Fall 2010 Newsletter
Captain Nick Finger
President Sam Power
This week, Yale was able to recruit 30 new players to play rugby. It is a very big mix of athletic talent and size, but as usual, very little experience. The coaching staff is accustom to teaching inexperienced players the game of rugby, just not this many at once. Good organized training sessions this week were so well attended, that we had to bring in a Southern for a controlled scrimmage as an opener to the Cambridge matches. The coaches believed that we needed to get the new players as much game time as possible leading into the season, which begins in two short weeks. Southern brought down its young, athletic and talented underclassmen to play a mostly freshman developmental team for Yale. A few young, experienced players also played for Yale to give the team a little continuity on the field. The scrimmage was played in 3-30 periods. All restarts and penalties were either lineouts or scrum downs to give the new players some experience in set pieces. Both coaches acted as referees on the field, using game stoppages and penalties as learning tools. After each period, the coaches from both teams took their players aside to discuss the game, give input and make substitutions. The Yale freshman played remarkable well, considering that, for all but a few, this was their first match ever. The set pieces we fairly good (no hard engage on scrums), rucking was solid for the most part and the defensive organization was well structured. A few players played well enough to earn a few A-side minutes versus Cambridge. It was an excellent effort by Yale's future players.
The Cambridge match followed at 1pm. The game was broken into 4- 20 minute periods. Cambridge was able to keep Yale pinned in its own half early on. In the 7th minute, Cambridge was able to turn over Yale ball and take it wide to score in the corner. After the kickoff, Cambridge was able to use an excellent kick down the sideline to get Yale pinned back in its own end once again Yale turned over too much ball, tackled softly and committed too many penalties in the period, but Cambridge was able to only score 3 more points. Yale was able to play a little more physical in the second period. We were also able to steal some lineout ball to relieve the pressure of too many penalties. In this period, game play was up and down the field with no distinct advantage to either side. Cambridge scored one try after some sloppy tackling. Yale flanker Grey Grissom scored a try under the posts at the 35 minute mark to get Yale on the board. Halftime score was Cambridge 13- Yale 7.
In the second half, Yale played a little better, turning over fewer balls and committing fewer penalties. As a consequence, Yale was able to string together some good possession and keep Cambridge bottled up in its own end. Yale's Dan O'Brien scored 3 tries in the half. One after falling on a ball after a kick into the try zone, one off some good possession and ball handling and one after intercepting a pass. (Sorry the details are short, the ref pulled up injured and I had to fill in as ref.) Sam Power was able to convert 2 of the three tries. Cambridge was able to score one converted try in the period. Momentum in the game was starting to swing in Yale's favor. The score after 60 minutes was Yale 26- Cambridge 20. In the final 20 minutes, Yale put 3 freshmen on the field, 2 forwards and 1 back. Yale suffered a major injury, losing scrum half Rob Morse to a severe wrist injury. Sophomore Kevin Daly entered the game and played very well. Once again, Dan O'Brien scored another try, which was converted by Sam Power. Cambridge had one final push to make a comeback, scoring a converted try late in the match. In the end, Yale was able to hold of the surge to win 33-27. Standout players for Yale were Mack Hull, Nick Lombardo, Sam Power and the man of the match, Dan O'Brien.
In the second match, Yale's youth was matched up again the Cambridge B-side for 2- 20minute periods. The Yale side was mix of young experienced players and the freshman who played against Southern in the morning. Even though exhausted, Cambridge took advantage of Yale's inexperience and scored a handful of tries. The overall effort by the Yale side was good and they learned the hard way, that they have a lot to learn about to game.
For Yale, the ultimate goal of the day was not only win the match, but get as many new and young players as many minutes as possible. A special thanks to Southern for coming down on very short notice. Without them we would not have been able to accomplish this goal. /p>
Last weekend, Yale hosted Sacred Heart University and Southern Connecticut State University in our 5th annual preseason round robin. With Jan refereeing every match, the report is unfortunately not as detailed as it could be. Because Yale graduated a large class in the spring and is in the midst for reconstructing the side with a mix of veterans and very young players, the term A-side in this report is used loosely - there are many players fighting for jobs on the first team.
The day started with a 10:20am kickoff versus Sacred Heart. Yale played two 25 minute halves versus the Sacred Heart A-side, and one 20 minute B-side half. The first 25 minutes were sloppy as expected. However, Yale was very opportunistic and was able convert some sloppy possession and turnovers to expose Sacred Heart's weak outside defense and score 5 tries in the first half. Winger Dan O'Brien scored 3 tries, and Mack Hull and Rob Morse each added one. Four of the five conversions were successful and Yale took a 34-5 lead heading into the break.
At the break, Yale made some substitutions to take a look at some new players and different player combinations. Play was a little less sloppy and more organized than the first half. Yale started the half strong with another try by O¿Brien 4 minutes into the half. Mack Hull scored another 7 minutes later. Sacred Heart was able to rally and score twice in the final 10 minutes. Final score for the shortened first match was 44-15.
The third period of the day was a mixed side containing veteran players and some players playing in their first match ever. Both teams were making an effort to get their youngest players game time. As expected, the match was sloppy. However, though it was a bit disorganized, Yale was able to play some good physical defense and keep Sacred Heart out of the try zone. Yale was able to score one try by one of its rookie players, English Joe.
At noon, the Yale A-side was back on the pitch to face a strong, physical, and athletic Southern side. At the start of the game, Yale botched the opening kickoff and Southern scored 15 seconds into the match. Yale regrouped quickly and was able to maintain possession in the Southern end. This match was extremely physical, with power fringe running and organized defenses by both teams. Yale was able to finally score a try late in the half. Once again, O'Brien was able to score around the outside. Half time score was 7-5.
