Category Archives: Fall Season 15’s

Winter is Coming Food Drive – Results!

BbuB2gmIEAAW5w-.jpg-large Every great tradition has to start somewhere.  In its first ever food drive, UMBC ruggers came together and gathered canned food donations for the Maryland Food Bank.  After a week collecting donations from the UMBC community, their families, and their friends, the team donated 120lbs of non-perishable items to the MD Food Bank!  This contribution will directly help those in need throughout Maryland this winter.

The top contributor, Senior Flyhalf Karl Shuey (pictured) donated over 20lbs of food.  His efforts were recognized with one of our brand new rugby balls, complete with the UMBC patch and our sponsor SAP NS2's logo.

This first food drive has set the baseline for future club charity efforts.  Next year, the team will have a goal to reach - topping the 120lb mark!

From everyone at UMBC Rugby, we wish you Happy Holidays!

Fall 2013 – Season Review

0436366246017 This fall was anything but ordinary.

The men of UMBC Rugby came together as a team and faced problems presented by injuries, loss of players, and scheduling issues.  But the team stuck to its value of "no excuses," coming out to every game and leaving it all on the field.  New players stepped up and the team rose to every challenge, including playing the last 3 games of the season within one week.  Every one of the members of UMBC Rugby stepped up and showed heart and dedication to the team, regardless of the outcome of the games.

Let's not beat around the bush.  UMBC finished (1-5) for the season - if you had asked anyone on the team before the season began, they would have told you they had high hopes for this year to be a year to make a run for a championship.  That's not how the season turned out, it had one of the worst records the team has had in recent years.  How does that make the team feel?  Disappointed?  Heartbroken?  Defeated?

None of the above, the team couldn't be more optimistic for the future.

To start, UMBC's developmental side [B-side] finished the season (3-2), with several dominating victories, including a 76-0 win over Johns Hopkins.  The players who represented UMBC showed an immense amount of teamwork, athleticism, and dedication to the team.  No matter how the A-side fared, the developmental side came out with high intensity and a work-rate that earned many of them A-side starts as the season progressed.  They played fundamentally sound games, with good tackling and offloading, that will be a foundation to build skills off of for future seasons.

The A-side players know that they have a lot of work to do to step up to the high level of competition in the conference.  They also know they have a lot of work to do if they want to keep their spot from the emerging athletes coming from the developmental side.  This off-season will not be several months of rest for the spring season.  Quite the opposite - all of the players are hungry to improve physically and mentally by working out, staying in shape, and studying the game of rugby.  The team plans on hitting the ground running come this February when practices resume after winter break.

The team, along with head coach Hanibal Gnahoui, set goals for themselves for next fall's season.  Among these goals are building brotherhood within the team, finishing with a winning season, and earning a spot in the 2014 playoffs.  The team knows exactly what needs to be done to achieve those goals, and there is no shortage of motivation to get to work on them.  The young UMBC team will only be losing 2 of its starters to graduation, so there will be plenty of time in the Spring to continue to build team chemistry in tournaments and scrimmages.  By next Fall, the team will be more mature, experienced, and prepared to tackle whatever challenges the opposition presents.

Let's not forget that the Fall 2013 season had several highlights that the team is very proud of.  The team scored at least twice in every match, proving that the offense could score on any defense.  Their 38-22 win over George Mason was featured in RugbyMag, and was a great game of rugby by both sides.  Several new members of the team scored their first tries and the team started to 'click' after that win.  There was a 2-week break of no rugby, thanks to a bye week and a weather-delay canceling their homecoming game vs. Towson.  When given a choice to forfeit the game and lose an opportunity at playoffs or play 3 games in one week, the team unanimously agreed to step up to the challenge and play back-to-back-to-back games.  It was not easy physically or mentally, but the team played their best rugby of the season against some of the best competition in the conference.  The team certainly proved their "never-back-down" attitude during those games.

There are many people who made this season a success.  The team would like to thank their sponsor, SAP NS2, for their continued support of the team.  The seniors on the team played hard and acted as role models for the new players, and leave their work ethic behind to a UMBC team with a bright future.  The team captains and officers worked tirelessly to tackle and overcome challenges that the team had never been faced with before, and made every game this season possible.  And finally, Head Coach Hanibal Gnahoui was dedicated and came to every practice and game, and has taught the team more in one season than many players have learned in their whole rugby career.

