White Plains Wombats Win in their Home Debut

By Phil Schacter

SUNY Purchase college: White Plains Wombats had their home game season opener on Saturday June 18 against the Washington DC Slayers. 

The Wombats received the ball off the kick off and made an impression immediately through the middle. Towards the back end of the set the Wombats scored a 50 m try down the left hand side scored by Nathan Wales. From there the Wombats continued to show their dominance racking up 50 unanswered points. Shortly before half time after repeat sets the Slayers put points on the board through a try. The second half continued much the same way with some nice long distance tries through support play. The Wombats conceded a few late tries but came up big winner's against the Slayers, 90-10. Next week the Wombats travel to Boston to take on the defending champions.

Monmouth 7's Recap

By Coach Mike Mackay

The social side, made up mostly of high school and college kids, came out of the gates strong with a 31-5 drubbing of Monmouth B and followed that with an even more impressive trouncing of NYRFC 45-5. After losing a tightly contested battle to Union 24-22, the young boys of White Plains advanced to the semifinals where they faced NYRFC for a rematch. This time, White Plains came out on top 47-5. In their second rematch of the day, we faced union in the final. After dominating play through most of the game, we let up a game-tying try in the closing seconds and then lost in overtime 19-24. Leading the young boys in tries for the day was speedster Keimon Barrow with 9. Great performances were also put forth by Naquan Lloyd (3 tries), Sayyed Muhammad (4 tries), Kadeem Chandrashekhar (4 tries), and Jinesh Shaji (3 tries). Hunter Picard was a beast in his first ever rugby experience and Bobby's buddy Chris Cho scored a try in his first game ever as well. Will McDermott and Danny Lowe both played hard-nosed defense throughout.

The premier side faced very formidable competition right off the bat, matched up against perennial powers Mystic River and NYAC in its first two games. Result: Mystic 36 WP 7; NYAC 43 WP 12. In the third game, the boys from White Plains settled down and played Old Blue B to a 19-19 tie. We followed that with a 19-19 tie with Long Island, but then lost in a sudden death overtime 19-24. In the shield final we had a rematch with Old Blue B and came up short 19-31. Onye Onwukanjo and Ike Onwukanjo led the scoring with three tries each. Bobby Keehn and David Sommerville each scored two tries on the day. And Laurence Young and Keimon Barrow rounded out the scoring with one try each. Austin Fehringer was the warrior of the day doing a lot of dirty work, and Jim Tregurtha and Jamie Everett gave us some great minutes in reserve. We also got a superb effort from the pride of the Citadel, Rick Tavarez.

Overall, a fantastic start for White Plains sevens rugby. A lot to build on!

White Plains Wombats featured on USA Rugby League website

New Club White Plains Wombats Ready for Season VI

By Julian Clarkstone

The White Plains Wombats will be competing in the USARL competition for the first time and will be playing in the Northeast division alongside the 2015 Champions, the Boston 13s, as well as the Brooklyn Kings, Rhode Island Rebellion and the New York Knights.

Their first match is this Saturday and the Wombats will be taking on the Bucks County Sharks at Shark Park (A.K.A. Falls Township Park).

They will have to wait until round three to play their first home match at SUNY Purchase College.

Despite 2016 being their inaugural season, the Wombats have recruited well and are expecting to be competitive as they have a squad with some serious talent.

Matt Walsh is the Captain and a Board Member of the Wombats and is expecting several players to stand up in the club’s first season and even compete for selection in the USARL Hawks side for international matches later in the year.

“Luke Barron has played for the Hawks in the World Cup Qualifying team.”

“Michael Schacter is a working front rower who has excelled playing with the Tomahawks and Arber Cobaj, Charlie Rizzo and Dennis Schmeiler will also press their claim,” Walsh said.

Further to their American talent, the Wombats have recruited Nathan Wales from Australia who can play prop, second row and lock and is sure to provide the team with plenty of knowledge and experience.

“He has played Rugby League since the age of 11 and played for the Northern Pride in the Intrust Super Cup in Queensland.”

“Nathan has a passion for developing the game along with experience teaching Rugby League in schools,” Walsh stated.

Whilst Walsh says that the team is eager to get on the field, there can be no doubt that off the field the pre-season was a success for USARL’s newest side.

The team has brought in several sponsors that have shown their commitment to the growth of Rugby League in the area.

Jack Ryan Concrete, Ron Blacks Beer Hall, Webster Bank, Tiger Wealth Management, Professional Physical Therapy, Harlequin Flooring and Stratford Steel have are all supporting the Wombats, which is a real sign of the dedication that has been put into the organization.

The Board and stakeholders are keen to do more than just make the White Plains Wombats about Rugby League, striving to create a positive environment for the fans and local community.

“As a team we hope to be competitive in all games and aim to make the playoffs but we also want to establish an environment for our players to enjoy and we also intend to support local charities,” Walsh said.

USA Rugby League would like to wish the White Plains Wombats the best of success in the 2016 season and for their long term success in the White Plains region.

White Plains kicks off their season against the Bucks County Sharks on June 4,m 1pm at Falls Park Township in Levitown, PA.

Women’s Rugby in Westchester!

The White Plains Rugby Football Club, the region’s premier rugby organization is pleased to announce the addition of White Plains Women’s Rugby to the club. 

The metro NY area has a rich tradition of men’s and women’s rugby, but the Westchester area was without a women’s team until now.  Rugby has grown rapidly across college campuses throughout the country and rugby players often continue to play with community teams after graduation.  An excellent way to continue a healthy active lifestyle, rugby is one of the oldest organized community sports.  Rugby easily incorporates many different body types and experience levels.  It’s a great way to stay fit, be active, and build community.  

