Tag: Featured

WWRFC vs. Detroit RFC Women, and WWRFC (B-side) vs. Oconomowoc

Detroit Women's Rugbycropped-wwrfclogo.png


WWRFC vs Detroit RFC Women

Our first D1 game of the season took place this past Saturday, and although we walked away having lost 24-10, it was a hard fought battle and a good test to see where we stand in our new division. The last time WWRFC faced off Detroit we lost 66-0, so three cheers for achieving a closer score!

The game started off with a lot of physicality right away, possession was going back and forth off rucks and penalties from both sides for not releasing and playing on the ground. Just when it seemed like Detroit was going to get an early lead going, backs captain and scrumhalf Ashley Shaw had a huge break away stopping tackle to force more loose play. The forwards took over briefly after that, with fly half Elisa Becker and prop Sarah Thomas preventing Detroit from gaining any meters. Detroit worked their way into our try zone after some knock-ons were called, but we managed to hold it up. Even though our pack overpowered the scrums on their put ins, their scrumhalf was able to get the ball out quickly, and they eventually got the first try of the game. 5-0 Detroit, missed conversion.

Right off the resetting kick, Detroit almost brought it all the way in, but luckily, Shaw and fullback Sybil Levine made their tackles, preventing back-to-back tries. We made progress into their territory, but continuously beat ourselves with knock-ons and failing to roll away out of the rucks. Detroit kicked it away, and flanker Lauren McCormack won us the lineout; we were able to work it all the way to the outside where wing Sarah Pinkston had a great run to roughly their 10. Our forwards had excellent patience playing crash ball to allow more meters to be gained, but unfortunately we were poached on the outside and Detroit took off running all the way back to score. 10-0 Detroit, conversion kick was no good.

Again, we patiently worked our way back down the field and again calls for not rolling away and not releasing caused turnovers, eventually leading to another break away for Detroit. A high tackle was made, and we were sent to the bin while Detroit was awarded a penalty try. The conversion kick made it through the uprights this time, so 17-0 Detroit. Turnovers were our biggest problem in the first half; we had great support and movement with the ball when we had possession, but too many mistakes happened that allowed them to gain possession back. Detroit scored once more before half and made their kick, stretching their lead to 24-0.

The second half showed a lot of improvement from our team; we were able to stop breakaways before they started, and fresh legs were a huge advantage for us. Rookie Brooke Tashner and prop Tamara Wade provided powerful runs that got us close enough to their uprights for Becker to pull off a clean kick; 24-3 out of the half. Possession went back and forth for the rest of the game off repeated scrums and lineouts, but we were able to force turnovers and stop breakaways a lot more efficiently. Our team worked as a unit to get the ball closer to their zone, and eventually it paid off as Grace made a big run off a scrum into their zone and Becker once again made the kick. 24-10 was the final score, Detroit with the win.


Back of the game: Katie Klas (Inside center)

Forward of the game: Sammy ‘Sam Bam’ Clevenger (Lock)

Player of the Match: Elisa Becker (Flyhalf)


Next up: An away game against the Minnesota Valkyries! Feel free to follow along by following us on twitter @WIWomensRugby.


WWRFC (B-side) vs. Oconomowoc

Following the league game, our B-Side team played a friendly against Oconomowoc. Big thanks to their team for traveling to play us, and shout out to some of the Detroit players who also joined WWRFC for the game! This match consisted of 30 minute halves, and was a great opportunity for everyone to get ample playing time.

Wisconsin got away with an early lead, with wing Brooke Tashner getting the breakaway try. 7-0 including the made conversion from inside center Bree Valenza. Oconomowoc got on the board a few minutes later with a try of their own, but the kick was no good, 7-5. Not to fear, Wisconsin worked the ball back up the field, and once again got it to Brooke on the outside. Another conversion cleanly through the uprights, 14-5. Wisconsin put a stop to any advances Oconomowoc made, and Brooke and fullback Sybil Levine extended our lead to 24-5 into the half.

