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Enfield Div I Win over HRFC

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For the second game of the Men’s Division 1 season, Enfield RFC commuted into Spryfield to play Halifax RFC at Rockingstone Heights School. Enfield RFC looked to get its first win after a disappointing road game against the Fredericton Loyalists Rugby Club earlier in the month.

HRFC started strong, using their back-line speed to gain space. The number 10 from HRFC, Jon King used kicks to push Enfield back in their end. Enfield RFC had the first big chance of the game, with number 10 Jordan Sheppard kicking into space. HRFC’s winger was able to cover across the field and clear the ball out the back for an Enfield scrum. Scrum-half Mark Sweeney made a 9 pick and ran in for a try. Stew Cook kicked the convert to make the score 7-0.

Then the forwards for both teams showed that human refrigerators can play some mean rugby. Enfield’s front 3, Ryan Dickie, Mikey McNamara and Brandon Horne made some monstrous hits, while also contributing to the offense with crash plays.

Defending against HRFC ball carriers and Spryfield horseflies

Neither team could find a hole during the ensuing back-and-forth defensive struggle, until HRFC’s number 10 used his kicking skills to put a well-aimed ball out the sideline deep in Enfield’s end. Enfield RFC secured the ball after the line-out, but HRFC stuffed an attempted box kick and gathered the ball to run in for a try. HRFC wasn’t able to make the convert due to the strong winds, making the score 7-5 for Enfield RFC.

After the restart, HRFC sent a player through a hole at full pace. Stew Cook lined him up and made a huge hit, preventing a sure try. Then Stew showed what helped him earn a place on the Senior Men’s Provincial Keltic team, by slotting a penalty kick from 40 yards out. When the referee blew the whistle for half, the score was 10-5.

The second half began with dominant scrums by Enfield RFC’s pack. Players like Evan Dickie, Kyle Cigolotti and Tyler “Champ” Leblanc destroyed rucks and ran excellent offensive lines. Enfield’s backs had knock-on troubles, but recovered with superb defense. Alex “How is he still on his feet?” Malay, Sam MacDonell and Justin Dunn provided bursts of offense, pressing HRFC back into their own end for long stretches of play.

The deadlock was almost broken by Enfield RFC, but Alex “You looked so happy” Malay put the ball down on the wrong line. Everyone in the crowd agreed that it was hilarious.  [Editors Note: In a long dialogue from 9 to 8 at the back of an attacking scrum, Sweeney also told Evan we were over the line and to ground the ball.  We were on the five.  What an idiot.  MS] On the next phase, HRFC found a hole and went on a big run. Stew Cook, Chuck “It’s a Belly Shirt Now” Owens, and John McRae all made great hits to keep HRFC from scoring.


Enfield RFC’s lead held until the final three minutes, when HRFC took possession at Enfield’s ten-yard-line because of an intentional knock-on penalty. HRFC crashed the ball through Enfield’s defense and scored under the uprights. They also converted the try, making the score 12-10.

Honourary Assistant Coach Jack Heald inspired the team as they made their way to half to kick the restart. The verbal lashing seemed to work, as Enfield pushed HRFC back against their try-line. From a maul that stopped just short, Enfield’s forwards ran several crash phases. Luke Horne found a minuscule gap in HRFC’s goal-line defense, pressing the ball down for a last minute try. The kick missed just wide, but the game ended shortly the restart. The final score was 15-12, for Enfield RFC.

 

Enfield RFC Members Represent the Nova Scotia Keltics at Eastern Championships

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What surely deserves to be a much longer reflection and celebration of the success that was the 2016 Eastern Canadian Rugby Championship needs to just be a tip of the cap to the players and coaches from Enfield and Hants East, as well as all the of the tournament organizers and all of the participants from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and Eastern Ontario.  It was an excellent weekend of rugby, and a great set of results for the Nova Scotia Keltics.

Our club is pleased to congratulate a number of athletes and coaches both for making their respective squads and representing themselves and their region so proudly.  Nova Scotia closed out the tournament with a first place finish in the Senior Women’s and Under-18 women’s categories, a silver medal in the Under-18 men’s, a bronze in the Under-16 women’s and a tough loss in the Under-16 men’s consolation final.

