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Falls Rugby Prepares for Its Opening Day

Club team opens the season Monday at home against Waukesha West.

To the untrained eye, what goes on during a rugby match can be confusing indeed.  While scoring is the ultimate objective in any sport, the process is also important.

“The main goal is to maintain possession,” said Jacob Veley, the captain of the Menomonee Falls Rugby Club.  “When you get tackled, you want to go to the ground and put the ball to the side and let your teammates help you.”

Veley and the rest of his teammates have been preparing for several weeks for their opening game, at 5 p.m. Monday at home against Waukesha West. Falls will play its home games this season at , located at W165 N8301 Lavergne Ave.

Veley, a senior at Menomonee Falls and Mark Antrim, a junior, are the team captains. They will lead a team with players with some experience and others who will be playing for the first time. The Falls plays in the Central Division of the Badgerland Conference. The other teams in the conference include West, Lake Country, Muskego and Vernon.

“This is new this year, we used to play in one giant pool with teams from the Milwaukee Metro area to Madison,” Falls coach Dan Zeroth said. “We felt there were some more powerful teams that would do better against better competition and teams like our team, which from year to year are OK, but not quite at that next level.”

The primary difference between the U-19 version of rugby, which Falls participates in, and the higher level leagues will be most apparent during the scrum. On the professional and collegiate level, the players that compete in the scrum can push each other all over the field. On the U-19 level, the scrum can only be moved a meter, Zeroth said.

“A lot of these rules are meant for the safety of the players,” Zeroth said. “Other than that, it’s a lot like the high-level game.”

Zeroth said of the 25 players on his roster, only 10 have played rugby before.

Avry Luy, a junior at Brookfield East, has little experience playing the sport, but will start the season as the team’s scrum-half.

“I’m basically like the quarterback of the team, telling everybody where to go and what’s going on, trying to control the flow of the game,” Luy said. Luy played with a team in Brookfield, but that group disbanded. He found out about the Menomonee Falls group and can’t wait to get started.

“This is the first sport I’ve really been interested in,” Luy said. “When the team fell apart in Brookfield, I was really upset. But I found Menomonee Falls and I’ve really gotten into it. It’s a great way to get physically fit and release a lot of stress.”

Another newcomer for Falls is Zak Dowlding; a senior at Sussex Hamilton. Dowlding played four years of football as an offensive lineman for the Chargers.

“I’m starting to get the hang of it,” Dowdling said.  “I think rugby is a little more physical because in football, you get 30 seconds to catch your breath. In rugby, you’re constantly going, pushing and pushing.  I love it. I wished I had found it my freshman year.”

Antrim, who was an offensive lineman when he played football, has been playing rugby for three years. The ability to carry the ball in rugby gives it the edge over football. “Rugby is a lot more physical and I get to be more of part of the team than in football,” Antrim said. “I feel I can be more of a leader than in football.”

2011 schedule: April 4, Waukesha West; April 8 Grafton; April 13 at Madison West; April 18 vs. Middleton; April 21 at Wauwatosa; May 4, at Elkhorn; May 9, vs. Kenosha.

 

Menomonee Falls Rugby Club Roster

Jude Amarasinghe

9

Menomonee Falls

Wing

Mark Antirm

11

Menomonee Falls

Prop

Alex Bukvich

10

Brookfield East

Flanker

Zak Dowlding

12

Hamilton

Flanker

James Fischer

11

Menomonee Falls

Prop

Kyle Hoopai

11

Brookfield Central

Lock

Aaron Jackson

11

Hamilton

Wing

Mike King

11

Menomonee Falls

Prop

Mike Konvalinka

11

Hamilton

Flanker

Dustin Lampone

12

Menomonee Falls

Flanker

Liam Lee

12

Menomonee Falls

Lock

Avry Luy

11

Brookfield East

Scrum half

Paul Mora

11

Hamilton

Lock

Josh Moser

11

Menomonee Falls

Wing

Aaron Neff

11

Hamilton

Center

Harald Reynolds

11

Menomonee Falls

Scrum half

Zach Riley

12

Hamilton

8 man

Marcus Ryczek

12

Menomonee Falls

Lock

Ryan Smilanich

12

Hamilton

Center

Alex Smith

10

Brookfield East

Wing

Jacob Veley

12

Menomonee Falls

Fly half

Sean Wagner

11

Menomonee Falls

Hooker

Eric Workman

11

Menomonee Falls

Full back

Andy Woyak

11

Brookfield Central

Prop

Jay Yohnk

10

Menomonee Falls

Hooker

sheri April 08, 2011 at 12:29 AM
I think it's great more and more guys and girls are playing rugby. Its a great sport to get into, anyone can play.
shilin July 15, 2011 at 09:11 AM
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