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Fort Worth Rugby 1997-1998 Results

  • 1998 Texas Division II Champions
  • 1998 Western RFU Division II Champions
  • 1998 USARFU Division II National Rank #10

1998 Division II USARFU Championship

Fort Worth - 23 Worcester, MA - 34, Saturday, May 16

Fort Worth ended their National Championship hopes with a heartbreaking loss to Worcester RFC. Worcester entered the pool as the third seed from the Northeast, with only a narrow loss to perennial Northeast Champions, Montauk, NY to spoil their record.

Worcester started the game on a tear, leaving Fort Worth shell-shocked at the speed of the Worcester backs. Worcester spun everything wide, scoring on two long tries that saw the ball touched by virtually every back. Fort Worth's flat and in-your-face defensive scheme was unsuccessful against Worcester's continuous looping support.

Within five minutes, Worcester led the game 12-0 on their two long tries, all the while facing a very strong head wind. Fort Worth got on the board at 10 minutes with an unconverted try of their own. Captain Theo Van Wyk fed winger Nick Betts, who touched down in the corner to cut the lead to 12-5. However, Worcester was soon scoring again. Their next score came after the backline worked the ball to near Fort Worth's in-goal. Worcester was awarded a line-out at 10 meters out, and the forwards began running bangers. These were largely unsuccessful, as the Fort Worth forwards were well adapted to this game and held the line. The referee then moved to near where the bangers were occuring, and the Worcester forwards smartly began using him as a pick. After one of these, Fort Worth began yelling for the referee to move, but two successive picks saw him remain in the same spot, and saw Worcester score another try.

After consulting the Fort Worth captain, the referee agreed to change his positioning for the rest of the game. Consulting the Fort Worth captain was a gentlemanly move, and he was certainly a fine referee. Regardless, the score stood and Worcester now led 19-5 at 15 minutes.

Fort Worth's problems were far from over, as the Worcester backs continued their 7's style game. Another score at 20 minutes extended their lead to 24-5, just as Fort Worth was beginning to find an answer to Worcester's style.

At 30 minutes, Fort Worth inserted flanker Tonga Makawe, who was still struggling with torn ligaments in his ankle. Fort Worth's game was immediately lifted to a higher level, as the momemtum shift was awesome to behold.

Fort Worth was awarded a line-out ten meters from a try. A maul was formed after the throw, but yielded only a few meters on the drive. Tonga took a hard banger and found Warren Tucker on his inside for a beautiful score. The try cut the deficit to 24-10, but it was a costly score for Fort Worth. Tonga reinjured his leg and had to leave the game.

The second half would be a different game, and was largely controlled by the Fort Worth pack. Worcester's backs were frustrated by the renewed energy Fort Worth had on defense, and were mostly ineffective. Two uncoverted tries by Fort Worth made the score 24-20 with 25 minutes remaining. The second of these tries was a tremendous individual effort on the part of Nick Betts. Nick fielded a kick ten meters from his own goal. With a quick move to his outside, he sprinted up the sideline for 75 meters. Inside Worcester's 22, he faked a pass to his support, and again went to his outside to touch down for his second try. The momentum had definitely shifted, and victory for Fort Worth seemed only a matter of time.

Fort Worth's forwards controlled the tempo and the ball for the next 15 minutes, remaining inside Worcester territory for almost all of it. Banger after banger got them close to the line, but minor miscues and good tackling by Worcecter held them off the try line. Fort Worth sorely needed a solid banger from Tonga, which would probably have put them in the lead and even sealed a victory, but his inopportune injury sealed Fort Worth's fate.

Worcester kicked a penalty at 30 minutes to put their lead to 27-20, but a drop-goal by James Swain cut it back to 27-23 shortly thereafter.

Worcester at this point was sending the ball down the field with clearing kicks at every opportunity. Their frustrated offense had all but given up, and they played the wind and the clock to try to end the game as soon as possible.

Fort Worth knew the game was within reach with only a 4 point deficit, but a mistake by Fort Worth would be the end of all hopes for a victory. An ill-advised pass was picked off by Worcester and run in for a try. With less than 5 minutes remaining, Worcester's lead was now 34-23. The injuries to two of Fort Worth's flankers, their fly-half, and their inside center had taken their toll, and this score held to the end of the game.

For the third year in a row Fort Worth RFC lost only one game, but once again it was the last one. Finishing at 16-1, Fort Worth had a fine season despite their disappointing performance on this day..

Fort Worth - 41 Greenville Griffins - 29, Sunday, May 17, 1998

Fort Worth played the men not on the previous day's roster, including a number who were still inebriated from the previous night. Although their defense left a bit to be desired, they scored more points than Greenville to take a very heartening victory home to Texas.