UMBC Rugby is moving forward and building to a better future.  The UMBC Rugby Alumni Association is continually growing and helping the team in on-the-field and off-the-field successes.  The alumni continue to show that when you become a member of UMBC Rugby, you are a member for life.  Many thanks to the fans, supporters, and team parents who come out to the games to cheer for the team on Saturdays.  Your support is invaluable to helping the organization grow, and we hope to see you all out in the Spring, as the team looks to return to its winning habits and repeat its tournament championships at Frostbite and Rocky Gorge.


By: Tyler Tippett
President, UMBC Men's Rugby 

Join UMBC Rugby!









It's simple - UMBC Men's Rugby is a successful program on and off the field.    The team has played great on the field, gives back to the community, and brings energy and excitement to the campus. UMBC Rugby is a great way to get in shape, stay in shape, and find new friends.

Follow in the footsteps of hundreds before you.  When you are a member of UMBC Rugby, you are a member for life.  Our alumni regularly support the team and offer a scholarship to committed players who maintain good grades and involvement around campus.

Grow as a person, meet new people, stay fit, and have fun.  Why not give it a try?

No need to sign up, just come out to practice.  4p-7p on Walker Field every Tuesday and Thursday!

Most of your questions can be answered on our FAQ's page, or by checking out our Facebook and Twitter.  Any further questions can be directed to

See you out on the pitch!

UMBC’s Season Concludes

577379_10151044371890826_597333158_n The Fall 2012 season for UMBC ended Saturday with a tough loss to #1 Salisbury.  UMBC came out hitting hard and playing fast, but Salisbury capitalized on UMBC ball-handling mistakes early to go up by two tries.  Fatback Cordell Drummond, on his last game for UMBC, stiff-armed away tacklers and punched the ball into the corner of the try zone to keep the score within one try at 10-5.  However, soon Salisbury's quick and rehearsed play proved to be too much for UMBC's outside defense, and Salisbury went up big by halftime.  UMBC came back in the second half and kept the ball moving and the hits coming, no matter what the score was.  Shifty flyhalf Neil Watson dove under a Salisbury defender to get UMBC its second try.  As the final whistle blew, UMBC was disappointed by the loss but proud of how they played.  The final score of the game was 43-10, Salisbury over UMBC.

Here is the link to a video done by a team mom with UMBC's two tries:

Salisbury would go on Sunday to defeat #2 Towson 27-0 as Men's Division 2 College Champs of the PRU.  UMBC feels good that they played a nationally ranked team so well, though a win would have felt much better.  Still, there are many positives to take away from the game and the season as a whole.  UMBC played disciplined rugby, and was penalized very infrequently in this game and all of its other games.  Strong, clean hits earned opponents' respect in forwards play and in the backline.  UMBC's tackling was stout defensively and on the flip side, strong runners often took multiple tacklers to be brought down.  UMBC knows exactly what it needs to improve on for the spring season and will be working diligently over the winter break to come out for a strong showing spring 2013.

UMBC would like to thank its dedicated coach, Vince Michalski, who sacrificed a lot to make it to practices and games.  His excellent coaching and organizational skills brought UMBC to #4 in the league.  His work, as well as the work of assistant coach Chris Powell, helped develop the rugby skill and knowledge of UMBC over the course of the season and it is apparent from the gameplay how far the team has come.  UMBC would also like to thank its amazing fanbase, including alumni, students, friends, and family of players who were there for the team on Saturdays.  UMBC would like to thank its sponsor, SAP NS2, for its first semester of supporting the program.  Last, but certainly not least, UMBC would like to thank the seniors who played their last game with the team on Saturday.  Your efforts have helped develop new and experienced players alike, and you led the team through example the whole season.  The program only moves forward from where you leave it, thanks to your dedication and hard work.

The fall season is over but UMBC Rugby is still active with practices, workouts, tournaments, and campus involvement.  Keep up with the team by following us on Twitter, @UMBCMensRugby, and liking our Facebook page,

UMBC vs. Salisbury – Semifinal Playoff Match

url #4 UMBC (4-3) will be taking on #1 Salisbury (7-0) this Saturday, November 10th.  A great game of rugby is expected as both teams fight for a place in the final match of the Fall 2012 Division II season.  Salisbury has already topped UMBC once earlier in the year, but it is a whole new game now.  The stakes are higher and both teams have improved tremendously from the first week of the season.  They will be meeting on a neutral pitch in Columbia, MD, at 3pm.  UMBC is hungry for a victory and wants to make this year one of its best playoff showings in its 28 year history.

