologize about anything. These men and the men and women who came to cheer them are truly ambassadors of the great sport of Rugby. Bravo to the clubs and their leaders and bravo to two excellent causes. I hope we were all able to do them proud. Lets make this the first of many such matches to be played on these grounds. Whaddya say?

Grey Top Old Cocks 15-10 (and there was much rejoicing! )

Captain Lou’s Match report

Even if you missed this year’s match on the Block you know the script. Well year seven, usual script, different ending. Duncan, a referee on exchange from Holland did his best to keep the crusty Old Boys on task for the second year in a row. We managed to score two tries during two of the major punch-ups. Lots of chitchat and whining. This year we made the big play in the last 5 minutes to secure the victory. Mike Meyer, Dave Kirk, Paul Teppenden, Eric Bronson, and Matt Leonard made their first visit to the Block. Twenty players contributed in our first win there. John Kubic [Beav] scored two tries and made some nice runs. Matt Leonard set the tone early and often with some hard attacking runs. He also got back on kicks and helped in the counter attack. Rhody named him MOTM. Don Brancard set up one score and got the match winner with 5 minutes left and was named MOTM by the Grey.The key to the victory was our ability to adapt and play out of position. Bill Hoadley did well at flanker and Flyhalf. Beav had a great match at center. Tom Kubic played fullback and had the tackle of the year. Ronan ran about 40 meters alluding at least 4 defenders before Tom made a textbook tackle about 20 meters out.Special thanks to Ed Robinson and Neil Dill for Touch judging. Thanks to all players and their families for coming to the Block. It was sweet victory. Let me know if you are interested in playing in the Bocephus 10′s on 8/18 in Hartford.

 

A scrum down deep in the Rhody zone. For more photos, go to the Photo Gallery. ( all photos coutesy of Kevin Trammel )

The Match, as viewed by an Old Cock

While this wasn’t our finest effort, it was still fairly typical of a Grey/Old Cocks match, i.e. we take the early lead, they storm back and then we (normally) hold off a late-match charge. The difference in this match was loose ball and we were clearly not ourselves on Saturday. No matter. My favorite moment of the match came from Doc…… When threatened by a much larger (and already bleeding) foe, Doc retorted with a loose reference to unsafe/ non-consensual prison sex. When faced with this unexpected challenge, the giant thug was stunned to silence and made some lame-o retort like “oh yeah?” I laughed all the way home. (The preceding was taken off of the Old Cocks website. It was penned by Dan DiSantis)

Jo Jo Moore Tournament

In what we hope to make a regular fixture on the Grey schedule, Lou Petruzello led a contingent of Grey and others to Peekskill, NY to compete in the 15th annual Jo Jo Moore Tournament. Jo Jo was born and raised in White Plains, NY. Until his accident, he was a physical education and health teacher, wrestling coach, and swimming coach in the Peekskill School System. In addition, Jo Jo served as a New York State softball umpire, volleyball official, volunteer fireman, and church deacon—and is the father of four daughters. Jo Jo has been a quadriplegic since suffering a severe spinal injury fourteen years ago while playing rugby.Jo Jo demonstrated his courage and leadership qualities by going back to teaching 2 years after his accident, earned another Masters Degree, continues to coach wrestling and is a volunteer health teacher at a small private school. He is a vibrant member of the community and role model for all who meet him. So, as you can see,this is an important cause for the Grey to be involved with. Thanks to all the Grey who attended, we know it has been a long season. Special recognition to Jay Rubino(trachea) and Mike Meyer(shoulder) who both sustained injuries on Saturday. We all hope you mend quickly. Now on to Captain Lou’s Match report:

Our first match was at 10:00 against Albany and we started with 14 players. We picked up Duffy at fullback, to make 15 and we were down 5-0. Then Jay Rubino, Pete Pereira, Jay Chabot, Brendan Coffey, Bubba Golarney, and Dan Kennedy arrived and the match went in our favor. We scored five or six tries and won easily. The second match at 2:00 was against a combination OMEX/GONY side. They had beaten Albany 31-22 earlier. We got some more help from Murph. Cleveland Sean Sierra arrived after a 4 hour ride and we had 12 forwards rotating against OMEX/GONY. Pete Periera had a few tries and Barry Rita scored one. We won 34-3.We were in the final against White Plains. Jay Rubino took a karate chop to the neck and injured his Trachea in the first match. He went to the hospital and returned hours later. Special thanks to Jay for recruiting some new Grey players. Mike Hale hurt his calf in the second match so we got Searay to play scrumhalf. It was a great final against White Plains. Hard rucking, tackling, and great attacking runs by both sides. The Grey were down 7-6 at half. Just before the half we had a great defensive stand stopping White Plains as they were inside the 22 attacking for 5 minutes. Earlier in the match we were in their half for awhile, but we only could get two penalty kicks. Right off the2nd half kickoff White Plains had a great attacking movement and got into our zone but knocked on. We were down 14-9 with 9 minutes to go. Everyone gave a great effort and played with a lot of heart. White Plains put in two more tries and won 28-9.Two of White Plains scores came from our kicks that they turned to tries. We wore down in the end, but it was a great match. We needed a few more bodies and should have kept the ball in hand more. Also we had two other shots at goal that could have meant six more points. Thanks to everyone for a memorable day of Rugby for a very important cause. Cheers to JoJo from the entire Grey family. Oh I forgot to mention White Plains only played one match against Gotham before the final, so we definitely got our moneys worth. MOTM Albany Match-Jay Rubino, Omex match-Pete Periera, White Plains- Bill Bishop.

