Brown Spring Tour a Success with Two Wins

Brown won both if its matches in Ireland, defeating two Connacht Development teams in
Galway and Athlone, 25-19 and 25-17 respectively. The entire tour from March 22 to 29 was
spent in the Galway. Brown had the extraordinary benefit of a week of coaching from former
Ireland and US Rugby coach Eddie O'Sullivan. Eddie is a great friend of Brown Rugby and his
help was instrumental in Brown's preparation and success.

For all of our Brown Rugby Alumni who have had a rugby tour to Ireland, Scotland, England or
Wales, you know the weather can be ever changeable and, more often than not, windy and very
wet. The mild March weather in the Northeast took over the west of Ireland for our entire week,
providing dry, windless and sunny weather every day. What a pleasant surprise!

The team's lodging, bus, sightseeing to the Cliffs of Moher and matches were ably arranged
through Irish Rugby Tours which is run by George Hook Jr., son of the George Hook who
also coached Brown Rugby in the late 1980's and 1990's. Nigel Carolan who gave Brown
a coaching session on our last trip to Ireland in 2006, and Charlie Cooper who is with the
Buccaneers in Athlone and was our host when we visited in 1995, are both involved with the
current Connacht Development squads. Nigel was able to provide our tour party with tickets for
a very competitive and entertaining Connacht v. Munster Provincial match on Saturday night,
March 24th.

This tour which provided such a terrific personal experience for each player is only possible
because of the generosity of so many of our alumni, parents and friends. Thank you.

Below find the match summaries:

Brown vs. Connacht Development (Galway)

Connacht Sports Ground
College Road, Galway
March 26, 2012

Brown 25- Connacht 19

Scoring   Brown Connacht
2nd min tr - Brown (Long) 5 0
10th min try- Brown (Leonard) 10 0
15th min try- Brown (Zajaczkowski) 15 0
  conversion (McGinn) 17 0
46th min converted try- Connacht 17 7
51st min try- Connacht 17 12
59th min converted try- Connacht 17 19
65th min penalty kick- Brown (McGinn) 20 19
75th min try- Brown (Jones) 25 19
Final   25 19

 

Despite the loss of Brown captain Zahid Jethani'13, who injured his shoulder during training in
Ireland before this match, Ryan Jones'14 stepped in and played well on tour at the #10 position.

Brown played a terrific first half, lost its lead, but recovered late in the match to defeat a young
but skilled Connacht Development squad 25-19. Brown's fitness and teamwork were evident
as Brown did not deviate from its game plan. Brown pressure at the end caused the late match
penalty kick for the lead and the try which sealed the victory.

The match looked like a runaway for Brown for the first half as the physically stronger Bears
seemed to have their way with Connacht. Brown's forwards caught and drove a lineout over 30
meters as the match opened and number eight, Zach Long'13 scored the first tour try.

Brown scored twice more in the first 15 minutes. Scrum half Matt Leonard'14 made a break
from a ruck, was held, but broke free from the grabbing tackle. The defender ended up with the
#9 jersey in his hands and Matt free for a 20 meter try.

Brown's final points of the first half were from a solid line break by center Dow Travers'12 who
fed inside to his supporting center, sending Brent Zajaczkowski'12 over from 10 meters for a try.
Wing James McGinn'12 converted for a 17-0 advantage.

Connacht, realizing they were in a match, picked up their defense and began to attack with more

purpose. Although the Irish did not score in the first half, Brown also was held scoreless for the
next 60 minutes of play.

The second half illustrates the ability of smart teams to adjust to a pattern of attack, turning the
tables on Brown, with Connacht scoring three tries, two converted for 19-17 lead. Brown seemed
frustrated and fatigued but the Irish lead was a wake up call. Finally, in the 65th minute, Brown
pressure caused a Connacht penalty and McGinn's kick gave the lead back to Brown 20-19.

