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2010.

A Match Like No Other
 By Thomas (Hoppy) Branchaud
 The whistle blows, the ball is in play, and immediately the trash talk begins! “You’re too old for this sport old man, try not to brake a hip!” exclaimed CT Jammer “Wee Willy” Kornegay. The CT Grey (an over age 40 men’s rugby league) assisted by an assortment of Wild Roses (University of Hartford women’s rugby team) squared off against the CT Jammers wheelchair rugby team for their annual Quad Rugby grudge match. From the Grey’s bench shouts of laughter emanated throughout the air, along with the distinctive aroma of BenGay. Bud Harvey, the coach of the Connecticut Jammers, who is bilingual in both English and profanity screamed out commands to his players “Run up the #!%@ score, show no mercy!” 

The venerable Grey got off to a shaky start against the much younger Jammers. Both teams were on the court pushing their rugby chairs as hard as they could. One could hear the metallic sound of crashing wheelchairs and pacemakers alike echoing throughout the gym. The Grey fell behind quickly; do to some questionable passing and the fact that many of the Grey had hangovers from the previous evenings pub crawl. Not until the Grey unleashed their secret weapons, 4 year old Daniel & those sirens of rugby the Wild Roses, did they rally a comeback. The match was refereed by Todd Munn, Coordinator of Sports Programs for Gaylord Hospital. Todd was challenged in his task by the appearance of two rugby balls used by the Grey to increase their scoring capacity late in the game. But despite a valiant effort by the Grey, the Jammers maintained a commanding lead. As the final seconds of the match counted down, the score read Jammers 23 vs. Grey 13. Cheers filled the venue. But wait, why was the applause heard coming equally as loud from BOTH benches? It’s because this wasn’t just any ordinary Quad Rugby match, this one’s for Jonesy! 

Michael “Jonesy” Jones, an Albany New York Knicks RFC player, was injured last spring at a rugby tournament in Fort Lauderdale Florida where he suffered a spinal cord injury resulting in quadriplegia. In an attempt to raise money for the Michael Jones Supplemental Needs Trust, each player of the grudge match donated a dollar for every point their team scored during the game. Together we were able to raise $433.00 this year, thanks to the generous support of the Greys, Jammers and friends. All proceeds will help the Jones family so really both teams of the grudge match were winners. 

Having been involved with disabled sports for many years, I haven’t come across another sport that shares the same sense of community, comradery and collaborative spirit as does the sport of rugby. The generosity of the rugby community as a whole never ceases to amaze me. Over the years, members of the Grey have graciously supported the Jammers time and again. The Grey consists of generous good natured individuals who love the sport and foster a sense of “never leaving a man down on the field”. Collectively we all play rugby therefore Jonesy is one of our own on and off the field. Players from many different rugby teams ranging in age, gender, and ability came together to help a fellow player in need. Many of the individuals participating in the grudge match have never even met Jonesy, but they participated in the match to raise money for him because they all share a single bond which is the sport of rugby. For these reasons I am proud to say “I am a rugby player”. 

If you wish to contribute to the Michael Jones Supplemental Needs Trust Fund you may do so at the following URL: www.michaeljonestrust.org 

Grey 26 Amoskeag 5  

We ended the season with a win out scoring Amoskeag 4 tries to one.Bubba had
two tries with Mike Hale and Kev Dog one each.Great back line defense
limiting Bill Bishop and the Amoskeag backs from getting any great
breakaways. Awesome job by Kevin O and Mike Powers as we won our lineouts
and some of Amoskeags.Good execution by the throwers and lifters to give us
attacking lineout ball.Burt Hale,Sean Sierra,Mike Powers and Kevin O led the
forward attack.Jay Chabot kicked well for field position and counter
attack.Kev Dog and Brian Doheny had some great attacking opportunities. MOTM
to Shawn Brennan.Great attacking runs and then some great offloads. we limited
Billy Bishop all day on defense. We played eight straight weeks and end the season at
5-3. Thanks to everyone for their commitment and communication. Special
thanks for David Kirk and Big Jim for playing for Amoskeag.
 

Grey 52 Long Island 22 

Fall Record stands at 4-3    

Thanks to Mike Besso, Mike Meyer, Mike Berling, Dave Berube, Ozzie, Jon Leone and others for helping Long Island fill out a side.The boys from LI had some pretty keen players in the backs and some very hard pack players. Thanks to Paul McCluskey for reffing and allowing the match to flow enabling both teams to score quite a few tries. MOTM to Bill Bishop as he scored three tries and had some awesome runs. Kevin O’Sullivan was named MOTM by LI. Great lineout play and he set up Bill Hoadley for a try after a long run. Darrel Garrison, Brian Doheny and Dave Van Zyl also scored. Mike Powers, Tom Kubic, Bubba and Sean Sierra led the attack in the forwards. Norbert ran a text book play that sent Bill Bishop up the middle for a 40 meter try. Good day of rugby as the home match was well attended. Good turn out at the Drink up and at 10:30 a couple Grey were still enjoying the festivities. Next week the match will be in New Haven at the Boulevard Pitch.  kickoff is at  11:00am. Amoskeag will be coming down in a bus with their A and B team. It willl be a very competitive match.  Directions can be found on New Havens website.  Please let Lou know if you will be playing.
 

Japan 31 Grey 20
A great day of Rugby was enjoyed by all on a perfect Autumn afternoon.This is an awesome International encounter that both sides look forward to every season.The first period we stuck to the game plan and built 8-0 lead.We had most of the possession and were able to get a try and penalty kick by Jay Chabot.Japan scored two tries in the second period to go up 12-8.We now had the downhill and it  looked like we had an advantage in the last 40 minutes.But Japan was patient and made their tackles.We had some nice multiple phase ball but at some point we would lose the ball.They would counter and the foot race was on.We went into the last 20 minutes down 26 -13 when we scored to make it 26-20.Matt Leonard,Kevin O’Sullvan,Ed Carr,Bubba,Mike Powers and George Saul led the attack in the forwards.Norbert,Shawn Brennan,and Bill Bishop had some great runs.The play of the match was when Japan had a penalty kick that was headed into touch and would have been Japans lineout.Matt leonard tapped the ball into Tom Kubic who took it up and got it back to Leonard  that ended with Beaver scoring for our second try.MOTM to Burt Hale. Great lineout throws solid in the sets and al over the pitch doing the rucking and mauling.  Next week home at 1:00 vs Long Island.  Let Lou know of your availability.
Grey 31 Springfield 17 

