Mid Season Round Up

Now that we’ve reached the half way stage of the 2015-2016 D2 season the league has developed into a 3 horse race with New Haven setting the pace leaving White Plains RFC and the Village Lions to fight it out for second and third. (The Village Lions have their nose in front by picking up two bonus point against New Haven RFC.)

The September 19th game versus Lions was a frustrating outing for White Plains with a tied result of 38 – 38. The boys had trained well in the week after the disappointment against New Haven and came out all guns blazing jumping into a 17 point lead.

The opening 15 minutes was near perfect and the lads looked set to cruise to an easy victory. Unfortunately instead of pushing on from there the following 60 minutes was a frustrating mix of complacency, over confidence and poor execution as we drifted in and out of the game.  A lack of accuracy collecting restarts and at the break down allowed the Lions easy field position and a lack of intensity in defense allowed them to convert their dominance into points with alarming ease.

Both teams traded scores with the Lions forcing their way into the lead in the final 10 minutes, a long range penalty from Poukie Mannering tied the game and unfortunately another to win it fell just short.
There were some harsh words after this display as the performance was a step down from what the guys had produced in defeat the week before and was not what we wanted heading into a bye week.

Up next were local rivals Old Blue, the boys had trained well for 2 weeks including a monster session on the bye week Saturday as they took out their frustration from the missed opportunity against the Lions on each other at training.

This game showed the dedication of the team as they went out and played for 80 minutes with huge intensity and focus. The opening 30 minutes was tight with both teams exchanging penalties and White plains crossing for a couple of tries.

As the game played out, the WPRFC dedication to fitness this season took its toll on Old Blue as the boys played the game at a pace they couldn’t live with.

The set piece was particularly impressive with our defensive line out starving Old Blue of ball and our scrum marching them backwards in a powerful display.

But the most satisfying aspect of this 56-9 victory was our defense. It was relentless and committed for the whole game, even when victory was assured the guys kept their standards high.

Week 6 saw WPRFC host Long Island in a one sided and at times ill tempered match at Tibbets Park. Absolute dominance at both scrum and line out snuffed out any hope of victory Long Island had as the boys powered to a convincing yet frustrating 56-12 victory.

Our last outing was away at New York Rugby at Randalls Island who proved to be more competitive than their recent results suggested.  White Plains struggled to find any rhythm in the opening quarter and New York jumped out to a 2 score lead before we woke up.

There was no panic over falling a couple of points behind as we clawed our way back into the game with a few penalties. The forwards tightened up their game and we started playing our rugby in the right areas of the field as we attacked with control and patience.

The real break through came in an unexpected, but very welcome form. Kevin Cutignola took a nice pass from Sam Kim, juggled the ball behind his back, broke the line and steamed in under the post.

From that point the game was never in doubt. We raised our intensity, played in the right areas of the field thanks to some superb tactical kicking and piled on the pressure as we emptied the bench. Despite the sluggish start this was a very satisfying 42-20 victory.

Last week was yet another bye week, but is worth mentioning because of how the boys spent their Saturday morning. Yet again we saw the dedication of this young squad as over 20 players came for a session at the Keio Academy. Things are definitely heading in the right direction with this ambitious group. Exciting times as we head into the second half of the season.

White Plains Rugby Club Prepares for Rugby Explosion in America: Launches New Website and Logo

Rugby football returns to the Olympics next year in Rio de Janeiro, and very strong American sides (both Men’s and Women’s) could make some noise, providing a boost to what is already the fastest-growing sport in the United States.

On the vanguard of local rugby’s development since 1972, White Plains Rugby’s serious commitment to premier competition has made the club a perennial force in American rugby. Now the club, a 503c(3) charitable organization, is positioning itself for growth with an expanded management structure, new membership initiatives, a dynamic new website, and an eye-catching new logo that reaches back into the club’s storied history.   

The club’s new interactive website at www.whiteplainsrugby.com offers instantaneous social media interfaces allowing members, and anyone interested in rugby, many ways to make contact and stay informed. The site’s expanded functionality provides several avenues for players and fans alike to access information on the sport of rugby football, and on the matches, social events and community initiatives of the White Plains Rugby Club.

The club’s striking new logo resurrects a legacy White Plains Rugby identity, the “White Plains War Pigs.” The club’s wild boar mascot was at same time intimidating and self-deprecating (it is a pig, after all), which fits one of the key elements of the club throughout its history: Top level rugby without forgetting the fun of it all.

With the help of these improved outreach tools the club hopes expand membership, develop a women’s rugby program, and further our ongoing support of local youth and high school rugby programs.

For more information contact info@wprfc.org or submit an inquiry through www.whiteplainsrugby.com.

