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ExHookah
16-05-06, 23:05
This weekend Newport RFC will be hosting the annual NERFU Championship Tournament in beautiful Fort Adams Park in Newport, RI.

http://newportrugby.com/images/gallery/ftadams_field/full/01.jpg

The match schedule has been set for this weekend's Championships, and of all of the matches the Mens D1 draw is probably the most clear cut of the lot. D2 could throw up some interesting results, and D3 is always unpredictible. The Ladies division is slightly one sided with the two D1 teams from Boston having a significant advantage over their lower ranked opponents.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c298/PlanetRugby/NERFUSched.jpg

In D1 you can see Boston RFC and Boston Irish cruising into the semi finals. The only wrinkle here might be if the Wolfhounds decide to rest a number of key players for the National Championship in a couple of weeks time, but I imagine they will play their starters to keep people tuned up. New Haven should cruise through and meet the winner of Yankees vs Worcester. The Yankees are in total dissarray right now and will not play like a #4 seed should be playing. Expect Worcester to wrap that one up as they have reloaded with fresh talent this spring.

Semi finals will likely see wins for the 'Hounds and NH Old Black, with the Wolfhounds clinching the title once more on Sunday afternoon. In the consolation bracket look for Mystic River to take the second tier prize.

In D2 the 1/4 Finals should go with the seeds. The semis should see an angry Hartford team comfortably knock out Burlington, and Providence should take down Charles River. The final will hinge on the condition of the Providence team after dissapointment in South Carolina at the National Championship Round of Sixteen. Hartford will be itching to prove that their elimination at the NRU stage was a blip on the radar, and will want to prove that they should have taken a spot on the plane to Carolina last weekend.

http://newportrugby.com/images/gallery/2004_tourn/full/72.jpg

D3 is never easy to predict. Right now the Wolfhounds C team are on a high, and are one match away from being crowned the D3 National Champs. Assuming they have their full squad you have to imagine they will cruise through. However Boston have entered their B side into the D3 bracket. Considering that Boston are not in the SuperLeague playoffs this weekend you have to assume their Div 1 team will be stacked with SuperLeague players, and the knock on effect will mean their "B" team will be too strong for the Seacoast boys. The draw keeps the two Boston teams apart until Sunday.

I'd be very surprised if most of the womens 1/4 finals are even slightly competitive. The Div 1 clubs from Beantown and Boston will have far too much power for the Lady Yankees and the Worcester Shamrocks. Expect the Hartford Roses to cruise into the semis while Seacoast and Albany might have the pick of the Ladies 1/4 finals, the girls from Seacoast squeaking through by one score. The Roses should give Beantown a solid test, but are unlikely to have enough to keep out their D1 opponents, while Boston will have an easy run against opponents tired from a close 1/4 final match.

As always with Newport in the spring the real wildcard is the weather. We know that the pitches at Fort Adams Park are well drained, so a quagmire is unlikely regardless of the rain. However the forecast has switched from rain, to sun, and back to rain again, so it's difficult to know what the skies will hold for the 700+ players this weekend.

pending
17-05-06, 00:05
Obviously you don't remember 2002, when Field 1 was closed on Sunday due to the rain (more than 5 inches) and sleet on Saturday....

And yes, I am bringing my ski jacket, knit hat, gloves and boots for this weekend....... Because I'm still cold from 2002

SONA
17-05-06, 00:05
I was a Touch Judge and ran #4 at the USA Semi finals in Columbia, SC this past weekend. The Boston Irish is a fantastic team and beat each of their opponents. They were involved in a huge fight with another team in their final match on Sunday, one player was red carded and a number of them got hit with some pretty tough punches leaving marks you will most likely see. Great rugby. I have seen them in the Savannah St. Pat's team a few years in a row and they were just as good at that time, making it to the finals each time they came down. Should be a great weekend for you.

ExHookah
17-05-06, 01:05
Obviously you don't remember 2002, when Field 1 was closed on Sunday due to the rain (more than 5 inches) and sleet on Saturday....