   Great win on the road against a chippy Springfield team. Those Muskets are the same old Rifles from years back. Brian Doheny, Jay Chabot , Bill Bishop,and Matt Leonard[2] scored tries. Springfield got the kickoff and controlled the ball with many rucks but we made our tackles and they finally kicked away possession. We were going uphill and against the wind for the first 40 minutes. We were up 14 nil when Vic Thomas  scored one of his two tries at about 32 minutes but we responded with another try before half. The score is 19-5 and we have the downhill for 40 minutes. Springfield scored two more tries on long runs where we had lapses in tackling. Kevin O’Sullivan, Mike Powers , Matt Leonard, Bubba and Fino led the attack in the forwards. Scrums were solid as Burt Hale, George Saul and Tom Flynn anchored the front row. MOTM to George Saul as he had a few good bursting runs and was a key lifter in lineouts. Mike Hale and Joe Bordieri gave the backs some good ball with Norbert creating space for Bishop, Brennan and Mattison to get some good runs. Jay Chabot filled and countered well from Fullback. Z did a great job at Flyhalf and fullback. Next challenge is Japan. We need to play more disciplined and not forget to tackle.They will counter attack on our mistakes so possession will be key.  Please let Lou know if you will be there.  The game is home and kickoff is at 1:00.

  

GONY 24 Grey 14 


New York broke through with two early tries to win the match 24-14. We did a great job in the sets with Burt Hale, Tom Flynn and George Saul up front.We won most of our line outs and a few of GONY’s. We had some great first and second phase ball but then we would make a bad pass or lose the ball. Need to put multiple phases together. Charlie Mattison and Brian Doheny had some good runs. Bubba was MOTM as he led the attack in the forwards and covered up defensively when the fullback filled. GONY is a very good team with key players at 8,9,10 and 15. These guys made some great plays. We played with a lot of heart but made too many mistakes to finish possession into tries. Next challenge is Springfield on Sunday October 3rd. Directions and match time are below.  Please let Lou know if you will be there.  Keep in mind that you may hit some Big E traffic on the way there.  Grey lose at Regatta 

 
Seventeen players traveled 5 hours and played 55 minutes of Rugby. I don’t understand what those other 23 guys do on Saturday, when the die hards are on the road having a blast. We missed you all and hope that some of the players that missed this week will attend our next two away matches.  We managed one try by Norbert Deslauriers on the day. Mike Powers stole a line out Norbert looped and Jim Burke filled, feeding Norbert for the score. GONY was unscored on for the day and dominated play. As Craig Chapman put it in his Facebook post “The Gents of NY ruled…many new faces on that side along with several accents means a great rugby side.” We will travel to Randall’s Island next week to play them. We played with a lot of heart despite being outscored five or six tries to one. Thanks to Jim Burke for playing wing and fullback. Morris is a great bunch of guys and were great hosts. Highlight of the day was when Morris had a 3 on 1 and apparently Big John, a number 8 for GONY, forgot he had a red jersey on and tackled his own Morris player. The ref blew the whistle and gave a scrum to red but it should have been a play on. They did not score but it kind of summed up the erratic play on this beautiful summer day. Next week it will be Fall I and hope you come fit and focused and ready for the GONY match.  Please let Lou or Darryl know of your availability. 

Grey move to 2-0 on Fall Season  

Grey 31 Worcestor 0 

   Thanks to the Grey who played for Worcestor as they came with 8 players.Mike Hale,Brian Doheny, Tim Foley and Charlie Mattison scored tries Burt Hale, Bob Coakley, Sean Sierra, Mike Powers and Matt Leonard got things going to produce a lot of ball for the backs .Despite the big win we still need to execute the fundamentals and improve fitness. Too many bad passes and we need to get to breakdown faster and secure the ball. Charlie Mattison scored a beautiful try on a lineout play off the top with a couple of skip passes from Z and Bishop to finish in the corner. Kevin Macnamara was MOTM as he was all over the pitch in support and defense.We have some big challenges as we hit the road for three weeks. This week we could use some props as Coakley and Hale are out. Thanks to Jeff Bouvier for reffing the match. Let Darryl or Lou  know by Thursday if you are going to Morris.  Morris currently uses three fields, but mostly the pitch in Denville, NJ. (Home of the Tallest Posts in North America) Follow this link for directions…actual field location and game time will be sent out as soon as it is recieved. An addendum by Professor Bouvier Yesterday was a beautiful day, fellows, thank you. I’ve never really approved of the fact that a ref has to ‘control’ a match. The players exercise self-control and everyone has fun. The few Worcester men who showed up knew they were invited to a beating and they played their role perfectly. The Grey who filled in for them were stellar. The motto of the Connecticut Rugby Referees Society (Membership: 5) is ‘Let the boys Play’ and that’s what I try to do, perhaps to a fault. But, yesterday, you played and I had fun. It was especially pleasing to hear Tommy Kubic– who has occasionally questioned a ref’s call– comment accurately that I hadn’t taught geometry. The skewed scrum was close to 90, well, over 45 anyway. Well done, Grey. Keep it up.   Jeff Bouvier   Addendum to the addendum by Bomber Interesting side note: When spell checking this document , the first alternative for Bouvier was Boozier. Hmmmmm…… 

Fall season kicks off :Grey knock off Boston 26-15
The Grey helped Boston celebrate their 50th Anniversary with a nice win. Many Boston alumni were impressed that we could get 22 plus on Labor Day weekend on such short notice. Thanks to all for making the trip and getting the Fall season off to a great start with a road victory.  Boston got in our half and kept attacking. We were undisciplined, giving up like 8 penalties until they scored to go up 5-0. We answered right back as Mike Hale scored the first try , followed by Bill Bishop with one of his many break away runs. The score was 10-5 after 20 minutes. The second period we had the wind and stayed in Boston’s half. Mike Hale had a brilliant kick that set up a line out 5 meters out. Tim Foley scored a try and Jay Chabot added two penalty kicks. Boston got another try to make it 21-10. Boston had the wind in the last period and scored about 9 minutes in and it was 21-15. Bill Bishop put the match away with one more try. Great pressure by the backs coming up fast closing down Boston’s options. Mike Powers and Sean Sierra got things going with some great runs. Mike Hale MOTM for the initial try and the positional kick that led to a third try. We need to be more disciplined and cut down the penalties. Better support when runners break the gain line so we  can get multiple phases. We can play better with more fitness and better discipline. Home next week and away for three weeks. Please let Darryl or Lou know by Thursday if you can make the match each week. If you know what matches you can make for the whole season please let us know. If e-mail is not your thing you can call Lou’s cell at 860-754-6261 and leave a message.  Also, please remember that dues are due.  The no pay, no play policy may actually be enforced this year.
  

