Battleship Rugby 2010
NORFC are the champions of the 2010 Battleship Rugby Tournament.  

Results:

Saturday - Quarters and Semis:
NORFC 29 - Birmingham/High Country Mixed Side 0

NORFC 29 - Baton Rouge 0

Sunday - Championship:
NORFC 34 - Gypsy Rugby Club 18

Read more...
 
Season Wrap-Up
Written by Ian McNulty   
Below and attached is a season-wrap up I've been meaning to assemble for some time. It was a great season, and it was an honor to be part of it. So take a look back at what NORFC achieved and get psyched for what we can do together next season. But first. . .
 
Fitness Plug: We all need to stay fit during the summer, and there are a lot of opportunities to get good runs in and keep in touch with rugby before the fall season begins. You can find the details about ongoing summer 7s and touch on our home page. 

Now, on to the season wrap-up. . . .
 

Season Wrap 2010

NORFC: Deep South Champions and Now a Top-10 National DII Team

It was a long road from the cold, wet, muddy pitch in Baton Rouge where we began our 2010 matrix season back in February to the scorching blaze of the USA Rugby Round of 16 in Columbia, S.C. where we ended the ride in May. Through it all, the NORFC played hard, retained its title as Deep South champion, made significant progress building our profile in the community and learned some hard lessons that will make us an even better team in the seasons ahead. 

"This team is on the way up," says head coach Jerry Malina. "While we didn't get as far in the playoffs as we wanted and realistically could have, we did gain more experience competing at the national playoff level that will be invaluable in the future."

New Orleans started the season the right foot with a 41-7 victory over Deep South rival Baton Rouge. The result of the next game surprised many, however, when New Orleans made the long road trip to Little Rock, Ark., and fell 20-22 to the home team. It was the first regular season loss for the NORFC in two years. Coming early in the season, however, this loss proved to be a valuable wake-up call to the squad and it helped sharpen the focus for the rest of the season.

For the remainder of the regular season, New Orleans allowed a total of only 27 points over five games while scoring a total of 267 points against these Deep South opponents. We ended the regular season with a 6-1 record, which brought the team's regular matrix season record to 19-1-1 over the past three years.

The aggressive spirit and momentum stayed strong going into the playoffs, where New Orleans shut out Montgomery 51-0 in the South quarterfinals. That win punched our ticket to the South finals, and after a long trek to Charleston, S.C., we secured a 15-11 victory over Charleston on a hostile pitch. The second round of the South finals pitted New Orleans against Tampa Krewe, the team that increasingly looks like our top regional rival in playoff action. Krewe won, though the 21-17 score was the closest match the Tampa team would see in the playoffs this year as they progressed to win the DII national championship.

A few weeks of training later, we headed back to South Carolina, this time to Columbia for the USA Rugby Round of 16. It was our team’s second appearance within three years at this high level of national competition. Unfortunately, the first do-or-die game of the championship did not go according to plan. New Orleans faced Lincoln Park of Chicago, and while the intense game kept hearts pounding on each team’s sideline until the final whistle the Midwest team prevailed with a score of 22-18.

“That was a very frustrating game for us, and one we felt we should have won,” says coach Malina. “But this is a team with a lot of spirit and I know the experience will make us stronger as we develop the team and the club.”

While the loss ended our playoff run, the consolation round the next day did bring the opportunity to achieve an important milestone for the team. New Orleans took the pitch against the Bayonne RFC of New Jersey with a sharp chip weighing on its shoulder and the determination to end the season on our own terms. With grit and team cohesion, the whole squad came together for an impressive 53-12 victory and became the first NORFC team to ever win at the Round of 16 level of play. Along with bragging rights as the three-time Deep South division champion, New Orleans is now a top-10 national club thanks to this second-round victory at the USA Rugby Division II championships.

"We have a great and expanding network of young players, seasoned veterans and dedicated supporters," says coach Malina. "We look forward to improving on this season's accomplishments and assuring the New Orleans name is known and respected at the highest levels of our sport."

The team’s accomplishments continued through the off-season as well. Last month, the team organized an international exhibition match against the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC) RFC, which is a feeder team for the professional Cardiff Blues and has sent many players to the Welsh national team. It was the first international rugby match New Orleans has hosted in years, and it turned out to be a big success all around. Thanks to grassroots marketing by our whole team and many volunteers from our team and our community of supporters, the game drew hundreds of fans out to Pan American Stadium in City Park and proved a significant fundraiser for NORFC. 

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