Grey win 2 at Franconia

The 2007 Old Man of the Mountain Rugby Festival team.

The Grey once again made the trek up Interstate 91 to the lovely Franconia Inn in order to participate in the 23rd annual Old Man of The Mountain Rugby Festival. A huge thank you to Bill Good, Joe Flynn and all other the other Boston boys for another great tournament. The Grey managed to pick up 2 wins in between all the social functions that were held. The first game vs. Amoskeag was as tough a match as the Grey have had all year. After being down 5-3 at the half, the Grey were able to pull away for a 22-5 victory, led by Jeff Levinson’s 2 try effort. The second game vs. Portland, was equally challenging, but the Grey were able to come away with a 26-7 victory in that one. Trys(that I remember) were scored by Steve Tenenbaum and Darryl Ceccarelli. Jay Chabot also played very well in both games and was key to much of the teams offense. More details will follow once the brain clears and I figure out who did what. Thanks to all the Grey, our ladies and the Executive committee for another memorable weekend. The weekend was also made memorable with the bittersweet announcement of Joe Scan’s retirement. Joe has been a dedicated Grey for many years and now joins fellow New Yorker, Fred Seeger as a booster. We will all miss you on the pitch, Joe, but look forward to much socializing in the future. Oh yeah, the two wins we picked up made us 8-0 for the spring. Great showing boys.

Captain Lou’s Franconia report

We had another great team effort winning two matches in Franconia. In the first match Amoskeag came out hard right off the kickoff. They were pushing us in the sets and controlled the ball in our end most of the half. We played good defense. Our backs came up hard and flat and though they were winning ball, we made Amoskeag work for every yard. We stayed fairly disciplined until we got called for going in on the side of a ruck. They had a nice driving maul and scored their only try of the match. We finally got into their half and a penalty kick made it 5-3 at the half. Our depth really showed in the second half as we put in 3 tries, 2 by Jeff Levinson. Final 22-5.George Saul and Ed Carr had some attacking runs. Kevin Macnamara, Kevin Trammel and Jim Burke were great in support. Jay Chabot did a great job kicking for position and hit some conversions at tough angles. MOTM to Jeff Levinson. We played Portland next match and they were very hungry. Early in the match they were beating us to the breakdown. Steve Tenenbaum had a great score. He took a kick on the run with Ronan Hingerty pressuring and ran twenty meters, kicked, followed his kick and scored. Darryl Ceccarelli scored two tries to ice the victory. Gary Tamburri, Jon Leone and Mike Meyer played well in the pack. MOTM went to Steve Tenenbaum. Final 26-7.

Grey defeat Old-Dogs in Falatyn Memorial

 

The Connecticut Grey and the Mid-Hudson Old Dogs gather to celebrate the 5th annual John Falatyn Memorial in Rhinebeck, NY.

   

Grey Men of the Match John Kubic and Ed Carr pose alongside Brenden Coffey and Steve Falatyn. Photo of John on the right.

