Posted on August 20, 2013
9/7 – Possible Warm-up game OR HC Pub Crawl (keep this weekend open)
9/14 – Warm-up game
9/21 – Warm-up game
9/28 – Athens @ HC (home team may switch)
10/5 – HC @ Griffins
10/12 – OW @ HC
10/19 – HC @ Athens (again, home team may switch due to L5P Parade)
10/26 – Griffins @ HC
11/9 – HC @ OW
11/16 – Make-up games
They were down 14-0 at halftime and 21-0 with just minutes remaining in the game, but with unrelenting defensive pressure and some spectacular play, the men of High Country came back with a vengeance and beat Macon Love 22-21 to advance to the Matrix Final.
The whistles came fast and came often on Saturday afternoon, with High Country mired in penalties all game and even losing forward John Harley and fly half Troy Albright, their captain, to yellow cards during the match. Macon was even awarded a penalty try when the ref determined that High Country had been offsides on too many occasions near the try line. That try put the Love up 21-0, but it would be their final score of the game.
“At that point, I thought we may just be playing for pride, the love of the game and our fans that showed up for us,” admitted head coach Mitch Jaffe. “I learned an old lesson in a new way: Never under estimate the magic of a rugby team when 1 through 15 get on the same page and share one brain and goal.”
After scoring an earlier try to get on the board, High Country’s offense kicked into high gear. Kevin “K Stew” Stewart chased down a kick from Albright and touched it down to add another five points and fullback Danny Coreas bulldozed through a defender from short range to add another five to the scoreboard, making it 21-17.
With the clock starting to wind down, Macon attempted an ill-advised drop goal that went (very) wide of the uprights, and after a scrum High Country was able to get the ball into the hands of Stewart and he made magic happen, beating three defenders down the sideline to score the try that put High Country on top for the first time all afternoon.
“We won because we survived two sin bins without giving up any points and because K Stew is really fast,” said Albright. “We showed a ton of heart and came away with one of the best wins in recent memory.”
Eight man and forwards captain TJ Rhine could only describe Stewart’s run as “heart stopping.”
After breaking free from a second man, half of High Country’s sidelines went running down the pitch with Stewart.
“It was definitely one of the best performances I’ve ever seen [Stewart] have on the rugby field,” Rhine added.
For his part, Stewart says as soon as he got the ball it was over for Macon.
“There’s no question, if I have two guys to beat I feel like I’m gonna score every time,” he said. “If it’s three or more, I feel I’m still gonna get a pretty good distance…Initially I got the ball and I saw one person, that was their outside center. I wasn’t even looking at him because I already knew I was gonna get by him. I was just looking downfield to see what I was gonna do next.”
What he did next was score and he was mauled in the try zone by half of his team and a number of excited spectators.
“One or two people to beat,” said Stewart, his swag fully turned on, “I’m not worried about that at all.”
The try put High Country up 22-21, the score that would be the game’s final.
“I have seen little bits of brilliance from this group,” said Jaffe “Sometimes it shows up in 3-5 minute spurts, maybe 10. On Saturday, they were the best rugby team in the south for 15 minutes, and I mean any division.”
The win propelled High Country into a showdown with Valdosta State, a team that beat them earlier in the season by a hefty margin, for the championship.
The team celebrated their win at their home bar where an upper-level member of the staff may or may not have dipped his testicles in Bacardi 151 and lit them on fire.
That event got the team’s heads in the right place.
“I just hope everybody forgets about Saturday, starting tomorrow, and focuses on next week,” said Stewart, who was named High Country’s Man of the Match, but embarrassingly lost the drink-off at the bar. “I’m just proud of the way everyone stuck together, from the people that was on the field to everyone on the sideline. There was never a moment where we felt like we were too far out the game.”
Tonight, and until further notice, we will be practicing at Coan Park located at 1530 Woodbine Avenue Southeast, Atlanta, Georgia 30317 (the field is located across the street from the former Coan Middle School on Hosea Williams Blvd.). It’s only a mile off Moreland, close to the Brewhouse. Be there 645. Lot of work to do gentlemen. Critical practice.