 Grey Lose Two at Jo-Jo Moore: Spring season ends at 7-7
The first match was against a strong Albany side that had numbers and youth.They dominated the loose and controlled the scrums and won by four tries.Lots of tackles but they recycled well and kept attacking.We got in there end with a few kicks by Bill Bishop, but failed to finish.The second match was against All-Japan.They get better every time we see them.They managed to beat Albany by 3 points on the narrow pitch.Now we faced them on the wide pitch.We had a good game plan and stuck to it but if they got possession it could be trouble.Mike Guzzio and George Saul controlled the sets and boosted Mike Powers in the lineouts.Jay Chabot found touch or we would take a scrum on a penalty.The backs kept it tight and we were tied 17 all with about ten minutes left.But when the Japanese got the ball they were a threat to score.Two of the final three scores were on a miss for touch and when we were almost scoring and they ran it for 95 meters.We lost by three tries but it was a great match and well called by a Welsh referee.It was a great day of Rugby and everyone played with heart.Brendan Coffey led the forwards at scrumhalf.Fino spent most of the day at center and did a great job.MOTM to Mike Powers and Jay Chabot. 

Grey 1-1 at Franconia
 Another great weekend for the Grey and their families in the White Mountains. The first match we played a combined team of Rhody/Wolfhounds. Their forwards beat us to the ball and in the sets and they scored three tries in the first half. We picked up the pace and shut them down in the second half.Jay Chabot kicked well for field position.We could not get multiple phases going.We got called for not releasing or would turn the ball over in the tackle.The  final was 19-0.  The second match we played Portland and won 17-5.Great job by the front row in sets and ball possession. Tom Flynn, Richard Murphy , Kevin Macnamara, George Saul and Burt Hale set the pace as we produced good ball for the backs. Ed Carr fed John Kerr for the deciding score off an eight man pick. Tony Johnson had some great crashing runs. John and Tony decided OMOM would be their last match. Their commitment and dedication will be missed. Two great guys, we are all proud to have been mates with on the pitch  

Ed presents retirement plaques to Tony and John 

Connecticut Grey Franconia 2010

  Grey 42 Danbury 24-Spring record now at 6-4
 Awesome victory as we came from behind to beat the Mad Hatters in hard fought match.Danbury possessed most of the ball in the early stages to take 7-0 lead.They hit hard and wanted it more than we did as they chased kicks and hustled around the pitch.They had good control of the match at the thirty minute mark with a 14 -6 lead.We only managed to get two penalty kicks but Danbury was losing steam.The momentum turned when Tom Kubic busted  threw a ruck a for a 40 meter scamper.Bordo followed and was running up the left side line with three defenders converging on him.He dropped a beautiful over the shouder pass to Kevin O’sullivan who went another 30 meters to score.Now it’s 14-13 and Danbury answered with a try.But Kevin O’sullivan was not done as he raced in for another score to put us up for good 20-19.Bill Bishop took over in the third period and put in two tries and Kev Dog added one as well for a 35-19 lead.Shawn Brennan scored one more in the last period.The front row of Tom Flynn Fino and George Saul came out in the second period and stabalized the pack and stole a hook or two.George Saul MOTM in the pack for some hard runs against the team he played for a few times.MOTM in the backs to Bill Bishop for his tries and busting tackles.Special thanks to Ozzie for playing second row.Great team effort by everyone for 80 minutes.

Friends and Family Day  White Plains 19 Grey 15
The second annual Friends and Family Day was a huge success thanks to Jeff Levinson and Bubba Gollarney. Great turnout on a beautiful Spring day. We faced a challenging opponent who scored 19 points in the first 15 minutes. The Club played its best Rugby of the season for the rest of the match scoring three tries. We played with discipline amd supported each other in a great team effort.We rucked with attitude and policed the ruck when things got heated. Nipper [Rob Chudzik] scored our first try running in from 30 meters, while giving a nice dummy move, for the first try. Beaver got the second one on another long run. Mike Hale scored on a quick tap penalty from 5 meters. Bill Hoadley, Mike Powers, Kevin O’Sullivan, Bubba Gollarney and Sean Sierra got the pack moving with some nice runs. Bob Coakley and Burt Hale hit the rucks hard creating turnover ball. Bill Bishop,Tony Johnson, Beaver and Z (Zhivago Velasco) had some great runs. MOTM to Nipper for scoring that first try and for some great tackles that prevented tries.   

     Grey go 1-1 at Long Island Tourney Friends and Family Day Match next week vs White Plains-1:00 kickoffWe played Long Island in the first match and lost 12-5. This match was similar to the one we played at Randall’s Island on 3/27. Lack of discipline, high penalty count and the inability to possess the ball led to the loss. Brad Miller scored a try at full time for our only score.Long Island has a big mobile pack and beat us to the ball. They wanted it more and deserved the victory. This match was ours if we wanted it, but lack of discipline and a poor attitude hurt. We came out in the second match against Village Lions and played with heart and attitude and came away with a 20-7 victory..We stole about four hooks. Credit our front row players Tom Flynn, Bob Coakley,George Saul, Burt Hale, Kevin McNamara and Jim Burke.we won the first two line outs and did well for most of the match. Mike Powers had some powerful runs and linked up with the backs. Bill Bishop broke many tackles and ran through the Lions .Jay Chabot kicked a penalty about 5 minutes into the match. Darryl Garrison scored a try to make 8-0 at half. Possession and great running by our backs led to scores by Jeff Levinson and Brad Miller. Jim Burke had a sure try but dropped the ball as he was touching it down. Jay Rubino and Shawn Brennan had some good runs and produced quick ball. MOTM to Tom Kubic and Brad Miller.  5/15 is Family Day vs White Plains.  Kickoff is at 1:00.  Hopefully that will allow those of us with kids soccer matches enough time to get there. Let Lou know if you plan to play. 

