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:
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.
- Walker *
* 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.
- Van Tonder
- Van Wyk
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
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
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.
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