Enfield RFC folk on the rosters and support staff for the RNS contingent included:

Under-16

Cameron Farnell

Callum Robinson

Jonah MacDonald

Under-18

Jewlia Burke

Kyle MacNeil

Ethan Whidden

Cameron Farnell

Evan Dickie (Head Coach)

Drew Hutt (Assistant Coach)

Mark Sweeney (Assistant Coach)

Senior Women

Ashley Ettinger

Daniela Mayo

Tasha Mackenzie

Amy Fraser

 

Men's Division I Away to Loyalists - July 2

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With the noise of bubble soccer and Canada Day fireworks still reverberating in their ears, Enfield RFC’s Men’s Division 1 team drove to Fredericton for an Elite game against the Loyalists Rugby Club. Before the game, the teams and fans observed a moment of silence for Michael Riley, a longtime member of the Fredericton Loyalists Rugby Club, who passed away the day before.

Big hits from Justin Dunn, Brandon Horne and Michael McNamara followed the opening whistle. For the first minutes, both teams tried to smash their opponents. The Loyalists found the first gap. Their scrum-half received a pass between the centers and sped through Enfield’s defense for a try.

After the restart, the Loyalists regained possession by stealing the ball in a ruck. Enfield showed good defense, but ceded a penalty in front of their own uprights. The loyalists converted the penalty to bring the score to 10-0.

Then Enfield’s defense looked uncertain. The home team’s fullback scored a try, running straight through Enfield’s backs. After conferring with team captain, Mark Sweeney, Coach Joel Doyle repositioned several players to better fit their defensive strengths.

The change worked. Enfield RFC put pressure on the Loyalists after the restart. Alex Malay found a gap in Fredericton’s defense, but their fullback made a nice tackle to bring him down, allowing defenders to realign. The referee awarded a penalty to Enfield, but the kick went wide.

The Loyalists unleashed their kicking game after the missed penalty. They forced a turnover in a ruck in their own end, then push Enfield back with well-aimed kicks by their fly-half. With Enfield RFC backpedaling, the Loyalists took advantage of players out of position to score a try on the wing.

Enfield played well after the restart, even holding up a try, but the Loyalists scored off the ensuing scrum. This brought the score to 29-0.

Then Enfield suffered a huge loss. While crashing the ball into Fredericton’s forwards, Nick Munroe injured his leg. When the referee blew the whistle for half, Enfield looked visibly deflated. Captain Mark Sweeney and Coach Joel Doyle rallied the team, reminding them that there was a lot of time left.

The start of the second half belonged to Enfield. Kyle Cigolotti and Evan Dickie each had fantastic tries. Evan Dickie single-handedly bowled-over half the Loyalists’ backs. Cameron MacBeath converted one try to make the score 29-12.

The Loyalists reasserted themselves after Enfield’s flourish, scoring a try from a set piece in their backs. Though Enfield showed great resilience, Fredericton scored two more times over the next twenty minutes. Players like Tyler “Champ” Leblanc, Kyle “Barbie” Kelly and Ryan Dickie excelled despite the scoring from Fredericton.

Though Enfield had few options for substitutions, they did have Drew Hutt. Off the first play, Drew brought new energy to the team with a big hit. Sam “Spoon-Master” MacDonell also came into the game with a nice run.

But the Loyalists showed why they received an invitation to the prestigious Al Charron Cup in Newfoundland earlier in the season. Over the last minutes of the game, they scored three more tries, including a nice grubber pickup from half and a slick line from Simon Pacey. The final score read 67-12 for the home team.

Enfield RFC’s Kyle Cigolotti and Fredericton Loyalists Rugby Club’s scrum-half Jonny Cullen took Man of the Match honours. In true rugby fashion, the Loyalists invited Enfield out on the town for some sociables. Though Enfield RFC wished for a different result, the trip built up the already strong relationship between the two clubs.

 

Enfield away to Eastern Shore

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Enfield RFC’s Division 3 men, boys, and tidal-bore-mud-encrusted mutants travelled to play Eastern Shore RFC on Tuesday, June 28th. Fresh from their loss against PEI the previous weekend, the team looked energized and ready to play.