Long Island Tourney Team Photo
 

Grey 63 Worcester 17    
Hard to believe that 14 tries were scored on a postage stamp pitch that was about 45 meters wide.Great ball handling and some brilliant offloads created space along with some hard finishing produced 11 tries.Mike Hale ,John Kerr, and Benny Boutagh got things started off the base of the scrum.Sean Sierra,Mike Powers, Ed Carr and Kevin O’sullivan made great yardage as Nipper and Don Brancard fed them the ball inside.Bill Bishop,Tony Johnson and Sean Brennan penetrated the Worcester defence and at times could offload to support players.Great day of Rugby in the heat and dust.MOTM to Mike Powers in the forwards and Sean Brennan in the backs.Great team effort adjusting to the pitch and sticking with the game plan.Special thanks to Jim Burke for reffing.Next week Is the Long Island tourney which will have better competition on a full sized pitch. Info and directions can be found here. Credit to Worcester for playing hard the full 80 minutes.  Please let Lou know if you will be playing next week.
Grey 22 GONY/Lions 7

The Grey got their first win at home this season by beating GONY at Mountain Mist in Meriden. It appeared to be a fifty-fifty split between the Lions and Gents and they came up with a very good side.They had some pretty handy backs but are tackling was excellent only allowing one try.They had some line breaks but we managed to prevent them from finishing.Our backs did a good job coming up quick early in the match.We had the uphill and managed one try in the left hand corner by Jim Burke in the first period. The ball went left and he followed the play to score from 20 meters out. In the second period we were in their half a lot. A penalty, a couple sets and a few players had a crack at the try line.Matt Leonard picked up off a ruck to make it 12-0.The third period was scoreless with a lot of sets for knocks and not much multi phase ball.We had a few chances on the right sideline but could not get in.The fouth period saw the New Yorkers score as one of the forwards had 20 meter break and then linked with the backs for a pretty score.It was now 12-7 and time for Tom Kubic to work his magic as he dodged a few tackles scored on a great individual effort as he was tackled at the try-line.A few minutes later Dave Yanik broke through the line and fed Nipper who ran in for a 30 meter score.Scrums were solid, except they were wheeling us. .Good passing and offloads by Sierra, Brennan, Lenard, Kubic and Bubba. MOTM to Bob Coakley who had some great runs of 10 plus meters in the last period to help secure the win. MOTM to Bomber in the backs. Next week is Worcester on the road. The feeling I got Saturday is players want to keep Block Island match going by playing on 7/31. Brancard,Ceccarelli,Tuncali and Flynn are in. Let me know ASAP .so we can confirm with Ronan to keep this annual event going.Quite a few Grey will be in Saranac Lake that weekend. 

Grey 22 Morris 12  
We defeated Morris for the second time in the last two matches at their home pitch. We scored four tries and had a lot of possession. We started slow in the first period playing in the Morris half most of the period. Time was almost gone and Morris had a penalty. We turned the ball over and took it down the pitch with Jeff Levinson scoring. This was big because we finally finished and were able to gain some momentum. All six tries on the day were scored with the wind. Morris would have the wind in the second period and got one try. The score was even but we had a lot of ball but few points to show for it. Penalties, handling errors and keeping possession for multiple phases slowed the momentum. Things opened up in third period as we put in three tries with great passing and support play. Matt Leonard scored one and Beaver had two. Sean Sierra started things with some moves off the scrum. Great support and off loads by Matt Leonard Mike Powers Kevin Trammel and Jim Burke. Scrums were solid but we still need to get the lineout sorted out. Bomber did well defending kicks, but insisted that Beaver get MOTM in the backs. Jim Burke was MOTM in the forwards. We are off 4/17 and 5/29 but have matches every weekend until 6/12. We have three tournaments 5/8,6/5,and 6/12. There is an opportunity for a lot of Rugby so keep fit and we will see you at home on 4/24. 

Grey go 1-2 at Four Leaf Tourney
We played three matches on the turf on Randall’s Island but unfortunately only got one victory.We played GONY first and won by three tries to none.We started out slow in the first have against the wind but in the second half our backs got some quality ball and opened things up for the three scores by O’Connell, Bishop, and Rubino.The second match we faced NYAC who put in two quick scores due to some poor tackling.We got our heads in the game and played better the rest of the match but lost 4 tries to none.We played Long Island in a close match losing 10-7. Mental mistakes and poor discipline hurt us in this match and at times in the first two matches.Too many penalties especially for holding on or not releasing. The player taking the ball in has to produce the ball to get continuity in attack. Use of the forward ruck will help and support players must beat the opposition to the breakdown.We had some good plays and some great individual efforts. Mike Powers scored a try against L.I. and got around the pitch in support. Bill Hoadley, Kevin O’Sullivan and Ed Carr had some good runs in the pack.Our backs played great but they did not get much ball. Welcome back to Brendon Coffey who has been out with a leg injury. Tiger Mann played about five minutes and got injured.I think it may have been achilles tendon.Hope it’s not too seroius.Thanks to everyone for making the commitment to attend.We had thirty two players participate in the 120 minutes of Rugby.Let’s bring the discipline to Morris on 4/10. Let Darryl or myself know if you plan to attend.    

(L)-Two GONY players Make a Levinson sandwich. O’Connell is in support. (R) Further proof that trolls live under bridges… the Grey scrum has it out to Brennan. 

  

31st Annual Award Banquet  

President Kevin McNamara cordially invites all members and friends of the Connecticut Grey RFC to attend our 31st Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, January 23, 2010, at the Hartford Canoe Club, 75 Riverside Drive, East Hartford. Attire is business casual.The evening features the cuisine of Executive Chef Ani Robaina, dancing to the music selections of our long-time friends at American Productions, and the presentation of awards – traditional and non-traditional – for the playing season just concluded.The evening will start at 6:00 p.m. with a cocktail reception including a cheese and cured meats platter with fresh fruit, crackers, and flatbreads, along with chef’s choice hors d’oeuvres.The dinner buffet will be served at 7:00. The menu includes ale braised beef brisket, chicken picatta, gratin potatoes, seasonal vegetables, tossed greens with vinaigrette, fresh baked rolls, Mozzicato’s Italian cake, cookies, coffee, and tea. In addition to a full cash bar, the Club will provide a quarter barrel of Sam Adams Boston Lager.We have not yet settled on the final ticket price, but you may expect it to be around $75/person.RSVP to Dean Jorgensen before January 16. 