The winner of the UMBC v Salisbury game will go on to play the victor of #2 Towson (6-1) and #3 Georgetown (5-2), being played at 1pm on Saturday. UMBC is expecting a strong showing from its fans and alumni, who are sure to create a great rugby atmosphere.  Any fan of rugby is sure to enjoy the intense game and high level of play.  If you are interested in coming to the game, the game will be at:

East Columbia Branch Library Fields - 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, MD 21045

We hope to see you there!

UMBC Advances with 29-12 Win

msm playoffs brady Back to practice on Monday, because UMBC won its quarterfinal (re)match vs. Mt. St. Mary's on Saturday!  The bone-chilling temperature and gusts of freezing winds made every hit even more brutal in the most intense game UMBC has played all year.  Mt. St. Mary's came out with a fire inside them burning for a win, but those flames were quickly doused by the confident, powerful play from UMBC.

The game began with several penalties against Mt. St. Mary's as UMBC marched its way downfield, constantly pushing back the defensive line.   After kick for points that bounced off the right side upright, UMBC recovered the ball and swung it wide to 8man Michael Peuse who shook off a defender for a try in the corner.  UMBC brilliantly defended their try line on the following kickoff from a strong offensive from Mt. St. Mary's as fullback Richie Campbell made several  booming kicks against the high winds to give UMBC excellent field position.  Crushing hits from prop Sean Brady and powerful runs from incenter Cordell Drummond shook the Mt. St. Mary's defense until tighthead prop Erik Anderson dove into the try zone after a series of forward crashes.

Two of the most impressive plays of the day came from 8man Michael Peuse and incenter Cordell Drummond.  On a UMBC lineout, Mt. St. Mary's intercepted the ball intended for Peuse.  But while still in midair, Peuse grabbed the ball out of the opposing jumper's hands.  The Mt. St. Mary's team, thinking they won the ball, were left oblivious as Peuse sprinted through their confused defensive line.  Peuse shrugged off two arm tackles and dotted the ball down in the try zone for another UMBC score.  The ensuing kickoff, incenter Cordell Drummond got the ball and bursted through the Mt. St. Mary's defensive line for an 80 meter try complete with stiff-arming the opposing fullback to the ground.  These plays put UMBC up 22-0 at halftime.

Down by 4 tries, Mt. St. Mary's came out in second half  willing to do anything for a win.  There had been "extracurricular activity" by both sides in the first half, as high intensity leads to aggressive play.  But in the second half, the Mt. St. Mary's hooker earned a yellow card for diving at UMBC player's feet and not wrapping in the tackle.  UMBC took advantage of this and had several forwards crash balls, and immediately swung the ball to the backs where flyhalf Neil Watson shiftily sprinted through three defenders to give UMBC another try.  The Mt. St. Mary's hooker was allowed back into play but quickly repeated the same infringement for a red card.

As the clock ticked down, Mt. St. Mary's took advantage of two sloppy ball-handling mistakes from UMBC to prevent a shutout, but they did not have enough time to mount a comeback. As the final whistle blew the UMBC sideline erupted in cheering as UMBC had now beaten the team which, this time last year, knocked them out of the playoffs in the quarterfinals.  The final score was 29-12 UMBC over Mt. St. Mary's.  UMBC now eagerly awaits information on the next round of playoff matches.

Rematch vs. Mt. St. Mary’s

Beef Killer B's This is the culmination of all our hard work - Playoffs.

After suffering a tough loss to Georgetown 34-22, UMBC has earned a spot in the PRU Men's Division II Playoffs, with home-field advantage.  Placing 4th in the A-Tier, UMBC will have a rematch vs. Mt. St. Mary's, who is 5th in the A-Tier.  Last year, UMBC had the same matchup for the quarterfinals, but did not have home-field advantage.  Mt. St. Mary's was able to defeat UMBC, but it will be a much different story this year.

UMBC has already defeated Mt. St. Mary's this year, in a muddy and sloppy brawl.  Conditions look to be no better this time around - the pitch is currently flooded with rain from Hurricane Sandy, or the "Frankenstorm" as it has been dubbed.  UMBC continues to practice hard in these poor conditions in preparation for its playoff match, which will certainly be a close battle.

UMBC hopes for a strong showing of fans and supporters on Saturday at 1pm, a great game of rugby is sure to be enjoyed by all.