Second half started, and WWRFC showed no sign of slowing down. Our forwards took over, with a score early on, and another added by captain and 8-man Grace Hovde. 34-5 good guys. After continuously keeping possession off the scrums, we were able to get the ball to the back line quickly, allowing backs’ captain and scrummy Ashley Shaw to get a try and conversion for herself. 41-5 Wisconsin. Oconomowoc got a few more points on the board with a try and made conversion late in the half, bringing the score 41-12. Brooke decided she wasn’t quite tired yet however, and scored yet again. Bree with the conversion, 48-12. With time running down, Wisconsin managed to hold Oconomowoc, and Sybil scored one more just for good measure. Good game Oconomowoc, but WWRFC wins it, 53-12!


Back of the game: Brooke Tashner (Wing)

Forward of the game: Tiffany ‘Tiff’ Wade (Prop)

Player of the Match: Andrea ‘Pogo’ Clark (Hooker)

International Triangle Tour Write-Up

This past weekend our club participated in the inaugural year of the International Triangle Tour, hosted by the Chicago Blaze in Lemont, IL. Organized by the Blaze, Wisconsin Rugby Club, and Winnipeg Assassins, this tournament intends to be an annual round-robin event between the three clubs, with hosting duties rotating between Chicago, Madison, and Winnipeg, MB, each year.

We played in two games, the first against the Chicago Area Rugby Football Union (CARFU) U23 team and the second against the Winnipeg Assassins women. This tournament provided a great opportunity before our season kicks off to try out different positions, welcome new players, and ensure that everyone got a good chunk of playing time. Both games consisted of two 30-minute halves.

Our first game against CARFU proved to be a good test, as the team is an all-star team comprised of players from around the Chicagoland area. CARFU got ahead of us early with a couple of tries back-to-back, but missed their conversions giving them a 10-0 lead. We managed to hold them there until half time with lots of scrumming and a few try-saving tackles. Out of half, CARFU scored a couple more times but still could not make their conversions; 20-0 CARFU. We managed to fight back, with tries from wing Felicia Carlson and rookie 8-man Maggie “Ginge” Hutchinson. Final score: 34-12 CARFU.

In the second game, we faced off against the Winnipeg Assassins women’s side. A little more rain, a lot more success for Wisconsin! After having a good chunk of time in between games to discuss as a team what worked for us in the first game and what we needed to pay more attention to (led by backs captain Ashley Shaw) we came out stronger and much more cohesive. Canada struck first with an early try, but a great run by wing Bree Valenza led to a try from Felicia on the outside. Game at 7-5 Assassins. Our defense looked much improved from the first game: coming up strong together and ensuring support for those first to the rucks gave us an edge. Eventually prop Tamara Wade came up with the ball and made a great 30-some-odd-yard run into Assassin territory and we were again able to work the ball into the try zone. Canada got one back from us, but luckily our offense came to life and we punched in a few more tries. Game over, 31-14 good guys, bring on the social.

True to the sport, everyone was there for the love of rugby, and a group picture was taken of all the teams under the uprights. We feasted on hot dogs, burgers, desserts, and kept the kegs flowing. A lot of shirt trading and singing of rugby songs later, it is safe to say everyone had a great time in Illinois. We could not have asked for a better way to kick off our fall season, and we are looking forward to a fun weekend catching up with and playing against our alumni! Stay tuned to see how your favorite Wisconsin Women’s D1 team fares…

Alumni Weekend Fast Approaching

With the start of the fall season just around the corner, that means the annual WWRFC/UWWRFC Alumni weekend is almost here. This year’s alumni weekend will be August 26th and 27th. We will be celebrating 41 years of women’s rugby in Madison.

The joint alumni weekend with the University of Wisconsin Women’s team will begin on Friday with a kick-off social at State Street Brats. This was a great success last year despite the weather and we hope to continue the tradition.

As the weekend continues, we look forward to starting our home season out right with some fun intra-team/alumni scrimmages on Saturday morning and a picnic lunch for all. Friends and family are all welcome; we just ask that you please bring a dish to pass for the potluck picnic.

The social will continue at Wilson’s when the festivities move from the pitch.

Stay up to date on all the Alumni weekend details on the Alumni page.

RSVP to ww_rfc@yahoo.com to let us know you are coming!

We look forward to seeing you all soon!