The highlight of the game were two push over tries at the end. The first came against the head from a five meter scrum, but the second was one for the ages.

Greenville were awarded a scrum at the 22 meter line, but Fort Worth once again took it against the head. Tucker at number eight initially meant to pick up from the base, but the Greenville scrum was weaker than expected, possibly from the push-over that happened not two minutes before. Fort Worth held tight even as the Greenville third row began falling off the sides of the scrum, and walked it in from 22.

Henno Terblanche played his final game for Fort Worth and went out in typical fashion. His beautiful dummy passes, amazing side-step, and accurate kicking were on full display as he made the Greenville backline look silly at best. Henno (spelled H-E-R-O as he says), will be sorely missed next year both on the pitch and off.

1998 Division II Western RFU Championship

Fort Worth - 1 Denver Harlequins - 0, Friday, April 24

This game was forfeited by the Denver Harlequins.

Semifinal Game: Fort Worth - 43 St Louis Royals - 14, Saturday, April 25, 1998

Western Championship Semifinal

The Royals advanced to the semifinal by defeating the Johnson County Sundawgs 38-8, showing their good fitness as they blew open a close game. Fort Worth, on the other hand, advanced when their opponent, the Denver Harlequins, forfeited at the last minute.

The weather was sunny and windy, and the prevailing wind was "down-pitch" in the direction of the slope, giving a decided advantage in each half. Fort Worth won the toss and elected to play up-slope and into the wind to start.

Fort Worth began on the attack, controlling possession with a rucking and banging forward game. However, numerous tries were knocked on or stopped by a poor pass, as Fort Worth were their own worst enemies. In spite of this, at 10 minutes Fort Worth were awarded a scrum at 5 meters, and pushed it over in typical fashion. Warren Tucker dropped on the ball and Henno Terblanche's conversion made it 7-0.

Fort Worth continued to attack, but a few miscues would change the game as the Royals would take the lead.

The Royals were awarded a scrum on their own 10 Meter line, and their flyhalf attempted to kick downfield. Fort Worth outside center, Hal Summers, charged down the ball nicely but unfortunately the ball took a strange bounce into the hands of the Royals fullback. The fullback took the ball down with the support of four backs. The cover defense was slow as Fort Worth's backs had to stop there advance from the charge down and catch up. The Royals had the numbers and the play was finished by the Royals outside center under the posts.

Within ten minutes another Fort Worth mistake yielded another try to the Royals' inside center and Fort Worth were down 14-7. As the half continued, Fort Worth missed a number of other try-scoring opportunities. In spite of the 14-7 deficit, Fort Worth were confident the game was well in hand at half-way.

The second half would be a completely different story, as the slope and wind were finally in Fort Worth's favor. At 5 minutes, the Royals were awarded a scrum on their 22, which was promptly taken against the head by Bots Hulen. Tucker pulled the ball and raced untouched to the try line. Terblanche slotted the conversion to tie the game at 14.

Fort Worth's next try came at 10 minutes from one taken against the head, as well. Tucker pulled the ball and set a quick ruck. Captain Theo Van Wyk popped the ball to inside center Don Weatherby who set the ball 15 M from in-goal. Theo took advantage of the pourous Royals defense by taking the ball weak, and dotted down under the posts. Terblanche's conversion made it 21-14 in Fort Worth's favor.

At 15 minutes, Terblanche slotted a penalty from 25 meters to extend the lead to 24-14.

At 25 minutes, the Royals set a bad ruck at their own 10 meter line, which was stolen by Weatherby. Weatherby took the ball to the 22, and fed Hulen who was dragged down at 5 meters. Fort Worth was there in force and the quick ruck was spun to Terblanche and finally Dan Rosen who touched down for his first try to make the score 29-14.

The frustrated Royals began committing professional fouls to try to stop the scoring onslaught of Fort Worth. Terblanche quicked tapped one of these and fed a bursting James Swain who touched down under the posts. Terblanche's conversion made it 36-14 with 12 minutes remaining.

The Royals' frustrations grew as Terblanche picked apart their defense for another score. However, a retaliatory punch resulted in the sixth try being called back. After kicking back and forth for a few minutes, Dan Morgan fed Rosen who sped up the sideline, centering his second try to extend the score to 43-14.

The Royals attempted one last attack, but were pushed into touch by Rosen at 5 meters. Fort Worth kicked it out and the game ended with Fort Worth advancing to their third final. The Royals took third in the consolation match against the New Mexico Highlands University Vatos, losers to the Woodlands.

