Author: Pat Moroney

Monmouth Defeat Syracuse in Mudbath

On a beautiful spring day in Syracuse sixth seed, Monmouth upset the Upstate conference winners Syracuse Chargers in a tight contest on a soft pitch that churned quickly into a mudbath.

On 10 minutes there were contrasting fortunes for each team’s 10 with Monmouth’s Rob Benedetto seeing yellow for getting caught in a ruck and Syracuse’s Justin Melvin converting the penalty for the opening score.

Monmouth came back and started to apply consistent pressure in the Syracuse 22, but the Monmouth’s backs struggled to move the ball through the mud as the field began to deteriorate.

On 25 minutes Syracuse’s lively eight-man Andrew Pelkey picked from a scrum on his 22 and broke deep into the Monmouth half where he linked with his Fullback Matthew Scheemaker to score a try in the right corner and extend the Syracuse lead to 8.

Monmouth responded well, and their attack results in a series of lineouts in the Syracuse 22. Monmouth captain Andrew Poulson won a well worked set piece and released Nic Lucarelli for a thunderous try to bring the score back to 8-5.

Syracuse again tested the Monmouth fringe defense with numerous one out runners and they made inch by inch progress in the mud but could not break the well connected Monmouth line. The half ended with Syracuse holding a 3 point lead.

Monmouth started the second half well attacking the firmer end of the field. After 9 minutes Monmouth was striking close to the Chargers line but knocked on. From the ensuing scrum Monmouth’s scrum half Kieran Walsh caught Pelkey. The Chargers forwards did not deal with the pressure from Monmouth’s aggressive rucking and lost the ball behind their line. Poulson reacted quickly and reached over the pile to touch down and put Monmouth in the lead for the first time. Ryan Puck replaced the hard working Christian Szablowski at flank for Monmouth following the score to bring some freshness into the Monmouth back row.

Syracuse ramped up the pressure and again brought their big forwards into play with unrelenting one out runners, but the middle of the field had deteriorated badly at this point, and any attack through this quagmire was challenging. Syracuse did attempt to move the ball through the backs, but Monmouth’s line speed smothered their progress and frequently pushed them back to lose ground.

Both teams had chances late with the Chargers Melvin missing a harsh penalty from 35 meters in the swirling wind and following a pinpoint kick by Walsh to the Syracuse corner flag Monmouth failed to convert a lineout win in the corner as Pelkey picked up a loose ball to relieve the pressure.

Monmouth’s stout defense held firm to the end and Monmouth progress to the next round against the Village Lions on April 22.

Monmouth Head Coach Pat Moroney was satisfied afterward saying “Our forwards were outstanding in defense and consistently repelled the Chargers tight running forwards. We have spent the past three weeks working hard in practice on our defensive connections and line speed. The backs did not get a chance to express themselves today but did everything that was required. The lads worked hard for each other and overall our discipline was outstanding. Rob’s foot got caught by a forward in the ruck, and he was unlucky to see yellow for trying to extricate it. A couple of silly penalties late gave the Chargers a chance, and we will have work to do on that over the next two weeks. Playoff rugby is about fine margins, and I would like to thank the players that traveled but did not get in, the work they have done on the practice field is huge. My coaching team is working hard, Ken Pape and Chris Wagner really making progress with the lads particularly on the set piece and defense.”

Monmouth Rugby
#1 – Bricker, Frank (FR)
#2 – Lucarelli, Nicholas (FR)
#3 – Sullivan, Christopher (FR)
#4 – Greenwood, Ryan
#5 – Russoniello, John
#6 – Szablowski, Christian
#7 – Iadisernia, Anthony
#8 – Poulson, Andrew
#9 – Bighorse, William
#9 – Walsh, Kieran
#10 – Benedetto, Robert
#11 – Cicalo, Richard
#12 – Pritchard, Calvin
#13 – Crumedy, Matthew
#14 – Sullivan, Nicholas
#15 – Lynch, Nicholas
#16 – Ernst, Christian (FR)
#17 – Minenna, Jonathan (FR)
#18 – Frayko, Brian (FR)
#19 – Begen, John
#20 – Bogner, Itay
#21 – Puck, Ryan
#22 – King, Douglas
#23 – Oliveira, Carlos


3rd Annual Shamrock Shuffle

The 3rd Annual Shamrock Shuffle is set to take place on Sunday, March 26th in Thompson Park (Lincroft, NJ).