Heading into its 4th period of the day, Yale was beginning to wear down physically. The defense got less aggressive and the loose play was very sloppy. Yale turned over two of its own rucks that resulted in long runs by Southern and eventual scores. Southern was able to get one more try. Yale scored one try late. Final score 22-10.
Yale's mixed side of rookies and vet's was back on the field for the final 2-20 minutes periods versus Southern's B/C squad. It wasn't the prettiest rugby of all time, but Yale's rookies proved that they were not afraid of contact. The Southern side was a bit more experienced and was able to take advantage of a disorganized back line defense. All in all, it was a great show by the rookies. In the final half, 9 first time rugby players were on the field for Yale. The final score for the last match was also 22-10, with Southern coming out on top.
Yale finished a strong week of preseason and is preparing this week for their first competition ¿ a round robin tournament with Southern Connecticut State University and Sacred Heart University. Yale focused on conditioning and working a new pattern of plan with their returning players. We had a strong showing from veteran players at the preseason camp that topped the numbers from previous years, a good sign for a young team. We graduated a large number of seniors, many of them starters, last season, but strong commitment from the returning players will lead to a successful season and the overall growth of the team and the program. Many of the young guys have been stepping up in practice and filling roles that we need, so I am excited to see what this team can do when the Ivy League schedule begins in a few weeks. We have a few rookies who started last spring who are beginning to fill in the back line as well as an offensive lineman who recently stopped playing football with high school rugby experience that has filled a big hole in the second row. For the first time in a few years, we have a lot of size in the forwards with a returning front row all over 215 lbs ranging up to 250 lbs. This team could surprise quite a few traditionally dominant Ivy League teams.
With the school year right around the corner, we are going to put a large emphasis on recruiting so that we can build the depth of the team this season. We are hoping for a strong freshman class that will include a wing from England with many years of rugby experience that the team has been in communication with since last year. The team will continue to focus on fitness, organization, and speed of play as the Ivy League schedule approaches.
Preseason camp started on Monday, August 22nd. We had 16 players on the first day and by midweek we had over 20 participating in preseason workouts. We had double sessions on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with a run up East Rock at 6 am Wednesday morning. All three coaches, Pikul, Broker and Heaven are back this fall. Last year, we had a very veteran side and we graduated 13 players. This year, we are very young, but we have a lot of raw talent. The Front row, Number 8, scrum half, fly half, wings and fullback have some experience under their belt. We will have to develop a unit for the second and back row and centers. Hurricane Irene threw us for a loop and the school postponed Bulldog Days, our major annual recruiting event, so rookies have been coming in a little slow early on. We did however, carpet the campus in recruiting posters and fliers and we have had about 10 new players turn up at training this week. We have our first preseason round robin on Saturday September 3rd against Sacred Heart and Southern Connecticut State University, kicking off at 10am. We will be playing a series of 20 minute periods, A and B side, throughout the day. The major goal is to get as many productive minutes from our veterans as possible and to give our new players a taste of rugby to get them hooked on the game. Next weekend, we have a touring side from Cambridge coming for a match and our final preseason tune up will be against the Yale graduate school team on September 17th. Our season officially begins on Saturday Sept 24th at Princeton and Sunday Sept 25th at Penn.
Our Yale Rugby Alumni Weekend is upon us. It's time to stop procrastinating and commit to joining your fellow ruggers for a full weekend of lies, libation and vastly diminished athletic prowess. Unless you are deployed in the service of our country or are in prison there is no legitimate excuse not to be there. This is a lot more fun than another Royal Wedding. This years event will be held on April 29th and 30th.
The schedule of events is as follows:
Friday evening gatherings for alumni returning to town:The Yale Women's Rugby Alumnae will be meeting at Mory's at 6:30. The Men's Alumni will be gathering at Anna Liffy's starting at 7 until closing. Any latecomers should find their way to Anna Liffy's as I suspect both clubs will end up there for midnight boat races.
Saturday will comprise a full day of rugby. Starting at noon the Women's Undergrad team will soundly defeat Southern Ct.
Afterwards the Women's Alumnae will probably be inspired to play a short match, perhaps some sevens or touch so everyone bring your boots.
At 2:30 the undefeated NOB's ( Nasty Old Bastards)captained by former Eagle Dave Bateman will take on the weakest team of Yale undergrads we can convince them to field. This match will consist of short halves, nearly unlimited substitution and a certifiably blind referee.
At 3:30 the Recent Men's Alumni captained by Sean Walbridge will contest the Undergraduate First XV in the third rendition of the Walbridge Wager.
Following the matches we will adjourn to the Yale Golf Course for drinks at 6 and dinner at 7. There are locker rooms at the Golf Course for any alumni who need to change there. We will have maps, directions to the golf course and compasses at the pitch. At last year's event the men were soundly outsung by the women and there is little hope for improvement this year.
Please take a moment and rsvp for the event so we can get an accurate headcount for dinner. Spouses, significant others and arch enemies are welcome. Women Alumnae can rsvp to firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Yale Women's Rugby Football Club Alumnae Weekend Facebook page. Men can rsvp at the Yale Rugby Alumni Weekend Facebook page or to me via email at: email@example.com Please check the respective Facebook pages for any last minute updates or changes. I can also be reached via cell anytime at (203) 943-1569. There are some rooms still available at the Omni and the Courtyard by Marriott. Just mention Yale Rugby Alumni.
Those of you who have attended this event in the past know what an outstanding time it is. It is unquestionably my favorite weekend of the year. Those unable to attend please be assured that we will speak ill of you. I look forward to seeing most of you.
Ralph Bosch Jr
Friends of Yale Rugby
On Saturday, at 1pm at Yale's home field, Yale will be playing hometown rival and Sweet 16 bound Southern Connecticut State University in A and B matches. Then, Yale is headed to Columbia on Sunday for the first ever Ivy 7's. Yale will be bringing 2 sides to the IVY 7's. The tournament is scheduled to start at 9:00 am and run until 2:30pm. Yale's A side will be kicking off at 9:20 versus Brown (on Baker's Field) and the B side will kick off at 9am on field 2.