Western Final: Fort Worth - 27 The Woodlands - 7, Sunday, April 26, 1998

Western Championship Final

With the 1998 final once again being an all-Texas affair, Texas extends its domination of the Division II Westerns. 1995 was the last time a Texas team lost to a non-Texas team at Westerns, and in that time Fort Worth has outscored their non-Texas opponents 178-36, while the Woodlands have only lost to Fort Worth. Next year the Texas Championship should double as the Western Championship, and save a lot of hassle.

Fort Worth lost the toss, and played down slope to start. Fort Worth took advantage on a lineout at 4 meters. The play was set up on a nice kick by Henno Terblanche to the Woodlands winger, who was smothered and driven into touch.

The lineout throw was to Buddy Taylor at number 2, who took the tunnel unchallenged. Buddy came down with the ball at only 2 meters out as Keith Dalton and Mike Szymanski powered their way toward the line. Dalton slipped and as Buddy began to fall, he "saw chalk" and layed out toward the line for a corner score. The conversion was narrowly missed, but Fort Worth had the lead 5-0.

Woodlands came to play, and threatened to score for the next 15 minutes. With scrums, lineouts, and continual possession inside Fort Worth's 22, it took a stellar and committed defensive effort to keep them at bay. Woodlands were literaly inches from scoring on a number of plays.

At 25 minutes, Fort Worth finally took control back, and a penalty by Terblanche made it 8-0.

A bad lineout by Fort Worth yielded Woodlands possession at their 22, but a bad kick was chased and dropped on by Bots Hulen. Taylor bridged the ruck against hard-hitting pressure from the Woodlands. Theo popped the banger to Rooney, who fed a crashing Don Weatherby for his first try of the day. Terblanche's conversion made it 15-0, which held to the half.

At 10 minutes into the second half, the Woodlands attacked and their winger was caught by a high tackle at 5 meters from the line. Fort Worth was caught offsides on the quick tapped penalty, and the tackle yielded a penalty try to Woodlands.

At 20 minutes, Fort Worth were awarded a scrum inside the Woodlands half. The quick ball was spun to Henno who fed Weatherby who broke through the Woodlands defense. At 5 meters he was carrying two defenders, while two more jumped on as he crossed the line for his second try. Terblanche's conversion extended the lead to 22-7.

At 35 minutes Terblanche worked his magic once more. Taking the ball from Van Wyk from the scrum, Henno double-dummied his centers and turned the corner. One final dummy to the winger on the outside was the nail in the coffin as his try made it 27-7.

Fort Worth wins their third straight Western Championship and advances to the sweet sixteen as the number 7 seed. Woodlands advances for the second straight year, and will play as the number 16 seed.

Player vs. St Louis Royals vs. Woodlands Total
Points
Try Conversion Penalty Try Conversion Penalty
Henno Terblanche 0 5 of 6 1 of 1 1 2 of 2 1 of 1 25  
Warren Tucker 2 0 0 0 0 0 10  
Dan Rosen 2 0 0 0 0 0 10  
Don Weatherby 0 0 0 2 0 0 10  
Theo Van Wyk (C) 1 0 0 0 0 0 5  
James Swain 1 0 0 0 0 0 5  
Buddy Taylor 0 0 0 1 0 0 5  
Total 6 5 1 4 2 1 70  
Total Points 43 27 70  

Fort Worth A/B vs. Dallas Harlequins B, Glencoe Park, April 11, 1998

Fort Worth A/B - 31 Dallas Harlequins B - 34

(Halftime Fort Worth 19-7)
Fort Worth: 5 tries, 3 conversions.
(Tries: Swain, Harlin, Van Wyk, two others; Conversions: Swain 3 of 5)
Harlequins: 5 tries, 3 conversions, 1 penalty

The Harlequins superior fitness was the story as they stormed back from a 24-7 deficit to take the match 34-31.

TRU: Fort Worth wins 3rd straight TRU Championship!

It was deja vue all over again, as Fort Worth defeated the Woodlands 27-15 to claim their third TRU Championship, while Fort Worth-B lost for the third time to Denton in the TRU II B final.

Click here for brackets and scores for Division II A and II B.

TRU: Fort Worth A - 47 San Antonio A - 12, Saturday, March 28

San Antonio qualified for the TRU championship with a solid 7-1 record in TRU's West Conference, including a sound defeat of an ever-tough Woodlands side.