On a rainy and cool day at the Rhinebeck Fairgrounds, the Connecticut Grey and the Mid-Hudson Old Dogs gathered to celebrate the 5th annual John Falatyn Memorial.At times, the celebration threatened to get out of hand but, we all thought, this is just how John would have liked it. Chippy play was the order of the day, as Grey and Old Dog alike took exception to affronts both real and imagined, resulting in a sometimes contentious atmosphere. Referee Jeff Bouvier did a fine job reigning in the “enthusiasm” of both sides and lo and behold, a rugby match took place. The Grey managed to strike first, as John “Beav” Kubic dove on a mishandled ball in the Mid-Hudson try zone. The conversion was missed and the Grey had a 5-0 lead. The restart saw the Grey move back into Old Dog Territory, where after some spirited play, Joe Bordieri was able to touch down in the corner for the Grey’s second score. The conversion, from an almost impossible angle, was missed and the Grey led 10-0. It must be noted, that this was a day for the forwards. The field was narrow and slightly wet, the perfect recipe for a game to be dominated by both side’s scrummers. As always, co-MOTM Ed Carr and Captain Lou Petruzello, both of whom turned in tough performances, led the Grey pack. Joe Scandariato, playing within sight of the Hudson River for a rare occasion, stole several Old Dog hooks and made enough of a general nuisance of himself, to significantly throw off the Mid-Hudson attack time and again. Fine game by Joe Scan. The Grey, up 10-0, were feeling pretty good about themselves when suddenly the Old Dogs struck. A quick try and successful conversion made the score 10-7 as the 1st period ended. The Old Dogs owned the 2nd period. While many of the Grey seemed content to stand around and watch, the Old Dog forwards took over the match. The Grey managed to hold them off until Andrew Scandariato (yes, the spawn of Joe) broke one down the right side. Andrew tiptoed the sideline and passed the ball back inside. Several more runs and passes led to another converted Old Dog Try and it was 14-10 Old Dogs after two periods. A fine play by Andrew and great support by the Old Dog forwards resulted in a score that had the Grey reeling. With the Brendan Coffey led Old Dogs smelling victory the mood of the Grey side was, well, a bit gray. It took Ed Carr, leading with both words and action to get the Grey back into it. It cannot be argued that the Grey owned the 3rd period. Led by co-MOTM Beav Kubic, the Grey were able to forge back on top. Again, fine play by the forwards resulted in Kubic diving over for the try. Don Brancard’s conversion put the Grey on top 17-14. However, the game was far from over and the Old Dogs still had some tricks up their sleeves. In fact, they came within a heel in touch of immediately retaking the lead. Granted this respite, the Grey again moved into Mid-Hudson territory and when the Old-Dogs were called for a penalty, the Grey had a chance to go up by six points. The kick, which was a long attempt into posts that matched the narrow field, was wide. The Old Dogs, however, were penalized for movement on the kick and the Grey didn’t waste the second chance. Sean Brennan single handedly took it in from about 30 meters out to put the Grey up by a count of 22-14. The two teams scrapped out the remaining 2 or 3 minutes and the final whistle went. This was a match that John would have loved, played by a lot of guys who loved John. One of those was John’s son Michael, who acquitted himself well both on and off the pitch. Another was brother Steve who played the entire 60 minutes of the match and turned in a fine game. MOTM for Mid-Hudson was awarded to Andy Garrity, who was all over the field and looked like it at the end of the match. Mike Falatyn was recognized for his one moment of inexperience in the front row, which led to a row with George (wrong guy to piss off) Saul. Mike is no slouch himself, having earned a spot on the 2006 Section Nine Composite First team Offensive All-Star Team, on the offensive line(Mike captained the football team at Kingston High School.).All, however, was quickly forgiven and forgotten. Grey Vice-Captain Darryl Garrison, who it was said, should have played at least a period for the Old Dogs was awarded with a Marist Red Fox golf shirt for reasons lost in a purple haze. Brendan Coffey once again did a great job putting this match together and played his usual steady game for the Old Dogs. Finally, Jeff Bouvier was awarded with a 12 year old bottle of scotch for putting up with us for the last five years. While a rugby match was played today, it was a different kind of match for many of us. It was a match played by two teams in honor of the memory of one big, tough rugger. We all know, that one day we will see him on the pitch again. Until then, John Falatyn remains, above all, a father,a husband, our friend and our teammate. Cheers John.

Captain Lou’s Mid-Hudson Match Report

We traveled to Rhinebeck, NY with 22 players for our annual Falatyn Match.Mid-Hudson played tough and beat us to the ball on many rucks. Thanks to Brendan Coffey for organizing a great group of guys who we really hungry for victory. We were down 14-10 after two periods. In the the last period we dug deep and got the victory scoring two tries to win 22-14.Ed Carr, Beaver, Bill Hoadley, Don Brancard and Sean Brennan played great in that final period to secure victory. It was tough for us considering 12 of our 22 players were backs and the pitch was about 45 meters wide. Thanks to Bomber and Chicky for filling in the pack. Thanks to Jeff for his patience as both teams got a little testy at times. MOTM to Ed Carr and John Kubic [Beaver]. Thanks to those 22 dedicated Grey who made the road trip after 4 home Matches.  Cheers

