Sevens season is under way and with the extended daylight comes the move to Blue Jacket Park for the summer. Please be on time as the fields are not lit and we can only run while there’s daylight. Practice starts at 6:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Dan is still running Saturday sessions as well at 10:00 am as well.
Tuesday & Thursday 6:30pm til 9:00pm / Saturday 10:00am
2501 General Rees Ave, Orlando, FL 32802
Men’s Contact: Dan Gordon
Women’s Contact: Amanda Colton
Thursday March 14th will be the start of our 7’s season. We will be training at the same location at Barnett Park, behind the Fairgrounds. Eugene has organized a bbq after the training session, right there at the pitch. He has fronted the cost, but if you’re able to bring a few bucks to offset the cost for him, I’m sure he would appreciate it. Hamburgers and hotdogs will be provided, however, if you want to bring something else we can throw it on the grill. Please do not bring alcohol, only for the fact that we have the youth around and it’s against park policy. We can always go out after and grab a few beers. Dan Gordon will be the Men’s 7’s coach this season, bringing a lot of enthusiasm, and we will be putting together competitive and social sides for the summer tournaments.
We have a fresh start with this 7’s season. Whether you’re a back or a forward, experienced or new to the game, you’re more than welcome to join. 7’s is excellent fitness training and great preparation for 15’s. We will be conducting recruiting campaigns for both 7’s and 15’s starting now. If you know of anyone who you think can hang in rugby, please invite them out. Those needing rides, let me know and we can coordinate something.
Location: Barnett Park
4801 W Colonial Dr. Orlando, FL 32808
Here are some important dates already on the schedule. More to come:
4/6: Orlando Rugby Day at the Beach (barefoot touch rugby)
-also on 4/6 FRU Select Side Tryouts in Jax
5/11: Sunshine State Games (7’s) in Bradenton
5/18: Clash of the Codes in Jax (select side)
6/15 Orlando Rugby Banquet
*also 6/15 Surfin’ 7’s in West Palm
***Todd Miller 7’s hosted by UCF is usually in late June but a date has not yet been announced
7/20 Beerfoot 7’s in Naples
Saturday, Orlando traveled South to face Naples, the #1 seed in the state. Orlando was missing a good deal of starters, mainly due to injury, but was able to bring a solid side of 22 players despite. The first half of the match was rough as Naples went up by 40 at the half. Orlando’s defense wasn’t attacking as a flat line, and as a result, Naples was able to find the gaps. The counter attacks looked like a 7’s match, and Naples was able to poach the ball at will. Orlando managed a penalty kick and a try with conversion, both by Captain Eugene Louw. One noticeable factor for the Griffins was bickering amongst the team once frustration set in. Halftime primarily focused on being positive, playing as a team, and picking one another up and the second half was far different. Orlando moved the ball well, rucking and ball retention looked good, and Orlando fought back to put up another 38 points in the second forty, outscoring Naples 38-19 in the half. It wasn’t enough, however, as the final score saw Naples walking away with a 69-41 victory.
Some positive notes from Saturday: PJ Scott earned his first start and played brilliant rugby all afternoon, deserving of “Man of the Match.” Phillip Moore, who started his rugby career just a couple of weeks ago, filled in at wing and did very well, Mike Shope, Eugene Louw, and Pedro Tonietto all impressed with their solid play. Despite a disappointing result, I can say I was proud of everyone that travelled. Nobody gave up and everyone walked away with their heads held high. Orlando has it’s final match on 3/16, as they travel south again to play the #2 seed, Boca Raton. Thank you to all of the Old Boys for your support this season.
Match Reports, Men
The Orlando Men are on the road at Naples this weekend in the third round of the crossover matches. The Youth continue their league season at home against Miami.
Kick Off: 2:00 pm
Location: University High School - 11501 Eastwood Dr, Orlando, FL
Kick Off: 2:00 pm
Location: Estero Park – 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd, Estero, FL
Meet Up: 8:00 am – K-mart on Turkey Lake Rd – 7603 Turkey Lake Rd, Orlando, FL
Orlando traveled well to Ft. Lauderdale this past Saturday. The Griffins came hard out of the gates. This wasn’t a dominating performance, but one in which Orlando was able to move the ball, play aggressive, and do enough things right to put the score at 19-0. Eugene Louw offloaded to Bart Longchamp for a score. Dan Gordon picked a pass and took it to the house for another. Jason Browning took a kick from deep in Orlando territory, virtually untouched, for a 70 meter score.
Then the second half rolled around….
Not sure if it was the long drive down, or the vast number of mental mistakes, or if a magical fairy sprinkled pixie dust to lull the visitor’s to sleep. Whatever the case, Orlando played flat in the second half. Ft. Lauderdale fought back with try after try to take the lead 21-19 and ultimately walked away with their fourth win of the year, 26-19. At one of the most critical points in the season, Orlando failed to show up for an entire half of rugby. Anyone at training this past week could have predicted the outcome. Poor numbers prevented Orlando from having the opportunity to focus on areas for improvement. Orlando will travel again to Naples on March 2nd for another big contest, and finish off the cross-overs at home against Boca Raton on March 9th.
The U-19s played as well but Ft. Lauderdale had their number as well. No word on the score yet.
Match Reports, Men, Youth