About Us: Established in 1999, the South Shore Anchors Rugby Football Club is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, competing in Division II of the New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU). Our members come from all walks of life and levels of experience. Our senior men’s side lists 30-40 active players and fields “A” and “B” squads. Our other sides include the Rusty Anchors for 35-and-older veterans; the Whitefish, our summer 7s side; the Sirens, our senior women’s side who officially enter NERFU play in 2019; a U-19 men’s Anchors side; and, new to the Anchor family in 2019, a U-19 women’s Sirens side. With pride in our history here on the South Shore as a diverse and growing organization, we always welcome new members to join in the sport and fellowship that we share.
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.