Monday, June 25, 2012

Burlington II at home (Week V of X)

Grimsby Gentlemen 10: Burlington II 52 (Crossover Game)

Venue: Alway Park

Our new clubhouse is almost finished, all we need is showers.

Thanks to Dirk for providing the flag, we will take care of it.  The last one was stolen from the clubhouse (not very Canadian).

Referee: Paul Byrne***  We have had Paul for 3 of our 4 home losses and it must be his fault. Just kidding Paul, good game.

Weather:  Not as hot as it could have been, but it was still warm (26 degrees - feel 34 degrees)

Attendance:  Both teams just had 15 at kickoff and they outnumbered the spectators by a lot.  Must have been a garage sale nearby.

Team:  Reminiscent of last year just barely making the numbers.

1. Nick Lord, 2. Brad Verstenboch, 3. Jon Millington (80 min), 4 Dirk Reichow 60 min), 5. Jeremy Young, 6. Dan Wolfrath, 7. Bob Mavro, 8. Kyle Wilson, 9. Nick Lemieux, 10. Derrick Weber (C), 11. Jamie Scully, 12. Martin Colyn, 13.(wearing 22) James Vinneau, 14. Brendan Sculland, 15. Pat Brown 16. Ale Millar (comming on fresh in the second half)

Coach`s  Report

We missed some important players in important positions and could not hold on to a good first half against a team in a higher division.  Compared to last week we came out better and Derrick kicked a penalty after 3 minutes.  Then at the 10 minute mark, Burlington made a good kick that eluded our winger and they scored and converted.  Unfortunately a bad kick off led to a scrum and a good attack which immediately scored.  However, Grimsby wasn`t done and with a quick tap by Nick Lemieux and a follow up by Derrick we got into the opponent`s end.  A few plays later our prop Jon Millington took the ball in at the corner.  Derrick then made a nice kick which just made it inside the upright  (expertly called by the line judge, although the Burlington players complained, but they even complained about the flies).  That was as close as we got as Burlington `s better running and ball control resulted in two more tries before the half.

Half Time:  Grimsby Gentlemen 10: Burlington Centaurs 26.

I wish I could tell you that things got better in the second half or at least stayed the same, but I can`t.

Full Score Grimsby Gentlemen 10: Burlington Centaurs 52

Great strong play by the captain Derrick Weber and very promising play by our newcomer Pat. 

President`s Report

Ireland got beat 60 to 0 by New Zealand, and at home it was Oakville II 56 and Brantford II 5, London St. George I 61 - Niagara Wasps I 7, and London St George II 57 - Niagara Wasps II 3 at home. So for the bottom team in our division to lose to the top team in the above division is not so bad and besides we had better salads by Jennifer Reichow (although  the odd couple spend the afternoon arguing why a simple burger hand-off went south and we ended up with inferior patties). When we go back to Burlington, I think we will be lucky to get anything (good or bad burgers) since we have not had anything for the last few years.  And they complained about a few flies. They did stay and drink some beer for a change. Thanks to Dan for taping the shoulders of a couple of players, somebody should hire this guy as a cop.  We have a weekend off before playing another crossover up a league game with Hamilton, which should be an interesting challenge.  Looking forward to it as we go into the second half of the league.  

A few photos. 

Somewhere in there, the only man on the field with white shorts is scoring a try for Grimsby (sorry for the focus). 

Actually, that is all (the others are not very good).

My latest favorite quote by David Flatman who was a prop for Bath and got 8 caps for England.  From a column for the Independent on his retirement through injury.  

I was never the best player in the world, but I always stuck my head in and tried for my mates and, when I think about it, that is all I ever wanted from any of the men beside whom I stood.... 
But rugby will also always need men who hold their clubs in their hearts, men who would never leave. Bath Rugby has been in my heart for a long time now and it always will be. 

Have a holiday. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Burlington at home (Week IV of X)

Grimsby Gentlemen 5: Burlington Centaurs III 32

Venue: Alway park in the evening (7:00 k.o.)