And yes, I am bringing my ski jacket, knit hat, gloves and boots for this weekend....... Because I'm still cold from 2002

I missed out on 2002, I was frantically job hunting that spring as a result of a second consecutive 9/11 induced layoff :(

2003 was beautiful however, and we all got sunburned as we hadn't expected it. 2004 I didn't attend as my club chose to take the week to rehab and prepare prior to the National Championships the following week (which we won!). 2005 was my first year attending as a ref (as you know because you were my TJ), and it was overcast most of the weekend.

So who knows what we get this year?



I was a Touch Judge and ran #4 at the USA Semi finals in Columbia, SC this past weekend. The Boston Irish is a fantastic team and beat each of their opponents. They were involved in a huge fight with another team in their final match on Sunday, one player was red carded and a number of them got hit with some pretty tough punches leaving marks you will most likely see. Great rugby. I have seen them in the Savannah St. Pat's team a few years in a row and they were just as good at that time, making it to the finals each time they came down. Should be a great weekend for you.

Yup, that's the 'Hounds for you! Fantastic team, actually a fantastic club as a whole, can produce some great rugby, but can also be the most firey bunch of buggers you've come accross!

I trained with them for a few months when I lived in Boston while I was rehabbing a neck injury, and they have some great characters. They also have great contacts. There are not many teams in the States who are able to bring over Michael Lynagh for a week of training, match coaching, and a couple of hysterical Q&A sessions too.

chef11
17-05-06, 02:05
Who is the refereein the above picture wearing the STRR Jersey?

jboulet4648
17-05-06, 03:05
Former Texas Rugby Union Referee now a New Engalnd Rugy Referee- Richard Parker.

I am shocked that the Boston Irish were involved in a punch up....I bet I can guess who got red carded, was it a prop?

ExHookah
17-05-06, 04:05
Who is the refereein the above picture wearing the STRR Jersey?

Good eye chef!

Judah already explained that one, Mr. Parker is the man in question.

jboulet4648
17-05-06, 13:05
Bostons A side (RSL side) will play the first division match. Their B side which is VERY VERY GOOD (Beat Old Blue 1st Div team, and Boston Irishs C Side very convincingly) may beat Portland in semis to take on BIWRFC in the finals. I would say both final matches DI and D3 will have Boston Rugby vs BIWRFC.
Women its beantown by a lot. D2, Providence vs Hartford in the final, with Providence taking it. Hartford has not beat Providence in the past two years, Providence is looking for a NERFU title, and I think will get one this year.

ExHookah
17-05-06, 14:05
Bostons A side (RSL side) will play the first division match. Their B side which is VERY VERY GOOD (Beat Old Blue 1st Div team, and Boston Irishs C Side very convincingly) may beat Portland in semis to take on BIWRFC in the finals. I would say both final matches DI and D3 will have Boston Rugby vs BIWRFC.
Women its beantown by a lot. D2, Providence vs Hartford in the final, with Providence taking it. Hartford has not beat Providence in the past two years, Providence is looking for a NERFU title, and I think will get one this year.

In D1 the two Boston teams are the 2 and 3 seed, so they will have to beat each other up in the Semi final to fight for the chance to face New Haven in the Final.

Other than that your predictions are pretty much in line with my thoughts, although I wavered on my D2 pick whereas you made a clear call on that one.

The womens bracket is very lopsided. Anything involving Boston or Beantown will be a mess, and I've heard that the Lady Yankees and the Worcester Shamrocks are both really struggling for numbers, which means those 1/4 finals are not going to be pretty.

Bryan
17-05-06, 15:05
I was a Touch Judge and ran #4 at the USA Semi finals in Columbia, SC this past weekend.

Did you run across Pierre Drolet? He was the President/ Allocator/ Exchange Secretary of my former society (Quebec). He was invited down for refereeing. Very nice man.

-Bryan

pending
17-05-06, 15:05
I don't think the Boston B/Portland match will be close.... I did them a couple weeks ago, and I called it (at the Portland captain's request) with 10 minutes to go, and Boston leading 67-5....

SONA
17-05-06, 16:05
Did you run across Pierre Drolet? He was the President/ Allocator/ Exchange Secretary of my former society (Quebec). He was invited down for refereeing. Very nice man.