New Haven

Week two of the 2015/16 D2 season was as expected, a much more difficult task for our young squad. New Haven were predicted to be the team to beat this season and they showed us why by putting on an impressive counter attacking display to run out 69-18 winners.

But as is often the case the score line does not tell the whole story and WPRFC will take some positives away from this game in order to grow from the experience. For long periods of the game WPRFC dominated in the set piece and defensive breakdown. Our unrelenting effort, attitude and discipline proved to disrupt New Haven as we kept them at bay for long periods.

In attack, WPRFC also managed to apply prolonged periods of pressure that forced New Haven into frequent infringements, picking up 2 yellow cards in what could have been seen as a lenient display by the official.

However, WPRFC were their own worst enemy in attack, squandering many opportunities by not finding the final pass, losing the ball in contact or being lax at critical rucks. New Haven punished these turnovers mercilessly converting counter attacks in to tries to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

With players returning from injury and the hard work the lads are putting in I’m sure WPRFC will learn the lessons from this game and continue to improve.

Next up will be the Village Lions at Randall's Island which will give the boys the opportunity to put last weeks disappointment behind them.

45-5 victory against Landsdowne RFC

The first game of the 2015-16 D2 season is in the books and White Plains RFC recorded an emphatic 45-5 victory against Landsdowne RFC.

After a frantic opening 10 minutes with both sides making unforced errors, White Plains settled and began to take control. With constant pressure at the break down our superior fitness and discipline made a real difference and it wasn’t long before White plains gained the rewards on the score board with tries and penalties.

As the first half continued, the White Plains pack increased their dominance in both the scrum, line out and in the loose as Mike Stivale lead the way with a man of the match performance for the forwards.

From this solid platform, the backs also started to flow effectively with Aiden Costello distributing well and Onye Onwukanjo consistently threatening to break across the gain-line to make space for the rest of the back line. Notably, Kadeem Chandrashekhar who took full advantage of our dominance with impressive skills that led him to score a try and ultimately recieve man of the match for his efforts.

Landsdowne kept the game alive scoring a well worked forwards try from a driven line out which brought the first half to a close with WPRFC leading 21-5.

In the second half, Landsdowne came out with all guns blazing but the White Plains defence and breakdown work kept them at bay as the team worked well together to regain control of the game.

From here White Plains dominance allowed us to score freely as we emptied the bench to add to what was a hard day at the office for a tough and committed Landsdowne side.

This was a great first result for our young “new look” side and was nothing more than the players deserved for their hard work and dedication in preseason. There will be bigger challenges to come, but the club could not ask for more this week.

White Plains Rugby and Suburbia Roller Derby to Sponsor Blood Drive Benefiting White Plains Hospital

Saturday, January 24, 2015

9 AM – 1 PM

White Plains Hospital Auditorium

41 East Post Road
White Plains, NY 10601

(Parking on Davis Avenue - validated)

“Give Blood Play Rugby” is a tongue-in-cheek saying that has been joked about within the rugby community for generations.   The White Plains Rugby Football Club, however, has put the expression to better use by sponsoring semi-annual blood drives to benefit White Plains Hospital for the past 30 years.   This year is no exception with the Club beginning 2015 on a positive note by co-sponsoring the blood drive for the third time with Suburbia Roller Derby.

Jodi Caputocreed, head of White Plains Hospital’s Blood Donor Center, states that “Now is an excellent time of year to give blood as supplies are low.”  Other reasons:

  • Every three seconds, someone needs a blood transfusion!

  • 20 percent of recipients are children – many are cancer patients!

  • Giving blood is 100 percent safe!

  • One pint of blood from one donor can save up to three lives!

  • It’s about life.

  • Donating will not cost you money.

  • About 60 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, yet less than 4 percent do!

  • At least 500 pints of blood must be collected every day to meet the needs of area patients.

  • We import more than 20 percent of our blood supply.

  • If donors gave two to four times a year, it would prevent blood shortages.

She went on to say that the Rugby Club and Suburbia’s efforts can be credited with saving hundreds of lives.

Giving blood is truly the gift of life.  White Plains Rugby welcomes friends, family, and other rugby organizations to participate in its blood drives.  Donors must be at least 17 years of age and in good health.   Please join us for the blood drive on January 24th, and afterwards at Ron Blacks in White Plains for food and refreshments. 

White Plains Rugby Football is a 501c3 amateur athletic organization dedicated to playing, promotion and development of rugby football for youth and adults in Westchester County NY.   Formed in 1972, White Plains Rugby has a rich history of success both, nationally and internationally.   White Plains Rugby is a first division club in the NY Metropolitan Rugby Union

Suburbia Roller Derby (SRD) is Westchester County, New York's only women's flat track roller derby league. Founded in June 2007, the league is made up of 2 travel teams and 3 intraleague-play home teams. Suburbia Roller Derby's mission is to provide a healthy, safe environment (both emotionally and physically) for women, ages 18+, to learn and play the sport of flat track roller derby. 