Division 1 League Schedule Announced

We are excited to announce the official release of our fall Division 1 league schedule! In the next few weeks we will also announce friendly matches as they are scheduled.

As usual, all home games are played at the Rugby Sports Complex in Cottage Grove, Wis. Field locations for away games and times for all games will be announced closer to match dates. Visit our Schedule page for more updated information. If you will be in the area for a given game, please stop by to cheer on the WWRFC!

Aug. 27, 2016: Home, alumni game (non-league), Cottage Grove, WI
Sept. 10, 2016: Home vs. Detroit Women, Cottage Grove, WI
Sept. 17, 2016: Away vs. Minnesota Valkyries, MN
Sept. 24, 2016: Away vs. Chicago North Shore, Chicago, IL
Oct. 1, 2016: Open
Oct. 8, 2016: Open
Oct. 15, 2016: Home vs. Chicago Women, Cottage Grove, WI
Oct. 22, 2016: Away vs. Detroit Women, Detroit, MI
Oct. 29, 2016, Home vs. Minnesota Valkyries, Cottage Grove, WI

Midwest Division 1 Will Be New Home for Wisconsin Women


The Wisconsin Women’s Rugby team will be returning to Division 1 competition in the Midwest Rugby Union starting this Fall 2016.

With direction of the Midwest and an approval vote of our active club membership, our team will be climbing up to Division 1 and we look forward to the many opportunities and challenges this will provide us.

We will be recruiting heavily this summer to help our team grow into a strong D1 club and welcome all new players to contact us to join the team.

We look forward to league matches against our D1 Midwest friends and still scheduling regular friendlies against the many awesome D2 teams we’ve battled with the past few years.

Thank you also to all of our alumni, family, and friends for your continued support!

Wisconsin Head Coach Bob Jafferis To Retire

Our team is sad to announce the official retirement of our head coach, Robert “Wee Bob” Jafferis, now that our spring 15s season has come to an end. Wisconsin Women’s Rugby is thankful for these past four years and we appreciate all of Coach Bob’s time, energy, and the love of rugby he shared with our club.

Coach Bob has led our rugby team to a series of history-making wins. Under Bob’s coaching, the Wisconsin Women qualified for back-to-back USA Rugby national championships, winning the national title in 2015 and finishing second overall in the nation a few weeks ago. Additionally, the team qualified to four straight Midwest Final Fours, competing in the Midwest Championship match for three of those four years and winning the regional title twice in 2015 and 2016. In Midwest women’s regular-season league play, the team finished no less than second overall each year, turning in two undefeated seasons in both 2013-2014 and 2015-2016.

Coach Bob also reminds us every day that we play because we love this game and that we’re on this team to have fun. He amuses us with hilarious rugby stories and teaches us international rugby skills along with the dark and subtle arts of the front row. Bob is a strong supporter of the game for women of all ages. Through his generous efforts, our club started our first-ever financial endowment fund to grow the long-term future success of this club and provide opportunities for future teammates.

Our team would be remiss if we did not also thank Bob’s wife Marsha. Thank you Marsha for letting Bob be our coach and for being a fan of our team.

If you see Coach Bob sometime this summer, please join us in giving him a hug, a handshake, and a job well done. Three cheers for Coach Bob. We’ll miss you!


The Wisconsin Women will be looking for a new head coach starting immediately. Please look for our official team job posting out soon and please contact us if you or someone you know is interested.
Thank you!

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Wisconsin Finishes 2nd In Nation for 2015-2016 Season

Another historic year of rugby came to a close Saturday, June 4 as the Wisconsin Women’s Rugby team capped the 2015-2016 season as the USA Rugby Division 2 National Runners-Up.

Undefeated in all D2 competition throughout the year, Wisconsin lost its national title match to the Life West Gladiatrix (Hayward, CA) 66-20.

Via USA Rugby:

Life West steals Women’s DII Club title from holder Wisconsin
Chad Wise • June 4, 2016

GLENDALE, Colo. – Life West scored 12 tries in a 66-20 defeat of reigning title-holder Wisconsin Saturday to win the USA Rugby Emirates Airline Women’s Division II National Championship in its first year in the competition.