San Antonio began the game with the wind and their high deep kicks gave the Fort Worth backs fits at the beginning of the game. San Antonio got on the board first with an unconverted try on a defensive breakdown by their speedy fullback. Fort Worth's flyhalf, Henno Terblanche, answered with an unassisted try of his own to even the score minutes later, but San Antonio wasn't done. Fort Worth was attacking just beyond half-way when San Antonio's fullback intercepted a pass and sprinted untouched to the try zone. The converted try gave San Antonio their last lead at 12-5, and Fort Worth finally woke to the possibilty that they might very well lose if their play didn't improve.

Additional motivation was provided by the fans of San Antonio. Their sideline barraged Fort Worth with insults, trash talk, and mocking laughter on every mistake. Clubs like San Antonio will eventually learn that obnoxious fans and losing seasons go hand in hand. During this season, while Fort Worth won their cup matches by an average of 59-8, never did their fans engage in such classless behaviour. When Fort Worth began to emerge from consistently poor seasons a few years ago, one of the first things jettisoned were the jeers from the peanut gallery. The players from San Antonio held themselves with class, but sideline leadership was seriously lacking.

The obnoxious few soon shut up as Fort Worth took command. With solid forward play and the characteristic brilliance of Henno in leading the backs, the game ended as a 47-12 rout. San Antonio's fitness was probably the biggest culprit, as they played sluggishly and without the fire of the first fifteen minutes as the game wore on.

TRU: Fort Worth A - 27 Woodlands A - 15, Sunday, March 29

Neither team played very well, but Fort Worth did just enough to win. In the end, Fort Worth was glad to have the whole event over with and to escape with another championship. Halftime had the score 15-5, and the Woodlands scored at full time to end within 12.

TRU: Fort Worth B takes Second Place with a loss to Denton

Fort Worth met Denton for the fourth straight year in the TRU Division 2 B final. In 1995, Fort Worth took home the trophy, but in the past three years, Denton claimed the championship. This years' match was a defensive struggle yielding only one score.

TRU: Fort Worth B - 19 Alamo City B - 5, Saturday, March 28

The Fort Worth forwards proved too much as they kept possession away from the dangerous Alamo City centers to cruise to a 14 point victory.

TRU: Fort Worth B - 0 Denton B - 5, Sunday, March 29

Denton made it to the final with a characteristic last-minute try against Woodlands-B. In '96 and '97, Denton beat Fort Worth in the final on tries scored at full time. This year Denton would once again be victorious, but they would do it with a solid defensive effort by their forwards and their centers.

Throughout the game Fort Worth held the advantage in possession with good scrummaging and excellent lineouts, and consistently good loose play in the forwards. Their forwards ran banger after banger, with the Denton defense bending but refusing to break. Although controlling possession, Fort Worth could not get on the board. Denton played the kicking game by using the wind to send clearing kicks deep into Fort Worth territory, making the FW forwards begin the long trek up the field again.

Two minutes from the half, Denton produced the only score with a try in the corner by their backs. At 5-0 at the half Fort Worth felt the game was easily within their grasp and entered the second half with confidence.

The first half was the best by Fort Worth's B side all year, but it was followed by one nothing short of mediocre. A try by the Fort Worth wing was run through the back of the try zone, a potential try by the Fort Worth scrum half was disallowed because it took a second movement on the ground to put the ball over the line, a quick tap penalty play that was sure to score was called back when the ball was tapped at the mark behind the referee rather than in front, and a penalty play was run to within a meter of the try line but the resulting rucks got it no closer to the winning score. As the game came to a close, the Denton pack consolidated their play while the Fort Worth pack faded, and the Denton centers played solid defense to claim their third straight victory.

Fort Worth finishes Cup season 20-0

Fort Worth A - 592 Opponents A - 76

Fort Worth's A side finishes the season undefeated with ten wins, winning with an average score of 59.2 - 7.6. The biggest blemish on Fort Worth's record was the 39 points scored by Our Gang in October. In the other nine games, Fort Worth gave up a combined 37 points. Fort Worth will next compete in the Texas Rugby Union Championship Tournament on March 28-29. Game 1 will be against the TRU-West champion, San Antonio RFC.

Fort Worth B - 229 Opponents B - 68

Fort Worth's B side also finishes unblemished at 10-0. Although the scoring differential is not as impressive as the A side, this is partially due to the unexpected number of B-side forfeitures. Unfortunately for Texas Rugby, a number of Division II teams had trouble fielding a second 15 this year, even Fort Worth.

Fort Worth RFC vs. Dallas Blues, Gateway Park, March 14, 1998

Fort Worth A - 59 Dallas Blues A - 5

(Halftime 25-5) Fort Worth: 10 tries, 3 conversions, 1 penalty.
(Tries: Swain-3, Terblanche-2, Betts, Buck, Morgan, Summers, Tucker; Conversions: Terblanche 3 of 10; Penalty: Terblanche)
Blues: 1 try.