-Bryan
I met him in passing. The dinner had all the grand poo-bah's of USA Rugby. Name a top level assessor and he was there.

BTW, the Ref in the punch up with Irish was Al Klemp.

ExHookah
17-05-06, 16:05
I don't think the Boston B/Portland match will be close.... I did them a couple weeks ago, and I called it (at the Portland captain's request) with 10 minutes to go, and Boston leading 67-5....


There might be a few blowouts in the early rounds on Saturday. At least the 1/4 finals are shortened time, so it limits the pain for a defeated team.

Having said that I refereed a match in the NY sevens that was 69-0. Not bad for 14 minutes of playing time!

ExHookah
17-05-06, 21:05
OK, the assignments are out.

I drew the Div 2 consolation Semi final from the Charles River vs Newport 1/4 final and the Providence vs South Shore 1/4 final. If it were to go with the seeds that would make my match Newport vs South Shore, however we all know that seeding goes out of the window once the matches kick off. My friends Mike and Rob are doing those 1/4 finals so I'll hear from them if there are any flash points to take into account.

I'm also running touch for a D3 1/4 final, a ladies 1/4 final, and on Sunday I'm running touch for the D3 Championship, which is being refereed by Gloucester referee Jason Harris.

The Div 1 final is being officiated by Mr. Woodmason from the RFU panel, which is no surprise to anyone. I'll be very interested to see him at work.

Looks like Messers Picard and Boulet did well. Both will be taking charge of a Div 1 match on Saturday and a consolation final on Sunday.

7 of us are staying in a condo at a resort in Newport, with some of the lads drawing VERY early kickoffs on Saturday morning. So I'm guessing that anyone who wants to sleep late on Saturday morning will be a bit dissapointed!

SONA
18-05-06, 02:05
The results of Last weekend:

The 10 winners from Sunday's matches advance to the USA Rugby Men's Club Championships, June 3-4, at the Qualcomm Stadium Rugby Complex in San Diego.

2006 USA RUGBY MEN'S CLUB PLAYOFFS
Lexington Soccer Complex, Lexington, S.C.
Saturday, May 13
Division I

Pool A
(1) Las Vegas def. (16) Baltimore Chesapeake, 45-3
(8) Life def. (9) Austin Blacks, 18-13

Pool D
(12) Olympic Club def. (5) Chicago Griffins, 26-24
(13) Santa Monica def. (4) New Haven, 50-8 Pool C-(3) Boston Irish Wolfhounds def. (14) Denver Highlanders, 40-5
(6) Haggis def. (11) Palmer, 47-39

Pool B
(10) Atlanta Renegades def. (7) Schuylkill River, 36-22
(2) Hayward def. (15) Woodlands, 31-10

Division II
Pool A
(1) Red Mountain def. (16) Detroit Tradesmen, 45-25
(9) San Diego Old Aztecs def. (8) Charleston, 50-36 Pool D-(5) Pearl City def. (12) Queen City, 42-0
(4) Raleigh def. (13) Providence, 33-21 Pool C-(3) Daytona def. (14) Lancaster, 22-20
(11) Montauk def. (6) Provo, 26-10

Pool B
(7) Santa Barbara def. (10) Southside Irish, 42-20
(2) Atlanta Old White def. (15) Austin Huns, 26-10

Division III
Pool A
(1) Toledo Celtics def. (8) Northern State, 29-14
(4) Mission def. (5) OMBAC III, 53-20

Pool B
(3) Memphis Blues def. (6) Green Bay Rugby Club, 46-10
(2) Boston Irish Wolfhounds def. (7) Old Gaelic, 43-12

Sunday, May 14 (all times eastern)
8:30 a.m.
Division II Pool D Championship-(5) Pearl City vs. (4) Raleigh Division II Pool D Consolation-(12) Queen City vs. (13) Providence Division III Pool B Consolation-(6) Green Bay vs. (7) Old Gaelic Division III Pool A Consolation-(5) OMBAC III vs. (8) Northern State Division I Pool D Consolation-(4) New Haven vs. (5) Chicago Griffins Division III Pool B Championship-(2) Boston Irish Wolfhounds vs. (3) Memphis Blues Division III Pool A Championship-(1) Toledo Celtics vs. (4) Mission

