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Wednesday, June 19, 2019
BRFU Elite Skill Clinics Announced

The Bermuda Rugby Football Union (BRFU) will once again host an elite skills clinic for the Under 19s, Men’s and Women’s National Sevens Teams at the National Sports Center from June 28th to July 3rd.

All teams are preparing for the Region’s Championship in July, while the Sevens Tournament serves as a qualification to the 2020 Olympics.

Formerly known as Serevi Rugby, Atavus was founded in 2011 and has grown to become a leading authority on elite level rugby.

The BRFU have nurtured a close relationship with Atavus, with professional coaches visiting the Island several times a year to put Bermuda’s players through a variety of drills, while also working with the national teams at overseas tournaments. The relationship is made possible by AXA XL’s significant sponsorship of rugby on the Island.

Player’s will receive skill training under the leadership of a team of impressively accomplished coaches. The coaching team will include, Ben Gollings - record points scorer and one of the highest capped Sevens players of all time. Matt Turner – Ex-England international and current professional rugby player. Charl Maherbe – Strength and conditioning coach for a professional South African rugby franchise.

Jonathan Cassidy, the BRFUs Director of Sevens, commented “Atavus are an integral part of the Bermuda rugby success story, in both accomplishments on the field and growing the game island wide. This is only made possible through the generosity of AXA XL. During an Atavus visit, the coaching team will typically reach over 200 school kids and take them through their strides, under the leadership of our Youth Development Officer, Patrick Calow.”

Bermuda Men’s 7s coach, Tom Healy added, “Success at the grass roots level is beginning to bear fruit at the National team level with over half the squad having come through the youth programme”.
Monday, June 17, 2019
Wainwright & Toronoto Arrows Fall In Semi-Final

Marcello Wainwright and his Toronto Arrows’ teammates inaugural Major League Rugby season came to a close g, with the expansion club falling 30 - 17 to the Seattle Seawolves in their Championship Series Semi-Final at Starfire Stadium.

Despite trailing by 23 points in the opening half of the playoff fixture, the travelling Arrows fought back to reduce the deficit to six points in the late stages of the match.

The first 40 minutes were controlled by the Seawolves, as the reigning league champions raced out to a 23-0 lead through tries from JP Smith and Jeff Hassler, along with a trio of penalty goals from Brock Staller.

Down but not out, the Arrows received a boost just before the halftime whistle, when Gaston Mieres put the visitors on the board with a juking try after receiving a pinpoint pass from Sam Malcolm. Malcolm added a conversion from just inside the touch line to make it 23-7 heading into the interval.

With momentum on their side, the Arrows came out of the break with renewed intensity. Strong pressure led to a Mike Sheppard try in the 49th minute, as the lock intercepted an errant pass from Smith to race clear. A Malcolm penalty goal struck just after the hour-mark pulled Toronto to within one score of Seattle.

Despite pushing the hosts to their back feet, Toronto’s comeback hopes were dashed minutes later as a penalty try was awarded to Seattle after the referee adjudged the visitors to have illegally brought down a Seawolves maul.

The final glimmer of hope brought on by an apparent try by Sheppard was snuffed out when the TMO spotted a lineout infraction and rescinded the tally.

With the free kick, the Seawolves cleared and time expired.

“We’re proud to have earned a playoff spot in our first season in the league,” said Arrows Director of Rugby Chris Silverthorn. “We’ll leave with our heads held high after a memorable season that was filled with positives. While we didn’t get the result we had hoped for, we learned a lot this year, and we’re excited about what lies ahead for our organization.”
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
O’Shaughnessy Has A Season to Remember
What a debut year for Padraic O’Shaughnessy with the Maasstricht Maraboes Rugby club – they were crowned Second Division Champions and secured promotion to the Dutch Men’s First Division.

The Maastricht Maraboes compete in the Men’s Second Division of the Netherlands Rugby Union. Last year they were promoted from the Third Division and enjoyed a successful start to life in the Second Division.

The Maraboes fought their way to the title with impressive wins over R.C Tooval and TE Werve in the closing matches of the championship round. O’Shaughnessy who had a recurrence of his hamstrung injury mid-way through the season worked tirelessly to be fit for the last game of the season at home. He had physio sessions twice a week, numerous weekly gym sessions and his efforts were rewarded when he was selected to start the final game.