Referee: Geoff Holloway*** well done refereeing (although he did get lost trying to find the clubhouse on Kemp Road and blamed our directions)

Weather:  a very nice evening not too hot or humid (perfect night for rugby)

Attendance:  A bit small for a nice evening, but here are a few of the enthusiastic female followers. 

Guess whose Dad, sister and girlfriend are in the above picture. 


1. Nick Lord, 2.Brad Verstenbosch, 3. Jon Millington (40 min), 4. Dirk Reichow(25 min - inj)), 5. Jeremy Young, 6. Dan Wolfrath, 7. Dean Crozier, 8. Kyle Wilson (C), 9. Nick Lemieux, 10. Andy Breuls, 11. Colin Comfort, 12. Vic Blaney (60 min -inj), 13.(22) James Vinneau, 14. Jamie Scully, 15. Alex Millar (60 min), 16 Tim Millar (40 min) 17. Bob Mavro (55 min), 18. Pat Brown (40 min)

The sun sets on our latest failure to hit the win column.  I hope Mohawk doesn't find out about  my coaching record. 

Coaches' Report:

We asked to change the date of this Burlington game so we could see how a mid week game went but mainly because we did not want to get up and play on Saturday after the Friday night Canada - Italy game in Toronto.  I had to get up at seven anyway for a flag tournament but who listens to me.   So we made it easy for Burlington to add more experience and bigger players to their lineup and of course they did, with about 9 players who played a higher level the week before. Although some players were coming off injury or paying in their not usual position. It showed early with Burlington take it to us in the forwards and scoring within three minutes and again at twelve minutes.  Most of the play continued to be in our end and they managed to score at thirty eight minutes and again, a killer, at fourty.  We managed to stop them from converting three of the four (yea).

Half time Grimsby Gentlemen 0: Burlington Centaurs 22

We looked good for the first five of the second half with a lot of attacking ball, scoring five minutes in but Burlington immediately answered with a try of their own. The last score for the Centaurs came at about seventy minutes.  No trys were converted.

Full time Grimsby Gentlemen 5:  Burlington Centaurs 32

We did well in fixed pieces but had to defend a lot and got tired quickly. Burlington showed us a couple of times how set up and execute a rolling maul.

Our regular Captain and 10, Derrick, was recovering so Andy moved to fly half and did very well setting up some runs with Vic who scored our try.  When Vic came off injured, Alex became a credible center.
Alex was chosen as coaches man of the match.
This is Vic scoring the try with Andy and Alex ready for off loads (or something).

Presidents' Report:

Burlington usually does not stay after for very long but did better this time and we got to talk to them.  They are not bath salt-smoking ogres as many have claimed and a very nice beer up was had by all.  Thanks again to Jennifer for  making salads.  We play their seconds in the next game and I suspect we will see many of the same faces although they do have to have three teams in three away venues this coming weekend.

Man of the Match: Burlington chose Alex Millar while firstly chose their quick little back but he had to go home with his mother so we picked the big Irish center.  So it was Ireland vs Scotland in the drink-off and Scotland won because Alex cheated (actually spilled beer-which is uncharacteristic for a Scots, I think)

Below Alex has the group enraptured with his tales of how well he played and why he made the best decisions possible.   Thanks for playing on our team Alex.

Below is an actual historical re-enactment of the first hanging of a fly strip in our clubhouse.  Thanks to Brendan for taking part and being ably assisted by his brother Brad.

This is Rhyan Millar and her mother.  Rhyan is wondering why we would do this to Bambi.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Baby Boom

From an article in the New Zealand Herald, Sunday June 10, 2012 

Libby Jackson counts back nine months. Photo / Doug Sherring
The All Blacks' Rugby World Cup victory sparked a baby boom.

The maternity unit at Waitakere Hospital was overflowing with double the usual number of births last weekend - exactly nine months after the World Cup kicked off.

Nearly 40 babies were born over three days at the West Auckland hospital. Increased births were also reported at Middlemore Hospital.

New mum Libby Jackson joked that Cup celebrations were probably the reason for the increased numbers.

"A lot of my friends are due soon and we counted back and said, oh yes, the Rugby World Cup."

Waitakere midwife manager Helen Ngatai said the ward was "madness" over the weekend.