With a short bench because of the Ihavetowork Virus, Enfield RFC knew they had a tough game ahead of them. The tiny field at Eastern Shore District High School meant everyone would have to make plenty of hits.

Eastern Shore started the game infused with salty-air vigour, grunting and smashing Enfield with tight crash plays. Enfield defended well, but conceded penalties for ruck infractions. Eastern Shore’s kicker, with an unconventional finesse, slotted two penalty converts in a row to make the score 6-0.

Even with a player off with a yellow card, Eastern Shore continued their pressure. The game stayed around half for several phases, but then Eastern Shore broke through Enfield’s line. Justin “Shorter Stew” Dunn make his tackle at fullback, but Eastern Shore’s number 10 offloaded to send a teammate in for a try.

Then Alex “Old Soul” Malay showed his versatility, converting a penalty kick from the twenty-two with minuscule prep. After the restart, Mikey “Other Barrel” McNamara made a huge hit to give Enfield a needed boost.

So many accent jokes to make, but which to choose?

But defensive lapses before half saw Eastern Shore put up four consecutive tries. Their number 6 and number 8, both hulk-ish men, exploited gaps at the posts next to rucks for the first two tries. The third was off a restart, and the fourth was from a line-out.

Enfield RFC did well to maintain its composure, with leadership provided by veteran Kyle “Hey guys!” Cigolotti. Alex Malay blessed the crowd watching the game with another beautiful penalty convert.

“Good job boys. You’re all awesome,” said Coach Joel Doyle, keeping the mood light-hearted at half. He also made substitutions, bringing Matt “I’m not wearing spandex” Taylor and Sam “Wise Gamgee” MacDonell into the game.

With fog rolling in to smother the sun, the scoring also waned. The forwards for both sides put in countless tackles. Players like Connor MacIntosh, John “Flanders” McRae, Brent “Lil B” Weir-Dean, Jeremy “Who?” Owens, and Luke Horne played excellent rugby against a much larger Eastern Shore team.

Brandon and Brent - both lift heavy things and put them down again, both like smashing into people.

Winger Tristan Drake broke the impasse by finishing a quick series of passes for five points in the corner. The try was Tristan’s first for Enfield RFC. Not long after, Mikey McNamara sent Justin Dunn in for a try. Unfortunately, referee Bryan “DJ B-Ray” Ray called it held up. The Enfield sideline agreed that Bryan’s lifetime party privileges with Enfield RFC should be revoked for the rest of the game.

Eastern Shore added another penalty convert and try, making the final score 41-11. Enfield RFC’s Division 3 team now has a record of 2-2. With his final thoughts on the game, Joel Doyle added: “You guys look tired. I like it.”

Special shout-out to Mark “The Sweenster” Sweeney, who completed the first touch-judge assignment of his esteemed rugby career. The general appraisal was that he did a swell job.

 

A Rugby Sunday in Enfield

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On Sunday, June 26th, the Charlottetown Mudmen RFC stopped in Enfield for the second game of a weekend swing through Nova Scotia. Enfield RFC came into the game confident, winners of their first two Division 3 games. This game was a chance to show their stuff against the hardware contenders from PEI.

The Mudmen set the tone early, with quick passes through their backs. Enfield’s defense looked hesitant, unsure of defensive responsibilities. This allowed PEI’s outside center to break through and score in the corner not long after the opening kick.

Enfield answered with great runs by Chuck “Charles” Chuck and Sam “Alfred” MacDonell. Enfield pinned the Mudmen against their try-line for several minutes, including a 22-dropout block. Then PEI exposed Enfield’s defense again, scoring from their own side through deft footwork.

PEI maintained the pressure after the kickoff. Enfield forwards Connor MacIntosh, Jason “Mr.Div1” Purcell, Brandon “BMoney” Horne, Mikey McNamara and Justin Dunn ran several crash plays, rucking with ferocity. But some unfortunate penalties and knock-ons gave Charlottetown possession on Enfield’s side. PEI’s fly-half ran several dummy lines off a scrum and scored uncontested, much to the dismay of the Jack Heald. The Mudmen converted the try to lead 17-0 at the first water break.