Beginning a five-match championship weekend at Infinity Park, the Gladiatrix ticked the scoreboard from the opening minute of the match to the end of the 80th, starving Wisconsin of the possession necessary to launch a proper title defense.

Catherine Benson and Angelina Lomu each recorded a hat trick of tries, with Lomu scoring her first of three in the first minute of the match. Life West found several gaps in the Wisconsin defense from the opening restart and the first pass out to the wing landed in Lomu’s hands for a broken Grace Hovde tackle and 40-meter run to the try zone.

Wisconsin had a few set pieces turned over by the Gladiatrix in the following minutes, and the pressure inside the team’s half of the field yielded more points for Life West. Despite a mishandled pass on the wing, prop Catherine Benson used her mobility and strength to get through the line from five meters for a 12-0 lead.

Benson doubled her tally in the 10th minute after full back Cameo Motley created a gap along the gain line inside her own half. She was taken down with a high tackle within 10 meters of the try line, and Benson received the first pass from the tap for a 17-0 score.

Wisconsin got on the scoreboard through Ashley Shaw but Life West replied immediately for a 22-7 lead midway through the first frame. The Gladiatrix went over the line twice in the span of five minutes, though both attempts at five points were deemed to have been held up by the match official. Continuing to dominate the set pieces, Life West kept the ball in the offensive third and fly half Megan Foster went over the line from a scrum win.

Foster set up the next try – and successfully kicked the conversion – to extend the lead to 34-7 with a break inside the offensive 22. Motley took the ball over, and Pinson followed suit from five meters for a 39-7 score line. Benson rounded out the first 40 minutes with her hat trick from the final restart, 44-7.

Life West had used its quick offloading and strength to create gaps and bust through defenders throughout the opening frame, and continued until the final whistle. Wisconsin refused to be ignored, scoring two tries and kicking one penalty goal, but No. 8 Jenn Sever scored a brace of tries and set up her scrum half, Lauren Kenyon, for one for a 66-20 final.

Foster, the match’s Most Valuable Player, cited Life West’s ability with ball in hand as well as reading the opposition as the team’s keys to victory – in addition to the first-minute start.

“I think the first try really set the tone,” the AIG Women’s Collegiate All-American said. “We just feed off of that. Every game that we’ve scored early it’s just been non-stop. We just go with each other, kept it positive out there, and when we do that we’re pretty unstoppable.

“Wisconsin were definitely tough and had some hard hits. Credit to them for playing hard. But I think we did really well exploiting their weaknesses. We saw space wide, we used our hands to get it wide, had players cutting back in, read their hips; we came out and played our best.”

Life West Gladiatrix | Women’s DII National Championship
1. Tupou V Palu
2. Aubrey Huey
3. Catherine Benson
4. Megan Pinson
5. Rose Russell
6. Mele Taumoefolau
7. Tiara Littleton
8. Jennifer Sever
9. Lauren Kenyon
10. Megan Foster
11. Angelina Lomu
12. Andie Toetu’u
13. Hali Deters
14. Mirelle Raza
15. Cameo Motley
16. Sarah MacArthur
17. Moana Blandford
18. Vika Eli
19. Fane Eli
20. Alivia Picardo
21. Ilai’Saane Kefu-Teaupa
22. Jessica Lewis

Wisconsin | Women’s DII National Championship
1. Sarah Thomas
2. Emily Mastandrea
3. Melissa Polheber
4. Brittany Aprahamian
5. Jill Lehmann
6. Samantha Clevenger
7. Lauren McCormack
8. Grace Hovde
9. Kristine Peterson
10. Jennifer Johnson
11. Felicia Carlson
12. Shannon Walsh
13. Ashley Shaw
14. Justine Wypych
15. Sybil Levine
16. Sarah Pinkston
17. Katie Klas
18. Alayna Hronek
19. Corin Jensen
20. Callie Graves
21. Kimberly Gilmore
23. Tamara Wade
24. Cecilia Smith

13406974_10153585880541680_144019649975564686_n2015-2016 USA Rugby National Final – Official Team Photo for Wisconsin Women’s Rugby Football Club. Saturday, June 4, 2016. Photo taken by Patrick Barron.