Grey 29 Amoskeag 15 Grey Finish Fall season at 5-4, 2009 ends at 14-7

 Grey 34 Danbury 10   Grey 34 Morris 12   We played 120 minutes of rugby beating two opponents convincingly.The first period set the tone as we scored 5 tries in 30 minutes going up hill.Matt Leonard,Bubba,and Kevin O’Sullivan got things moving in the forwards so Nipper,Bill Bishop,Shawn Brennan,Charlie Mattison and Jeff Levinson found the gaps and had some long runs.Great period of Rugby as we were up 29-5.In the second half it was a fairly even match as each team scored a try.Charlie scored on kick that he chased into the try zone by John Kerr. Final 34-10. MOTM to Beaver. In the first half Morris was going down hill and scored twice for a 12-5 lead. In the second half we took it to Morris going down hill attacking the right side with runs and kicks.We finished the day with 5 tries and a 34-12 win over Morris. MOTM to Bob Coakley.The intention on the day was to invite Morris and Danbury to ensure an opponent that had enough players to give us 80 minutes.However each team traveled strong with about 20 players.We accommodated our guests by playing two 60 minute matches.Awesome day of Rugby and great way to end the season.Thanks to Bob Merola for reffing.Thanks to everyone for their communication and commitment.Welcome to all the new faces including Mike Berling, Z, Nipper, Peter Hojnoski and Mike the young wing.All players please try and attend the AGM on November 15th.

  Charlie Mattison finishes with four tries to help the Grey break a four game winless streak.   Great win against a very good opponent.The boys from New Hampshire had a strong pack, a crafty number 10 and Bill Bishop, who scored two tries at  12 .Thanks to Bill for getting the boys together and traveling with a competitive side.You can bet they will be much stronger when we travel up to New Hampshire next Spring.Thanks to everyone for communicating availability.The last two weeks our opponents have had more players at the pitch 30 minutes prior to the match.Try and be there at 11:15 and booted up by 11:30. Let me know if you have other commitments, so we can adjust the roster. Some players have done that and it helps.Prior to the match we need to get focused and ready to play.
We started down hill and set the tone scoring two tries by Charlie Mattison.Jay Chabot kicked from our half and Charlie chased and scored the first try.The second one he bird dogged a pass and ran in from fifty meters.Its very important to put points up when you have the down hill on our pitch.We were up 14-0.The second period we each got a try and it was 19-5.The last forty minutes we each scored two tries.It was 24-10 going into the last 20 minutes and Amoskeag had the down hill and they could have got back in it with two quick tries. We wanted it and we played tough.There were some great tackles by Shawn Brennan and Joe Bordieri, Kevin O’Sullivan, Kevin Trammel, Kevin McNamara, Fino, Beaver and Bubba had some nice runs.They took care of the ball by making the timely pass or just recycling the ball. We got the ball out wide a lot and Charlie finished with 4 tries and MOTM.Welcome to Z and Nipper who got things going from the half back position.Bordo and Norbert worked well in the first half and we were on the attack most of the match.Jay Chabot kicked great and set up a try by Bordo after Brennan crashed in off a 5 meter lineout. Mike Besso ran and kicked well from full back.Everyone stepped up and it was a great team victory.It was a hard physical match. Jim Burke broke his hand and Fino cracked a rib. Hope they mend quickly. The Italian award goes to Darcy Annino, Fino’s daughter. She was crying as dad was in pain. Someone said don’t worry Dad will be okay. However, she was crying because now dad could not take her to her softball game. Amazing! Priorities!  Role modeling! Our fall record now stands at 3-4 with a chance to move to the  .500 mark next week against Morris/Danbury.  The match is home at 12:00.  Please let Lou know if you will be there.  

Japan 31 Grey 12
All Japan played great and earned a well deserved victory scoring five tries.They were quick to the breakdowns and after a few rucks spun it wide.We tackled well but they had a lot of possession and opportunities.We did not execute our game plan and tried to play at their pace.At times we did not keep possession in the tackle or we tried 50/50 passes that resulted in turnovers.Burt Hale Ozzie and George Saul played well in the sets.Kevin McNamara got around the pitch well in support.Bill Hoadley got the attack going with some nice runs.Bubba tried to make things happen from the back of the scrum.Shawn Brennan had a nice kick and chase that almost resulted in a try.Barry Rita and Jay Chabot made some great tackles.All-Japan chose Beaver as MOTM and Don Brancard was our MOTM.We scored first for a 5-0 and lead and Japan tied at 5 after the first period They were down hill and scored two tries for a 19 -5 lead.Going into the fourth period we were down 24-12 and on the attack but we didn’t finish and they put in one more score.It was a great match against great bunch kids of who have stepped their game up.Next challenge Amoskeag.They will be a tough opponent with Bill Bishop in their backline.  

Grey lose two tight matches to Worcestor and White Plains
It was a great day of Rugby and an AWESOME weekend celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Club.Thanks to Pat Malanaphy from White Plains and Bill Mueller from Worcestor for bringing two great sides to play against us.Mark Colebrook took the day off from reffing to play with Worcestor.Then he reffed the White plains match and did a great job.Worcestor scored two tries in the first half for 12-0 lead.We tied it in the second half, but Worcestor scored one more try for a 19-12 win.We had opportunities to score but just could not finish .MOTM for Worcestor Mark Colebrook.MOTM for us Bubba Gollarney.The match against WP was similar as we were down 10-0 early but came back to 10-7 on MOTM Kevin O’Sullivan’s try. Thanks to Dean,Guz,Jay Chabot and any others who played with our quests. Bob Coakley, George Saul, Kevin Trammel, Dave Berube and Ed Carr played well in the forwards. Brian Doheny had some great hits on kicks. If we had got some ball out to him at wing we might have scored a few more tries. MOTM for WP their center #12 who scored and had some great runs.The next challenge All Japan on 10/10.
 