“Somebody hit somebody,” said Coach Joel Doyle, fresh stress-freckles appearing on his cheeks.

Both teams settled into crash-and-bang rugby after the break. After runs and huge tackles made by both sides, Tyler “Champ” LeBlanc bounced off three Mudmen defenders to score a try. Matt Taylor, still distraught about the Brexit vote, missed the convert.

PEI found space after the restart and pushed Enfield back to its try-line. The referee called a penalty on Enfield in a mountainous ruck, drawing the ire of the local crowd in the bleachers at the Lion’s Den. A PEI flanker crashed in for a try after the restart.

Then Alex “Barrel” Malay showed why he is on the U23 Provincial Team, scoring two highlight-reel tries in a row. Potato-colored players littered the field in his wake after both efforts. Matt Taylor, unable to get over that a rugby ball looks like Boris Johnson’s head, ceded kicking responsibilities to Cam “Insert Nickname Here” Farnell. Cam converted the second try to make the score 22-17 at half.

Veterans Ryan Dickie and Justin Dunn gave defense tips at half, while Coach Joel Doyle hit Derrek “Beakman” Head with his Clipboard. Beakman promised to be more like Alex Malay.

The scoring disappeared after the break for both teams. The baking heat sapped all energy, and everyone looked tired. Frustrations mounted and the referee handed out three yellow cards in the first fifteen minutes after half. PEI’s scrum-half broke the deadlock by finishing a series of nice passes to score in the corner.

With fresh legs after his referee-imposed rest, Justin “Justice” Dunn took a pass from Alex Malay to score near the end of the game. With the final whistle, the scoreboard showed 39-22, for Charlottetown Mudmen RFC.

The Men of the Match honours went to Justin Dunn for Enfield RFC, and to PEI’s fly-half.

 

Ever the metronome, Daniela Mayo knocks over another shot at goal

In the second game of a Sunday fun day double-header at the Lion’s Den, Enfield RFC’s women’s team played the Under-18 Provincial team.

SaraLynne Knockwood started the game with a huge run for Enfield, brought down just before the try-line by the speedy U18 backs. Those same backs turned the pressure around and pushed Enfield into their end to defend. The U18s found the try-zone first, scoring off a scrum near Enfield’s uprights.

Enfield RFC’s Adrienne “Look where we are ladies” MacDonald went for a run after the restart, breaking through several tackles to score a try. Daniella Mayo made the convert to make the score 7-7.

Then Enfield dominated play as the U18s struggled to make tackles on veteran players. Enfield RFC’s Tasha Mckenzie and Becca MacDonnell each scored tries after hard work by players such as Emma Julien, Ashley K. Ettinger, and Megan Sullivan.

The U18s found their speed again after some lapses, and put pressure on Enfield. They put together a great series of passes to score a try before half, bringing the score to 17-14.

When asked what he though of their performance so far, Enfield RFC Women’s Coach, Drew “Heman” Hutt, added: “Put a picture of me giving the thumbs-up.”

After Becca MacDonnell made a brilliant try-line tackle, the U18s kept their intensity up and scored another try to take the lead. The Lion’s Den bleachers, filled with parents of the U18 girls, cheered their daughters’ performance.

The U18s lapsed on defense shortly after, and Enfield RFC regained its lead. Amy Fraser, Tasha Mckenzie and Emma Julian each scored tries, making the score 39-19.

Just when they looked exhausted from the scorching sun, the U18s found their reserve energy. They pinned Enfield against their try-line for long minutes, touching the ball down for another try after hard work from their forwards.

A few minutes later, Enfield found space to run again. Courtney Ettinger, coming out of retirement for the game, helped set-up Megan Sullivan for a try. Then Ashley K Ettinger offloaded to Amy Fraser for another try. Daniela Mayo made both converts.

With the U18s set to play in the Eastern Canadian Championships in New Brunswick from July 12th - 16th, the girls worked hard to impress Coach Mary Giles and secure playing spots. The girls showed determination at the end of the game, scoring another try. The final score was 52-31 for Enfield RFC.

 
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