New Year New Opportunities

As a new year for the Deadbirds approaches, many opportunities open. This upcoming weekend will be the start of two seasons at once. The Deadbirds will be forced to split into two teams to play this Saturday. One team will be traveling to UWF to play in the 7’s national qualifier. If the Deadbirds come out on top then we will travel to Philadelphia for the 7’s national championship in PPL park this summer. In Jacksonville, the other half of the team will be expecting FSU to come for a preseason ‘friendly’ match.

This upcoming competition is great because for the last few weeks the Deadbirds have only been able to beat up on each other. Last week was the annual black and blue intersquad game where competition was very tight but in the end everyone was a winner with a day of festivities to follow. A few weeks prior the Deadbirds took on the alumni squad. The alumni came hard with a lot of pent up aggression from working their day jobs too much and beat the current players by a hefty score.

Next week the Deadbirds will be traveling to the University of Miami for the first spring season game. The next week FAU will come to UNF for the first Deadbird home game. Stay posted for details!

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Deadbirds finish season with a win against Miami

The Deadbirds beat the University of Miami 33-17 in the final game of the fall season. With a win against FAU and a lost against FIU last week during All Florida Day the Deadbirds were excited to get back on the field. Missing a few key players, Saif and Shelly stepped up as props since Thor was benched for last weeks red card for striking down thunder upon FIU. The back line was also shifted around and Deliverance weighing in at a whopping 145 played inside center. As the largest inside center in Deadbirds history he was able to put in three tries against Miami to help the Deadbirds win and earn himself a flaming zulu.
On the B side, Miami pulled away with the only try as time expired. In a hard fought match Alfredo and Saif lead the pack taking huge punches gaining many meters after contact.
With the fall season over the Deadbirds will start off season training in order to prepare for the spring season.

Deadbirds beat USF in the sandbox

In a field with more dirt than grass the Deadbirds pulled away from USF for the second straight win against the Bulls. The game was pretty evenly matched with the score being 7-0 Deadbirds at the half. In a game of ping pong the ball was marched back and forth by both teams until UNF was able to put three tries in. The only try from USF came off a penalty try awarded by the ref. For the Deadbirds, Steven Krueger ran the show at scrum half scoring all of UNF’s three tries. The final try was scored on a midfield breakaway by Kruegenstein to finish off the game. UNF A side could not have accomplished this win without a few B side players stepping up to fill holes in the lineup, big shout out to Corn, Stitches, Deliverance, and Unicorn Joe. The win was crucial to stay competitive in the Florida Cup after an rough 0-2 start against UCF and UF. The Deadbirds look forward to a bye week and then will hit it strong playing FIU and FAU at All Florida Day the week after.

*Photo credit Coral Robinson

UNF places 2nd in NSCRO 7’s Championship

 

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UNF 7’s comes back from the Philadelphia with the silver. A great outing by North Florida by having to take out 4 different teams before making it to the grand final. The Deadbirds traveled with 12 players, and took the 13 hour van ride up to Philly. On Saturday, the Deadbirds would start the tournament facing Susquehanna University. The game went quite smooth for the Deadbirds as their defense seemed to be too much for the opposition. Next, UNF would face Occidental College, from Los Angeles, California. Occidental seemed to carry alot of speed and experience on their team; much like the Deadbirds. Mistakes seem to plague the Deadbirds and they would fall to Occidental. Last match was against Western New England University. The Deadbirds needed a redemption game to make up for Occidental. UNF started putting in multiple tries and beat Western NE by a large margin. That point difference would put the Deadbirds in the Final Four, that would be played at PPL Park.

UNF started Sunday by playing New England College. This game came down to the end with a last second penalty drop-kick by Fly-Half Trace Horevitz. The win would secure the Deadbirds a trip to the finals. UNF would once again face Occidental College in the final. The final game started out real smooth for the Deadbirds, displaying great ball movement and rough defense. UNF scored the first try of the game, but the game took a quick turn around. Missed tackles seem to plague UNF and it would cost them multiple tries which put Occidental up. Two late tries by Steven Krueger and VJ Ibones started to give the Deadbirds some momentum, but it was too late. The final hooter sounded off and the game was over. Occidental (28) UNF (15).

Great showing by the UNF team and they plan on being back next year to take the title.

 

UNF 7’s win South Qualifier, head to Philly for championship.

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The Deadbirds’ Sevens Squad secured their spot in Philadelphia this past weekend after a long day of rugby. Both Loyola University and the University of West Florida drove a long way to compete, which lead to some great competition throughout the day.

UNF started off against Loyola bright and early in the morning, ending the match with a draw, 19 – 19. While somewhat nerve-racking, the Deadbirds woke up and won their remaining three matches with general ease. With quite a bit of sevens specific skills in the 12-man squad, UNF was able to show exactly why they deserve to play at PPL Park on June 2nd.

At the end of the day, UNF finished in first with 11 points, Loyola in second with 7 points and UWF finishing close behind with 6 points.