Wisconsin Advances Back to USA Rugby National Final June 4

The Wisconsin Women’s Rugby team won both its matches at the USA Rugby National Playoffs in Pittsburgh, Pa., this past weekend, May 21-22.

With the two wins, Wisconsin now advances to the USA Rugby Senior Club Division 2 Women’s National Championship on Saturday, June 4 in Glendale, Colorado.

As the East Champions, Wisconsin will play the West Champions, the Life West Gladiatrix from California. News recap here from The Breakdown.

Wisconsin defeated the Charlotte (NC) Women, 67-19, on Saturday, May 21 in the national Round of 8. News recap here from the Breakdown.

In the national Final 4, Wisconsin defeated the Harrisburg (PA) Harlots, 31-17, on Sunday, May 22, in very poor, muddy field conditions to advance to their second-straight USA Rugby National Championship. Wisconsin is the reigning 2015 Division 2 National Champions.

The team needs your help to travel to Colorado to defend the national title. Please consider a donation to help us reach our $10,000 goal.

Happy Winners! East Champions!
Happy Winners! East Champions!

Wisconsin Travels to USA Rugby National Playoffs, Round of 8 vs. Charlotte Women

[WWRFC team photo by Patrick Barron]

After winning the team’s second-straight Midwest Division 2 women’s championship May 8, the Wisconsin Women are now traveling to Pittsburgh, Pa., for the 2016 USA Rugby National Playoffs Friday, May 20 – Sunday, May 22.

This is USA Rugby’s “Elite 8” and “Final 4” weekend. Wisconsin will need to win both of its matches in Pittsburgh to return to Glendale, Colorado on Sunday, June 5 to defend its 2015 USA Rugby National Championship.

Wisconsin will face the South Champion Charlotte (North Carolina) Women on Saturday, May 21 at 10:45 a.m. central/11:45 a.m. eastern.

A full schedule of all matches in Pittsburgh is below.

The match will be livestreamed on usarugbytv.com. Wisconsin will also be providing a live twitter feed from the sidelines via the team’s account – www.twitter.com/WIWomensRugby. Additionally, fans can follow the team’s new Snapchat account all weekend – Snapchat user name WIWomensRugby.

The Pittsburgh regional will also host the Division 2 Round of 8 match between the Burlington (Vermont) Women and the Harrisburg Harlots (Pennsylvania) at the same time on Saturday. The winners of the two Saturday matches will play Sunday at 10:45 CT/11:45 ET. The losers will play a consolation match at 7:15 a.m. CT/8:15 a.m. ET. All of Sunday’s matches will also be livestreamed.

Wisconsin is raising $10,000 to fund its trip to the national playoffs in Pittsburgh and possible trip to Glendale, Colorado should the team continue to win and advance. Please consider making a donation to help the team offset travel costs here.

usarugby_pittsburgh schedule

Wisconsin Women Win 2016 Midwest Championship, Qualify for USA Rugby Nationals

The Wisconsin Women’s Rugby team won the 2016 Midwest Women’s Division 2 Championship this past weekend. This is the second-straight Midwest title for Wisconsin and fifth-straight Midwest final four appearance.

Wisconsin defeated the Buffalo Women 100-5 Saturday in the Midwest semifinal and fought-back from a halftime 19-21 deficit to defeat rivals the Milwaukee Scylla 47-33 to claim the trophy. The regional final was considered a national round of 16 (“Sweet 16”) match and was quite the battle to watch for fans in attendance.

The club has qualified for the USA Rugby national playoffs (“Elite 8”) in Pittsburgh, Pa., May 21-22. As the Midwest’s top seed, Wisconsin will play the South’s champion, the Charlotte (NC) Women that Saturday. The winner will play the winner of the other national playoff match between the Burlington (VT) Women (Northeast Champion) and the Harrisburg Harlots (PA, Mid-Atlantic Champion) on Sunday, May 22. Sunday’s winner will advance to the USA Rugby national final two weeks later in Glendale, Co.

Wisconsin is the reigning 2015 USA Rugby National Champions.

Stay tuned for more detailed updates soon!