The Connecticut Grey Rugby Football Club 30th Anniversary Celebration The Connecticut Grey Rugby Football Club will celebrate it’s 30th Anniversary at the Foxwoods/MGM Grand Resort and Casino from September 25th-27th. We’ve created a great itinerary which will you allow you to participate in some great club activities and have plenty of time to utilize the resort and casino.  Revised Itinerary:  

Hotel Accommodations:Deluxe Rooms at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods   

Friday: Golf at Elmridge Golf Course-229 Elmridge Rd., Pawcatuck, CT: 9:00AM-Tee Time (18 Holes-$45) Club Sponsored Captains Meeting and Happy Hour-Open Bar (5-7) at the Stadium Sports Bar and Grill at Foxwoods. After the Happy Hour feel free to gamble, drink or eat at the many fine restaurants on the property.  

Saturday: 12:00- Match vs. Worcester Faded Black and White Plains Classix(festival round robin-4/25 minute periods, everyone should get 50 minutes of rugby) Location: Clark Lane Middle School, 105 Clark Lane, Waterford, CT. Post match drink up at Bulkeley House Restaurant & Tiki Bar, 111 Bank St., New London(Downtown) Banquet at Foxwoods:7-10. Note: CASH BAR 

 Sunday: Depart-check out is at 11:00.  

Important Notes: -Note the golf fee is slightly higher at $45, rather than $37, I previously quoted the midweek rate.-Match time is now at 12:00, rather than 1:00. We now have a confirmed 3rd side in White Plains, and in order to leave sufficient time for all planned activities, we had to adjust the kick off time. -Post match drink up is confirmed. It’s only about 2 1/2 miles from the pitch. I’ll have directions for those who need them.  

  Grey defeat Lions, but GONY Dominates   Grey 48-Lions 7 GONY 31 Grey-0
  Thirty plus traveled to Randall’s Island and played the GONY and Village Lions in two 40  minute matches. In the first period the Lions came out mauling with ball control and worked it down the pitch to score first for a 7-0 lead We worked the ball around the wide turf pitch and put in two tries to go up 10-7. In the second period a totally fresh side played GONY and let in two tries and we were down 12-0 . The third period it was wide open Rugby as we scored six tries against the Lions to make the final 48-7. We stole balls in the rucks off loaded in the tackle and played some great Rugby.In the last period  GONY put in three tries to make the final 31-0.They had great team speed and put pressure on us at the rucks and scrums. Thanks to Dave Martin for putting such a great side together.We are looking forward to playing them again in a full 80 minute match.Kevin Macnamara, Kevin Trammel, Burt Hale, Tom Kubic,and Matt Leonard played well in the forwards .Joe Bordieri, Don Brancard, Shawn Brennan and Charlie Mattison played great in the backs. MOTM to Bill Hoadley who had a blinder .He ran around and through the opponent starting long breaks and finishing tries or setting Beaver or someone else up for the score. We had some great ball movement and then at times we lost focus and did not play well. This week we will be playing 4 25 minute periods against Worcester and White Plains. Let’s stay focused next week and have fun and play some great Rugby.
  

Grey Get First Win of the Season
 We traveled to Morris with 14 forwards and 9 backs and beat the Boys from Jersey for the first time on the road.We have competed for about eight years against Morris and the home team has always won, but on this day the Grey wanted it more and came out strong the first two periods scoring four tries for 22 points. All 23 players should be proud of their effort. More importantly for the commitment and dedication to travel making it possible for us all to enjoy the great game of Rugby. The return of Shawn Brennan and the arrival of Charlie Mattison got our attack going in the Backs as each scored a try and had some great runs. Joe Scan and Dave Berube returned and added some experience to the Forwards. Bordo led the forwards from scrumhalf and Kevin O’Sullivan attacked from the backrow. Dean Jorgenson, Tom Flynn, Mike Guzzio and George Saul set the platform in the front row and disrupted possession on Morris put-ins. Don Brancard did a great job leading the backs and made some great calls and decisions that created space and led to two tries. Darryl Garrison scored a try on a kick and chase and the MOTM Kevin Trammel scored off a line-out with the try that proved to be the match winner. Morris scored first and then we answered with two tries in the first period. We got two more tries in the second period as we built a 22-7 lead by sticking to the game plan and playing good defence.The last period we got off track a bit and lack of fitness allowed Morris to score two tries but we held on for the 22-17 victory. Work on the fitness and lets go to Randalls next week and play hard for eighty minutes. We also raised some money for the troops…below is a note from Neil Hogan: 

.Gentlemen,  Thanks for a good game on Saturday.  Please let the boys
know that we ended up with over $500.00 for calling cards on Saturday.
Not bad for two teams and enjoying a day of rugby.  Thanks to all that
came, especially those that drove all the way from Conn.  I’ll see you
on the pitch.

Hogan   
 
 

Grey Beat Old Cocks for third straight year 

By Captain Lou (edited by Bomber) 

Ten forwards and 13 backs brought home another win on the block 14-12. Thanks to all who made the effort to attend the match. We controlled 60% of the ball, but we were losing 12-0 after 30 minutes. Knock ons and a failure to protect the ball stopped our positive momentum. Brian Doheny had a few good hits and Bomber made some tackles, stopping runs that could have led to Rhody scores. Bill Bishop set the tone in the second half breaking the the gain line and getting the Old Cocks on the back foot. Matt Leonard finished some good phases of rugby with two tries. When we were patient and played together we were able to wear the Rhody defense down. Ben Boughtah made some great passes and quick toed a few to spark the attack. Bob Merola won our lineouts and probably half of the opponents. We had a 5 minute goal line stand as the Old Cocks tried to score at the end of the match. Bill Hoadley stopped Ronin on a quick penalty and was sent off with two minutes left, but the defense held on to preserve the win. Matt Leonard was named MOTM by Providence and Fino was our MOTM for making both conversions. (Conversions had to be attempted by a scrummer and to make it more difficult; they had to be drop kicked.) All in all, a great win but we definitely could have played better. It’s better to win ugly than lose pretty! 