Grey conquer Village Lions to retain Old Boy’s Cup

Another beautiful day, another home victory as the Grey defeat the Village Lions 53-5 to retain the venerable Old Boys Cup. Tries were scored by Darryl Garrison(2), Steve Tenenbaum ,George Saul, Jay Chabot, Joe Bordieri, Paul Tappenden, Barry Rita and Sean Sierra .Chabot also converted on 4 of those tries. Good game, even better party. Not much more to add to Lou’s match report, except that it is gratifying to see the club continue to grow. We have gotten a great influx of new and fast backs and picked up some great scrummers. Special thanks to those players who helped out the Lions and to Jeff Bouvier for another well refereed match. Also thanks to Ronco for keeping track of the score at our games this year. Memory doesn’t serve as it used to, so that has been a big help. Also a shout out to founding member Sanford Woodard, who attended yesterdays match and regaled us with stories of the Grey’s early days at the Old Dublin after the match. Speaking of the Old Dublin, is there a better place for a post match drink up? Make sure to contact Lou or Darryl with your availability for next week. Details and directions will be forthcoming shortly.

Captain Lou’s Village Lions Game Report

We played 80 minutes of rugby and scored a lot of tries in defeating the Village Lions. Rotating 30 plus players in four periods we wore the Lions down and secured another victory. Bob Coakley and George Saul were strong in the front row and aggressive around the pitch. The first 20 minutes was pretty even as the Lions were dropping like flies and it almost felt like American football with TV timeouts. A Lions Player lost a contact and someone asked if he needed a mirror. Bordo responds with why don’t you use Jeff Levinsons head. That faux pas earned Bordo the Italian award. We put in two scores going up hill in the first period. Saul, Sierra, Hoadley and Rubino came in the second period and stepped up the pace and the rout was on. Sean Brennan did a great job crashing and producing quick ball. Matt Leonard was named MOTM by the Lions. It was a great team effort. Darryl Garrison had a couple scores. MOTM to Barry Rita who’s game has been improving the last few weeks. He made a great open field tackle and is taking the ball at pace hitting

   Old Boys Cup(s)

 

Old Boys

gaps. Next week were on the road to Mid-Hudson.Let’s keep up the winning ways. Let Darryl or myself know if you are in or out.

More Old Boys
 

Grey defeat New London County RFC

The Connecticut Grey celebrated Cinco de Mayo in style with a convincing 36-14 win over the New London County Rugby Club. With 30 plus players in attendance, the Grey extended their home winning streak to 6 games over the last two seasons. Five of those wins have come at the Mountain Mist Pitch. With the exception of a 10-minute span in the third period, the Grey dominated play. Immediately after the opening kickoff, the Grey pushed deep into New London territory. The New London fly half went to the kick, but the Grey were able to counter effectively and kept the pressure on. The scrum, led by Lou Petruzello, Matt Leonard and Ed Carr did an excellent job of keeping possession. Kevin McNamara (co- MOTM) stole a few hooks. After several rucks and mauls the ball found its way out to the backs and Bill Bishop bulled over for try. He also converted and the Grey had a 7-0 lead. Following the restart, the Grey again moved deep into New London territory. In an attempt to move the ball out of their end, New London went to the run. This was stopped when Jeff Levinson picked off a pass and sprinted down the left side. Levinson cut back inside and just as he was hit made a pretty pass to Sean Brennan, who broke a couple of tackles and finished the play under the posts. Bishop again converted and the first 20 ended with the Grey on top 14-0.

Dean Jorgensen took the pitch vs. one of his former Eagle Scouts, now a member of NLCRFC.

The second 20 started much the same as the first. The Grey dominated possession as Jim Burke (co-MOTM) picked up where McNamara left off, causing New London serious pain by stealing more of their put-ins. This pattern continued all game as McNamara and Burke both had outstanding games at hooker. The pack was pushing New London off of the ball and when New London started trying to turn our scrums, Jim McCormick put an end to that. The only points of the period came on a Jay Chabot penalty kick that made the score 17-0 after 40 minutes. The Grey had chances to score, but New London played tough defense and kept themselves in the game. The third period started with a lot of give and take by both clubs, with no one seeming to want to take command. That is, until New London’s hirsute scrum half single handedly ran through and around several would be Grey tacklers to touch down for a pretty 40 meter try. With the conversion, New London was back in it at 17-7. Heartened by the try and further buoyed by some Grey mistakes, New London quickly added another try and converted. Suddenly the score was 17-14 and the Grey needed to regroup. Well, regroup they did. When the kickoff and a couple of mishandled balls pinned New London deep, they again went to the boot. The kick was fielded on the run by Barry Rita at about midfield. Rita split two defenders and got the ball down to the 20-meter line. The Grey won the ensuing ruck and pounded the ball down close with many short runs and some successful rucking and mauling. Jay Rubino, who had another great match, banged it over and John Kerr converted for a 24-14 lead. A huge score set up on a nice play by Rita and solid support from the backs and the pack. The period ended with the score 24-14. The forth period saw the Grey completely control field position. Although New London never quit and the hitting was brutal, the Grey owned possession. Joe Bordieri was able to put one down in the corner to give the Grey some breathing room. The conversion was missed and the Grey led 29-14. Play continued in much the same vein for the final 10 minutes of the match with Ed Carr (who was chosen by New London as their man of the match) ran one in. Chabot converted and the final whistle went at Grey 36- New London 14. A great effort against a young, tough and fast New London club. New London never quit, but it was the Grey’s combined years of experience that was their undoing. Heck, most of them weren’t even born went we started playing rugby. Good effort boys! Next up, the Village Lions “Lion Kings” on Saturday May 12. Start time is noon at the Mountain Mist pitch.

