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1995-1996 | 1996-1997 | 1997-1998 | 1998-1999 Fall | 1998-1999 Spring | 1999-2000 | 2000-2001 | 2001-2002

Fort Worth Rugby 1996-1997 Results

  • 1997 Texas Division II Champions
  • 1997 Western RFU Division II Champions
  • 1997 USARFU Division II National Rank #5

Cup Match Play

FWRFC finished the 1996/1997 cup match season with an 8-0 record. The season included two games against the following opponents: Denton, Arlington, Dallas Our Gang, and Shreveport. The closest match came against a spirited Shreveport team in March. After going just 1-5 in cup matches, Shreveport prepared an ambush against Fort Worth. With slow, muddy pitches, Shreveport controlled the game, taking a 3-0 lead into the final minute. A tremendous run by captain James Walters in the final minute allowed Fort Worth to leave with a 7-3 victory.

FWRFC B side also had a successful cup match season. After finishing the fall season at 2-2 (losses against Dallas Our Gang and Denton), Fort Worth made a 4-0 run in the spring to qualify for the TRU Championship. The highlight of the spring was a come-from-behind victory against Denton 36-19.


Fort Worth competed in the:

Texas Rugby Union Championship

Fort Worth A entered the Texas Rugby Union Championships as the #1 seed. The other qualifiers, from 2-4, were Woodlands RFC, Alamo City RFC, and Baton Rouge RFC in their first year in the TRU.

The tournament was held at Glencoe Park in Dallas, with the semifinal field near highway 75 on a softball field. The pitch was uneven, not regulation width (too narrow), mismarked with softball lines, and had a 5m try zone on one end. In the semifinal, Fort Worth played Baton Rouge (5-2). Fort Worth started very strong, jumping to a 13-0 half-time lead, and finished strong with a 40-0 final. FW's forwards outplayed the Baton Rouge forwards, but the Fort Worth backs completely dominated the game. Woodlands (7-0) beat Alamo City (4-3) 24-14 in the other semifinal.

In the final, Woodlands brought a very good side, including the best front and third rows Fort Worth had seen in Division II. The scrums were a toss-up as neither side took one against the head, nor pushed over. This was the first time this year Fort Worth didn't steal a lot of the opposition's balls in the scrums. Once again, the Fort Worth backs provided the difference.

Fort Worth started strong and jumped to a 6-0 lead on two nice penalty kicks by Terblanche, then a 11-0 lead on a try by scrum-half Kevin Pierce on a mishandled ball in the try zone. Woodlands came back with a try on a pick up by the 8-man, with a nice dish to the inside to the open-side flanker. Fort Worth scored two more and Woodlands kept it close with another unconverted try. Half-time had the score 25-10.

In the second half, Fort Worth scored quickly with FW's prop Keith Dalton plowing over two defenders to score from a ruck, making it 32-10. Fort Worth could not put it away as Woodlands fought back once again with a nice effort by their wing who broke a few tackles to make it 32-15. Woodlands scored again by driving a maul from about 5 meters, but once again could not convert. FW's last two tries were significant, because they were beautiful. On the first, Fort Worth had a line-out about 8 meters out. Hooker Bots Hulen threw it to two (Trey Harlin), Buddy Taylor cleaned from four, and Fort Worth drove the maul into the try zone, at a sprint, almost. The final try was a line out near the 22, flanker Tonga Makawe took a banger off the line-out, three defenders converged (it took three defenders every time he had the ball, he was a MADMAN on the bangers). Makawe did a switch with 8-man Warren Tucker to the outside, and Tucker juked two people and scored untouched on the final play of the game. Final score had Fort Worth with a 42-20 victory. Fort Worth wins the Texas Division II Championship for the second year in a row. Both teams head to the Western Championship and will likely meet again in the final.

  1. Szymanski
  2. Hulen
  3. Dalton
  4. Harlin
  5. Taylor
  6. Makawe
  7. Pacheco
  8. Tucker
  9. Pierce
  10. Terblanche
  11. Walker *
  12. Summers
  13. Walters
  14. Betts
  15. Rosen

* replaced by Jones.

In the B semi-final, Fort Worth (6-2) was down to Woodlands (7-0) 12 - 3 with ten minutes remaining. Flanker Charl Van Tonder picked up from a ruck and dove in to make it 12-10. Woodlands committed a penalty on the 10m line, and Henno Terblanche booted a 50m+ penalty goal for the lead. Woodlands committed one more penalty, so the final was 16-12.

In the final, Fort Worth once again met Denton for the Div. IIB championship. In 1995 Fort Worth claimed the title with a 7-5 victory, but Denton took the 1996 final 15-9. This year, Denton once again brought a strong side and jumped out to a 22-0 half-time lead, controlling every phase of the game. In the second half, Fort Worth got the wind and slope and Van Tonder once again began to dominate the game. Fort Worth finally took the lead 25-22 with about five minutes to play. With one minute remaining, Denton entered the Fort Worth side of the field for the first time since the first half, and worked the ball up the sideline for a try in the corner. The final score had Denton defeating Fort Worth for their second straight Div. IIB championship 27-25.