UMBC Routs GW 58-3

GW Killer B's It was a great day for rugby on Saturday, when UMBC went to the nation's capitol to meet George Washington on the pitch.  But UMBC didn't travel to enjoy the weather or the view - they were out for blood.  Coming off of a tough loss to Towson and suffering from injuries to many key players, UMBC needed players to step up and prove their mettle; and prove it they did.  UMBC scored early and often, never giving GW a chance to rally and go on the counteroffensive.  Right off the kickoff, UMBC pushed back GW's defensive line and seemed poised to score.  After a stout defensive performance from GW for 10 minutes, flanker Femi Williams stiff-armed away tacklers to score the first UMBC try.

From there, UMBC never let up for the rest of the match.  Femi scored 4 tries total, including finishing a 70 meter play with the loose forward trio where 8man Mike Peuse broke through the back line, offloading to flanker Tyler Tippett who passed it outside to Femi who sprinted down the sideline for a perfectly executed try.  Other tries came from 8man Mike Peuse, Flyhalf Loyola, two from Incenter Cordell Drummond, Outcenter Arya Koolaee, and Wing Hamza Malik.  UMBC made the statement it wanted to with a total of 10 tries throughout all 80 minutes, committing few penalties and preventing any tries from being scored against them.  UMBC will be seeking to top this performance against Georgetown at home this saturday.

Another solid performance by the Killer B's against GW's B-side finished off a very successful day for UMBC Rugby.  The Killer Bs' development of rugby knowledge and increased fitness has made deciding the 22-man roster for the playoffs challenging, with so many potential athletes and a limited number of spots.  Competition during practice will be fierce this week. UMBC has clinched a home field playoff game with this win and is optimistic about the chances of a deep run into the playoffs this year.

UMBC brawls with Towson

UMBC/Towson Scrum It was a heavyweight contest between UMBC and Towson on Saturday, with both sides coming out strong and hitting hard.  First blood was drawn by UMBC, with a quick conversion by Richie Campbell to put UMBC on the scoreboard 3-0 in the first half.  Towson fired back quickly, with a try and conversion of their own.  That didn't stop inside center Cordell Drummond from punching in a try on a bruising 20 meter run to score under the goalposts, allowing for an easy conversion and tying the game at 10-10.  The score stayed neck-and-neck, as each team exchanged blows and every point was valuable.  Fullback Richie Campbell made two try-saving tackles, knocking balls out of the hands of Towson players before they were able to put downward pressure on the ball.  With Towson up 20-13, 8-man Michael Peuse broke off of a maul and dove into the try zone to put the score at 20-18 in Towson's favor.

The store held at a mere 2 point difference as both teams looked for any advantage over the other.  Only until the 68th minute did Towson finally find a hole in UMBC's defensive line and scored 3 tries in quick succession, to put the final score at 41-18 Towson.  Any spectator can attest that the score does not reflect the back-and-forth brawl the game turned out to be, and that momentum could have easily swung either way at the end.  Credit to where its due, Towson played hard for all 80 minutes and made few mistakes for UMBC to capitalize on.  Some questionable lack of calls on late hits and hitting players in the air left UMBC with a bad taste in their mouths, but that wont stop preparations for George Washington on Saturday, where UMBC will be seeking redemption and looking to make a statement with their gameplay.

UMBC Dominates JHU 39-12

Neil Hattrick Last Saturday, October 6, the Johns Hopkins rugby team travelled to Walker Field to take on the studs of UMBuC rugby. It was a windy, muddy day, and after losing to Hopkins in a tournament game last spring, UMBC was out for revenge. The game started out with UMBC controlling possession of the ball, keeping it on Hopkins' half of the field for the first twenty minutes.  Hopkins' defense remained stout against the waves of bruising runs delivered by forwards punches and back crashes.  Finally, set up by strong forwards runs, wing Neil Watson scored to put UMBC on the scoreboard.  UMBC picked up the momentum, finishing off the first half scoring three more tries, another by Neil Watson, and one each for Matt Parks and Tyler Tippett, leaving the score at 22-0 during halftime.

At the beginning of the second half, things started out sloppy until 8 man Mike Peuse broke free for a 60 meter try off of a scrum. A counter attack by the Johns Hopkins fullback gave them their first score of the game a few minutes later, but UMBC quickly answered with wing Joe Bieberich scoring in a dive to the corner of the try zone . Johns Hopkins added a second try late in the game, but it was in vain, as UMBC’s lead was too large.  Neil Watson finished the game with a hattrick as UMBC dominates Hopkins 39-12.

The B-side had another outstanding showing against Hopkins, led by scrumhalf Matt "Tinkerbell" Phillips.  UMBC had two great wins, although there are still many things to improve on as preparations are made to take on Towson on October 13th.