Yale had its first home game of the spring against Division II powerhouse Middlebury. Once again, Yale opened with a young side, starting 5 freshman and 3 more first-year players. After the first kickoff, Middlebury took advantage of some poor defensive organization to make a good run out of their own end. Yale was able to recover and force a knock-on in the middle of the field. Yale lost its feed at the scrum and Middlebury was able to swing the ball weak. The Middlebury backs connected on a couple of nice passes and scored the first try of the match 3 minutes into the game. Yale regrouped and played fairly well for the next 25 minutes, holding a much more veteran side scoreless. Strong defense by the rookie backline and good tackling around the rucks kept Middlebury from sustaining any effective offense. However, during the last ten minutes, Yale made a number of costly mistakes. Yale was not able to win its own lineout deep in its own end (throw not straight) and Middlebury drove the subsequent 5 meter scrum in for a score. At the ensuing kickoff, Yale failed to drop kick the ball 10 meters and Middlebury got a center scrum. From the scrum, Middlebury picked the ball and went to the right. Over pursuit by the pack resulted in an overload for Middlebury on the left and they took advantage and scored again. In the final minutes of the half, Middlebury brought the weak side winger into the backline, which confused the young defense and scored the final try of the half. Half time score was 26-0.
Yale regrouped in the second half and played Middlebury very evenly. Yale committed too many penalties for offsides and not releasing which kept them from sustaining any offense momentum. Middlebury was able to kick a penalty kick in the 13th minute and score a try in the 20th minute. Just like in their first good run of the day, the pillar defenseman was missing from the side of the ruck. Yale buckled down for the rest of the half. Better defensive organization and some great tackling keep Middlebury from scoring the rest of the day. In the 26th minute, Yale's flyhalf, Mack Hull, made a great kick down the deep sideline. Winger Dan O'Brien was able to put a lot of pressure on Middlebury's defense and earned Yale a lineout. Yale once again did not throw the ball in straight and lost the lineout. At the scrum down, Middlebury engaged early. Yale was able to keep pressure on and earn a couple of penalties. Finally at the back of the ruck on the goal line, Yale was able to punch the ball in for the final score of the day. Final score was 36-5. As the game proceeded, it was evident that Yale's young team was growing. Improvement was made throughout the game in defensive organization and game play.
Yale has been practicing hard all week in anticipation of a tough match against Middlebury this Saturday. The team has been focused and determined, with a string of solid practices all week long. Yale is excited to be playing with a few more of its veteran members this weekend, which will be good for the young rookies, as many of them are still playing in some of their first games ever.
Yale had an early morning start as they headed to Randall's Island in New York for the 4 Leafs Tournament. Yale traveled with only 18 active players. Seven of the players were headed to only their second game ever, 4 others were freshman and 3 were sophomores. The team was anchored by captain Nick finger and the only senior, Phil Constantiou. Yale had a tough early morning draw, playing Waterloo University from Canada in the first match of the day, and then playing Columbia only an hour after completing the first match. The goal of the day was to play a field position game using good tactical kicking and to get the young players as many minutes as possible as Yale is looking to rebuild for the fall.
The first game versus Waterloo was a bit sloppy in the first half. The team was a bit flat, even the veteran players took a while to kick into full gear. After several mistakes and key penalties, Waterloo was able to put up 35 points in the first half. After a stern talking too at half time from the coaching staff, Yale stepped up its play. The second half was played evenly with each team scoring 1 try. Rookie freshman Eian Katz scored his second try in his second game ever, intercepting a pass and taking it the distance for the Bulldogs. The second half effort was quite good as the defense strengthen up and Yale limited turnovers and mistakes. Final Score 40-5.
The second game versus Columbia was played much like the first half versus Waterloo. Yale was never really able to get an serious offense going, most of our good runs resulted in turnovers. The strong tackling from the second half of the Waterloo game was absent in this match. Columbia was able to isolate and take advantage of the young back line and score a few tries on the outside. The kicking game was also not good as Yale missed touch several times and resulted in big plays for Columbia. Final score 31-0.
Overall, Yale saw some good play from the new players. Eian Katz, John Lesnewich and Matt Lawlor were the top performing rookies, all in their second and third matches of their short rugby careers. Yale will be looking at its young players to fill in next fall. Yale is graduating 10 seniors this spring, the largest graduating class in years.
After a great Tour to the Cayman Islands, the Yale Rugby team returned to New Haven ready to push into the spring season. They played two great games against a strong U23 side with a mix of veterans and rookies. Although the team lost both games, the majority of the points came from players in new and unfamiliar positions, espeically the back three. However, the team improved over the week, having great training sessions with the CRFU coaches and enjoying the company of the local Cayman players. Overall, it was a very well planned and fun tour in one of the most beautiful locations in the world.
Yale is headed to Cayman Islands for the Annual International Tour, and will be arriving at the iconic Seven Mile beach in the Caymans on March 6th, 2011. Over the last several years, Yale has made trips to Ireland, Bahamas and Argentina, twice each. This year, we will be trying some place new: the Caymans Islands. After stories of great competition and success from other Ivy League rugby programs, the boys will be flying to the Caymans to test the waters for themselves.
Yale will be staying at a hotel on the Seven Mile beach in the Caymans, which has been voted as the Caribbean's best beach. We have scheduled 4 matches (2 A side and 2 B side) and 2 training sessions with the local rugby union in Grand Cayman. The team will be coached by CRFU (Cayman Rugby Football Union) national men's coach, Kes Wright, with help from rugby veterans Paul Deegan and Graeme Thompson. Yale will face a mix of CRFU's men's and U-20 sides, so that all players on A and B sides face similar opposition.
