Story by Fil Keuppens about the Texas All Stars squad, predominantly populated Dallas Reds coaches and players, and their trip to Las Vegas. Read the article on ThisIsTexasRugby.com
On Feb 13, 2015, 25 Rugby Players, representing 11 Men’s Clubs including five Division 1 Clubs, three Division 2 Clubs and three Division 3 Clubs descended on Las Vegas to take on the lofty goal of competing in 2 select side matches in one day.
The First match kicked off at 8 AM against the Misfits touring side. Though the Misfits showed tenacity in the set pieces and never backed down, the explosive attacking pattern implemented by the TX coaching staff was too much to handle in the end. The TRU All-Stars won this match handily 64-5.
With a short break, the men from Texas then took on the California Pelicans All-star team. Despite being light on numbers and having already played 80 minutes of rugby (California only played one match on the day), the TRU represented well, losing by a single unconverted try in the end; final score 36-41 in favor of California.
Though the final score-line of the match was not the desired end result, the match drew the attention of quite a few fans including USA Eagles Head Coach Mike Tolkin and USA Eagles Forwards Coach Justin Fitzpatrick who were on hand for the entirety of the second match in order to evaluate players and determine if any players from the TRU or NorCal should be given the opportunity to compete for national team honors. Special thanks go to Gary Kennedy and Red Ball Oxygen for their support as well as the TRU and the clubs that supported the growth of representative rugby.
Led by Dallas coaches Dean Robinson, Filip Keuppens, Bruce McGregor, Jon Jeffries and Assistant Manager Ann Keuppens.
The actual Dallas Reds who represented Texas were Phil Bolton, Spencer Cameron, Sal Demartino, Rashad Harbor, Jonny Heron, Mike Kenealy, Jordan Macey, Jon Moore, Dale Russ, Connor Trathen, Matt Upton, Chris Hopkins.
Dallas RFC III 49 – UNT 35
UNT, coming off of a championship, showed up ready to play. Borrowing a few alumni as well as the usual UNT student horses on their squad, they showed the older more experienced Dallas 3’s a thing or two. UNT came out hard and fast against the scrum heavy Dallas team, or I should say, “heavy scrum”. The Dallas plan was to keep the ball in the pack and march it down the pitch. Somehow that slippery white object kept sliding out to our scrum heavy back line, where we struggled. Getting back to the initial game strategy proved successful. Also proving successful was having Chad play 15 and later 10. Along with help from Chase the Dallas Boys were able to garner some breathing room on the score card. Chad was awarded “Man of the Match”. Though Dallas won by a fair margin, the UNT boys kept fighting to keep the score uncomfortably close, even going ahead at certain times during the match.
Official write up!
Last Saturday, Dallas’ 3d side (bolstered in key positions by 1st and 2nd side players) took on a well-coached UNT side in a spirited friendly lasting 120 minutes. Dallas came out a little flat, allowing the fleet-footed college boys to draw first blood, and took a 0 – 7 lead.
20 minutes into the match, LaRon Hughes ( first of two tries), made a great move to bust into the try zone, to cut the UNT lead. A couple of minutes later, Isaac Contreras, scored the first of his THREE tries, and the 3rds took the lead, 10-7. UNT came back, just before the end of the first half, and took a 10-14 lead, at the break. Tries from Chase Haberstroh, Chad Joseph, Phil Iuliucci, and Dwight Coleman, insured a win for the home side. Final score was Dallas RFC 49- U. of North Texas 35.
The social at the OT was a success and much fun. The age legal guys from UNT made a fair and friendly appearance. This is where Dallas actually lost! Our Man of the Match stand in, who we will ambiguously call “Dodgey”, lost the drink off to a kid who doesn’t even drink. The kid slammed it down and was back off to his work-study program at the UNT library!
Hats off and thanks to the well coached UNT boys. Hopefully, we’ll see some of them in Reds jerseys after graduation.
Dallas RFC II 51 – Dallas Quins II 7
The Dallas RFC 2nd remained un-defeated, as the “Reds” sweep past the Dallas Quins II, 51 to 7.
Lead by winger Thomas Hever’s, “hat trick”, his second in as many weeks. The scoring started early, as the Quins only had 14 players to start the match . (Note: the game was delayed 10 minutes before the scheduled kickoff because four Quin starters had not arrived at the park.) F/B Rob McDermott scored two tries, and Tucker Shaw also had two tries. Winger Dean Berry, scored a try, and Andrew Campisi kicked four conversions, and one PK in the rout.
“Man of the Match “ was Chris Kelly.
Dallas RFC 66 – Dallas Quins 20
Facing a strong wind, in the first half, the “Reds” overcame the first half deficit, to whip the Dallas Quins, 66 to 20. The scoring started just 3 minutes into the match, as Fly 1/2 Jorden Massey kicked a PK. Zack Klump followed with another PK three minutes later, for a 6- 0 lead. The Quins were able to kick a PK, to narrow the lead, to 6-3. Chad Joseph followed with a great effort to score, to increase the lead to 11-3. Following several DRFC handling errors, the Quins were able to score two tries. Just before the half ended, Center Connor Trathen burst the line to score, the first of his three tries. The first half ended with the Quins ahead 20 to 16.