Registrants can look forward to a fun and scenic 5k run/walk loop, followed by a 1 mile Fun Run for kids 12 and under. After the running concludes, an awards ceremony will be hosted for our top runners in each age group.

The fun doesn’t end there! All registrants will receive a swag bag from our sponsors, an exclusive invite to our St. Patrick’s Day themed after-party (picture Guinness, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Live Music and raffle prizes for both kids and adults!) and so much more!

The Shamrock Shuffle is sponsored by the Monmouth Rugby Football Club. Proceeds from the Shamrock Shuffle will go to support Mary’s Place by the Sea & Fisher House. Mary’s Place by the Sea is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting women who are receiving treatment for cancer.  They provide services that complement their medical treatment, including oncology massages, nutrition education, individual counseling, writing for health, reflexology, Reiki, guided meditation, prayer, and yoga…all free of charge. Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment.


Kate Benedit

Kate Benedit makes the USA Touch World Cup Training Squad

Monmouth Renegade Kate Benedit has made the USA Touch World Cup Training Squad for 2018. Full Details here.

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Frank Bricker on the charge

Monmouth win big over Montclair


On a pleasant October Saturday at CBA in Lincroft Monmouth Men’s D2 side put in a seven-try win over Montclair. The Monmouth sideline was boosted by a large group of Old Boys who were rewarded with an entertaining performance.

Coming off an impressive first start last week against Union Ron Brown finished a flowing move to score an unconverted try wide right after four minutes. This was followed on fifteen minutes by an excellent lineout maul from 15 meters out that lead to Chris Sullivan dotting down and the try was converted by Rob Benedetto to leave it 12-0.

5 minutes later Montclair’s fly Daniel Zielke scored a good solo effort under the posts converted by Harold Vazquez to pull the score back to 12-7. Vazquez popped a penalty over to make it 12-10 on 24 minutes but that would be the closest it got as Benedetto scored an unconverted try from close range on 36 minutes followed by an incredible bonus point try by left wing Richie Cicalo that started deep in the Monmouth 22 with a turnover and ended under the Montclair posts to leave the game 22-10 at the half.

Rob Benedetto hits the conversion
Rob Benedetto hits the conversion

The second half started with Monmouth on the front foot again and prop Frank Bricker powered over for a try from 25 meters out after 9 minutes that was converted by Benedetto who was then replaced by Peter Terilli. Shortly after that Richie Cicalo gave Nick Lynch a soft no look pass on the left wing for a try that was converted from the sideline by prop Ken Pape to make it 36-10.

Ken Pape hit the conversion from the sideline
Ken Pape hit the conversion from the sideline

Ron Brown was replaced by Nick Sullivan on 68 minutes. Montclair scored an unconverted try on 77 minutes which was immediately replied to with an expert level of flanker pick-pocketing by Chris Szablowski to leave the final score at 41-15. Man of the Match went to Bricker for his storming play around the park. D3 had earlier dropped the game to Montclair while Doug King made a man of the match return to scrum half.

“This is a young squad and the boys are growing every week. It is great to see new athletes stepping up and dominating. Bricker, AJ and Ron Brown are playing strong.” said Monmouth DOR and Head Coach Pat Moroney. “The team’s work ethic is excellent and the lads are being rewarded for it. We are looking forward to hosting the league leaders Morris in two weeks time at Thompson.”

Support Monmouth Rugby by shopping on Amazon Smile . Just purchase as you normally would at the same low prices but login via (not or the mobile app). Monmouth Rugby will benefit 0.5% of all eligible purchases.

You can also support Monmouth Rugby on your phone doing what you normally do by downloading the Good Cents app or visiting the website.