Captain Lou’s New London Report

We played smart and used our experience to beat a young New London side. Special thanks to players who played out of position. Dave Berube played flanker and Tom Kubic second row. Jim Burke did a great job at hooker. Last week we had four hookers not counting Jim. This week Kevin McNamara and Jim Burke stole about ten hooks giving us great possession. We had a 17-0 lead and let them back in the match in the third period. With the score 17-14 Barry Rita and Jay Rubino come through to change the momentum and put us up by 10.Then we finished well in the fourth period adding two more tries. Awesome team effort. Thanks to Jeff Bouvier for doing a great job reffing. I think in the the first period we had some back chat but then we corrected that and stayed disciplined while New London kept nagging Jeff. Our strength is in numbers and a new week will bring different personnel. Steve Carr, Ed Carr, and Bill Bishop will be out this week. Let Darryl or myself know by Thursday if you are in. It also really helps if you email and say you can’t make it. Some weeks we could have five hookers or three scrumhalfs or six centers. We will try to get everyone as much playing time at his preferred position as possible.

Grey Pound MOB 75-0

On a beautiful spring day at the Mountain Mist Outdoor Center, The Connecticut Grey poured over 11 tries and made 10 of 11 conversions to overwhelm an undermanned Massachusetts Old Boys team, 75-0. Tries were not to be a rare commodity on this day as seven Grey ruggers combined for 11 scores. In order, scores were accounted for by Bill Hoadley, Sean “Chunks” Brennan, Tony Johnson, Hoadley, Brennan, Jay Rubino, Rubino, Barry Rita, John Kerr(welcome back), Jeff Levinson and Rubino. The backs had a field day as everyone made contributions to this win. Steve Carr didn’t crack the try zone, but had several nice runs as well. The pack did a great job of keeping the ball moving, never giving the MOB a chance to set up a coherent defense. Sean “Big Daddy” Sierra was singled out as the most dominant scrummer on the day and received a Man of the Match nod for his play. Sean “Chunks” Brennan was awarded Man of the Match for the backs. Jay Rubino had a rare rugby feat, the hat trick, scoring 3 times. Thanks go out to the Grey who filled in for the depleted MOB side. Among them were David Kirk, Dave Berube and Bill Aman and others I’m sure. Its never fun to play against your own team (or is it?) so thanks for your sacrifice. Also thanks to Jimmy Riordan and Fran Russell for putting together a traveling side out of Boston, not an easy feat these days. This is a bunch of ruggers whose motto should be the Mark Twain quote “There is nothing like staying home for real comfort.”. Fran (Mystic River) and Jim (Boston) started MOB in an effort to pull together enough Old Boys from around eastern Massachusetts (Worcester, Boston, Mystic River, Charles River, Irish Wolfhounds, etc., etc.) to form a legitimate independent “Grey-like” club that can be counted on to travel. They are traveling to Randall’s Island in a couple of weeks to take on GONY.

Good day, nice win. Now get ready for New London. These boys are young, tough and fast. The last time the Grey played them down on their pitch, the Grey were defeated 36-12. Did I mention they were fast? They are a division three club, who play teams like Berkshire and Saratoga. New London beat Berkshire 27-3 earlier this year. Don’t let that score fool you New London will be ready to play. As always, let Lou or Darryl know of your availability for next week.

Captain Lou’s MOB game report

Great job by all this week as we put in 10 or 11 tries.All the scores were by the backs so we playing the game the way it should be played.The forwards produce quality ball and the backs execute and finish with tries.Special thanks to Jim Riodan and Fran Russell for organizing the MOB.Thanks to the Grey who gladly filled in on the opponents side.Ed Carr,Jon Leone and Kevin McNamara played well in the forwards.Great job around the pitch especially linking up with the backs in attack.Jay Chabot,Jay Rubino,Bill Hoadley and Steve Carr started some great offensive movements that led to scores.MOTM goes to Sean Sierra {Big Daddy] and Sean Brennan {Chunks]. Big challenge next week as we have New London a D3 team that is getting better.They will be young and fast and we will have to play smart.We need to be disciplined and not make mistakes.We will play 4 20 minute periods rotating 30 plus players.Be focused and ready to play.Everyones best effort is needed to insure a victory.