  1. Zwanenburg
  2. Miles
  3. McLaury
  4. Ginn
  5. Via
  6. Morgan
  7. Van Tonder
  8. Rooney
  9. Van Wyk
  10. Utter
  11. Stewart
  12. Pereth
  13. Heller
  14. Barner
  15. Englebrecht

Western Rugby Football Union Championship

Omaha, Nebraska, April 25-27, 1997

1997 Western Rugby Football Union Champions!

Fort Worth was scheduled play the winner of the Friday April 25 match between the Denver Harlequins (ERRFU) and the Albuquerque Aardvarks (Rio Grande RFU), but the Aardvarks are complete idiots. The WRFU expanded the Westerns to a six team, three day tournament to accommodate the Rio Grande, but the Aardvarks waited until Thursday, April 24 to let the WRFU know that they wouldn't show up. They're excuse was "We didn't know it was three days," and they had flights to arrive Friday night. Also, their complete incompetence was displayed when they asked "What are these CIPP registrations, and when are they due?" As a result, the Denver Harlequins received a bye on Friday.

On Saturday, not expecting a hard match, Fort Worth decided to rest many of its starters. This proved to be a mistake early as the Denver Harlequins came out fighting and jumped to a 7-0 lead. Fort Worth fought back when flyhalf Henno Terblanche ran 60m, displaying his killer sidestep, and put it down for a try to tie the score at 7-7. However, Denver came right back on the ensuing kickoff and worked the ball into the try zone within a minute and regained the lead 14-7, and expanded it ten minutes later to 19-7. Fort Worth would have stayed in the game if kicking problems hadn't been so bad. Fort Worth had extreme difficulty finding touch, and two of the 'Quins tries were mounted from counterattacks to kicks that did not find touch. On the day, Fort Worth missed 6 penalty goal attempts and 2 try conversion attempts as well.

Once down 19-7, Fort Worth began to make key substitutions. The front row was inserted, as well as a few key backs. The new players made an immediate impact, and Fort Worth fought to a 19-17 half-time deficit on tries by fullback Dan Rosen and flanker Warren Tucker.

The second half was a different story as Fort Worth began to dominate possession, taking the lead 20-19 after 20 minutes on a penalty goal by captain James Walters. Walters sealed the victory with two more penalties later in the game. Fort Worth played courageous defense throughout and allowed no points in the second half. The final score gave Fort Worth the victory 26-19.

Woodlands RFC also qualified as the #6 team and defeated the St. Louis Royals (MORFU) on Friday. On Saturday, Woodlands defeated the #2 seed K-State/Ft. Riley RFC and the stage was set for a rematch of the TRU final.

In the final, the fate of Woodlands was already sealed as their captain and other key players weren't playing, and the rest of the team was fatigued from the three day schedule. Fort Worth came out with something to prove after the previous day's debacle. Running bangers all day, and rucking with renewed spirit, Fort Worth played its best game of the year for a 48-10 victory.

With the win, Fort Worth continues its Western RFU dominance. This year's tournament saw an infinitely higher level of competition from other unions, but Texas remains the class of the west and is a fabulous springboard for a national championship run.

National Championship Tournament

Fort Worth began Quarterfinl play on May 17 against the Mid-Atlantic champion, Blackthorn RFC from Philadelphia. In 1996, Blackthorn was a Division I club, competing in Mid-Atlantic's Division I-A league.

Fort Worth came out extremely flat, and gave up a try in the northern end of the pitch within five minutes. More miscues allowed two more tries before the half, including one on a trick penalty play when all the Blackthorn players but the kicker said "take the points" and "posts", as the kicker picked up the ball and waltzed into the try zone untouched. An unconverted try by scrum half Theo Van Wyk kept Fort Worth in the game with a halftime score of 17-5.

In the second half, Fort Worth began to control the game and took the lead with about 20 minutes remaining 19-17, but Blackthorn wasn't through. Another try by their gifted scrum half made the game 22-19 with ten minutes remaining. With four minutes on the clock, the Fort Worth coach, Mike Kwedar made a key substitution, inserting flanker Dan Morgan. He was immediately called upon to through the ball in a line out from Fort Worth's ten-meter line. Morgan answered the call with a good throw to two and cleaned it up as it was slightly mishandled. The line out was driven a few meters and spun to Tonga Makawe, who took off for a 40 meter sprint, to be caught near the 22. Numerous rucks and bangers followed, with Theo Van Wyk touching the ball down with about two minutes remaining. The conversion made the score 26-22, which held to the end.

On May 18, Fort Worth met the Hayward Area Griffins, winners 19-13 over Montauk RFC. Things began poorly as Hayward jumped to a quick 5-0 lead when a breakdown by the Fort Worth backs allowed an overload and a try by Hayward's winger. A penalty goal from 50 meters by Henno Terblanche made it 5-3 soon after, and unconverted tries by both teams made it 10-8 at the half.

The second half would be much worse for Fort Worth as Hayward began to control the game. With a patient yet hard-tackling defense, Hayward showed a tremendous ability to steal possession from Fort Worth's forwards. Fort Worth reached fourth phase on at least six occasions, and was never able to draw in a back from Hayward's backline. Hayward continued to use its 8-man and scrum half to play a very loose game, with its hooker supporting almost every forward movement. The score remained 17-8 through most of the second half, but an up and under kick from a scrum picked up by Hayward's fly half made it 22-8 late in the game. The final penalty kick by Hayward came from about thirty meters in the final seconds, with Hayward just trying to run out the clock. Final score 25-8.

Editor's Note:  The Hayward Griffins were disqualified months later for their blatant use of ineligible players.

Click here for information on the 1997 United States Club Championship.


Information on Bruce Davis`s Fort Worth National Band.

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