(Photos Patti Benedetto) 

Monmouth Day 2016 Schedule Released

This weekend, join Monmouth Rugby for our biggest rugby weekend of the year! Celebrate all that is great about Monmouth Rugby with a full day of rugby from our Youth, Men’s, Women’s, and Alumni playing sides at Thompson Park followed by our BIGGEST party of the year at the Wilde Rover. We will also induct the 2016 Hall of Fame Class, Doug Coil and Jim Louro. This year will feature face painters at the pitch for the kids, live music at the Wilde Rover, pig roast, drink specials and more! Here is the current schedule and ticket info:
Friday @Wilde Rover
7-8pm – Quarterly Clubhouse Trustee Meeting
8pm – Welcome Happy Hour at the Wilde Rover – with FREE food courtesy of SolarCity

Saturday Thompson Park
11:00am Monmouth Women v Brooklyn
12:30pm Monmouth Maulers (U19) v CBA – 7s
1:00pm Monmouth D2 v Jersey Shore
3:00pm Monmouth D3/Mean Machine v Jersey Shore B

Saturday @Wilde Rover
4:00pm – Doors Open!
5:00pm – BBQ Dinner and Pig Roast
6:00pm – Hall of Fame Induction
8:00pm – After Party Continues into the Night! – No cover after 8pm

Wristbands required from 4-8pm

Kids Under 13 – Free
Under 21 – $15
Player and Social Members – $30**
Non-Members – $40
**Members may bring (1) additional guest at $30

Wristband includes include all of the festivities, game fees, burgers/dogs at the pitch, BBQ dinner and Pig Roast and dessert, live music and activities for the kids. Tickets also include 2 drink tickets and free beer for players until 7pm.

To help with the rush, please purchase wristbands at Thompson Park or at Happy Hour on Friday. Become a social member and save up to $20. Register here:

Empire GU Commit to Select Side Programs

High Performance budget will fund for 15s and 7s Men’s and Women’s Teams through June 2017.

New York, April 21, 2016 —The Empire GU Board last night approved a plan which commits to a comprehensive Select Side and High Performance program for 2016/17. The goal of the program is to offer development opportunities to all disciplines within rugby including athletes, coaches, S&C coaches, managers, referees, media relations video & technical staff. The athletes and staff will return skills and methodologies to their respective Empire GU clubs, thus increasing the level of play and administration across the GU.
The Empire Cup will start the process on June 12, where four men’s and two women’s teams will compete in Saratoga, NY. From this weekend, the Empire 15s Selects Squad will be chosen. On June 11, there will be a USA Rugby National Tracking Camp in Saratoga which all  athletes will be encouraged to take part in. An All-EGU 7s squad will be selected following the Blazing 7s in July with the 7s Select Squads emerging from that pool of athletes.
The schedule for the year includes the CanAm Tournament in July, the Northeast Cup in November, Ruggerfest in February and a home game in May to complete the season. The Empire Select 7s squad will play in the New York 7s and two other yet to be announced tournaments. Athletes will also be invited to join the Northeast Academy to train for the remainder of the summer and into the NY7s.

“Empire GU is excited we can offer a higher level of play to our athletes in both 7s and 15s, while also developing advanced skills for coaches, administrators and referees in the Union. When we spread best practices from high-performing teams to the our member clubs, we will develop a much higher level of play. EGU President Ken Pape has been a driving force in moving this process forward with Sean Horan from the Northeast Academy who worked with us  to create a plan that compliments their achievements in HP7s,” said Pat Moroney, Monmouth Rugby Director of Rugby and Empire GU VP Communications/HP Director.

Athletes, coaches and administrators interested in taking part in the program should complete this form  –

About Empire GU: The Empire Geographic Union manages and fosters rugby for more than 100 men’s and women’s clubs in New York State, Northern New Jersey and Fairfield County, Connecticut under the governance of USA Rugby Football Union.

For More information please contact Pat Moroney, Empire GU VP Communications and HP Director,