On Saturday, February 22, your Orlando RFC traveled to Jacksonville to play the rescheduled matrix match. It was a beautiful, sunny day at Huffman Park. The pitch was dry and the wind was an indication that prepared fitness would be of the essence. Jacksonville struck early on a penalty kick. Following the points, a kick for touch resulted in from by all accounts a hard fought goal line stand where the defensive persistence was finally outmatched, with a Jacksonville score. Lack of confidence in officiating aside, the rest of the first half combined with the entire second half saw sloppy, mismanaged breakdowns. The difference came in the second half when Orlando saw multiple, clean attempts at nearly full length pitch tries, two of which were called back with the opposing touch judge and referee determining the runner had gone into touch before grounding the ball. In the second half, Orlando used exceptional open field play and erased a twenty-point deficit down to six, with a prop in the bin nonetheless. After our man was brought back on, another was sent off. Using the man advantage, Jacksonville scored the dagger resulting in a 37 – 24 L for Orlando RFC. Tries scored on the day go to Will Doherty skipping and playing eight, Juan Dengel playing inside center, Sam Nelson playing wing, and Bart Longchamp playing flanker. Orlando awarded Eric Jacovetti (playing scrumhalf) with the Man of the Match honors, a welcome form of encouragement to play at a higher level to finish out the season strongly.
The B-side match was, again, a modified 10s format. Orlando and Jacksonville went blow for blow resulting in a small Jacksonville victory, and a universal, full-blown thirst for payback from the club, in general, for the second trip we make there in three short weeks. No Man of the Match honors were provided for either club, but with more than half the side playing in unfamiliar positions, this match and the first both showcased the obvious talent we possess among our ranks and the even more obvious need to demonstrate it through cooperation.
This week, Orlando RFC hosts its final home match of the year against Naples. We really are grateful for all the continued support and look forward to seeing faces both familiar and unfamiliar at this match. Make no mistake; if you are in attendance you will have a good time. We’ll see you on the pitch.
Match Reports, Men
Here are the details for this Saturday’s match vs Jacksonville. Jax has agreed to a 10’s match so there will be a B-side.
Time: 9:00am (no exceptions)
Day: Saturday, Feb 22nd
Location: Lake Mary Home Depot
Address: 4600 W Lake Mary Blvd, Lake Mary, FL 32746
Opponent: Jacksonville RFC
Location: Huffman Park
Address: 2753 Huffman, Jacksonville, FL 32246
Orlando RFC hosted Tampa Krewe for both an A-side and a modified B-side match at the Central Florida Fairgrounds this past weekend. It was a beautiful, windy day for rugby. The conditions were pristine, and a hard match was played. The theme of Saturday was open field play. Both squads worked to retain the ball, ultimately spinning it out to the sideline through multiple phases and both sides made and missed their fair share of open field tackles. Krewe struck first only to feel an Orlando rebuttal shortly after. The match was back and forth and for the first time in several weeks the amount of lineouts quadrupled that of the amount of scrums. In the end, Orlando’s hard work and dedication was handed a humble reminder that rugby is and always will remain an eighty-minute game. In the final seconds of injury time for the match, down by four, Krewe broke the gain line to take a one-point lead, 19-18. Following the conversion, the final score showed Orlando 18 – Krewe 21. Tries scored on the day go to Sam Nelson at winger and Dan Gordon at fullback. Sam Nelson also converted on two penalties, thus solidifying his nod as Orlando’s Man of the Match.
The B-side match was far from close. In a modified 10s match, Orlando broke the scoreboard against a disorganized Krewe second side. It really was a display of the inconspicuous depth the club is developing as far as talent goes. If you want an idea of how ugly it got for our opponents, Man of the Match honors went to winger, Chris Clare and his six (you read that correctly) tries. He wasn’t even the only person on the squad with multiple tries scored on the day. The statisticians had little time to keep an accurate count.
This week, Orlando RFC travels to Jacksonville. Practice sessions are held at normal hours, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM Tuesday and Thursday at Barnett Park. Following the match at Jacksonville, Orlando will have its final home game of the season against the boys from Naples. We thank you for your continued support. We’ll see you on the pitch.
This weekend Orlando A-side hosted Daytona in a regular season matrix match, while Orlando’s B-side hosted Brevard. The events prior to the match are what true clubs are all about. A call came in from the city at 4pm on Friday stating that all city fields would be closed due to weather. Rather than forfeiting the match, the club banded together to make it happen. Adam Hyche, and Tom Murphy made countless phone calls looking for a viable option. JD Flynn contacted the referee society and Daytona to keep them informed. Chris Quigley reached out to Brevard. Raoul Besse loaded up his truck with goal posts, while Kenny Bernstein located the flags and goal pads. Eric Jacovetti found an auger and everyone showed up prior to the match to create a pitch from scratch. Rather than throwing in the towel, the Orlando boys stepped up.
The conditions were rainy, muddy, and miserable, but it didn’t stop Orlando from putting on a show for the supporters. Tackling was much improved, ball handling was good despite the conditions, and Orlando played to the caliber they’re capable of. Final score on the day was Orlando 46 – Daytona 5. Tries scored on the day go to Dan McGann, Sam Nelson, Chris Sunderhaus, Juan Dengal (2x), Mike Shope, Will Doherty, and Chris Claire. Man of the Match was awarded to Mike Shope for his play at hooker and filling in at flanker when needed. Two Zulus were also performed, but players will not be named so as to protect the innocent from their respective spouses. Orlando’s B-side hosted a traveling Brevard side and kept the intensity up throughout. Everyone saw significant time on the pitch and the new boys were able to showcase their talents. Final Score was Orlando 29 – Brevard 0. Tries were put in by Chris Claire, Chris Quigley, Sam Nelson, and Omar (Tony) Soto. Man of the Match was awarded to the veteran “rookie”, who claims he’s never played but kicks like a pro, Sam Nelson.
Many of you have asked what’s going on with the club after two poor performances against Boca and Lauderdale. Orlando is on the right track and setting itself up for the long-term. If you remember, the club was down to 10 members and 3 ex-com at the end of last season. A strong executive committee was established this year and meetings have been held regularly every month. 4 new positions have been created due to the enthusiasm of transfer players who held leadership positions in the former clubs. A full coaching staff has been named including Eugene Louw (Head Coach), Evan Haigh (Backs), and Tom Murphy (Forwards). A new bar sponsor has been located that is providing monetary sponsorships. The team has engaged in fundraising activities to provide financial stability. A blood drive was recently held for Cannon Wiggins, a two year old diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. Not only was it the most successful blood drive they’ve ever held, but the players donated $438 to the family to supplement their needs. A new application called “Whatsapp” has been implemented to create more bonding amongst the team and many new players have joined the club recently. They need time playing together before success will be consistent on the pitch, but Orlando will get there. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but the infrastructure is now in place to grow the club exponentially. Please join us for the next home match this weekend as Orlando hosts Tampa Krewe.
Match Reports, Men
The City of Orlando closed all of the parks for this weekend late Friday afternoon. So we are moving the Daytona match tomorrow to Barber Park at 3701 Gatlin Ave. 32812 (thanks Rinaldo). Kick off is still at 2:00 pm for the A side match wit ha B game to follow. See you there.