White Plains Hospital is a leading healthcare provider in Westchester County and home to many renowned programs and services. The Hospital offers much of the technology and specialty care usually found at large teaching hospitals, and combines it with compassionate care close to home.

Ron Blacks is a White Plains restaurant & pub offering a wide variety of beers, along with lunch and dinner specials.  Ron Blacks is an official sponsor of White Plains Rugby and White Plains Hospital.

Miss Westchester Falls in Love with Her Rugby Club as White Plains Rugby Raises "Buckets" of Cash for ALS Research in Home Opening Event White Plains Inaugurates Division 3 Developmental Side with Win

With newly-crowned Miss Westchester, Nadia Manginelli, and Miss Hudson Valley, April Maroshick in attendance, the "Boys from White Plains" opened their USA Rugby Premier Division season against Boston rivals Mystic River Rugby Club at Valhalla High School on Saturday night. A very strong Mystic team stormed into Valhalla and caught host White Plains still brushing off rust from the off season, taking a hard-fought match 23-5.

Neither the score nor the drizzling rain could dampen the spirits of rugby player and ALS-battler Pat Quinn, who turned out to support ALS research and White Plains Rugby.  Between the rugby ALS event and ALS events held at Cross Fit gyms across the state, the White Plains Rugby community generated over $6,000 for the fight against ALS. 

Much more than a premier division rugby club, White Plains Rugby is a 501c3 charitable organization that has been a force for good in the Westchester community for over 40 years.  In addition to molding young athletes into solid citizens through sport and community service, the club has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charitable causes, promoted and participated in blood drives and wildlife conservation efforts, and is currently looking to establish a partnership against domestic violence.

Rugby is America’s fastest growing sport, and will be featured in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. White Plains Rugby was formed in 1972, and has continuously represented the City of White Plains the County of Westchester, and the Metro New York Region in USA Rugby’s Premier Division.  The club also has a long history of international competition, having carried the White Plains colors to Europe and as far away as Zimbabwe. 

White Plains Rugby competes at the National First (Premier) Division level and is excited to announce the inception of a Third Division team that will function as a competitive developmental side for the First Division team, making White Plains Rugby a great place to come and learn to play rugby. White Plains’ D-3 team is already off to a fast start with a 1-0 record with a win against Old Maroon, the Fordham University Alumni side. 

The club’s competitiveness is founded on a premier coaching staff.  Coach Dan Pazio brings 30 years of rugby leadership from England to White Plains, and his assistant and Division 3 coach, Carlos Blanco is a former Argentine national team player.   

White Plains Rugby opens season with Fundraiser for ALS Research and for Rugby Player Pat Quinn, originator of the Ice Bucket Challenge

White Plains Rugby, Westchester’s USA Rugby Division I team, opens its league season this Saturday evening, September 13, at Loucks Stadium, White Plains High School, with a match against Mystic River, a 31very strong team from Boston.   Kickoff is scheduled for 7 PM.

It should be a special evening as White Plains Rugby is using the event as a fundraiser for the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) and for Pat Quinn, a victim of this horrific disease and a former Iona University rugby player.  ALS TDI is a non‐profit biotechnology company seeking effective treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  It operates the world's largest research and development program focused on ALS.  

In addition to the rugby game, activities will include speeches by invited guests and an Ice Bucket Challenge between White Plains, the Mystic River Team, and perhaps others.  Invited guests include Congresswoman Nita Lowey, a strong supporter of ALS research, Pat Quinn, City of White Plains and County of Westchester officials, and representatives of ALS TDI.  

White Plains Rugby’s match and support of ALS TDI is being done in conjunction with fundraising efforts by eight Cross Fit Gyms, located from Westchester County to Buffalo, NY.  Each Cross Fit Gym will be holding a fundraiser that day at its facilities.   This coordinated effort was organized by a White Plains Rugby player, Joseph Judge.   

White Plains Rugby was formed in 1972, and for over 40 years has represented the City of White Plains and County of Westchester in matches as near as New York City, and as far away as Zimbabwe Africa.   It competes in the First Division if the Empire Geographic Union and also fields a team in the Third Division.    The match against Mystic River, a Club that recently merged with another Boston area team, should be very physical and exciting.   A traditional after‐match party for both teams will be hosted by White Plains at one of its sponsors, Ron Blacks Saloon on Mamaroneck Ave.   

All are invited for the evening and admission is FREE.  Donations supporting the Club’s fundraising efforts for ALS research and Pat Quinn are greatly appreciated.