Fort Worth rested five starters, including a prop, lock, flanker, scrum half, and fullback, but the reserves clicked on as they rolled to another lop-sided victory. The Blues pack played well, demonstrating a very disciplined forward-banging game, but the speed of the Fort Worth backs proved too much as they touched down eight times.

There were numerous outstanding individual efforts by the backs, most noteably those by fly-half Henno Terblanche, who scored two and assisted on almost all the others. One play in particular stands out, as Henno scored unassisted under the posts. Fort Worth was awarded a scrum on the left side near the half-way line. The ball was spun to Henno who dummied outside and cut back inside his opposite. As the defense closed in, he popped up a kick and caught it in stride to score untouched under the posts.

Fullback James McSwain had a similar unassisted try earlier in the day. Swain took the ball on the outside as it was spun to the right, and popped a kick from just outside the Blues' 22-meter line into the try zone. The footrace was on as Swain sprinted past three Blues defenders and dove on the ball for his second try of the day.

The Blues forwards dotted down on a series of good rucks and bangers. Their forwards were also excellent in the lineouts, as Fort Worth was once again unable to consistently win possession.

Fort Worth B - 5 Dallas Blues B - 0

Fort Worth: 1 try (Pierce)

The Fort Worth B-side followed last week's outstanding effort with a dismal and undisciplined performance that lasted a mere 55 minutes, before th referee mercifully called the game. Fly-half Kevin Pierce touched down early in the first half for the only score.

Fort Worth RFC vs. Dallas Our Gang RFC, Gateway Park, March 7, 1998

Fort Worth A - 32 Dallas Our Gang A - 0

(Halftime 22-0) Fort Worth: 6 tries, 1 conversion.
(Tries: Tucker-2, Hulen, Makawe, Rosen, Weatherby; Conversion: Terblanche).

The weather was a major factor in this game as a sloppy field and light rain forced handling errors on both teams. Lineouts were a sore spot for Fort Worth as neither of two throwers could provide clean possession consistently. The solid defensive play, however, was a refreshing change from the 39 point fiasco of the previous Gang match.

Fort Worth scored after ten minutes in typical fashion with a push-over try touched down by number eight Warren Tucker. Other scores in the first half were by fullback Dan Rosen, flanker Tonga Makawe, and hooker Bots Hulen.

The second half began as the first as front row replacements Fernandez and Makawe along with Dalton pushed over to give Tucker his second try. Inside center Don "Bus" Weatherby crashed through for a try to finish the scoring for Fort Worth.

Fort Worth B - 38 Dallas Our Gang B - 21

Fort Worth: 6 tries, 1 conversion, 2 penalties
(Tries: T. Buck-2, Arnett, Karsten, Miles, Pierce; Conversion: Pierce; Penalty: Pierce-2)
Dallas Our Gang: 3 tries, 3 conversions

The Fort Worth B-side played with refreshing energy, as a number of new players distinguished themselves. Fort Worth controlled possession throughout the game, with some brilliant forward play. Three defensive breakdowns allowed long tries by the Gang, as Fort Worth consistently took possession away.

Fort Worth RFC vs. Denton RFC, Gateway Park, February 28, 1998

Fort Worth A - 83 Denton A - 0

(Halftime 45-0) Fort Worth: 13 tries, 9 conversions.
(Tries: Weatherby-3, Betts-2, Harlin-2, Makawe-2, Summers, Swain, Tucker, Van Wyk Conversions: Terblanche 9 of 13).

Believe it or not, Fort Worth has beaten a team worse than 83-0. In 1996 at the Western RFU Championships, Fort Worth beat Scott Air Force Base 85-0.

Scoring, like voting in a Democratic primary, occured early and often. Winger James Swain began with a try in the first few minutes, converted to make it 7-0. Not long after, flanker Tonga Makawe ran over three defenders and faked two dummy passes to freeze the rest to score under the posts (14-0). The scoring for the rest of the half went as follows: Winger Nick Betts (19-0), Makawe again (26-0), Inside Center Don "Bus" Weatherby (33-0), Lock Trey Harlin (38-0), Weatherby again (45-0 half).

To Denton's credit, they came out fighting in the second half, and managed to keep Fort Worth out of the try zone for the first ten minutes, but the scoring was far from over. Number Eight Warren Tucker touched down under the posts following a fantastic running forward movement. From the next kickoff, a ruck was set by the forwards. Makawe took the first banger and crashed through the fringe defenders with only the Denton scrum half between him and a hat trick. The defender managed a nice tackle which jarred the ball loose from Makawe, but all the bounces were going Fort Worth's way on this day. Tucker miraculously caught the ball and ran to about the 22M when he spun it to Winger Nick Betts. Captain Theo Van Wyk finished the brilliant move off in the corner to make it 57-0.