10:30 a.m.
Division I Pool B Championship-(2) Hayward vs. (10) Atlanta Renegades Division II Pool B Consolation-(10) Southside Irish vs. (15) Austin Huns Division II Pool A Consolation-(8) Charleston vs. (16) Detroit Tradesmen Division II Pool C Consolation-(6) Provo vs. (14) Lancaster Division I Pool C Championship-(3) Boston Irish Wolfhounds vs. (6) Haggis Division II Pool C Championship-(3) Daytona vs. (11) Montauk Division II Pool B Championship-(2) Atlanta Old White def. (7) Santa Barbara

12:30 p.m.
Division I Pool D Championship-(4) Raleigh def. (5) Pearl City Division I Pool A Consolation-(8) Charleston def. (16) Detroit Tradesman Division I Pool B Consolation-(7) Schuylkill River vs. (15) Woodlands Division I Pool C Consolation-(11) Palmer vs. (14) Denver Highlanders Division I Pool A Championship-(1) Las Vegas vs. (8) Life Division II Pool A Championship-(1) Red Mountain vs. (9) San Diego Old Aztecs

ExHookah
22-05-06, 14:05
Outstanding weekend in Newport! We were very fortunate and the weather was excellent both days, so even though the pitches were still rather soft in places from all the rain, we had sun and a breeze to help get rid of the early standing water on Saturday morning.

Firstly the champions were as follows:

Div 1 - Boston Irish Wolfhounds defeated Worcester
Div 2 - Hartford Wanderers defeated South Shore [Boston] Anchors
Div 3 - Boston Irish Wolfhounds 3rd XV defeated Boston RFC 2nd XV
Ladies - Beantown [Boston] RFC defeated Boston Womens RFC

I'll get the actual scores at some point.

We also had a great dinner on Saturday night where our Gloucester guests were in fine form. During the dinner Peter Watson announced some promotions, including Richard Parker making B1 and recent Gloucester tourist Mike Howard making C1.

Most positive part of the weekend for me was refereeing the Div 2 Championship Semi final and getting a great coaching report from former test match referee Ed Sorenson. Got positive feedback on some areas that I'd been working on improving, and some further points on which to adjust to take my refereeing to the next level. My favorite comment was when Ed told me (in his broad Argentinian accent) "Don't be using your legs to do all the work, sometimes just use your brain, you must use 'the noodle' to do some more work". Essentially he was telling me that I should work on slowing down the game in my mind, regardless of how fast it may be unfolding in front of me.

ExHookah
22-05-06, 19:05
I'll find some more pictures as and when they are uploaded by people. My own camera clearly had something wrong as the pictures are somewhat blurry, but I'll see if I can salvage any of them and put them up on here.

The first ones are from the Boston Irish Wolfhouds website, credit to Declan Prenty for the photos.


1/4 Final stages, with yours truely demonstrating excellent positioning ;)
http://biwrfc.com/v-web/gallery/albums/06newport/P5203062.sized.jpg

Semi Final stage with Mr Richard Parker in action
http://biwrfc.com/v-web/gallery/albums/06newport/P5203113.sized.jpg
http://biwrfc.com/v-web/gallery/albums/06newport/P5203119.sized.jpg
http://biwrfc.com/v-web/gallery/albums/06newport/P5203132.sized.jpg

ExHookah
24-05-06, 02:05
Here's a few more, but sadly something was wrong with my own Digital camera, so they are not as clear as the prior ones. :(


http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b291/thehookah/DSCF0001.jpg
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b291/thehookah/DSCF0005.jpg
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b291/thehookah/DSCF0019.jpg
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b291/thehookah/DSCF0018.jpg
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b291/thehookah/DSCF0021.jpg

didds
24-05-06, 14:05
hope you noticed stripes 3 and green 1 both with heads below hips immediately prior to ball in ;-)

Mind you, the scrums appeared to have been a real mess anyway!! (by the players I mean!)

