Ladies and Gentlemen,
A reminder of our 2nd annual Oyster Party next week. It’s a great party and a great cause and a great way to introduce friends to our community.
Thursday, October 10th in Griffintown at the Gallerie Antoine Ertaskiran (http://galerieantoineertaskiran.com/).
Tons of oysters and vodka and non-oyster food and non-vodka beverages….plus live music and great raffle prizes – hockey/dinner, multiple rounds of golf in one prize, a Swiss watch, a trip to Toronto with hotel and great seats at the international rugby match on Nov 2.
Full details and tickets at http://www.spsmtl.com/content/2013-oyster-night-ticket – it’s great value and tax receipts can be made for most of the ticket cost.
All three MIRFC men’s team participated in the FRQ provincial championships for an unprecedented 4th year in a row. Before we get to the games, we would like to congratulate all teams that took part in this great event and the FRQ for putting on a great show. Many volunteers, players, refs and fans had a part in making this day successful. The MIRFC were proud to host the finals and hope that everybody had an enjoyable day. Particular thanks should go to our very own finals crew – Bob Meunier, Sheena, Vicky, Tim and Jimmy Heaslip. Thank you!
As far as the rugby goes, St Julie hosted 9 finals on the day. In div 3, Kingston won convincingly 60-7 over the Exiles and should be moving up to a higher division. In div 2, the Sherbrooke reserves beat the TMR reserves 29-3, with the TMR firsts taking out their revenge on the Ottawa Beavers 25-0 (Side Note: I grew up playing rugby in Ottawa, and one of the most scarring episodes of my life came when I was asked to go and get something in the Beavers locker room (I was being set up for a prank) and when I entered, I saw something that no 16 year old — let alone any human being – should ever see. That’s my memory of the Beavers, but I digress.) In division 1, the Ottawa Irish reserves beat the Parc O reserves and continued their winning ways by taking the division 1 title over the Bytown Blues 48-20. I watched some of this game and was impressed by the skill on both sides.
In terms of your beloved Montreal Irish, the green machine was facing perennial foes One Club, bro! ® and their awesome singlets (Conor, you have the green light to get on MIRFC singlets for next year) three times over. In division 4, the MIRFC thirds engaged in an epic battle, only fitting for the two top clubs in the division. The MIRFC thirds had more experience in the backs, but struggled to keep up with the athleticism of their rivals. The game was tight and well fought but it is of my opinion there was poor refereeing . The ref did us no favours, sending our best player on the day into the sin bin for a very legal tackle and generally penalizing hard tackles. This isn’t soccer. Anyway, I digress, again. As it had last year, the game went to a thrilling overtime, and as it did last year, the overtime ended with One Club, bro! ® hosting the cup. The game of numbers first reared its ugly head as the MIRFC warriors managed to play the 100 minutes with a few subs and One Club, bro! ® had a bench of no less than 17 fresh subs. On a final note of this game, I was told that this was perhaps Bob Meunier’s final game. We all hope Bob’s playing career isn’t over, but if it is, he gets huge kudos for an amazing career. He and Jean Bisson – who also retired too early, if you ask me – have been tremendous ambassadors for our club on and off the field and we hope that they remain involved for years to come.
The Super Ligue Reserve game started off well enough with the MIRFC playing strong defense and scoring an early try off a blocked kick. Unfortunately for our boys, this didn’t last as their opponents began implementing their game plan and controlling the flow of play. I didn’t catch most of the game, but I understand that our boys put up a good fight and will live to fight another day. This year was about giving the young lads a chance to prove themselves in the reserves. They did well and did the club proud. The numbers game was tough on the boys as each of the subs had already played at least 80 minutes in the thirds (about 4 hours prior) whereas the boys from the West Island once again showed their club depth by having only fresh subs.
Down 2-0, the MIRFC firsts knew it was up to them to salvage a win. Having won the league title for the first time in a long time, the boys were eager to take the pitch. And boy did it show – they came out flying. The forward running lines were good, the set piece was working and the backs were making breaks. The boys started to assert themselves and went into the half with a good lead. Back to the game of numbers. One Club, bro ® was able to make several changes to bring in fresh (and very talented) players. The new blood made a difference and the West Islanders started to make some noise and score some points. In the end, the MIRFC conceded a late score that was the difference. We lost by 4 points. It was a tough loss to take.
I would point our that I thought the game was very well reffed by Alex St-Bonet and the rest of the crew. However, I can’t say I was particularly fond of some of the fans of One Club, bro! ®, with a strong contingent of them looking like the front row of a One Direction concert. Cheering your own club is one thing, but angrily yelling at the players who just lost a close game “Three cups, one club” while they are waiting for the other team to shake hands, is another. So is yelling when a player is kicking. Sour grapes for me, I guess.
On the other hand, props should go to the players and members of St Annes RFC. Even for them, three championships in one season is quite the accomplishment. It certainly has opened our eyes into looking at what we, as a club, need to do to emulate that success.
We cannot rest on our laurels knowing there is another club out their always striving to get better. We lost the game of numbers. We must get better, stronger and fitter; we need to get better numbers, send guys to play elite rugby and foster an atmosphere of winning. We have work to do and we need the buy-in from our membership to get there. We need coaches, volunteers, players, money, time – whatever you have, we need it! Please contact us to see how you can help.
