Saratoga’s narrow defeat to Mystic River has the Stampede very optimistic on the remainder of the season.
Saratoga knew the match would be some of the best competition that Saratoga has faced in arguably its 10 year history. Mystic River is known for their toughness and ability to muscle around on a rugby field. Saratoga was ready for the challenge and matched their physicality almost immediately. The game was very physical from the opening kick-off, and it did not end until the final whistle. Saratoga challenged everything that Mystic wanted to do offensively, creating and endless barrage of solid tackles and creating opportunities to score which left the score at the half 21-8 with the Stampede ahead. Saratoga’s spirits were high leading into the second half of the match, but a couple unlucky momentum changes took place and Mystic River capitalized on them with tries. With only minutes left in the match, Saratoga gained possession of the ball and slowly marched their way down the field for one last scoring opportunity to pull ahead. However, Mystic River surprisingly took a Saratoga player directly out of bounds, causing the final score to be 25-24 Mystic River.
The team held their heads high, and continue to move forward with the rest of the season. The team seems in great spirits and is looking to take the loss as a great opportunity to continue on in NERFU. The team also awarded one of its youngest players, forward Tim Hartwell, with the second Man of the Match award. Tim’s tenacity on defense and ability to break tackles and secure the ball in open play for created many great opportunities for Saratoga to be successful on the day. Tim appears to be an up-and-coming Saratoga star, and the Stampede seems fortunate to have him as such a young talent. Congrats Tim! B-side Man of the Match goes to Josh Peckenpaugh, who in his first outing with the Stampede, showed impressive talent and poise for his first outing. The team is very excited at its new and promising talent, which the Stampede hope will bring long-term success in this premier rugby team.
The team will now be heading off to Burlington, VT to take on Burlington Rugby Football Club.
Week 2 Match-up!!!
After a solid week of practice, the Saratoga Stampede remain focused on Mystic River after thier win against Newport, RI last week. Spirits seem high at the season opening success, but that does not seem to waiver their focus for the upcoming match. The Stampede are “taking it one game at a time,” stated Head Coach Jaco Visser. Coach Visser also commented the importance of the upcoming away game, saying that Saratoga respects Mystic River’s rugby prestige “as an opportunity we are looking forward too.” Saratoga appears to be completely focused on Mystic River and remaining unbeaten. However, there is no doubt that this be the biggest challenge for the Stampede this season.
– On Saturday, Sept. 6th. @ 1pm, Saratoga’s Men’s team defeated Newport, RI 37-26 in the Stampedes first XV match of the season
The game started out slowly, with Newport scoring a few quick tries after the Stampede kicked for points early in the match. The first 40 minutes were a tough go for Saratoga, leaving them behind 21-10 in the first half. “As a team, we just spent much of the first half working on pulling it all together” says player Rob Michelin. However, the team found quick chemistry, effectively shutting down their offense to only 5 more points, which was scored with only a couple minutes left in the game. The team’s offense quickly gained momentum and scored a few quick tries, allowing the team to pull ahead early in the 2nd half, giving the team their first win at the new home for the Saratoga Stampede. There were many standout performances individually, however it was Scrum Half Danny Owenson’s leadership and athleticism under pressure which netted him the team’s first “Man of the Match” of the year. Congrats Danny!
Saratoga’s B-side “Man of the Match” goes to Rob “Rip” Carlin, who has only been with the club just a few short months. His lack of experience on a rugby pitch is more than accounted for with his work rate and overall tenacity when he puts on the Saratoga blue!
The team will now be heading off to Malden, Massachusetts to take on the prestigious Mystic River Rugby Club
Click photo to attend on Facebook!
Saratoga Springs, NY, August 26, 2014– On Saturday, Sept. 6th. @ 1pm, Saratoga’s Rugby team will face Newport, RI at their new rugby home, 5 Clement Ave. (adjacent to Skidmore Athletic Fields)
This match will be the start of a 9 game NERFU (New England Rugby Football Union) fall season in which the Stampede will host 4 home games total. Over the next few months, the team will travel to Mystic River, Burlington, the Boston area, Providence, Albany, and New Haven to compete for a league title. Much as they did in 2012, winning a NERFU title and moving on to take 3rd in the country, the team is looking for a chance to place a bid for another run at the USA Rugby National Championships next spring.
Following each home game, players and spectators alike will make their way over to team sponsor Peabody’s, which will host both rugby teams in a relaxed and casual atmosphere, a tradition which is not seen in other sports. The post-match also gives the fans and the casual onlooker a chance to meet the coaches and players, as well as learn more about the sport that is booming in Saratoga Springs.
Remaining home games will be
• 9/27 vs Worcester, Mass
• 10/4 vs Providence (family day)
• 10/25 vs Old Gold Rugby (Boston)
For a full season schedule and more information about our event, please contact Rob Michelin at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit saratogarugby.org