The second match is on the weekend, and should draw a capacity crowd, as the popularity of the sport is growing very rapidly in the region. It should be an exciting trip as Yale is traveling with 23 players and is looking to get out of the rough winter in the Northeast. Saturday's match will be aired on tape delay on CaymanRugbyTV and interviews and videos of the Yale week at training will be available on Facebook so anyone at home wishing to keep up with the team can follow the team there.
Yale headed to Brown for an early season scrimmage on Saturday. The weather was a bit chilly and windy, which was to be expected for late February. Brown was able to get access to one their many turf fields. The one we played on was lined for football; it was a bit narrow but otherwise in great condition. Since it had football posts instead of rugby goal posts, we decided there would be no kicking for points or conversions and both teams would focus on game play and pattern play. This was Yale?s first 15's effort on a field since November, so this was really our first time in full contact (except for the 7's players who headed to Vegas).
The match started out fairly evenly. It was apparent that Yale was a bit rusty, but we held strong in contact, even from the beginning. Early on, Yale committed a couple of penalties to allow Brown to keep a field position advantage in the first 15 minutes of the match. At the 15 minute mark, Yale committed a penalty at midfield, which lead to a kick to touch and a couple of plays later, Brown was able to score. Handling errors and penalties allowed Brown to maintain its field position advantage. At the 24 minute mark, Brown?s fullback made a nice run through the centers (we were working on new center combination) and scored a 25 meter try. This try seemed to wake up the Bulldogs and from the kickoff after the try, Yale was able to keep Brown pinned in its own end. At the 38th minute mark, Yale took a lineout deep in Brown?s territory and put together a good driving maul and Yale?s Phil Constantinou scored a try off the back of the maul in the corner. Half time score was 10-5 Brown.
Off the second half kickoff, Yale's fly half was able to make a nice slippery run, but then tried to do too much and through an ill-advised pass that got intercepted and returned for an easy try. At the 15 minute mark, Brown was able to score again. Just like the first half, it was the second try of the half that woke Yale up. 3 minutes later, Brown committed another penalty, which Yale kicked to touch and we able to successfully execute another driving maul to score its second try. At the 25th minute, Brown was able to score the last score of the match, by punching in a try off the edge of the ruck. Overall it was a pretty good game for a team that hasn?t had any contact or field space to train on. At times, defensive organization was a little shaking and the tackling was too high, but overall the effort was good. We are also able to play several new players on the A-side in preparation for the fall. Yale is graduating a large class this spring, so our major goal is to get new players as much time as possible so we can fill the holes for the fall season. Final was 25-10.
The B game was great. Yale fielded a team of almost all freshman and sophomores. 5 of the 7 backs were playing in their first game ever, as were a couple of forwards. This game had the making for a long day versus a more veteran Brown side with several A ?side players filling in some hole. From the very beginning, it was apparent that the lack of experience was not a concern to the players. They came out hard and fast and played some great physical defense from the start. The ball handling was much better that expected (it was easy to see the benefits of the early season 7's training) and the rucking was physical, especially considering 9 of the 15 starters never hit a ruck or made a rugby tackle in 15's. As expected, the guys still made their share of rookie mistakes. One of the highlights was a crushing goal line tackle by Eian Katz to force a knock on and save a try. Later in the half, he scored his first try in his first game ever. The lineout was also dominant; Yale won most of it throws and stole many from Brown. It was a strong day from Yale?s young Bulldogs and hopefully a few will be ready for regular A-side action in the fall. Final was 25-5.
Las Vegas CRC Sevens Cup Quarterfinal vs Bowling Green State UniversityYale 7 Bowling Green 19
1. Nick Lombardo replaced by Ross Brendel 7
2. Phil Constantinou
3. Wossen Ayele
4. Rob Morse
5. Matthew Shipsey
6. Ryan Vandersloot
7. Mac Hull
Game starts evenly matched with Yale pushing early chances and BGSU playing well. BGSU pushes ball deep into Yale end and knocks on. Yale called for early engagement and BGSU scores off ensuing free kick. BGSU pushes on kickoff and Yale touches down in own try zone. A mix-up on the ensuing drop kick results in BGSU free kick and an unconverted try just before halftime. In the second half Yale re-groups and comes out pushing BGSU. From deep in their end Vandersloot breaks and scores 12-7. Yale wins kickoff and pushes in BGSU end. As the game heats up and gets more physical, Yale receives a string of penalties, allowing BGSU to push forward towards their try line. During the heat of the moment, Yale player Matthew Shipsey receives a yellow card which was meant to go to a BGSU player. With the one player advantage, BGSU scores and game ends 19-7.
Plate Semi-Final v Cerighton
Yale 14 Creighton 19
1. Nick Lombardo
2. Phil Constantinou
3. Wossen Ayele replaced by Ross Brendel 5
4. Rob Morse
5. Matthew Shipsey
6. Ryan Vandersloot
7. Mac Hull
Yale starts out well against a very physical side. They score two tries and look to be in a commanding lead (Vandersloot and Morse). Just prior to halftime, Creighton scores a long distance try through the center of the Yale defense. Second half Yale fatigue sets in and mistakes abound, allowing Creighton the opportunities, which they convert.
A good weekend overall. Not rated by the national rugby press to get out of their pool, Yale surprised everyone and represented the entire club well. The loss to UC Davis was a loss to a team that reached the finals. Although the team will not advance, it shows that Olympic Rugby 7s is a sport at which Yale can compete on the national stage. The players worked hard to get here and showed well throughout the tournament. The team did a great job of representing Yale on and off the field.