The match was played mostly at midfield for the rest of the match but with five minutes
remaining, lock Landon Turley'12 broke through for 25 meters. His support, fly half Ryan
Jones'14 took Turley's pass and out ran the defense 25 meters to the corner for Browns' final
score to seal the victory.

Referee: Jason Craughwell

First XV Squad

1.       Micah Baclig’14
2.         Daniel Levine-Spound ’12
3.         Everett Epstein’13
4.         Michael Wharton ‘12
5.         Landon Turley ’12
6.         Eddie Friedman’14 and Josh Moses’13
7.         Chris Latham’14
8.         Zach Long’14
9.         Matt Leonard ‘14
10.       Ryan Jones’14
11.       James McGinn’11
12.       Taylor Peak ’12
13.       Brent Zajaczkowski ’12
14.       Daniel Tonderys’14               
15.       Taylor Peak’12

 

 

Brown v. Connacht Development (Athlone)

Dubarry Park
Athlone
March 28, 2012

Brown 25- Connacht 17

Scoring   Brown Connacht
10th min try - Brown (Long) 5 0
20th min try- Connacht 5 5
27th min converted try- Connacht 5 12
36th min try- Connacht 5 17
57th min penalty kick- Brown (Jones) 8 17
63rd min try- Brown (Leonard) 13 17
68th min try- Brown (Long) 18 17
76th min try- Brown (Friedman) 23 17
  conversion (McGinn) 25 17
Final   25 17

 

Brown won its second successive and final tour match against an Athlone based Connacht Development squad 25-17.  In this match the backs were much more of a factor both offensively and defensively. The team balance created more space for the backs, and defensively, center Dow Travers’12 and wing Dan Tonderys’14 had particularly good performances.

Brown began the match with a driving lineout, reminiscent of the Monday match, putting Zach Long again over the line for a 5-0 Brown lead. However, Connacht then took charge scoring three first half tries, converting one for a 17-5 halftime advantage. This squad was bigger and quicker than the Monday opponent. Brown was having trouble breaking the Irish defensive line. As well, Brown defensive mistakes contributed to the first half result.

The second half, however, was a different story. Brown began to pressure Connacht, forcing a penalty that fly half Ryan Jones”14 converted for a 17-8 deficit. Brown’s defensive system which had been under some pressure in the first half, shut out the Irish for the entire second half.
Connacht was frustrated by its missed passes and dropped balls, clearly a result of good Brown defense.  

With 20 minutes left in the match, Brown began to find and exploit defensive gaps, moving deep into the Connacht end where Brown was awarded another penalty. Scrum half Matt Leonard’14 alertly took a quick tap and scored, leaving Brown but 4 points behind.

Brown’s lineouts had been well defended since the first try of the match, but the Irish gave up another lineout drive and another Zach Long try with only 13 minutes left in the match to put Brown ahead 18-17.

With time running out, and Brown again deep in the Connacht end, Brown flanker Eddie Friedman’14 score the final try of the tour and wing James McGinn’12 added an exclamation point with the conversion,

Referee: Dave O’Donnell

First XV Squad

1.       Micah Baclig’14
2.         Daniel Levine-Spound ’12
3.         Everett Epstein’13
4.         Michael Wharton ‘12
5.         Landon Turley ’12
6.         Eddie Friedman’14 
7.         Chris Latham’14
8.         Zach Long’14
9.         Matt Leonard ‘14
10.       Ryan Jones’14
11.       James McGinn’11
12.       Taylor Peak ’12
13.       Brent Zajaczkowski ’12
14.       Daniel Tonderys’14               
15.       Taylor Peak’12

 

Additional Tour Members

Players:                 Coaches:                Trainers:            Rugby Alumnus:
Zahid Jethani’12         David Laflamme        Kelly Teixeira          Bob Far’67
Blair Cameron’13       Jay Fluck’65                Amanda Moran
Josh Moses ’13
Joseph Daou ’14
Kavin Nunez ’15
Dave Sheinfeld ’15