Grey Win Two in Franconia to move Spring record to 8-3  

Record in Franconia stands at 21-2-1 since 1998 and 16-0 since 2002 
Twenty-two players participated in another great weekend in the mountains. We had some help from Joe,Willie and Keith from the DC area. Jim Burke was our MOTM for the day scoring two tries and wreaking havoc all over the pitch. Jim heads to Iraq next week and will be back in October to get a few matches in. Jeff Levinson and Steve Tenenbaum (Bomber) had some great runs and scored a few tries each. Jay Chabot made some great tackles, got up and took the ball at least twice as we only allowed opponents two scores in 100 minutes of play. Kevin McNamara had a few nice picks and kept  the attack going. Bob Coakley had a score and controlled the front row along with Burt Hale and Tom Flynn. Kevin O’Sullivan and Ed Carr led the back row as we beat the opposition to the breakdown. Mike Hale was instrumental in attack from scrumhalf and center. Everyone stepped up the pace as we beat Boston in the second match. We won  both matches 6 tries to to one.Caesar Gonzales had his first experience in the mountains and loved it. Many Grey helped out Portland and Toronto, which is the spirit of the Old Man in the Mountain Festival. Great weekend boys. Next up is the  Jo Jo Moore Tournament on 6/27. 
 

Grey Win Two Matches on Family Day 

Captain Lou’s Match Report 
The Worcester Faded Black and the Caribbean Cougars were quests for a great day of Rugby and family fun at Mountain Mist. Thanks to John Hart, Ozzie, Jim Burke, Brian Lewis, Bud Harvey, Mike Blesso, Jay Chabot and others who filled in for Worcester. Bill Hoadley, Kevin O’Sullivan and Beaver got things going forward and Jeff Levinson scored the first try about four minutes into the match. Beaver followed with two tries and John Kerr and Bomber finished the first twenty minutes giving us five tries going uphill.  Caesar Gonzales and Jim Burke scored in the second half for a 39 to 7 score. The Cougars arrived with a full side so we commenced with another 40 minute match with similar results. Beaver and his brother Tom got the first two tries followed by Bill Hoadley. In the second half. Kevin Trammell, Tom Kubic and Brad Miller scored to make the final score 32-7. Welcome back to Burt Hale who was hungry to play after coaching New Haven.Welcome to Kevin O’Connell who played his first match for the Grey. Thanks to Fino and Ed Carr for playing some second row. Thanks to the veteran players who shared playing time. Thanks to Jeff Levinson, Tom Stauffer, Jon Leone and others who worked hard to make this Family Day a great success. Please let me know if you will be going to Franconia next week. loupetruzzello10@sbcglobal.net  
Bomber’s Match Report 

This club has a long history of great victories on the field. On Saturday, the Grey added to this record with another victory, contributed to by the usual cast of thousands. But this article is not about what occurred on the pitch, it is about what took place off of it. This day was a microcosm of what this game means to all of us. Rugby is about family, it is about friends, it is about team and it is all about brotherhood. 

On this day, we celebrated one of those brothers. Jim Burke, a number 7, a bit of a rugby mercenary, a father, a husband and a teammate will soon deploy to Iraq . We all wanted to let Jim and his family know how important we felt his service to our country is. The party that ensued, which will and should go down in Grey history, was one of the finest we have ever thrown. Teammates step up so that events like this can take place and today while several stepped up, four in particular need to be recognized for their efforts in setting up Saturday’s event. Jeff Levinson led the way, with help from Tom Stauffer, John (am I for real?) Leone and Mike Meyer. These guys took it upon themselves to start what will surly become a great tradition, Connecticut Grey Family Day. The other significant even that took place was the Bottle drive benefiting Jack Carew’s trip to Australia to take part in the People to People Student Ambassador program. While cleaning up our many empties is quite a feat in itself, John’s kids cleaned up the entire pitch after we all moved to the pavilion. 

This was just another stellar day in the long history of the  Connecticut Grey. (Established in 1979.) Things just keep getting better for our club. We continue to pick up many skilled and seasoned new members. There are just too many of you to mention, but you know who you are. We welcome all of you and your families to the Grey Rugby family. That is what we are, more than anything….a family. More and more of us are pitching in to help the club grow. There just is no downside here…we get to play rugby, spend beautiful days outdoors with our families and teammates and we win a lot of matches. Does it get any better than that? 

   White Plains 53 Grey 10  
 It was one way traffic as White Plains dominated this match on a perfect spring rugby day. The ball moved around the pitch with many phases, as both teams kept the ball alive during the 80 minutes .Beaver got two tries for the Grey going uphill. Bob Coakley. Bubba Golarney, Kevin OSullivan and Matt Leonard led the attack in the forwards .Brian Doheny, Jeff Levinson and Beaver had some long runs. MOTM to Steve Repeta. He got around the pitch and made some good tackles. Thanks to Jeff Bouvier for doing a great job reffing. The Boys from White Plains are a class organization with some great Rugby players.We will play them again .Everyone needs to step it up a notch and we will do better. The last 40 minutes we again had some opportunities but didn’t finish. The Grey drop to 4-3 on the Spring season, with one match and two tournaments remaining on the schedule. 

  Morris 14 Grey 7-Grey drop to 4-2 this spring  

Captain Lou’s Match Report  
We had a great match with Morris, even though only three tries were scored.The pitch was soft and wide with the tallest goalposts in the Northeast.We came out hard in the first period spending most of the time in their end but failed to score.Morris scored their first try in the second period.We scored early in the third period and the match was 7-7 until the last 4 minutes when Morris scored to make it 14-7.We controlled 65% of the the ball and we were in their territory a lot.We had the ball most of the time but failed to finish.Everyone played hard for the 60 minutes.Perhaps if we played 80 we would have come back to win but it would not happen on this day.Matt Leonard and Bob Merola kept  attacking and we rucked and produced some great ball.Then we would knock on , forward pass,or not protect the ball.Joe Bordieri,Darryl Garrison and Ceasar Gonzales had some great runs.MOTM to Jeff Levinson who scored our try and fielded some kicks and countered well.We arrived on time had a good warm-up and were ready to play.As I left Hoovers[ their Bar] at about 4:00 there were twice as many Grey there.We have a great Club that travels with numbers and honors their commitment to playing this great sport we all love. 