Team scoring for Tournament
Ryan Vandersloot (35 points)
Arturo Zindel-Mundet (13 points)
Matt Shipsey (12 points)
Rob Morse (10 points)
Wasson Ayele (5 points)
Yale traveled to Las Vegas on Wednesday afternoon and arrived prepared and ready to complete in the Las Vegas 7Õs. After a one sided victory in the first match versus Claremont Colleges, Yale gets defeated by U.C. Davis, but bounces back to defeat Nebraska and make it to the quarterfinals. Games recaps from Coach Broker are below.
Game 1 vs Claremont Colleges
Yale 28 Claremont 0
1. Nick Lombardo
2. Phil Constantinou replaced 9 by Nick Finger
3. Ross Brendel
4. Rob Morse
5. Arturo Zindel-Mundet
6. Ryan Vandersloot replaced 11 by Matthew Shipsey
7. Mac Hull replaced 12 by Pete Wilczynski
Impressive game considering this was the first breath of fresh air the team has played in. Claremont had possession for first 2 minutes and Yale put up a great goal line defense, turned the ball and Vandersloot went the distance. Yale pressures on kickoff, maintains possession and Vandersloot off to the races again. Claremont sees some ball, great tackling by Yale. Second half sees Claremont pressured by Yale defense, with all 7 players and replacements playing extremely smart to hold on to the ball. Quick thinking and quick pressure see Morse take the corner for 2 team tries. All tries converted by Zindel-Mundet Yale suffers a big blow when Zindel-Mundet realizes hand is broken after the game - slight fracture.
Game 2 vs UC Davis
UC Davis 36 Yale 0
1. Nick Lombardo replaced by Wasson Ayele at 7
2. Phil Constantinou
3. Ross Brendel
4. Rob Morse
5. Matthew Shipsey
6. Ryan Vandersloot
7. Mac Hull replaced 7 by Sam Power
Everything that went right in Game 1 went wrong in Game 2. UC Davis is an excellent team and kept the ball from Yale. UC Davis pressured Yale into mistakes and most of these turned into tries. Yale's tackling and defensive organization goes missing. A flat response to a good first game.
Game 3 v Nebraska
Yale 26 Nebraska 0
1. Nick Lombardo
2. Phil Constantinou replaced by Nick Finger 11
3. Wasson Ayele
4. Rob Morse replaced by Sam Power 10
5. Matthew Shipsey
6. Ryan Vandersloot
7. Mac Hull replaced by Pete Wilczynski 12
Yale bounces back and goes back to taking the direct route. Organization returns and defense denies Nebraska breaks. Good ball movement and hard rucking put Vandersloot away for 3 tries. Yale gets back its go forward mentality and exploits Nebraska. Good work around the contact area leads to good turnover ball - credit to forwards for this effort. Ayele has outstanding game and is rewarded with a second half try, breaking 4 tackles and carrying 2 into the try zone. 3 of 4 tries converted by Shipsey.
Team scoring for Day 1
Ryan Vandersloot (25 points)
Rob Morse (10 points)
Arturo Zindel-Mundet (8 points)
Matt Shipsey (6 points)
Wasson Ayele (5 points)
The team started training the day they got back to school. We have had great turnouts at the captain's fitness sessions and the coaching sessions. After three weeks of hard work, the following 12 players have been selected to represent the team at the Vegas 7's, with an eye on the championships in June.
Ryan Vandersloot (c)
In addition, we have had great attendance by our returning players from the fall and from several brand new recruits this winter. Yale rugby will be graduating a large class in the spring and the new players are working hard to fill in their boots.
Yale's ever expanding rugby program has increased its emphasis on 7's. We have entered a side into the Las Vegas 7's in February. The winner of this tournament will take the last opening in the Rugby 7's Championships aired on NBC in early June. We started training the weekend the players got back to school from winter break. We are holding three 2-hour sessions a week with the coaching staff and 3 captain's fitness training sessions per week. The team is currently being evaluated and the top 12 7's players will be head to Vegas with a coach and a trainer. Anyone looking to support the team, please send your donations to Yale Rugby with a little note that the money is to support the trip the Las Vegas 7's.A quote from the 7's captain Ryan Vandersloot: "This is the most exciting time I have ever had playing rugby. A chance to play 7's at the highest level and a chance to earn a spot in the college championship tournament. Who knows, may be one of our guys can represent the country at the national level or even the Olympics one day."
Yale Rugby squared off with the University of Western Australia Rugby Club's touring side on the past Sunday for an afternoon of "festival rugby." Despite being bruised and battered from their dogfight with Harvard which took place the night before, Yale rugby fielded a competitive side against the more experience Austalians. A day of rugby was concluded with a BBQ and a swapping of kit.
Yale Rugby lost a hard fought game to Harvard, 12-3. Yale was not as sharp as it would have liked to be and strayed from its gameplan in one of the biggest tests of the year.
Yale Rugby suffered its first loss of the season at the hands of Dartmouth. Dartmouth, one of the top teams in the country and a member of the premier division, jumped ahead with three quick scores before the Bulldogs were able to fight back. Yale rugby put forth one of its best efforts in years and outscored Dartmouth 12-8 in the second half. Click here for a full match report
Yale Rugby will begin its Ivy League season on Saturday, at Cornell. The team will then travel to Columbia for an evening game on Sunday. Check the Yale Rugby facebook page for kickoff time updates.
Yale Rugby was defeated by UCONN 59-38 in a high scoring affair. The Yale side was strong at times, but costly mistakes led to easy tries for UCONN. Yale proved resilient, cutting the deficit to 38-45 with under 15 minutes to play, but a quick try by UCONN all but enged Yale's comeback attempt. Yale will take on the Yale Graduate School team next weekend in what will be its final test before the regular season begins at Cornell on the 25th.
Yale Rugby's scheduled game at UCONN will now be played at the Yale pitch on Saturday, September 11th. Kickoff is at Noon.