Jammers retain the much coveted “wheel”

The following is from roving correspondent Bud “Connie Chung” Harvey:

The day shown bright and cheerful, warm spring temperatures, lots of yard work and “honey-do’s awaiting, but a valiant group of ruggers eschewed their spring cleaning duties for the annual tilt at the Jammers. New Horizons was once again the venue. Led by Vice Captain Darryl Garrison, the Grey fielded a well-rounded (and I mean that) side that showcased the talents of Tommy “Kidney Bean” Roncaioli, Johnnie “Speedster” Kerr, Bobbie “Count” Merola, Dean “Tony Blair” Jorgensen; Steve “No look pass” Carr; and, sporting the Pink Gloves to match his toe-nail polish, Eddie “the boy named Sue” Carr. Jeff Levinson, on injured reserve, did an able job of running the clock and keeping score. Finally, the Grey brought their secret weapon, Tommy “I know I don’t look 35, but I’m a Grey” Carr, Steve’s son. The Grey started strong and kept the game close throughout, showing ball handling ability and passing skills that they lack on most Saturdays but, in the end, the Grey were undone by two major factors. The Jammers brought their own referees, Todd Munn of Gaylord Hospital and Emily Landers, a Quad Rugby referee (a much prettier version of Jeff Bouvier). Final score 18-16 Jammers and the coveted wheel stays in the back of my garage for another year.Man of the Match goes to Tommy Carr for making his old man look good.

The Grey and the Jammers get together after the Jammers hard fought 18-16 victory. The coveted “wheel” can be seen in the center of the photo. (Photo courtesy of Ross Taylor)

Grey defeat GONY 26-21 on Ceccarelli’s late try

April 14, 2007-Randall’s Island, New York- Darryl Ceccarelli’s late try led the Grey to a stirring 26-21 victory over the Gentlemen of New York (hereafter referred to as GONY) at Randall’s Island to even this seasons record at 2-2-1. The mood on Randall’s was quite festive, with several men’s and women’s collegiate teams competing in the New York Rugby Club’s “Big Apple Classic” and many other New Yorkers just out to enjoy a rare warm and sunny spring day. After some sparring as to on which field the battle was to commence, GONY’s own Dave Martin was able to secure us a spot on field 17, undoubtedly the nicest field in the Sunken Meadow area of Randall’s.

So the battle lines were drawn and the game began with the Grey pushing deep into the New York end. GONY went to the boot, but the Grey continually countered and one such counter led to a Leonard, to Bordo, to Bishop movement. Bishop bolted over for the try and converted for a 7-0 Grey lead. This pattern of play continued with Petruzello and Leonard leading the pack. Late in the 1st period, it was Matt Leonard who found the try zone for the Grey. Bishop converted for a 14-0 Grey advantage after one period.

The second period saw much of the same style of play as the first. GONY was having little luck running against the Grey, so again they went to the boot. The Grey fullback (some guy called “Bomber”) was able to coolly field many of these kicks while under “intense pressure” and helped to produce some effective counterattacks. There were, however, some who questioned his ability (or is it inability?) to pass the rock. Anyway…a very nice run and subsequent pass by Sean” twinkle-toes” Sierra resulted in another Bishop try, his second on the day. Brancard converted and the Grey had a 21-0 lead after two periods.

The Third period saw a distinct change in the style of play. GONY began to eat up some big chunks of ground with good backline play and some stellar rucking and mauling. This resulted in a quick try and GONY was back in it at 21-7. The Grey tried to regroup, but GONY kept up the pressure and dotted down again to close the gap to 21-14. It looked as if the Grey would finally stem the GONY tide, but this was not to be. After some loose play at midfield, two GONY backs broke down the sideline and Matt of Meet the Matt’s fame touched one down make the score 21-19. The resulting tough angle conversion knotted the score at 21. A great comeback by the Gentlemen.

With little more than two minutes left in the game, the Grey were faced with a tie out of what looked like certain victory. As Jon Olear commented “ This tie will seem like a loss.” And “ A tie is like kissing your sisters bunion.” And other stuff. He just wouldn’t stop. Back to the game…The Gents (their ref) committed a penalty close in. The angle was tough and the kick into the wind, so Brancard’s attempt came up short, but was knocked on by GONY. Another series of plays and another penalty on GONY resulted in another tough-angle miss. The good thing was, that this kept the ball deep in GONY territory. Trying to end the game, GONY again went to the boot. Bomber fielded at about the 40-meter line and brought it to the 30 where he was tackled and the ball was scooped up by Lou Petruzello. Lou ran down to the 15-meter line and was stopped. The Grey won the resulting ruck and the ball went out to the backs for one last attack. Carew to Brancard to Bishop (almost the Killer B’s!). Bishop to Darryl (Alphabet) Ceccarelli and the game was won! Victory had been pulled from the jaws of an almost certain tie.