Not to mention stripes well offside in front of the rear foot at the scrummage with the ball at green 8's feet!

didds

ExHookah
24-05-06, 14:05
Didds,

The two matches that you referred to were not matches that I was involved in. The first one was a D1 semi final, which took place at the same time as the D2 semi final that I was refereeing. The second one you referred to was the D1 final, which I watched on the enbankment with a beer.

However, to counter on this first point:

hope you noticed stripes 3 and green 1 both with heads below hips immediately prior to ball in ;-)

You'll notice that the scrumhalf still has the ball in hand, so the front rows are doing their pre engagement wriggle before the put in, so I'm sure it was stable upon put in.

jboulet4648
24-05-06, 15:05
Green 1 put his hand on the ground on initial engagement and brought it immediately up and had a nice solid bind. I reffed him in the match prior, and ran touch in the championship match which he was involved in. The scrums were actually quite stable.

Simon Thomas
26-05-06, 16:05
hope you noticed stripes 3 and green 1 both with heads below hips immediately prior to ball in ;-)didds


Didds, You'll notice that the scrumhalf still has the ball in hand, so the front rows are doing their pre engagement wriggle before the put in, so I'm sure it was stable upon put in.

It really doesn't matter if it was before the put (throw) in or not (and well done stripes scrummie, who is holding the ball one-handed so not ready to throw in).
This picture is a post engagement wriggle, but if managed correctly there should not be any movement laterally or front-back before engagement (ex-Lucy will expand on all the tricks used no doubt).
Basically the technique by both props is poor, and one wonders if the referee's management is pro-active enough. They cannot have engaged parallel or at the correct distance apart (referee attention to detail ?). Stripes prop is already boring in, and in danger of collapse - god help stripes' hooker's neck, so just bas well green recovred and got his bind up to lock it all up.
At any stage after an engagement this situation is unaceptable and dangerous. Both props are in a very bad position if any serious pressure comes through from their second rows - which it would be at engagement. The referee should be looking over the top, spotting the non-bind and boring, and either blow re-set or penalise - probably stripes in this case, as his non straight engagement has caused green to slip down and thus unable to bind.
The lower picture of the greens scrummaging with ball at green #8's feet shows the poor technique of both props who are up at 45 degrees rather than straight parallel backs.
With today's national news items about the scrummage but the Nottingham doctor, both of these pictures can only add to the arguments to de-power scrums for safety.

ExHookah
26-05-06, 18:05
I was only a spectator at the second matche, not part of the teams of 3, and I missed the first one, so I can't offer too much input about how the scrums actually played out during those matches.

However I should mention that the Semi final was refereed by a B1 referee, and the final by an A graded RFU panel referee, so I trust their experience and judgement on those matches.

Here you can see the semi final referee actively working with the front rows, and you can also spot the green #1 and his obvious intentions:
http://biwrfc.com/v-web/gallery/albums/06newport/P5203118.sized.jpg

Unfortunately I can't find any further pictures of either the semi or the final, so I can't offer much more. Obviously we all know that rugby is a fluid sport, so making too many judgements on a handful of static photo's isn't going to give us the full story.

ex-lucy
30-05-06, 11:05
what ST says is all good and accurate .... based on what is merely a snapshot...
The THP is far too high ... and if i was propping against him he would not last very long ... he wouldnt get a chance to hurt my hooker. He would get hurt first alot. That is my job as a lucy: protect my hooker - come what may.
What was the pre-match chat like?
"have you all played front row before? all happy to play there today?" ... it may have been an accident (too far away before engagement = over extension and so not set and solid?) but the thp looks like he hasnt played there before very often.

didds
30-05-06, 12:05
thp looks like he is set up to bore!

could be camera angle etc of course...

didds

ex-lucy
30-05-06, 12:05
his bum is very high ... and altho he looks twisted ready to bore ... he may have swung round due to combination of engagement being too far apart and early push from lock/ flanker ... seen this done accidentally a few times .. but if i was him i would collapse the scrum and get a reset cos he looks very uncomfortablly high ...