December 9, 2011
Local Residents Play Amateur Rugby For Growing Tampa Bay Krewe
There are many mainstream sports in our country that people enjoy to play and watch. One sport that usually isn’t considered to be well known here is rugby. However, outside of the U.S., rugby is a very popular sport.
Tampa Krewe Rugby provides an opportunity for people who you enjoy playing rugby to get their fix. The Tampa Bay Krewe crew pulls players from west-central Florida, and has about 100 players, filling two full teams. The team also has many international players from countries like Kenya, South Africa, France and the Philippines.
“We started in 1991 and we are amateurs,” said team captain Tyler Cathy. “Everyone does something else for a living and plays rugby with us for fun.”
Many men from the local community play rugby for the Tampa Krewe.
“I have been playing rugby for five years and two years with the Krewe,” said Riverview resident Chris Williams. Williams is a Marine and enjoys the teamwork that is involves with Rugby. “As a Marine, I can’t win a battle without the help of my fellow Marines and, on the pitch, it takes 15 men/women to play rugby. As long as I know I put 100 percent on the field I know I’ve had fun.”
Valrico resident Brandon Moore has only been playing rugby for about two-and-a-half months with Tampa Krewe. Moore, who works at MetroPCS in the Operations Department, enjoys being part of the team because of the competitive spirit involved. “I enjoy getting the chance to play for a team that is championship caliber, feels good have the opportunity to play for a team that has a nose for winning.”
The Tampa Krewe is under the governing body of USA Rugby and is gaining competitiveness. Last year, the Krewe’s two teams were in the DIII and DII divisions. This year, because of continued success, the two teams were moved up to DI and DII. This means more competitive games for both teams.
Last year the team played for a national championship, and is hoping to make it back this year. The Krewe kicked off the season in mid-November against New Orleans, which is the team they lost to in the championship last year. The Krewe lost in a hard fought battle, but it doesn’t damper the plans to have another successful year.
Rugby is an exciting, fast-paced game in hard hits and long kicks. Both football and soccer fans would see similarities to their favorite game when watching a competitive rugby game. But don’t be fooled, rugby is a game of its own and is unique and fun in its own way.