Yale Rugby defeated both the Coast Guard and the University of Southern Connecticut in a 3 team round robin.
Several Yale ruggers represented the All Ivy Select Side Barbarians in the NRU Select Side Cup. Andrew Moir '10, Phil Constantinou '11, Tim Shriver '11 and Ryan Vandersloot '11 helped the All Ivy Select Side Barbarians capture the cup, beating out select sides Met-NY, NY State, and NERFU. More information is available here
Over the past weekend, Yale rugby celebrated another Alumni Weekend. The more experienced NOBS (Nasty Old Bastards) continued their dominance over the Yale second side, winning 12-7. The Yale first XV, however, would not be denied against the recent alums in its quest for the Walbridge Wager. The Yale first XV ran all over the recent alums 59-10, capturing the 2nd Annual Wallbridge Wager. This year's weekend was different from any previous alumni weekend as Yale Women's Rugby was included in the festivities. The women defeated Columbia 87-0 immediately before the men's alumni games and certainly held their own during the singing at the annual dinner at the Yale Golf Course. Special thanks to Ralph Bosch for organizing the event.
Yale Rugby continued its spring success, defeating the Princeton Tigers 19-9. The annual spring match between the two clubs always proves to be solid competition and this year's was no exception. Princeton jumped out to a lead and held a 6-5 advantage at halftime, but Yale would not be denied an undefeated spring season. Yale received tries from center Ryan Vandersloot '11 and fullback Dan O'Brien '13.
Yale Rugby has been impressive on the pitch this spring, and almost as impressive off of it. Over the past few weeks, Yale Rugby competed in a Bench Press for Haiti competition, helped out at Urban Youth Day and the New Haven Special Olympics and provided the muscle for the cleanup at the New Haven AIDS Walk.
Yale Rugby received seven All-Ivy selections. Yale Ruggers receiving selections include: Nick Finger '12, Tim Shriver '11, Andrew Moir '10, Phil Constantinou '11, Arturo Zindel '11, Ryan Vandersloot '11 and Matt Lacasse '10. The selected members competed for the All-Ivy Barbarians against a NERFU select squad on April 15th.
Yale put forth another great effort on Saturday, with the First XV defeating Brown 33-17 and the Second XV steamrolling to a 57-0 in their best match of the year so far.
Yale will be hosting its first annual Senior Day on the Saturday of its match against Brown. The team will play A side and B side matches and have food and refreshments available for fans. The team will be honoring its senior class, who are hoping to cap their careers with an undefeated spring season. Please come and support the Yale seniors as they take on Brown on April 10th. The A side match will start at 1, with the B side to follow.
Yale Rugby played its first game of the spring season on Saturday, the 27th of March against Middlebury. The Middlebury match report is available here.
Yale Rugby will be posting daily blog updates about its Spring 2010 tour to Ireland. Click here for daily updates on the team's activities while on tour.
Yale Rugby has elected new officers to lead the club forward. 8-man Tim Shriver '11 was elected team captain, and fullback Ryan Vandersloot '11 was named team president. Head to the "Roster" section on the website for a complete list of the team's new officers.
On Saturday January 30th, Yale hosted the first Ivy League Annual General Meeting. Representatives from all 8 Ivy League clubs came to New Haven to discuss the future of the Ivy League Rugby Football Union. Topics discussed included league bylaws, Fall 2010 scheduling, and possible sponsorship and marketing deals for the Union. The meeting, which was held in the hallowed Varsity Room in the Roy Tompkins House, the home of varsity athletics at Yale, was an unparalleled success, and Yale will likely be the meeting site for the Ivy League for years to come. Thanks to all the other Ivy League clubs for coming to town and participating in the meeting.
Yale Rugby's current Alumni Secretary Ross Brendel '11 has prepared an excellent club newsletter summarizing the team's accomplishments this fall and outlining its plans for 2010. Please click here or on the "Fall 2009 Newsletter" tab on the left to view the newsletter and get up to date on the latest Yale Rugby news.
Fullback Ryan Vandersloot '11 is among the points leaders for the 2009 inaugural Ivy League Championship Series. Vandersloot amassed the sixth most points among all Ivy League teams this year, scoring 60 points on the strength of 3 tries, 16 conversions, and 6 penalties. Click here to see the full list, along with a list of all of Yale's try scorers from this season.
Yale Rugby will be selling custom Yale Rugby match balls at this weekend's Yale-Harvard match. The balls, made by leading rugby supplier Godek Rugby, are 100% match quality, size 5 balls, emblazoned with the Yale Rugby and Ivy League Rugby logos. Click here to view the design of the balls. The balls will be available at the field for purchase for $50. If you are interested in buying a ball, even if you cannot attend the match, please contact supplies manager Philip Constantinou.
Yale took on UConn at home this past Saturday, November 7th, dropping a close contest 24-23 after leading 13-3 early. Click here to read a full match report.
All fans who wish to attend the Yale Harvard match on Saturday, November 21st will need to secure parking passes. These passes are expected to sold out soon, and thus need to be purchased ahead of time. Purchasing can be done online or over the phone. Please click here for more information on purchasing parking passes for the event. It should be a great match, and an enjoyable football game afterwards. We hope to see you all there!
Although Yale's regular season is over, the team still has two matches upcoming. Yale is set to host UConn in a rematch of a preseason scrimmage that ended as a 22-22 tie. The game will be held on Nov. 7 at 12 PM at the Yale Pitch. This match is in preparation for The Game against Harvard. The A side match against Harvard will kick off on Saturday morning, November 21st, at 9 AM. The first XV contest will be followed by a brief B side match, with play concluding in time for spectators to attend the football game. The matches will take place on Clint Frank Field, the Yale JV Football pitch. If you wish to attend on Saturday, you must obtain parking passes. The passes will likely sell out, so be sure to secure them ahead of time. Click here for information about how to secure parking passes for The Game.