This year, women and men’s rugby will be featured as a new sport in the Rio Olympics.   WPRFC is looking forward to increased interest from athletes who are new to the game with an excellent coaching staff, experienced players, and a regional and national organizational structure complete with top-tier officials.  

The White Plains Rugby Football Club, established in 1972, is part of a strong regional and national organization that promotes competitive athleticism, personal growth, and local community.  To find out more, or to get involved, please contact Ayana Rivera at our website, www.whiteplainsrugby.com or via email at info@wprfc.com.

Join our founding women’s club members and discover your #BecauseOfRugby

“It encourages us to be strong in a culture that tells us to be delicate. It teaches us how to improve the bodies we have, and not suffer for the bodies that society wants.” – Emory Women’s Rugby Club

White Plains Rugby also promotes and supports youth rugby programs and high school rugby programs throughout the region, and welcomes inquiries at our website, www.whiteplainsrugby.com and via email at info@wprfc.com. Rugby is great for boys and girls. It teaches respect for teammates, officials and opponents alike. It builds self-confidence and self-reliance alongside cooperative teamwork and life-long friendships.

2nd Half of the Season Recap

Our last outing saw WPRFC record an emphatic 5 try, 42-20 victory over NYRFC at Randall’s Island, leaving the squad in a buoyant mood heading into what was supposed to be a bi-week and then a home rematch against league pace setters
New Haven RFC.

Despite not having a fixture, the lads worked hard during a huge training session on Saturday along side the Keio Academy boys in Suny Purchase. This excellent turn out and commitment for the bi-week session speaks to the impressive dedication of the guys this season. The hard work continued through the following week as tension built in the lead up to our game with New Haven. Unfortunately, our efforts to schedule the game around the RWC final with an early start did not appeal to New Haven and the big game had to be postponed until the spring.

Back to back bi-weeks was not an ideal situation and threatened to derail our momentum. However, another early Saturday session at Keio proved successful and the squad met up with the old boys after their game against the Greys to watch the final as a club.

The build up to our game with Long Island went well as the guys arrived fully prepared, having utilized their two weeks off.

The 19-61 (10 try) victory was an outstanding result, (even though a combination of complacency and a lack of match sharpness produced our worst first half performance of the year.) Long Island jumped out to an early 2 try lead with White Plains seemingly reluctant to get stuck in and execute the basics. Long Island took full advantage of some shocking defense out wide to cross twice in a poor 20 minute spell. As the half played out the boys started to move through the gears and a couple of scores settled the nerves before our season long dedication to fitness really began to show. After some harsh words during the break, the second half was a very different game. The scrum dominated, we made our tackles, cleared our rucks and everything fell into place. It really is a simple game.

Next up was a home game against the Lions who we had tied with (at 38 each) earlier in the season in a bizarre encounter at Randall’s Island.  This game was also a big day for the club as we continued to develop our relationship with the Keio Academy securing permission to use their wonderful facility. No small thing with club quality game and training venues being in such demand in our area.

The game was certainly one to forget for the team with unforced errors and mental lapses littering the performance. This was not about lack of effort, if anything the boys were trying too hard, forced the game and came up with more errors than we have seen all year, losing the ball while trying to center a try being a prime example. The refusal of the official to reward our powerful scrum and excellent work at the break down was also frustrating and even though we generated enough line breaks to set us up for a win, time after time we came up with a knock on at the critical moment. Sometimes it’s just not your day, but the boys stuck to the task and the game finished 26-19 including a late try to snatch an all important bonus point. 

The final game of the season saw WPRFC hosting Old Blue RFC at Tibbet’s with our guests fielding a greatly changed team to the one that was put to the sword 56-9 in round five.

This was a full blooded affair with both teams upping the levels of physicality from previous rounds with WPRFC having the upper hand in the scrum and Old Blue shading the line out contest.  The boys scored some great tries and put in some impressive defensive stands while the reliable boot of Poukie Mannering kept the score board ticking over.

WPRFC looked to be heading to victory when the team was disrupted by losing Mike Sexauer and Andrew Ianna in the back row to injury within minutes of each other.
The boys battled on through the final quarter but the game finished 26-26 and an opportunity of a clean sweep of our long time rivals was lost. Despite not picking up all the points this was a quality display against a good team and the lads dug in deep to deal with adversity in the second half.

So the fall portion of the league season has come to an end and the club is sitting second in the league having played 9, won 5, drawn 2 and lost 2 with the games against New Haven, Landsdowne and NYRFC to finish the league before going into the play offs in 2016.

This was always going to be a difficult season for the club with so many players from last years A side unavailable or moving on this season for a variety of reasons. The team also had to endure injuries and players being called up for international honors (which the club should be very proud of.) We therefore have yet to field our strongest side which while frustrating is also exciting for the future.

The response from the players has been superb and a great example of this is this years Captain, Don Anderson who has lead from the front the whole year and never taken a backward step. 

Getting back to basics this year with a heavy emphasis on fitness has paid dividends, even in the games were we came up a little short, we finished as the stronger side to reduce the points gap while our victories included some overwhelming second half performances.

Unfortunately we did not have the numbers to field a b side this year, (something to address in 2016.) This has meant rotating the squad, playing players out of position and emptying the bench in nearly every game. The guys have been very understanding of this and still trained consistently despite not being guaranteed game time which they should be applauded for.