Category Archives: New Blue Rugby

Ryan Brady dishes the dirt on the New Blue Rugby team.

New Blue Rugby Hit Bumpy Road, but Finishes Strong

New Blue Rugby Hit Bumpy Road, but Finishes Strong
October 24, 2007
New Haven

New Blue Rugby Football Club has made great strides within the past month of the season. New Blue went from being a virtually unknown team in NERFU Division III, to a top competitor in the Cup Playoffs. Although their rise to the top seems natural, the road to success was anything but.

Fresh off a victory against CCSU, New Blue continued their wining ways against Southern Connecticut State University. “The Battle for New Haven” plaque was at stake for the first time in both team’s history. The plaque has become part of the cross town rivalry as New Blue and SCSU were both founded through the New Haven Men’s Club. Sophomore Rory Smith, recently off the injured reserve list, lived up to the hype of great speed and athleticism. Taking over the game when the ball was in his hands, Smith had three 30-yard runs all resulting in points. Smith set up Junior Ryan Brady for a pick-and-go inside the 22-meter line to give New Blue the early 7-0 advantage. Then on the ensuing kickoff New Blue’s pack demonstrated great rucking abilities lead by Seniors Brian Frank and Kyle Dandrow which set up kicker John McHugh for his first of three converted field goals. With an early 12-0 lead, New Blue looked to put out SCSU early in the second half, but failed to convert deep inside enemy territory. SCSU got on the board converting a field goal of their own late in the second half, but that would not be enough. Senior Captain’s Jesse Ferraro and Dave Motisi set up Rory Smith for his break out run to finish SCSU for good, final 19-3.

After getting off to a great 2-0 start, New Blue would have a gut check as they lost their next two games to Trinity College and Wesleyan University, 33-12 and 20-16 respectively. Trinity College had all the breaks on the 95 degree October day according to Captain Gerald Loehr. “We played hard the first half, we played with them, it was a 9-7 ball-game at the end of the first half, and then we came out flat and couldn’t put anything together offensively.”

Wesleyan University would be a different story. Playing on a Thursday Night, this game had all the makings for a great battle; both teams were high in playoff contention and looking to prove their worth. New Blue would strike first as Loehr dove into the try zone early in the first half. But Wesleyan would go on the offensive on the ensuing kickoff, as 8-man Ben Nissum scored off a scrum deep inside New Blue territory. The first half was a back and forth game with little advantage by both offenses, until injuries halted the game. Two great players, flanker Anthony D’Eramo and Brian Frank would suffer injuries, a torn ACL and a broken Tibia respectively. With two top players out, reserves Sheldon Dobson and Greg Watcher stepped in without missing a beat. Watcher would score early in the second half to put New Blue up 16-3, while Dobson used his size to control “rucks” and “malls” But that would be the last time New Blue held the lead as Wesleyan would go onto score 17 points and win the game 20-16.

The Ruggers had their backs to the wall going into the last game of the season 2-2 and looking to make the Cup Playoffs. Needing help and having to win by more than 30 points to qualify for the Championship side of the Playoffs, New Blue responded by scoring double the amount needed; 68. Gerald Loehr, Ryan Brady, Rory Smith, Dave Motisi, Sean Meehan, Lincoln DeMoura, Andrew Gau, again Gerald Loehr and Lincoln DeMoura, followed by the kicking of John McHugh led to the overwhelming victory. Everything clicked on the Sunday game, Captain Jesse Ferraro added, “If this was going to be our last home game, I wanted to leave it all on the field, and we did.”

This weekend New Blue plays Plymouth State University in New Hampshire in the first round of the NERFU Playoffs. The #4/5 match up should be interesting this coming Saturday as the winner advances to the Division III Final Four. Coach Ben Boutaugh said, “Win or go home, it’s that simple.” and New Blue players agree, going home is not an option.

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New Blue Rugby Backs into Win after a Sloppy Second-Half

New Blue Rugby Backs into Win after a Sloppy Second-Half
September 24, 2007
New Haven, CT

After a 2006 campaign that fell just short of yet another championship, followed by the loss of senior talent, the 2007 Ruggers wanted to make a big statement in NERFU Division III. New Blue would have their hands full taking on Central Connecticut State University.

New Blue started the game as though they had never missed a beat. Playing with a more structured style of rugby, led by newly acquired coach Ben Boutaugh, New Blue’s possession plays lead to an early score. Senior John McHugh kicked the ball deep into CCSU territory to prevent an early strike from the visitors. As the ball fell inside CCSU’s 22-meter mark, seniors’ Brian Frank and Gerald Loehr set up rookie hooker Andrew Cai for the first try of the season. The momentum would carry over into the ensuing kick-off as the Forwards controlled every point of attack. With great vision by the backs, Senior Captains Dave Motisi and Jesse Ferraro raced inside the 22-meter mark where McHugh would again add 2 points with a field goal attempt. Already up 9-0 within the first 15 minutes of play, New Blue would continue to put pressure on a struggling CCSU.

CCSU would respond though by hammering the ball down the field with their forwards. The ‘bend don’t break mentality’ of New Blue’s defense would halt any attack by the visitors. After regaining possession and making quick haste down field by way of penalty kicks, Junior Ryan Brady would make a dash for the try zone. In rugby the defense must be 10 yards back after a penalty, in this case a knock on, and Brady capitalized on CCSU’s misunderstanding of the rules and snuck in for the try. McHugh would convert on the field goal attempt to put New Blue up 16-0. Seemingly a one sided affair, Captain Dave Motisi would add a 30-yard run to put New Blue up 22-0 going into halftime.

The second half would be a completely different story. New Blue looked winded and were looking for a win that was still 40 minutes away. CCSU would storm down the field on New Blue and score on their first possession. Dropped balls and missed tackles would help CCSU score 15 unanswered points as it seemed CCSU would have the grit to make a comeback. But New Blue’s resilience and timely tackles to regain possession would set up field goal kicker McHugh to convert a 25 yard attempt to put the game out of reach for CCSU. As the final whistle sounded, New Blue escaped with a 25-15 victory.

This weekend New Blue takes on rival Southern Connecticut State College Saturday September 29th at the New Haven field. This season the teams have incorporated a Cup, The Battle for New Haven, which will finally suggest in trophy form which team is better than the other.