The match reports for the remainer of the Ivy League regular season matches have been posted. Click on the "Schedules / Results" tab on the left side of the page to access the match reports.
Yale resumes its storied rivalry with Harvard today at the Yale Rugby fields at 1 PM. Aside from the typical significance accompanying any Yale-Harvard match, today's match has significant playoff implications as well. A Yale bonus point win (achieved by scoring more than four tries) will secure 2nd place for the Elis heading into the Ivy League Playoffs, leading to a home playoff game against Harvard on October 24th. A Harvard victory would send Yale into 4th place, setting up a trip to Dartmouth next weekend. We encourage all Yale Rugby supporters to come watch what will surely be a hard-fought and competitive match. As always, if you are outside of the area, be sure to follow our Twitter page for live scoring updates from the match.
Yale has a huge weekend coming up as they hope to right the ship after dropping their last two contests after starting 2-0. The team has a great shot to bounce back with two home games, taking on Columbia on Saturday, October 10th at 2 PM and Cornell on Sunday, October 11th at 11 AM. Since it is Yale's Parent's Weekend, the team will be holding a reception for parents (as well as players from both teams) following the Columbia game at Anna Liffey's. If you can't make the game, be sure to follow the action on Yale Rugby's Twitter feed, which can be accessed here.
The Yale Rugby Team suffered its first defeat of the season against a strong Dartmouth side. The men from Yale started slow and allowed Dartmouth to get an early lead in the first half. The Elis showed heart in the second half by scoring a try off a long run by captain Pat Madden and Matt Lacasse. The Dartmouth side proved to be too much for Yale this weekend. Final Score: Dartmouth 62 - Yale 8. Click here for a detailed match report of the Dartmouth game.
Yale Rugby put forth an encouraging start to the inaugural Ivy League Rugby Football Union season, posting commanding victories against Princeton and Penn. The weekend aggregate score of 65-24 reflects the superb play of the Elis on the weekend. Click here for a detailed match report of the Princeton game, and click here for a recount of the game against Penn.
Yale Rugby is ready to kick off the inaugural Ivy League season this weekend. The season will begin with a doubleheader, with the Bulldogs traveling to Princeton for a 1 PM match on Saturday, and heading to Penn for a 11 AM match on Sunday. The men of Yale have been training hard, with three scrimmages under their belts already this preseason. Click here for directions to Princeton's pitch, and click here for directions to UPenn's pitch. The Bulldogs are hungry to start the Ivy League off right, but Princeton and Penn will certainly not go down without a fight. We hope to see you at the games this weekend!
In an attempt to keep alumni and fans up to speed with information about Yale Rugby, the club has created a Twitter page at http://www.twitter.com/YaleRugby. If you use Twitter, be sure to follow Yale Rugby to receive the latest information on the team's progress, including live match scores!
Yale Rugby has added significant new content to its YouTube channel page. Footage of the team's Fall 2008 win against Norwich, along with film of Spring 2009 matches against SCSU, Brown, and Harvard (the latter two during the Ivy League Tournament). Head over to http://www.youtube.com/YaleRFC or click the "Match Videos" tab on the left side of this page to view the new game film.
On May 9th, Greenwich High School won its second consecutive high school rugby championship with a convincing 24-3 win over Fairfield Prep, alma mater of Yale coaches Jan Pikul and John Broker. The tournament proved to be a success for all teams involved, as well as Yale Rugby. The tournament represented yet another example of Yale Rugby's commitment to the community, and especially the rugby community. Click here for a full story contributed by Yale Rugby assistant coach John Broker.
Yale Rugby has continued to demonstrate its commitment to serving the local community (and especially the rugby community) by hosting the 2009 Connecticut High School Rugby Championships on Saturday, May 9th. The finest high school rugby teams in the state will be convening in New Haven to decide the state crown. Sides from Branford High, Cheshire High, Fairfield High, Fairfield Prep, Greenwich High, Madison High, Simsbury High, and Staples-Westport High will all be competing. The games begin at 9 AM and the championship match will kick off at 2:20 PM, so come on down to the Yale Rugby fields to see some championship rugby action!
Yale has improved on its 2008 effort by two places, placing fourth in the 2009 Ivy League Tournament. Click here for match reports for the weekend's games.
All Yale Rugby alums are invited to this weekend's Third Annual Yale Rugby Alumni Weekend. The festivities will start on Friday night, as many alums are planning on getting in early and convening at Anna Liffey's on Temple St. for food, drink, and socializing. The games on Saturday will begin at noon with Yale's B side taking on visiting Colgate RFC. Up next will be the "Nasty Old Boys" (Yale Rugby's older alumni) playing a freshman / sophomore Yale squad. The headlining match, which should kick off around 3 PM, will feature Yale's First XV against a side of recent alums, captained by '08 captain and All-American Sean Walbridge. The matches will be followed by a cocktail hour and dinner at the Yale Golf Course.
It's not too late to sign up! Come down for good food, good rugby, and good company. Guests are also encouraged to purchase an official "Alumni Weekend" t-shirt at Yale Rugby's online store, which you can find by googling "scrumbot yale rugby". If you are interested in attending, please email Ralph Bosch for more information.
Saturday, April 11th's match against Princeton was cancelled due to heavy rains and standing water on Yale's pitch. The men of Yale were eager to begin play, but the University's Facilities Department forbade them from using the fields due to the potential hazard and the damage that would have been done to the pitch. Equally dismayed were the men of Princeton, who had driven down all the way from New Jersey, and the Elis, who were eager to reclaim the coveted Koranda Cup. If the two teams happen to meet in the Ivy League Tournament, the cup will be contested, but otherwise it will remain in Princeton's hands until the next meeting.