A great day for the Grey and an even greater one for the GONY/Grey Rivalry. This was an excellent match, with excellent play by both sides. GONY never stopped coming. They are a tough old bunch of ruggers. But, so are the Grey, and on this day they played very well as a team, hung together through some adversity and were rewarded with a hard fought victory. A well deserved Man of the Match to Bill Bishop, who scored two tries and set up another. Well-done lads!

Captains Message:

Great numbers for an away match. We were ready to play and took the lead early by controlling most of the ball for two periods. On defense we came up flat and put pressure on their backs. We had a 21 point lead with 20 minutes left. We lost a few balls missed touch and 15 minutes later the match was tied. A lot of credit to GONY.They wanted it bad in that last period. We can’t let up in any match we play. We need to stay focused and play hard for 60 or 80 minutes. We dug deep and put that last try down. It was a great team effort to get that last score. AWESOME win on the road. Our lineouts have been great this season. Kevin Macnamara ,Joe Scan and Paul Tappenden each played a period and were consistent with their throws. Great job by Ed Carr and the lifters. We got our backs quality ball and were able to attack and get passed the gain line. Matt Leonard was all over the pitch tackling and running with the ball. Our back three covered kicks well and had some counter attacks. MOTM to Bill Bishop who had a blinder. I think he scored two tries and set up a third. We have a nice rivalry with GONY and they will be hungry when we play them again. We have Mystic at home in two weeks. They took it to us in Boston, so we owe them. Work on your fitness and let’s be ready to go on 4/28.

Grey defeat Berkshire 58-7

Meriden, CT-April 7, 2007-On a cold and blustery spring day, on which the temperature never broke 45 degrees, the Grey offense was red hot. Man of the match, Bill Hoadley led a 2nd period onslaught that saw him score once and setup two other scores. Don Brancard and Bill Bishop also scored twice each for the Grey. Coming off a tough weekend in New Jersey, this was a welcome victory.

The 1st period was very evenly played, with both sides attacking and countering throughout. The Grey finally scored in the waning moments of the period, when Bill Bishop broke free and found a supporting Kevin McNamara for the score. Don Brancard’s conversion was good and the Grey led 7-0. The second period saw wholesale changes in the Grey lineup and a new (and I mean NEW) Grey side took the pitch by storm. Within two minutes of the restart, Hoadley had the Grey back on the board with a 60 meter beauty. Jay Chabot converted for a 14-0 lead. Less then five minutes later, the speedy Hoadley sprang loose again and found Jay Rubino in support. Rubino’s score and another Chabot conversion made the score 21-0. The Grey kept the pressure on and Berkshire committed a penalty at their own 22 meter line. Chabot slotted the kick and the score was 24-0. Hoadley, however, was not done yet. After another take off of the scrum, Hoadley broke free and found Tom Kubic for another pretty try. The conversion was missed and the period came to an end with the Grey up 29-0.

 

Bishop on the move. The ample support resulted in a McNamara try, the first of many on this day. (photo By Mike Kosilla)

In the 3rd period the Grey pack set the pace by controlling play early. Don Brancard ran one in after some nice loose play and converted from the tough angle. Grey 36-0. Give Berkshire credit. They never quit and came right back with a try and conversion of their own to make the score 36-7. The Grey pack reasserted themselves and Brancard tallied his second try. His conversion made it 43-7. Bill Bishop continued the scoring frenzy with a great effort from Fullback to increase the lead to 48-7. Bishop played his usual unrelenting game and was named Grey Man of the Match by the Berkshire club. In the 4th period, newcomer Sean Sierra punched over his second try of the young season to make it 53-7. Not to be outdone, Bishop capped off the scoring with one of his patented dashes to make the final Grey 58, Berkshire 7.

 

Proof that speed kills. Hoadley leads the Grey to another score. (photo by Mike Kosilla)

A great effort all around by both clubs. Berkshire was shorthanded, but they never gave in. The hitting was hard and clean all game. The Grey, buoyed by many newcomers, played one of their best matches in recent history. Special thanks to the Grey (Jim Burke, Jon Leone and Gary Tamburri, Barry Rita, Bill Aman and others) who filled in for Berkshire and to referee Jeff Bouvier. Next up is an always tough Gentlemen of New York side at Randall’s Island, Details to follow.