"I am so grateful for the staff we had, they just got on with it and everyone worked really hard," she said.

More experienced mums were sent home early, others were transferred to other parts of the hospital. Those who were well enough were sent to Birthcare.

"We would have a bed stripped and cleaned and it was immediately filled with the next woman in labour."

On a completely unrelated note , a son, Hayden Matai Crozier was born to Tara and Dean on May 30 of this year. Dean being our only Kiwi on the team.  The name Richie was thought to have been brought up several time but nixed by Tara.  (photo of Hayden will be soon) 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kitchener at home: (Week III of X)

Grimsby Gentlemen 5: Kitchener Knaves 23

Venue: Alway Park

Weather: A gentle rain all morning with about 7.5 mm falling that ended just at game tine although I wore my fashionable poncho all game.  Temp 23 degrees.  A bit of a wind in our faces in the second half.

Referee: Paul Byrne *** A very good game today, kept the clubs in line with a combination of skilled management and supreme fitness ( I found out he reads the blog).  He would have gotten four stars if we had won the game.

Attendance: With the other teams having the day off were were graciously paid a visit by a few former players who now play for our farm team, Stoney Creek. The individual who brought his own (expensive) beer will be tasered by Alex our police officer next time he shows his face. It was good attendance for starting out to be a rainy day.


1. Nick Lord, 2. Brad Vorstenbosch, 3. Jon Millington (50 min) , 4. Jeremy Young, 5. Bob Mavro, 6. Dean Crozier, 7. Dan Wolfrath, 8. Kyle Wilson (PL), 9. Nick Lemieux, 10. Derrick Weber (C)( 7 min), 11. Colin Comfort (40 min), 12. Vic Blaney, 13. Martin Colyn, 14. James Scully, 15. Alex Millar(40 min), 16. Tim Millar (no relation)(40 min), 17. Andy Breuls (73 min), 18. Pat Brown (40 min), 19. Dirk Reichow (25 min.) 22. James Vinneau (40 min)

It was nice having a few extra players for a change, although some are a bit strange. Andy is the one running in the opposite direction to every one else. Andy has, in three games,  played prop, flanker and center.

Coach's Report
We started off much bettethan last week, and were much better at the start in set pieces.  Unfortunately our captain and number 10 was lost in the first 7 min and had to get 8 stitches in his face. 

Andy came on in the center and Martin moved to 10 and both did very well for the rest of the game.  We scored first from some kind of a drive as Bob Mavro touched down over the whitewash (I have always wanted to write that, about the whitewash not Bob, although it is nice that Bob scored, but I digress).  Here is Bob just after the score. (He is still on the ground somewhere)

Unfortunately the game did not end then and although Grimsby seemed to have the better territorial advantage for the rest of the half we did not score again and Kitchener managed to cross the whitewash but also missed the convert.

Half Time Score:  Grimsby Gentlemen 5: Kitchener Knaves 5

After the interval, and using the wind Kitchener claimed two penalty kicks and managed to sneak in a converted try.  Then, after a series of plays during which it seemed we must score as almost every forward had a try at it, the Knaves, against the run of play, put the game out of reach with a final try.   Stronger game than last week, defense needs work and fitness needs to be improved.  We might have done better here, if Milli wasn't pushing against us. 

Or if Nick had put his socks on before the game started.

Man of the match was Nick Lord our young prop.  With honourable mention to Bob Mavro who was everywhere today. 

President's Report

Why is this man happy? (he actually is happy)

Is it because he was captain of the team that just won? Is it because the rain stopped and it turned into a nice day for rugby? Is it because he finally got his boots off? Or is it because Ken is the NRU fixtures secretary and at one point was worried about having to reschedule the entire league because Grimsby did not have enough registered players? All of the above.  We did well with five qualified spares which is a first for a long time. We have a nice core of young players mixed with some experience.  We will do well as the youngsters get used to men's rugby.  

It was a good day overall with Kitchener staying around for a little bit.  Thanks to Milli and  Bob for organizing the beer up, Vic for cooking, Elizabeth, Vanessa and Alex behind the bar.  Thank you Jennifer for making the salads again - they all went quickly.  