The Deadbirds must now raise the funds in order to make it to The City of Brotherly Love, as well as sell 75 tickets to the tournament. If you are interested in helping out, feel free to contact Alex Mross at alexjmross@gmai.com, or if you plan on attending the championship, get your tickets from this site:

http://ev15.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/SEGetGroupList?prc=UNF13&caller=PR&linkID=global-union&RDAT&RSRC

Deadbirds win NSCRO South Championship

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With heavy cloud cover and cold winds was the last Deadbird game played Macon Georgia. UNF faced the University of North Georgia, an ROTC school, for the first time. Though some delays throughout the trip had the Deadbirds not arriving at the hotel until nearly 2am the night before, none would have known it by the way energy emoted from everyone of the players.
Once the game started the running around quickly made the 30 degree weather much more hospitable. The Deadbirds scored the only tries in the game leaving the first half 14-0 and the final at 31-0. The game was fast paced but kept under control by UNF for more than most of the game, allowing the North Georgia side precious few times to capitalize on offense which their somewhat undiciplined side could not do as they suffered two yellow cards and a red card; all for dangerously high or not wrapping tackles.
UNF travels to play the Sewanne Tigers on Saturday and the winner of the UWF “Argos” vs Duke Rugby on Sunday in Pensacola.

UNF defeats Ave Maria; Finishes Undefeated Regular Season

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The Deadbirds traveled far and wide over this season, seeking to prove they were the team that deserved the conference title. This past weekend was the conference final vs Ave Maria University outside Naples.

The day was bound to be a scorcher, with highs reaching into the high 80s. This would be the first taste of Florida heat that UNF would experience this season in contrast to the weekend before where they played UM at home in 45 degree weather (a game where they delivered a thumping 79-0 victory).
Against Ave Maria, the Deadbirds drew first blood with a score about 10 minutes in. After that it was a hard and somewhat chaotic game with sub prime field conditions causing wet slippery runs and play.
Ave Maria, hungry for their first title, were able to put up points but never overtook UNFs lead. The game ended 27-19 in favor of the boys in blue, solidifying the third undefeated season in a row. Next weekend, UNF travels to Macon, Georgia to face a TBA team for what will be the first of 3 tournaments leading to the finals in Colorado.

UNF Undefeated After Win At Eckerd

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This past weekend, the Deadbirds traveled to Eckerd College to take on the Tritons in their first matrix match of the season. From the start, this was expected to be a hard match after two very close meetings in the spring of 2012. UNF is now 2-0 this season and 1-0 in matrix play (games that count toward the NSCRO playoffs).
Effective leadership and guidance from the captains and scrumhalf Ben Waddington made for an exciting match, with dominant play in both the forwards and backline. Eckerd has been known for their powerful backline in the past, with a talented scrumhalf-flyhalf duo using kicks and wide passes to their advantage. While they were strong, UNF was able to counter this with field awareness and solid communication.
The Deadbirds went up early in the match, with three unanswered tries before Eckerd was able to score. Wind was a determining factor in the kicks, with neither team able to convert tries throughout the match.
With starting forwards Morgan Spillane (TP) and Joe Eichner (8-man) both out on injury, quite a few new faces made appearances on the pitch. It was evident that depth of the roster wasn’t a concern, with the Deadbirds only allowing one try to be scored against them. The starting XV finished the match 20-5, giving them a bonus point in their matrix play.
Not only did the starting XV get a win, the B-side was able to secure their first win of the season as well. The future of the club is looking good, with tons of young talent competing for spots on the starting XV.
This weekend, the Deadbirds will take on FGCU on Saturday at home and Miami on Sunday at home in a double-header weekend. Matches will be played on the Practice Soccer Fields at UNF, in between Hodges Stadium and the baseball fields. Kickoff on Saturday against FGCU will be at 4pm, while kickoff against Miami on Sunday will be at 12pm. Come out and support as UNF hopes to secure two wins and continue their reign over the South.
True Blue, Through & Through!

Deadbirds take down FSU

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The Deadbirds travelled to Tallahassee this weekend to play FSU B-side and to have their B-side play FSU’s “emerging” side. The UNF A-side squad was thirsty for a game after being rescheduled the previous weekend and being left to play themselves in a split squad match which became known as the “Annual Black and Blue match” and the first 15 minutes showed exactly that with UNF shooting up to a very early 21-0 lead.

As the game continued, the Deadbirds found themselves in a position of power for most of the game, never giving up their lead though allowing FSU to narrow the gap slowly. For the end of the 1st half and beginning of the 2nd half, penalties plagued the Deadbirds which allowed FSU many free meters; much to the dismay of UNF’s coaches who could do little more but yell from the sideline. 
However, before the game was done the Deadbirds rediscovered themselves and were able to grind out a last couple of tries in the last 10 minutes, reigniting the spark of flowing game play which marked the first 15 minutes and was absent on their side until then. The final score came to 35-12 in favor of the UNF A-side.

UNF travels to Eckerd College in a divisional match for the NSCRO National Championship. Follow the Deadbirds on the website or on their Facebook page.

UNF RFC host first annual BLUE vs WHITE game.

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With the anticipation building up for their first matrix game against the Univeristy of Miami, the UNF RFC Deadbirds, held high hopes for a great weekend of rugby. But a stroke of bad luck and poor preparation from the visiting team left the Deadbirds high and dry with no opponents to play.
Instead, the UNF side opted to play an inter-squad game between two evenly matched sides. Thus the “Blue and White” game was born.

This match allowed new and old to play along side each other and allowed players to learn and communicate with each other; some even for the first time.
The white teams captain was Fullback Steven Krueger and Flanker Tim “Chachi” Herff, while the Blue teams captain was 8-man Joe Eichner and Taylor “Icebox” Alley.

Although the final score saw the blue team taking the game by a narrow victory, it was a great (and long) afternoon. Having played 120 mins of rugby, the Deadbirds retreated to their favorite drinking hole and our now setting our sights on traveling to Tallahassee this weekend to take on Dvision 1 Florida State University.