Overall, and to close on a good note, it was a good season, with all three teams combining for a 25-1-9 record and the division 4 and premier league regular season titles. The mighty thirds will be back (even mightier), the young 2s will be back (more experienced) and the prems will be back too (Juice Juice Juice). Big thanks to Huw, Josh and Noam who led this ship all year – cheers, gents.
-Photo credits Neal M.
History repeats itself, again.
For the fourth year in a row, the MIRFC will be sending all three of their men’s teams to the provincial finals after three tough victories over the weekend.
MIRFC III defeat veteran Beaconsfield squad
The MIRFC were in tough against a good (albeit not young…) Beaconsfield team. The boys did well to keep their cool at the breakdown despite numerous (at least in my opinion) infringements on the part of the Beaconsfield pack. With some MIRFC vets keeping the play moving, the young guns were able to showcase their skills to the general delight of the crowd. It was a close game from start to finish, the difference being a beautifully executed play that ended with Martin Nuddyboom (real name unknown (edit: Neuteboom, read the team roster please.)) crossing the line. Big game also by Jeff Pelletier, the young number 9. That kid is good, big rugby future for him, Final score Irish 15 Beaco 10.
Props to big Zach McComber who reluctantly came off the field after getting injured, only to later realize that he had broken his collar bone. That kid is tough, like really tough. It was like he didn’t think the injury was a big deal and he was already making plans for the finals… until he took his shirt off. Seeing what it looked like, Zach was all too quick to show us what he had eaten for breakfast. Several times. Get better, big guy.
MIRFC II defeat Ottawa Scottish
How about those 2nds? They looked good on this day. With Timmy Yaworski taking a leadership role, the boys asserted themselves well. Playing a well-drilled Ottawa Scottish that included a few prem players, the boys were up to the task. Highlights included two “prop tries” by Marvin Esteban-Taylor and the ageless Dave Linard. And how about those young kids again, with Charles “Chuck” Soltendieck and Alex “the Wolf,” Wolfe (edit: sorry Mo you’ll have to fight for your title back) crossing cats left and right, and young Seb Juan-Alladio making moves in the backs. Final score Irish 29 Scottish 17.
MIRFC I defeat Ottawa Indians
What do they put in the drinking water in Ottawa? The MIRFC welcome those big lads from Ottawa for a semi-final showdown. Nobody thought this would be an easy game, and boy were they right. The Indians came to play, dominating the first 15 minutes in terms of territory and possession. But the MIRFC were up to the challenge, playing strong D across the board. We also had the pleasure of re-welcoming former MIRFC player Isaac Salmon, who was now anchoring the Indians backline at fly half. That kid’s got moves like Jagger, but even Isaac’s two tries were not enough to turn the tides as the MIRFC started to assert themselves about 20 minutes into the first half and would never look back. The younger guys again, you say? Yes, guys like Xav Lindley and Dan Pelletier were awesome – and boy can they fly.
It would not be a complete match summary if we didn’t at least mention a few rather spirited conversations between the two teams. I’m sure I had a biased point of view, but I can find no reason for choking in the game of rugby. And, more importantly, to make fun of a player who had just been injured is not something that belongs in the game of rugby. Ever. I’ve always had respect for the Ottawa Indians and hope that they continue to be a first-rate rugby club that always brings it on the field. Final score Irish 39 Indians 18.
So, if you’re keeping score at home, that makes all 3 Irish teams in the finals, for a fourth year in a row. ”Friend” and check out and Neale’s facebook page for pictures. All three teams will play perennial foes (drum roll please….) St Annes in their respective finals. It’s sure to be a great day of rugby so don’t miss it. We have the pleasure of hosting the finals this year. Irish III play at 8:30am, Irish II at 2:00pm and Irish I at 4:00pm. Invite friends, family and strangers off the street. Full schedule below.
Following Semi Final Games will be held in Sainte-Julie
MIRFC 3 v Beaconsfield 3 @ 12pm
MIRFC 2 v Ott Scottish 2 @ 1.30pm
MIRFC 1 v Ott Indians 1 @ 3pm
The full schedule is below.
The Irish men travelled to Quebec City for the last game of the season with the intention of capping off the season on a high note. Alas Quebec played better to seal their well fought wins.
The seconds started off on the wrong foot and needed to catchup to a 10 point deficit in the first half. The second half did not start any better and they needed to battle a 15 points. Though they did manage to fight the uphill battle ( the plains of Abraham literally slope) to lead with a 24-20 in the dying minutes costly mistakes allowed Quebec to return with one try ending the game with a 24-25 tally in favor of the home team.
For the firsts turn at the game this was their opportunity to show Quebec that their previous loss in Saint-Julie was more than a missed penalty kick. But it was not to be, Quebec has ramped up their game since then and won 46 to 14.
Though not the way to end a season the first have clinched 1st place in the devision and 2nds are awaiting results for other teams to know whether they finish 1 or 2nds. In any case the Irish should qualify for the byes of the quarter finals.
Congratulations to the women’s who defeated RCM and will play the finals next week in Quebec City. Anybody that can make it should do the trip to cheer them on.
All able bodies need to go to practice this week.
The Montreal Irish women’s teams were in action on Saturday to close off their regular season fixtures; with the teams playing apart, numbers were stretched to the bare minimum but guts and heart were in abundance. The seconds kicked off against Beaconsfield and inked a solid win 45-15. The women’s firsts were in action against a strong Kingston side that played a gritty game kicking off with only 14 on the field. The Irish capitalized for a final score of 50-12. Both teams have momentum heading into the playoffs and their quest for cups.