The Knave's pick for man of the match was Nick Lord and we picked their young fullback.  
In the traditional diet coke drink-off, (supervised by a police officer) Nick cleaned up and I think their player is still drinking.

Here is my latest favourite quote about rugby:

"We got the songs, we got the chants, we got the mates hugging, we got the mates kissing but we're still mates.  There arn’t many games where you would break a limb for a mate.  There arn’t many games where you shit in a mate's hand and still be mates."

                                                                 Oliver Blazeby (6 sometimes 7)
                                                                 from "Don't Drop the Egg"

Check out the shirts at The GENTS Rugby Rugby Union Club in Suffolk.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

St Catharines Away (Brooker Cup VI 2012)

Grimsby Gentlemen 14: St Catharines Tigers 39

Venue: The stately Ridley College

Weather conditions:  Cool with a cross wind and isolated sunny periods

Referee: Ian Stewart **

Attendance: We actually had a few supporters only one of which got upset when I took her picture but since Hailey plays for Thorold Badgers and signed the registration certificate we can use her picture.  Hailey also plays for Beansville High School who is up in Ottawa at OFSAA.  She also helps us out with the flag program showing little flaggers wrestling moves.  She is running touch for us.

Grimsby Gentlemen:

1. Jon Millington (60 min), 2. Brad Vorstenbosch, 3. Tim Millar, 4. Dirk Reichow (35 min), 5. Bob Mavro, 6. Andy Breuls, 7. Dan Wolfrath, 8. Kyle Wilson, 9. Nick Lemieux, 10. Derrick Weber, 11. Colin Comfort (40min), 12. Vic Blaney, 13. Martin Colyn, 14. Jamie Scully, 15. Alex Millar 16. Pat Brown* (40 min), 17. Nick Lord* (20 min),

This week We had two players playing for Grimsby for the first time Pat Brown at wing  (above) and Nick Lord at Prop (below).

Below is Brad Vorstenbosh (hooker) who started for Grimsby last week for the first time but I did not have his picture. (Here he is)

At the start the average age of the front row was 26 and after Nick went it it dropped to 17.5. This is our youngest front row in history.

President's Report:

With eight of the players available this week, being in the first year of playing senior rugby and 5 of them being twenty or under we have quite a bit of inexperience and when we hit the Tigers with big forwards and lots of experience we did not come off so good but we will get better (they won't).  St. Catharines took it to us early and scored at 10 min (a large knock on was missed by the ref) again at 20 min. and once again just after that restart. We could not do anything as we did not have much of the ball. They ran one again at 28 min before Vic scored just before half with Webs converting.

Half time score  Grimsby Gentlemen 7: St Catharines Tigers 24

In the second half the tigers put 3 more tries on the board before we got another near the end of the game by Nick Lemieux with Webs again converting.

Final score Grimsby Gentlemen 14: St Catharines 39.

This is Nick scoring his try.

Coach's Report

On the bright side even though they score seven tries they only converted two, while Webs has not missed yet this season.  (five for five)  The Tigers deserved the win as they were physically stronger and more aggressive.  They did better than us at the rucks and controlled the ball for the majority of the game.  We however are very optimistic that with the new players getting some experience and  some older players being available we will be competitive in the next few weeks.

Man of the Match

The coach's pick goes to Vic who not only made good tackles and runs and scored a try, managed to blick a kick with his groin.  It would have hurt a mere mortal but he ran a good twenty meters before it had to be removed.  It was a bit of a cheeky pick.

Even though I though I was up on social media by writing this blog it turns out that something called "Facebook" has been around for years.  So we have a facebook page to stay up to date on our schedule, news and events.  Make sure you keep sharing the link every week with all your Facebook friends.

(just don`t buy shares)

The sixth playing of the stupid Brooker Cup goes to St. Catharines (maybe Kevin will drop it on his foot) but the largest winning margin ever.  It is also the first time a team has won it back to back.  Well done ttigers wait till next year.

A shout out to those players (Bob and Brendan) who came out to see Bill Stuart and the Burlington Welsh with Jon Langford at the Horseshoe Tavern on Saturday. A rockin' time.