GEORGIA TECH VS. HIGH COUNTRY RUGBY
First Game is this Saturday 1/19 2:30
Walker Park, 200 Memorial Terrace Southeast Atlanta, Georgia 30316
All players be there at 12:00 to build the field. Friday we’ll be putting together the posts, contact Fudger if you’d like to help out.
It’s time. Practice starts this Thursday from 7-9 (be there at 645, cleats on, ready to go at 7, no excuses) and continues every Tues & Thurs. for the rest of the season. We’ll be practicing at the same field as the Fall; Walden Middle School @ 320 Irwin St NE, Atlanta, GA 30312 (if coming 85/75 S, take the JW Dobbs/Auburn Ave exit (first exit after Freedom Pkwy exit), take left at first light, and the field will be 2 blocks down on the left) . I’ve attached the Matrix schedule once more. In addition to the Matrix schedule, we’re opening up with GA Tech @ home on 1/19/13 (that’s less than 2 weeks away boys). We have so much potential this year, but again, it will mean nothing without commitment. Every man, every practice, every game.
And of course, Brewhouse every Thursday after practice, and the Pub Crawl this Sat.
By Dion Rabouin
ATLANTA – The men of High Country again defended their home pitch on Saturday as the team defeated Macon 37-7.
The Macon Love were shorthanded in a few key areas and High Country was able to take advantage. The team got two scores from fly half Troy Albright, two more from center Garrett Hilgendorf and a try each from Anthony Limardo and John Koury.
All the scoring in the game came from the back line, but forward Jack “Wub Wub” Mizell believed it was really the pack who deserved the glory.
“We carried a lot of backs to trys today,” said Mizell, who last week complained profusely about not being included in the game story. “I had to shove, like, three backs into the try zone. I carried [Albright] in and then chipped [my] tooth.”
The men of the match were prop “Slim” Rob Armstrong for the forwards and Hilgendorf for the backs.
Limardo agreed with Mizell’s assessment, at least in regard to his try.
“[The forwards] basically picked me up and put me over the try line,” he said.
The scrum half, who missed last week’s game against the Bucs to attend a hippy jam fest, said that he knows he and other key players will have to take their game up a notch in the future.
“It was still a good match,” Limardo said. “We gotta be disciplined and not show up late and drunk [to the game].”
The team’s numbers were an obvious asset in the win over the Love, as was their fitness. remarked head coach Mitch Jaffe praised his team for showing up ready to play.
“We need to work on offloads; our scrums need a lot of work,” Jaffe said, “but we were fitter than our opponent, that’s for sure.”
Despite scoring his first try with the club before this week, Koury did not perform a Zulu -and thus had to perform it after Saturday’s game.
“It looks like a mushroom head in a bed of lettuce,” remarked Jaffe during Koury’s Zulu.
In addition to his unattractive genitals, Koury’s head was bleeding conspicuously during and after the game, but rather than go to the hospital he poured water on it at the pitch and then drove to the team’s social drink-up.
“I’m tired,” Koury replied when asked how he was feeling. “I did a Zulu while bleeding from the head. But I had a good time, I enjoyed it.”
The team’s next scheduled game is Saturday October 13 against Montgomery (Ala.), on the road.
On September 29th, High Country will host the Atlanta Bucks at Walker Park. Kick off is at 1 pm with a drink up to follow at the Brewhouse. Walker Park is located at 200 Memorial Terrace Southeast, Atlanta, GA. A google maps link can be found here . The Brewhouse is located at 401 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA. A google maps link to it can be found here .
Gentlemen, the time is at hand to come together for our Fall 15’s initial practice. Dust off your boots, grab your bag and get ready for another season of High Country Rugby. So far it looks like we will be travelling to Augusta where we will have a full crowd waiting for us. We will be playing the Atlanta Bucks at home, followed by Macon. For list of our full schedule click here .
As posted before, first training is August 30th. Make sure you are getting some conditioning in before that first practice. After looking up rugby conditioning online, I came up with this site which has some interval training and Lactate tolerance Training. I will say from personal experience that the union jacks are no joke.