Yale will take on Princeton in a battle for the Koranda cup. Come out and support the team to victory. The A side match will start at 1PM followed by the B side immediately after.
After the Columbia Rugby Club ran into some scheduling conflicts, Yale Rugby has stepped up and agreed to host the first day of the 2009 Ivy League Rugby Tournament on their home pitch on April 25th. The first day will feature 8 matches, with play beginning at 10:30 AM. Click here to download some more information about the tournament, including a bracket for the first day of play.
Yale Rugby kicked off its Spring season with matches against Middlebury and Southern Connecticut State. After dropping a frustrating game to Middlebury, Yale rallied to score a big win against local rivals SCSU. Click here to view the Middlebury match report, and click here to view the SCSU match report.
Yale Rugby has partnered with our online store at Scrumbot to bring you official gear for this year's Alumni Weekend, which will take place on April 18th, 2009. The Scrumbot store will feature polo shirts and t-shirts featuring the Yale Rugby logo, as well as commemorative "Alumni Weekend 2009" embroidery. The gear will certainly be the official uniform of those planning to come to the event, so make sure to pick up your gear to avoid certain ostracizing and name-calling. To access the gear, go to the Scrumbot website (just google "scrumbot" to find it) and select Yale University RFC from the dropdown "Select Club" menu in the top left corner.
Yale Rugby's 3rd Annual Alumni Weekend will take place April 18th, 2009 and will feature 3 matches. The slate will kick off with the Yale B-side taking on visiting Colgate University. Then, Yale's freshmen and sophomores will take on a group of older alums. The feature match will consist of Yale's current A side taking on a group of recent alums, skippered by recent All-American Sean Walbridge '08 and former team president Sherman Wang '07. Following the matches, the group will convene at the Yale Golf Course for dinner, stories, and songs. If you are interested in attending Alumni Weekend, please contact Ralph Bosch.
Yale will kick off its spring season on Saturday, March 28th against Division II powerhouse Middlebury at home. The A side match will begin at 1 PM, followed by B-side action at around 3 PM. Be sure to stop by and see some great rugby.
The Ivy League Tournament has announced an opportunity for businesses to advertise in the programs that will be distributed at this year's tournament. The system should benefit not only your business but Yale Rugby as well, as the club will receive two thirds of all advertising money generated by the team. The program should be a great way to advertise to a group of young, active, intelligent students who share your love for rugby. Sponsorship opportunities are available for as little as $25, so even small businesses can get involved. Click here for a description of what each level of sponsorship entails.
If you are interested in advertising in this year's Ivy League Tournament programs, please fill out this form, making sure to designate Yale as your team to receive the sponsorship money. Completed forms, as well as any questions about the advertising process, can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The form and art design for the ads must be submitted by April 8th, so don't delay in helping both your company and Yale Rugby succeed.
In an unprecedented move, Yale and the other 7 Ivy League schools will break from their respective unions and form an Ivy League Rugby Football Union for play this upcoming fall. Formation of the union, its playoff structure and its constitution are still in development. The fall league season will consist of seven matches (one against each Ivy rival) played over the course of five weeks. The top two or three seeds from the union will advance on to the Northeast Rugby Union territorial playoffs, with the ultimate goal of earning a spot in the National Collegiate Rugby Sweet Sixteen. The goal of the union is to play high level rugby amongst like-minded schools. The move should also increase university and alumni support and help to build a marketable product to attract outside sponsorship. Check back soon for further details as they develop.
Due to financial constraints, Yale Rugby has been forced to cancel its 2009 Spring Tour to the Cayman Islands. This does not represent an end to Yale Rugby's touring tradition, but merely an aberration due to the current financial climate. Yale Rugby hopes to renew the tradition next year with yet another international tour.
Yale Rugby has developed a YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/YaleRFC, to allow alumni and parents to watch footage of Yale rugby matches. The site will be updated throughout the spring, featuring footage from the Spring's matches. The channel should allow alumni to remain connected to the team, and to allow parents who might not be able to make a game to see their son play.
Flanker Andy Beck '09, flyhalf Evan Edwards '09, prop Mike Horrell '10, center Patrick Madden '10, lock Andrew Moir '10, wing Ryan Salinas '09, and flanker Tim Shriver '11 were named to the NERFU All Star Player Pool, putting them in the top 90 of the more than 2,000 collegiate ruggers in New England. Of these seven, three (Madden, Moir, and Shriver) attended the All Stars Selection Camp in Boston on November 15th. After a day of metrics testing and scrimmaging, Madden, Moir and Shriver were all selected to the NERFU South All Star Squad. Click here for a full story about the Selection Camp.
In what has become an annual tradition, Yale Rugby participated in the Playwright Halloween 5K. The proceeds from the run went to benefit Wallingford's Gaylord Hospital CT Jammers Quad Rugby Club. Click here for pictures and more information about the race.
The Northeast Rugby Union has overhauled the playoff system by which Northeast teams qualify for the national rugby tournament. Recognizing the disparity in talent between the New England Rugby Football Union and the NRU's two other member unions, the Met New York and New York State Rugby Football Unions, the NRU has granted the NERFU greater representation in the regional playoffs. Now, instead of the previous two NERFU teams qualifying for the NRU playoffs, 4 teams will qualify, with the winner of the NERFU advancing directly to the Collegiate National Championships. This change should greatly benefit Yale Rugby's postseason aspirations. For more information about the playoff seedings, check out this article on American Rugby News.
The International Rugby Board has developed several changes to the rugby laws in an effort to make the game more fluid and dynamic. The laws affect nearly every aspect of the game, from tactical kicking to scrummaging. A video summary of the new law variations can be seen below:
If the video isn't working for you, a PDF description of the changes can be found here. The new experimental law variations are a boon to Yale Rugby, as they emphasize fast, smart, tactical rugby, something at which Yale excels.Diamond Watches