Back on track, Fort Worth scored with Weatherby (64-0), Harlin (71-0), outside center Hal Summers (78-0) and finally Nick Betts again for the final score of 83-0. This gives Fort Worth an unbelievable 501 points in 8 cup matches, allowing 71.

Fort Worth B - 31 Denton B - 5

The game was evenly played in the first half, with Flanker Eric Pacheco scoring a try in his first game back. Halftime had the score 5-5. In the second half, Fort Worth gained the wind and pulled away for a 31-5 win. The try scorers were Charlie Burgess, Austin Arnett in his first game with Fort Worth, and Rich Dear with two. Fly half Kevin Pierce had a good day kicking in spite of the difficult wind, converting 3 of 5.

Galveston Mardi Gras Tournament, Galveston Island, February 14-15, 1998

Fort Worth takes First in the top division with wins over Bay Area, Houston - 1, and El Paso. Read the tournament writeup here.

Fort Worth RFC vs. Arlington Mavericks, Gateway Park, February 7, 1998

Fort Worth A - 64 Arlington A - 5

Fort Worth: 12 tries, 2 conversions. Arlington: 1 try (Twaddell).
Fort Worth tries: (T.Buck-3 Betts-2 Swain-2 Van Wyk-1 Tucker-1 Weatherby-1 Hulen-1 Others-1).

Arlington brought a young and inexperienced side, and were overwhelmed despite a gutsy performance. Fort Worth now averaging 59.7 and allowing 10.1 in cup matches this year.

Fort Worth B - 46 Arlington B - 10

Guy Manning (Zulu) gets his first try, finishing off a very nice backline move. Chance Jones (Jackie Chan's stunt double) returns from injury to score two nice tries of his own. Mudflap scores one, as well. Fort Worth B scores 8 tries and converts 3.

Fort Worth RFC vs. Shreveport RFC, Gateway Park, January 24, 1998

Fort Worth A - 54 Shreveport A - 10

Halftime: FW 15 - S 10.
Fort Worth: 10 tries, 2 conversions. Shreveport: 1 try, 1 conversion, 1 penalty.

Winger Nick Betts led all scorers with three tries, while Tonga Makawe finished with two.

Fort Worth B - 25 LA Tech. - 24

Fort Worth: 3 tries, 2 conversions, 2 penalties.

Fort Worth RFC vs. Houston Old Boys, Cullen Park, Houston, January17, 1998

Fort Worth A - 32 Houston Old Boys A - 34

Fort Worth played 20 minutes of fantastic rugby, but then fell apart due to poor fitness.  The first four tries were Fort Worth's, including a push over and a 90+ meter movement finished off by two tight five forwards.  With no conversions, the score stood at 20-0, before the Old Boys came alive.  The next four tries were theirs, including two conversions, to make the score 24-20 in their favor at halftime.

The halftime did nothing to stem the tide of Old Boy scores, as they punched in two more unconverted tries in the next 20 minutes to extend their lead to 34-20.  In the final quarter, Fort Worth managed another push over try, as well as another unconverted try to make it 34-32.  With one minute remaining, Fort Worth again threatened to steal the game with a 20 M penalty kick attempt, but the kick sailed wide left by a meter.

Flanker Dan Morgan played a dominant game and earned Man of the Match for his efforts.

Fort Worth B - 30 Houston Old Boys B - 10

Fort Worth dominated the game with fantastic efforts by our young players as well as a few veterans.  The score stood at 16-10 at the half before Fort Worth pulled away to claim a well-earned victory.

Fort Worth RFC vs. Dallas Blues, Glenco Park, Dallas, December 13, 1997

Fort Worth A - 66 Dallas Blues A - 10

Fort Worth played sluggishly, probably due to the lack of practice in the previous week. Standouts for Fort Worth were number 8 Warren Tucker with three tries, and inside center Don Weatherby with two. Fort Worth finishes the first half of the cup season, winning all five cup matches by an average score of 60-11.

Fort Worth B - 42 Dallas Blues B - 6

Fort Worth dominated the forward play, and had a very nice effort from the backs. The standouts for the game were a number of players who it would be nice to see in practice once in a while.

1997 Las Vegas Challenge, Las Vegas, Nevada, December 6-7, 1997

Fort Worth goes 2-1-1 at the Las Vegas Challenge, with the only loss coming at the hands of Belmont Shore of the USA Super League.

Click here for the full story.