The second half started with the strong wind to DRFC back. Led by Fly 1/2 Jordan Massey tactical kicking, the Quins were constantly on their back foot. “Man of the Match” #8 Dale “Cheese” Russ, who scored the first of his two tries, and tries from Jordan Massey, Jon Moore and Gerad “Shaggy” Crosswy, with Zack Klump’s seven conversions, and a PK brought the Reds rousing back for the win.
Dallas RFC remains the only undefeated Club in Division 1 of the Red River Conference.
Dallas RFC II Whip HARC II, 30 to 7
Two undefeated teams met last Saturday in windy Houston. Dallas RFC lead by winger Thomas Hever’s THREE tries, whipped HARC 30 to7. Winger Dean Barry started the scoring, just 10 minutes into game, and Andrew Campisi’s conversion was wide. Captain Gus Holt bullied his way in for a try at 23 minutes. HARC regrouped, and was able to put together several phases to score, and cut the lead to 10 – 7. After that it was all Reds, as Hever scored two more tries, and “Man of the Match” F/B Rob McDermott scored late in the match to cap the win.
Dallas II and Austin Blacks II are the only undefeated teams left in Division II.
Dallas RFC Thrash HARC , 70 – 20
The D-1 match started with a “wakeup call”, as HARC scored on the opening kickoff, just 1 minute into the match. That would be the last HARC lead, as the Reds secured bonus points before the break. Winger Jon Moore (Man of the Match) scored a hat-trick, with Conner Trathen, and Chad Joseph scoring two tries a piece, plus Kelly Kolberg, Capt. Michael Kenealy and Zack Klump adding to the try scoring total, in the win. Scrum 1/2 Phil Bolton kicked four conversions, and two PK’s for s total of 14 points. Zack Klump also kicked three conversions.
Dallas RFC remains the only undefeated Club in the Red River Conference D-1 standings.
Dallas III 87 – Lost Souls 5
Dallas II 36 – NOLA II 12
Dallas I 39 – NOLA I 3
It was another unseasonably warm winter day for rugby, and the Boys in Red took full advantage with three big wins in their opening weekend of league play.
Social Side Recap – Dallas 87 Lost Souls 5:
In the opening match, a fully-loaded DRFC social side defeated Lost Souls 87-5. Tries were scored by Al Johnson (fullback), Kevin Sauer (lock), LaRon Hughes (2) (wing), Dwight Coleman (wing), Danny Torrez (2) (flanker), Sebastian Bitar (2) (wing), Big John Holman (2) (lock), Andrew “Pinky” Stock (inside center), Alex Crampton (2) (hooker), and SMU Jerrod (fullback). David Bible (fly half) kicked 4 conversions, and Sebastian Bitar (wing) kicked 2. The try of the day was by Big John Holman, who played a short, second-half kickoff, broke through the initial wave of defenders, and absolutely smashed the hapless 5’10” fullback who tried to tackle the much larger Holman around the shoulders.
All told, 25 different players saw action for the social side last Saturday. Next match on Saturday, Feb. 14 vs. UNT. Come out and join the party.
Division II Recap – Dallas 36 – NOLA 12:
What a great day for the Dallas RFC, with the start of the spring season, the Reds let the rugby world know this is going to be a special season.
The D-2 match with New Orleans started slowly, with both teams missing early PK’s. At 23 minutes, #10 Andrew Campisi, connected, and the Reds led 3 – 0. At 30 minutes, newcomer, F/B Rob McDermott, snaked his way in for the try , that Campisi converted, for a 10 – 0 lead. Just before the half ended, winger Thomas Hever, had the run of the day, as he caught a perfect pass, at mid-field, and out ran the defense to score. Campisi, converted, and the half ended, with a 17 – 0 lead.
The second half started with a yellow card, for back-rower, Ernest Carrasco. New Orleans took full advantage to score a converted try. At 60 minutes, NOLA, made the crowd uneasy, as they scored again, and cut the Reds lead to 17 – 12. Dallas responded with Rob McDermott’s second try, plus a Rashad Harbor brilliant score, and center Tucker Shaw’s try.
Final score Dallas 36 – NOLA 12.
Winger Thomas Hever was named Man of the Match.
Division I Recap- Dallas 39 NOLA 3:
The D-1 match was the one the Club has been waiting for since the Finals of the Round of 8, last spring. Coach Dean Robinson could not have asked for a better outcome, as the Reds stomped NOLA, 39 – 3.
The scoring started, just two minutes into the game, as #7 Chad Joseph raced in for a try. At 15 minutes, winger Jon Moore, out paced the NOLA defense, to score. J. Moore followed, this up, with another streak to the tryline scoring just 5 minutes later. Just before the half ended, NOLA connected on a PK, and the score at the break was Dallas 15 – NOLA 3.
The second half was ALL Dallas, as Capt. #15, Michael Kenealy scored twice. Chad Joseph scored his second try, and Center Gerad (Shaggy) Crosswy intercepted a NOLA pass to score, to seal the win.
Newcomer Dale “Cheese’ Russ, was named Man of the Match.