TAG RUGBY FINALS ON FRIDAY

RUGBY with MICHAEL SILKE

The Finals of the inaugural ‘Bud Light’ Tag Rugby summer season take place in Dubarry Park on this Friday evening with four exciting deciders in prospect. The action gets under way at 6.30 p.m. with the Shield final and culminates in the presentation of the various trophies and awards followed by a social BBQ afterwards.

Cup        Rugrats v Untaggables
Plate        Dragons One v Dicks & Chicks
Bowl        Pick’n’Mix v Elan/Ericsson
Shield        Fighting Lawn Ornaments v Dragons Two

Rugrats will be hotly fancied to continue their unbeaten sequence when they face the Untaggables in the Cup final. Backboned by Garrett Halligan, Kolo Kiripati and Alex Haymen, they are a particularly strong and experienced panel. The challengers, despite the best endeavours of Dominic Griffiths and Ross Tyrrell just don’t have the same strength in depth.

The Plate final should be a much closer affair contested by Dragons One and Dicks & Chicks. The latter include Mel McGerr, Patrick Murphy and Rob Davidson as well as Aisling Horan but Dragons One, with the Hughes brothers Anthony and Adrian, in their side as well as Kieran Sloyan seem to have a better balance with Jessica McMickan, Grainne Keane and Chandra Silke representing the ladies with some distinction.

The Bowl play-off too promises to be an even joust with Pick’n’Mix featuring David Egan, Catherine Costelloe and Katie Quinn in their squad while the Elan/Ericssons combination look to the Martin sisters for inspiration. Meanwhile, the Shield decider kicks off the on-field action on Friday and here Dragons Two look the safer bet with John Seery, Nigel So and Catherine Cunniffe bolstering their ambitions. Their opponents, Fighting Lawn Ornaments may have to settle for the consolation of most imaginatively named team!

A good night’s fun is surely guaranteed and all are welcome to come along and enjoy the craic. Admission is free to the finals and Buccaneers RFC thank Kieran Sloyan and Michael Smith for their Trojan efforts in running this tournament.

AUGUST SUMMER CAMPS

Want to keep the kids occupied for a week or two before the end of their summer holidays? Well two Rugby Summer Camps at Dubarry Park should fit the bill with the first one beginning on Monday next, August 2nd. This Centra camp is organised in association with the Connacht Branch IRFU and it is geared for National School boys and girls. Participants will receive free gear including t-shirt and ball. Full details including Registration Form are on the Connacht Rugby website at www.connachtrugby.ie

A second Rugby Summer Camp follows from Monday, August 16th to Friday 20th and this is run by the Irish Rugby Institute. It features experienced coaches including Heineken Cup winner and former Buccaneers star Chris Keane of Leinster. There are two sections to this camp which has been rescheduled at reduced prices. Their ‘Academy’ section is geared for 12 to 18 year olds and covers professional skills, conditioning, nutrition and sports psychology, and thus seems to be well constructed for developing players in their teens. They are also holding a ‘Minis’ camp during the same week for those aged 11 down to 5. This will take a fun approach to rugby coaching and will include passing and kicking games, bulldog and evasion. To register, log on to their website at www.rugbyinsitute.com

Links to both websites are also available through the club at www.buccaneersrfc.com

AVIVA STADIUM OPENING

Despite what the FAI may claim in their radio adverts, the FIRST match at the spanking new Aviva Stadium takes place next Saturday, July 31st when Connacht/Munster square up to Leinster/Ulster in the O2 Challenge, kick off 2.30 p.m!

Buccaneers will have a double interest in this landmark fixture with a number of our rising stars featuring in the Connacht/Munster squad. Callum Boland and Daniel Qualter are both in the panel coached by Nigel Carolan as is Mark Dolan. Good luck, lads, on this historic occasion. Meanwhile, a match between Buccaneers U-12’s and their Portadown counterparts will provide the half-time entertainment.

Tickets cost only €10 for this opening game and some tickets may still be available on Ticketmaster.

TRAINING

Pre-season training commenced last Wednesday and a surprisingly healthy number in excess of 40 players attended. This is most encouraging and, for the time being, training will continue on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. More bodies are, of course, always welcome so dust down the boots and launder the gear, guys.

Our new Coach Hendre Marnitz is due circa August 9th when training sessions will be extended to three nights weekly. Meanwhile, congratulations to Hendre and his bride who are currently on honeymoon.

Buccs have some activity lined up including a friendly away to Young Munster on Saturday, August 21st. The following weekend will see the Senior squad over-nighting in Sligo where they will take on the locals in a match as well as participating in some “bonding”!

MIDLANDS SEVENS TOURNAMENT

The second Midlands Sevens Tournament takes place at Dubarry Park on Saturday, August 14th. Alex Hayman is again at the helm of this event with assistance from Ray Fagan. Entries welcome from adult & U-21 teams. Details including Entry Form can be found on Buccaneers website.

ANNUAL GOLF CLASSIC

Buccaneers RFC Annual Golf Classic is scheduled for the impressive Glasson Golf & Country Club on Friday, August 27th. Entries from teams of four players are invited to this popular event. Contact our Administrator Geraldine for further details at 086-1732711.

CONDOLENCES

Deepest sympathy is extended to the Grogan family, his daughter Elizabeth and to Hazel on the early demise of Simon. A highly talented scrumhalf, Simon was a true character around the club. As well as playing for Athlone, Simon also wore the sky blue of both Galwegians and Garryowen. He will be dearly missed, particularly by his family. Buccaneers members including former teammates formed a Guard of Honour at both his removal and also at Tubberclair cemetery where they were joined by representatives of Galwegians.

Condolences are also extended to the families of Chris Hunter, Jody Moran, Senior, and Thomas Sweeney on their recent bereavements.

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