Fort Worth RFC vs. Denton RFC, Denton, November 15, 1997

Fort Worth A - 67 Denton A - 0

Fort Worth dominated this game in every phase, scoring 11 tries and 6 conversions. The undersized Denton scrum was pushed around the field, resulting in very poor ball to the backs. The Denton backs rarely made the gain line, and Denton's only penetrations into Fort Worth territory were from up and under kicks. The Fort Worth pack controlled possession with few mistakes, scoring the majority of the tries. Denton fielded a young team with only a handful of their veteran players.

Fort Worth B - 1 Denton B - 0

Fort Worth RFC vs. Arlington Mavericks RFC, Arlington, November 01, 1997

Fort Worth A - 63 Arlington Mavericks A - 0

Fort Worth's scrum pushed over three tries, and the forwards maintained possesion well. Flyhalf Henno Terblanche scored three spectactular tries to lead the backs, while flanker Tonga Makawe scored three to lead the forwards.

Fort Worth B - 20 Arlington Mavericks B - 15

Arlington fielded a promising young B side, but Fort Worth pulled out the victory anyway to run their record to 3-0.

Fort Worth RFC vs. Dallas Our Gang, Lake Highlands Park, October 18, 1997

Fort Worth A - 55 Our Gang A - 39

Poor tackling was the story of the day, as Fort Worth won a wild shootout against Our Gang. Fort Worth jumped to a quick 14-0 lead in the first ten minutes, but Our Gang stormed back to make it close at the half. Early in the second half, Our Gang took a 12 point lead as the Our Gang backs continued to break tackles and score long tries. The single bright spot for Fort Worth was their domination in the scrums, which pushed over three tries. Fort Worth was down 39-27 at one point, but scored 28 unanswered points to win going away.
Contrary to Our Gang's web site, Fort Worth's tight five weighs in at only a healthy 1300 lbs. I guess we need to change our diet to something more healthy.

Fort Worth B - 5 Dallas Harlequins B/C - 35 (Fort Worth B wins by forfeit against Our Gang)

Our Gang forfeited their B side game, so Fort Worth played the Harlequin's B/C side instead. A few Our Gang players filled in Fort Worth's B side, which included a Fort Worth wing at flanker. Fort Worth's B side played well, but the Quin's B/C side was clearly better and cruised to an easy victory. Fort Worth's lone try was scored by Kevin Pierce on a head's up quick tap penalty.

Fort Worth RFC vs. Shreveport RFC, Shreveport, LA, October 11, 1997

Fort Worth A - 49 Shreveport A - 7

In spite of the score, Shreveport brought a side ready to play, but Fort Worth's flyhalf Henno Terblanche was too much to handle. Henno ran to numerous tries, and kicked a penalty goal just short of 60 meters.

Fort Worth B - 45 Shreveport B - 0

Fort Worth travelled with the bare minimum players required for two legal sides. A player was injured late in the first half, and then another was sent off for an elbow to the back of an offside Shreveport player, so Fort Worth played with 13 for a large part of the game. Fort Worth continued to dominate the scrums, and took two balls against the head when they were outmatched 8-6 in men.

1997 Cowtown Kickoff Classic

Fort Worth RFC won the 12th Annual Cowtown in convincing fashion, racing to a 5-0 record and a dominant 41-0 victory in the final against the Denver Harlequins.

Please read the 1997 Cowtown Kickoff Classic Write-up.

25th Annual Girdlestone Tournament

Fort Worth traveled to the 25th Annual Girdlestone Tournament held in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, on September 20-21, 1997. The tournament was a study on disorganization, to say the least. The tournament director was golfing on Saturday, and the first game wasn't played until 11:00. Luckily (for Fort Sill) there were only five men's teams and four college teams in the tournament, so a strict schedule was unnecessary.

Fort Worth played the tournament rather poorly, going 1-3-1 for the weekend. Two of the losses were to Wales OTC, both by a score of 17-3. OU defeated Fort Worth on Saturday afternoon by a close score, and the 26th Royal Artillery tied them 26-26. Unfortunately, Fort Worth's only victory came on forfeit by Oklahoma City.

Fort Worth RFC vs. Wales OTC, September 10, 1997

Fort Worth 26 - Wales OTC 25

Wales entered the game with confidence, assuming Fort Worth would fall to them as they had in 1995 (31-0) and 1996 (11-8 OT). This confidence was heightened by the fact that Fort Worth was missing their two Texas Select Props, Keith Dalton and Mike Szymanski, as well as their starting fullback, outside center, and blind-side flanker. Eighty minutes later it was clear that their confidence was misplaced, as Fort Worth had the victory 26-25.