Captains Message

It’s really nice to win. We had 35 players and they all came to play. I want to thank everyone for letting Darryl or myself know about your availability. It allowed us to set up 4 periods attempting to give everyone as much playing time as possible. Having the sides set helps a lot. Pre-match we don’t have to go crazy sorting things out. We can concentrate on match preparation. Since we have such large numbers please let us know by Thursday midnight. Great communication last week. If we get e-mails on Friday or calls Saturday morning we might not be able to get you in. Mike Guzzio had a few good runs. Kevin Trammel cleaned a few rucks that led to scores. Kevin McNamara got the momentum going by scoring on a 30 meter run. Ed Carr did great in the lineouts. Tom Kubic was all over the pitch in the loose play. The backs had a great day scoring seven tries. Don Brancard, Jay Rubino and Bill Bishop had awesome Games. Bill Hoadley MOTM ran over, through and around the defense. He led the charge from scrumhalf allowing us to score 22 points going uphill in period two. Next challenge GONY. Match is at 11:30. Be booted up at 10:45.

THE GREY HAVE A TOUGH DAY IN NEW JERSEY (but thats what the preseason is for)

 

NY All Japan wins a lineout on Saturday. NYAJ proved to be a much improved side on Saturday.

The obligatory team photo.

The following is from Captain Lou :

March 31, 2007 “We played some decent rugby for several phases until a costly mistake would allow the opponent a counterattack. Most of the six scores against us were long runs. We needed to catch and take care of the ball in the tackle. Despite being outscored 6-2 in tries, we dominated at times. We need to learn to finish when we get close to the try line. We are home this week against Berkshire and really need a win. How bad do you want it? Welcome to Tim Foley, Sean Sierra, and Sean Brennan. It is great to have some young blood join the club and have an immediate impact. Ed Carr, Sean Sierra, and Matt Leonard played well in the pack. Jeff Levinson made some great tackles and caught people from behind. The MOTM goes to Matt Leonard who was responsible for many of those attacking phases. Sean Sierra and Darryl Garrison each scored a try.”

On a very positive note, the Grey helped to raise over 1200 dollars to buy phone cards for our troops fighting overseas. Final scores of the matches are posted in the schedule and results section. Please keep in mind that the “matches” were actually 20-25 minutes each in length.

SPECIAL OLYMPICS

March 3rd and 4th, Simsbury – The weather was perfect for a weekend of outdoor competition at the CL&P Service Center in Simsbury. Once again, the Connecticut Grey helped Tony Johnson organize the 100 m cross-country sprints and 4 x 100 relays for the Special Olympics Connecticut Winter Games. And yet again the Grey were rewarded by being in the company of hundreds of appreciative special athletes who gave their all over two days of competition. Our congratulations to all the athletes and thanks to all the members of the Grey family who participated. Stay tuned for news on a possible foray into the summer games. Think about it….female volunteers in shorts.

No words can describe Special Olympics Connecticut. You have to live it. Try it. It will change your life for the better.

  

The Grey contingent in front of the Olympic Flame.

ANNUAL AWARDS BANQUET

The annual awards banquet was, as always, a great success. The beer, wine and other potables flowed until early in the morning. The East Hartford Canoe Club proved to be an intimate and very hospitable venue, with its gracious and hardworking staff making for a very enjoyable evening. Outgoing President Tom Flynn and his first lady Lindsey ended their reign with a wonderful soiree. Incoming President Dean Jorgensen and his first lady, Aileen, christened their term on an extremely promising note. As always, the “Grey” ladies showed us old ruggers why we love them, with their beauty and grace on and off the dance floor. Thank you to all who attended and profound regrets to those who could not. Following are the results of the awards presentations. There were many, so thankfully, the speeches were short.

MVP – Forwards: Kevin Trammel – A true team player.

MVP – Backs: Jay Chabot -Explosive is his middle name.

Rookie of the Year: Jeff Levinson -A welcome addition to the back line.

Captain’s Award: John Kerr-Never quits, on or off the pitch.

John Falatyn ‘Freight Train’: Ed Carr-A player who always leads by example.

Mark ‘Mace’ Comen Award: Jeff Bouvier-Dedicated club member and a student of the game.

Rugger Hugger: Lindsey Flynn-the hardest working and most glamourous social secretary ever to grace the game.

President’s Award: Don Brancard-There is no “I” in Brancard. Don is the definition of team player, but more importantly, teammate.

Rookie Hourglasses : Bob Coakley, David Kirk, Jeff Levinson, Barry Rita-welcome additions all.

Retirement Plaque: Fred Seeger- a man who will be sorely missed on the pitch, but hopefully will still be around for the parties.

Founders’ Award: Lou Petruzzello-The engine room of every club he has ever been associated with.