The news in brief as of November:
- Our Senior Men’s side dominated Division 2 of the New England Rugby Football Union, outscoring opponents 333-97 en route to a 7-0 season. We’re still waiting on word of spring playoff assignments. In the meantime, we will have indoor training at Derby Academy in Hingham, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7-9pm, beginning January 7.
- Our Senior Women’s side, the Sirens, brought fire and spirit to their first-ever season in NERFU D3 competition, finishing in second place with a 3-1 record, and attracting several new members along the way.
- Our senior men’s “impact side” trained hard throughout the season, but found few opportunities to play against short-handed opponents. Therefore, looking ahead to the 2020 season, the South Shore Anchors will petition NERFU for the entry of a D4 side, which will expand playing opportunities for all of our current and prospective members and strengthen the development of the Anchors program for years to come.
- The Rusty Anchors old boys side battled through the season, consistently showing up with more than 20 players each Saturday, holding our own on the scoreboard, and counting the blessings of wives and families who graciously understand why we’re still driven to do this.
As the South Shore Anchors approach the Fall 2019 season, we mark the 20th anniversary of our club’s founding. And so far, the year is shaping up to be one of our best ever with new glory, new teams, and new community partnerships. Read on for a quick recap of our spring and summer news…
Following a 6-3 fall campaign, the Anchors entered NERFU playoffs this spring. We defeated our archrivals, the Boston Irish Wolfhounds, in the first round 32-12, with an impressive crowd of supporters on the touchline. The following week, we battled Newport on their rain-soaked turf to a 27-26 victory and our third NERFU D2 Championship. Regrettably, we were unable to proceed in regional playoffs because USA Rugby determined that one of our players missed the CIPP registration deadline by 24 hours (they’re serious about that stuff). Nonetheless, we hold our heads high, with pride in the hard work of the entire club, and with sincere thanks to our coach, Ken Esterhuizen.
The Anchors RFC gladly welcomed the inclusion of a women’s side in 2018. After less than one year of exhibition play, the fierce and fearless South Shore Sirens were admitted to Division 3 of the New England Rugby Football Union, as announced in June. They took that momentum into the 7s season, earning a 3-2 record and third place finish at the Newport 7s Tournament, holding four of five opponents to 12 points or less. The following week, the Sirens went 3-1 at the Boston 7s. The entire Anchor family is immensely proud of our Sirens and how far they’ve come in such a short time. We’re excited to see how far they’ll go.
The Rusty Anchors played a full spring season, with final scores occasionally in our favor. But given the many family and work demands of our elder brethren, any day we can take the pitch is a victory, no matter the score. We finished with a strong showing at the legendary Old Man of the Mountain Rugby Festival in Franconia, NH, where we defeated the hard-hitting Ottawa Senators and Barney’s Blokes (a mash-up of our friends, the Worcester Faded Blacks and their friends from Worcester, England). But more importantly, we won the social with bragging rights in oysters (thanks Gregg Morris!), anchor tossing (thanks Matt Pomella!), and a massive tent (thanks Jon Rae!).
HIGH SCHOOL WOMEN 7s
The newest addition to our rugby family, the High School Sirens donned the blue and white for 7s action. Coaches Jim Kenneway and Jenn Jordan worked with these tough young women all summer. From tournament to tournament they improved, and finished with the silver at the season’s final contest, the Bay State Games. In another highlight, when there was no other women’s team to play at the Marshfield 777s, our Sirens insisted on taking the pitch against the men. Regardless of the final score, they played without fear and earned the pride and respect they deserve. Look out rugby world. These ladies are for real!
HIGH SCHOOL MEN 7s
This was the fourth summer the Anchors gathered high school players from around the South Shore for 7s action. Under the coaching of our own Nick Sullivan and a handful of other Anchors, our young men started with hard-nosed play at the first tournament in Acton but struggled to consistently put it together. After a few more weeks of practice, they made a strong showing at the Beanpot Tournament, challenging some of the top teams in the pool. Our numbers were so strong, in fact, that we were able to help several other sides to victory. We’re proud of this fine group of players, and look forward to helping their rugby careers develop.
IN OTHER NEWS…
- As part of our ongoing commitment to growing the sport, we hosted a Youth Clinic on August 9 in partnership with members of the New England Free Jacks. That same weekend, we also hosted Coach and Officials clinics in partnership with USA Rugby—some of the few such opportunities to be found in New England this summer.
- All three events took place at Derby Academy in Hingham, where we have established a promising new partnership. We look forward to helping Derby’s rugby program advance, and to using their fine facilities for Siren and Rusty Anchor matches as well as special events.
- We were proud to see the Scituate Stormers take the 2019 MYRO State Championship under the coaching of Anchors Tucker Patterson and Chris Hirsch. Congratulations, Stormers! You’re further proof that rugby is thriving on the South Shore!
- Once again this summer, the Anchors hosted the Daniel J. Breen Memorial Golf Tournament at Southers Marsh Golf Course, in memory of a brother we lost far too soon, and in support of the MGH Aspire Program, which is dedicated to the service of people with autism. More than 100 golfers braved one of the summer’s hottest days for a great cause and a great time. Special thanks to the event’s many sponsors, whose support makes an incredible impact.