The first ten minutes saw the teams evenly matched, with neither team consistently controlling possession or field position. The first score came as Wales spun the ball wide, and began an attack just outside Fort Worth's 22. An errant pass by Wales was kicked forward by Fort Worth's fly-half, Henno Terblanche, who picked it up on a full sprint and raced to the corner. Henno completed the play with a conversion from the sideline, making the score 7-0. Minutes later, Fort Worth was penalized for not releasing a player, and Wales' penalty made the score 7-3, which held to the half.

In the second half, Fort Worth began to take control early. Fort Worth was awarded a scrum on their own ten-meter line. Eight man Warren Tucker picked up from the base, quickly pitched to Texas Select scrum half Theo Van Wyk, who pitched it outside to winger Darrin "Squirrel Boy" Barner. Squirrel Boy took it up the sideline and kicked to Wales' fullback, who quickly kicked the ball into touch at Wales' 22. Fort Worth's forwards drove the ensuing lineout to ten meters out, and pitched to flanker Tonga Makawe. Tonga advanced the ball through 2 or 3 Wales players, and pitched it to John Via, who bobbled it, caught it under pressure, and set a ruck a few meters out. Trey Harlin set another ruck about a meter out, and the ball was quickly pitched out to Henno Terblanche. Henno was well covered by Wales, but quickly cut inside and then back out, diving across the try line for a beautiful score. Fort Worth now lead 12-3.

Ten minutes later, Fort Worth scored another try when Henno took the pass from a maul, ran 50 meters, caught only 5 meters from the try line. Flanker Tonga Makawe was once again the first in support, taking Henno's pass and centering the ball under the posts. Henno converted for a 19-3 lead.

Despite their 16 point deficit, Wales was not through and would make a game of it. Wales scored an unconverted try at the 15 minute mark, making the score 19-8. Fort Worth was not done either, however. The score went to 26-8 when inside center Don Weatherby scissored off Henno, slicing through Wales' defense and running 40 meters for a score in the corner. Henno made the deciding conversion from near the sideline, finishing off Fort Worth's scoring.

Fitness soon became a major factor as Wales scored three tries in the last 20 minutes. The first came with Wales spinning the ball wide across the field twice, with Fort Worth unable to keep pace. The unconverted try made it 26-13. This soon became Wales' game plan as every breakdown or set play was immediately spun wide. Wales third try was convereted from the sideline, making the score 26-20. Wales final score came with less than three minutes remaining, once again near the sideline. This time the conversion sailed wide by two meters, and Fort Worth maintained their lead 26-25. The final minutes saw Fort Worth playing with renewed energy on defense, not allowing Wales to seriously threaten a score.

Fort Worth RFC vs. Annan RFC (Scotland), August 14, 1997

Annan, Scotland 38 - Fort Worth 27

Fort Worth and Annan squared off at Fort Worth's Gateway Park pitch on this hot August evening, expecting a grudge match controlled more by the temperature than the teams. The weather held true as it remained in the 90's through 60 minutes, taking its toll on both teams.

The match ended with the Scottish ahead 38-27, winning the try total 6-5. Fort Worth drew first blood with a try by flanker Dan Morgan, set up when number eight Warren Tucker picked up the ball from the base of a scrum. Annan quickly came back and scored two quick tries on long kicks into Fort Worth's try zone. Each of these ended with a fitter Annan player winning the sprint and scoring. Annan scored two more tries to Fort Worth's one, and took a 26-12 lead into halftime.

Fort Worth entered the second half rejuvenated as they gained the wind and the slope of the pitch. With their oversized forwards, Fort Worth scored on a driving maul from a line-out, and quickly scored another try, cutting Annan's lead to 26-22. As the temperature began to drop, Fort Worth picked up their game, but Annan felt the same effect. The teams traded tries to make it 33-27, and Fort Worth felt they had a chance to win the game. However, Annan's fitness once again proved too much as they scored a running try as time ran out. The final score left Annan the winners 38-27, but Fort Worth proved their mettle against a Scottish opponent with almost a month of Texas rugby under their belt.


1996 and 1997 Summary of Results

Texas Rugby Union Championship

1996 Texas Rugby Union Champions
1997 Texas Rugby Union Champions

Western Rugby Football Union Championship

1996 Western Rugby Football Union Champions
1997 Western Rugby Football Union Champions

National Championship Tournament

1996 United States Rugby Football Union Final Rank #6
1997 United States Rugby Football Union Final Rank #7

Click here for information on the 1998 United States Club Championships.

 


 
Information on Bruce Davis`s Fort Worth National Band.

 
 
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