O’Shaughnessy noted it was a very special and emotional day for the club, with a large attendance, the local TV station covered the match and each team member came onto the field with a member of the Youth rugby club. Past members of the club were there to celebrate the club’s promotion to the first division for the first time ever and they closed out the season with an impressive win against TE Werve RUFC.

After the game, after the celebrations died down, O’Shaughnessy reflected on the rugby journey that took him to this remote city in the Netherlands which borders Germany and Belgium. His memories included starting rugby with his brother Tadhg at Somersfield under the watchful eye of Garth Lorimer Turner, the many BRFU Sunday rugby sessions and tours with Stephen Robb, Patrick Calow and Devrae Noel Simmons, Sevens training with Waisele Serevi and the many hard fought games in the colors of his beloved Teachers Rugby club.

The Maraboes club is truly international with players from countries such as South Africa, Ireland, England, France, Scotland, and Bermuda! They say you make friends for lifetime on a rugby field and O’Shaughnessy will treasure this year like no other.

Next season, will be a challenge for sure as the Maraboes play at the top table of Dutch rugby but that’s where the Marabloes and O’Shaughnessy want to play and he is looking forward to next season. For now, staying fit is key and getting back involved in local rugby when he returns to the island later this month.
Monday, June 03, 2019
Wainwright & Toronoto Arrows Advance to Championship

Marcello Wainwright and his Toronto Arrows teammates have secured their spot in the 2019 Major League Rugby Championship Series.

The expansion club ended its regular season with a thrilling 22-20 victory over Rugby United New York, capping off the match with a late penalty goal from Sam Malcolm to earn the win – their seventh victory in a row – as well as an all-important post-season berth.

The visitors were the first side on the board in the back-and-forth affair, with Mike St. Claire finding a gap and sprinting in to open the match scoring in the 6th minute.

Toronto quickly answered back, responding through rapid-fire tries from Dan Moor and Spencer Jones. After beating one tackler and fighting off another, Leandro Leivas did well to spring Moor for a piercing try into the corner at the 15-minute mark. The captain’s scoring play was followed up just minutes later through Jones, who received a pinpoint long-distance flat pass from Jamie Mackenzie to dot down underneath the uprights. Malcolm added the extras after Jones’ tally to put the Arrows ahead 12-7, and the scoreline would hold heading into the interval.

New York began the second half much like the first, scoring another quick try through John Quill to regain the lead. Cathal Marsh then struck two penalty goals before the hydration break to build an eight-point gap between the two sides, leaving the hosts with a two-score deficit to overcome entering the final stages of the match.

Andrew Ferguson clawed back a try in the 65th minute, taking a quick tap and catching New York’s defensive line off-guard as he snuck into the in-goal area. Malcolm’s conversion brought Toronto to within one point of New York, setting up a heart-pounding end to the season finale.

With momentum now swinging back in the Arrows’ favor and Toronto’s defensive ranks holding firm, a creative grubber kick from Pat Parfrey was plucked up by Moor, who promptly marshalled his side back down the pitch. A club record crowd of 3,218 were out their seats as Toronto continued probing deep into the match, and were eventually rewarded in the 77th minute: Malcolm, with his team’s playoff ambitions on the line, calmly received a pass from Ferguson and booted a drop goal through the posts, marking the first drop goal scored in club history.

Toronto gobbled up the ball following the restart, and sealed the victory by coolly controlling play while the final 90 seconds of the match ticked down.
Sunday, June 02, 2019
Hodgkins Helps Shawnigan Win Championship

Jamin Hodgkins led the Shawnigan Lake School team in the BC Provincial AAAA Gold Medal Final, 21 – 12 over St. George’s.

Hodgkins had an outstanding game and was named man of the match.

Hodkins ability to break the line, distribute and manage the game was notable, his kicking was particularly impressive as was his defensive work rate.

Hodgkins high school and Under 20 Canada coach said, “Hodkins has also come miles. He continues to take positive steps in his rugby journey. His hard work paid off and he should be very proud. I know we are. “

Hodgkins father Kieth said, “As his dad but also a rugby coach I believe it is mental preparation and extra work that he puts in that is paying off. He is truly a student of the game.”
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