Action vs Morris:Ceasar Gonzales on the move, with Matt Leonard in support. John Kerr looks to pass, with the ever present Matt Leonard again in support. 
 

Grey 44 New York Japan RFC 34  

Captain Lou’s match report 
Thank the Rugby Gods for creating a game that takes 80 minutes. Thanks to those pioneers who decided to have open substitution for Old Boy Rugby. It was a great team effort and many individuals stepped up to secure this victory. Jay Chabot was banged up and could not play but came on to make two critical conversions to tie the score at 34 all. We started the match going up hill and it was all Japan as they built a 19-5 lead. They kicked and chased spun the ball  out wide and they were playing some great Rugby. We got back to our game plan in the second period but only managed one try which Japan matched to keep a 24 10 lead.We needed points to close the gap but Japan was still moving the ball great and they built a 34-10 lead. We didn’t panic and kept scraping and put in two tries to narrow the gap to 34-20 after 60 minutes. Bubba ran the ball out of our 22 and linked up with Sean Sierra who got the ball to Beaver to score a great try to give us momentum for the last 20 minutes.Mike Hale kept the ball with the forwards most of the time realizing that if we had the ball they were not going to score. Steve Repeta, Bob Coakley, Kevin Trammel and Tom Flynn  controlled the ball in the forwards.  Bill Bishop had some great runs, breaking tackles and off loading. Tony Johnson had his usual text book tackles. Steve Tenenbaum (Bomber)  put his body on some kicks that were down hill and saved a couple tries. About 3 minutes into the period Kevin O’Sullivan broke through for a 60 meter run and passed to Bordo for the first score.Caesar Gonzales scored the match winning try and was our MOTM. Kevin O’Sullivan was named MOTM by Japan and he had a great match. Darrell Garrison scored the first try on a great run in the first period.So many people made the big plays when it counted The last 30 minutes of the match we outscored Japan 34 to nil. Next week is off and we have two tough matches in May. We will need to stay focused for 80 minutes and stick to the game plan.
 

Grey down GONY in a tough one, 44-36 to move to 3-1 for the Spring  

Captain Lou’s match report 
It’s not how you start but how you finish.It’s not how many times you fall down but how you pick yourself up and make an adjustment and improve the next time.Great job by the boys who brought home the victory in the last ten minutes of this 80 minute match.Trailing 36-34 Sean Sierra and Norbert Deslauriers hooked up on a back row play to put us up 39-36.Steve Repeta scored the last try for an eight point lead to seal the win. The first period we controlled lots of ball but only managed one try. GONY scored one and the match was tied after 20 minutes.The second period we played a little better and were ahead by a try.Too many penalties and not taking care of the ball killed momentum.We played a solid third putting in three tries and had a 34-17 lead.The first ten minutes of the fourth period we let them run around us for three unanswered tries and we were down 36-34.We finished strong in the last ten minutes for a great win on the road.The front row was solid and gave us a good attacking base and put pressure on their  put ins.Tom Flynn,Bob Coakley,George Saul,and Mike Guzzio have done a great job all season.Players that stepped it up were Sean Ryan[Ozzie]and Steve Repeta, who were MOTM.Ozzie and Bubba did a great job in the centers.Caesar Gonzales had a solid game at wing.Norbert,Joe Bordieri and Don Brancard did some great things at the halfback positions.Tony Johnson had some great tackles.Beaver had some great runs and Steve Anninno[Fino] got around the pitch and made things happen.We need to cut down on penalties by being disciplined.Eliminate mental mistakes by being focused and protect the ball.Next week New York Japan which is always an interesting challenge.
 

View of NYC, across the river from Randall’s Island and our post game destination and what we did there. A good time was had by all. 

Grey 62 GONY 14 

Awesome day as the boys put in 12 tries in 80 minutes of Rugby. Bubba and Beaver each had a hat trick as they were both MOTM . Bill Aman scored a try and was honored with MOTM by GONY . Bill Bishop, Darryl Ceccarelli, Joe Bordieri  and Kevin O’Sullivan also scored. We came out strong in the first period with 3 tries going uphill and into the wind.  Last weeks competition helped us play the game at a faster pace.Great support play by the forwards excellent line breaks by the backs. We cut down on the mistakes and the tries came. Tom Flynn, Bob Coakley, George Saul and Mike Guzzio controled the front row and gave us a good scrum to attack with Kevin O’Sullivan and Bubba leading the way. Bill Hoadley and Norbert Deslaurier led the attack from the halfback positions. Thanks to Mike Besso, Bill Meyer and Stu who played for the GONY.Sean Sierra, Kevin Trammel, Kevin Macnamara, Mike Meyer and Steve Repeta did a great job getting around the pitch and supporting at the breakdown. Ozzie Ryan and Caesar Gonzales got a taste of Rugby and hopefuly they will travel to New York with us on April 18. A great team effort by everyone in a convincing win. 

Grey go 1-1 at Four Leaf Tourney 

 We had more than 30 players travel to Randall’s Island to play against Long Island B and Suffolk.We played Long Island first and controlled 60% of the ball.Some great phases, back row and backline attacks.However were hurt ourselves with forward passes and mental errors which killed momentum.The second half we stole the ball on their scrums and Kevin O’Sullivan led the attack going left which led to some great multi phase rugby.We were down 12-6 and attacking about seven meters out.unfortunately we lost the ball and they kicked downfield and scored for a 19-6 win.The second match we played a young hard hitting Suffolk team. We possessed alot of ball again but were unable to finish for tries.They scored a try off a long kick which we failed to catch and they got the right bounce.Jay Chabot hit two penalty kicks. The first one hit the upright and squeezed in.The second one came as time ran out for a 6-5 win.A good day of rugby.We had some good phases and rucked well. The front row was awesome most of the day controlling our scrums and stealing the opponents.We will work on lineouts more pre match to get timing down with different lifters and jumpers. If we cut down the mistakes we will finsh for tries. Bob Coakley, David Kirk, Steve Repeta and Kevin O’Sullivand played well in the forwards.MOTM to Sean Sierra.Great runs and off loads that got our attack going.Bill Hoadley, Bill Bishop, Beaver,and Norbert Deslauriers played well in the backs.MOTM to Jay Chabot. .He had four penalty kicks and saved a try with a tackle in the victory.