Jungle Crows

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U19 Jungle Crows Step Up

Under 19 Success

Under 19 Success

Sunday 29 October '06: A full days rugby for the under 19 Monsoon Cup and boys from the Jungle Crows excelled! A total of two groups of five teams saw the Crows drawn against some tricky opposition including St. James School and Armenian College (who also run out for the Crows!). Crows also made up two Don Bosco Ashalayam teams, with Ashalayam A facing tough opposition in their group with Future Hope, La Martiniere and Orissa.

Both the Crows and Armenians won all three of their first round games to set up a great last round game against each other. In the end the power and strength of the Armenians meant they overcame the Jungle Crows 5-0. Ashalayam A also went into their last game undefeated and in a tough contest with Future Hope lost out by 12-0. So to the Semi-finals of the main cup and it was Jungle Crows v Future Hope and Ashalayam A v Armenian College....two cracking ties!

First up Ashalayam and in a dramatic encounter with Armenian College they lost out 12-10. For most of the second half Ashalayam were camped out in the Armenian half but were just unable to break through. With Crows first team players in each team the support was high decibel, if sometimes a bit confussed! In the second semi final the Jungle Crows ran out against Kolkata's top team, Future Hope. Half way through the first half Captain Sailen Tudu intercepted a Future Hope pass and ran 3/4 the length of the field to score 5-0. Amazingly the Crows were able to defend this lead for the rest of the game and though Future Hope came close, top defending by the Crows kept them out. The biggest upset of the day and the Crows were through to the final and another match up with the boys of Armenian College.

In the Plate final the Crows flag was kept flying right until the last game as Ashalayam B made it into the final versus La Martiniere. In a tense game the bigger La Mart's boys just won through but the smallest side in action had done the Crows and Ashalayam proud!

So to the main cup final. Sadly with the Kolkata light fading quickly play became increasingly difficult. But the Crows managed to go 7-0 up before the big and well organised Armenians fought back with two quick scores to make it 12-7. As darkness descended quickly time was called early and the Armenians went on to celebrate their victory. For the Crows though this was a great day and the results bode very well for the future; in the Monsoon Cup series Crows won the under 13s, got to the final of the under 16s and under 19s!

Calcutta Cup Semi Final

Future Hope 15 - Jungle Crows 0

Tuesday 5 Sept '06: This semi final clash between Future Hope and the Jungle Crows was considered by many as the game of this years tournament. Just 4 days before the final the Jungle Crows were the first team to seriously test Future Hope this season. 0-0 at half time the game was anybody's until Future Hope worked a beautiful try after 15 minutes in the second half and Scottish Under 19 International Graeme put them 5-0 up.

It could and would have been different had Future Hope's defence not been so well organised at the end of the first half and beginning of the second when the Crows enjoyed a great spell! A couple of fine back tries late in the game and Future Hope were through to the final 15-0. But perhaps one of the best Crows performances yet!

Kolkata's main season came to a dramatic end on 9 September ago with the final of the Calcutta Cup played between Future Hope and Kolkata Police. Future Hope stunned the Cops beating them 41-0 in a thrilling display of open running rugby!

Crows Win with Bengal

Bengal Tigers

Tuesday 12 September '06: Jungle Crows were invited to join invitational teams Bengal Tigers and Bengal Rovers specially made up for the Police National Rugby Sevens held over two days in Kolkata. Jungle Crows coach Sanjay Patro was asked to coach the Tigers while fellow Development Officer and YRC Captain Mukhtar Alam coached the Rovers. Little did the Police realise that the Bengal Tigers, made up exclusively of Future Hope and Jungle Crows boys, would beat all in their way and take the trophy.

Bengal Tigers

On the first day the Tigers were given a fright by home crowd favourites Kolkata Police, down 15-0 at half time. But the Tigers kept their cool (as you would expect from the most ferocious animal in the jungle) and seven minutes later it was 22-15 and the crowd had gone quiet.

So to the final and the Tigers took on tournament favourites Tamil Nadu State Police. Although the first half was close, ending 10-10 the second half saw the boys of Future Hope and Jungle Crows dazzle to win 34-10.

India's First Corporate Touch Rugby

Corporate Tough Rugby

Saturday 16 Sept '06: India's first ever Corporate Touch Rugby Tournament, title sponsored by BOC and organized by the Jungle Crows saw eight teams lining up for play. Played in the heart of Kolkata on the 100+ acre Maidan the event brought together a range of corporates and other organisations. The only tournament rules were that the teams had to have fun and no team was allowed to be made up entirely of regular rugby players. Each team that took part was allocated a coach from the 'Jungle Crows' and that coach worked with the team to get them up to speed for the event. Touch is a minimal contact version of rugby that is played for leisure all over the world, the rules are simple and every team that entered made great progress over the day. Teams included HSBC, Standard Chartered, Terra Indica, and Kolkata International School.

Bowl Winners

In the end it was the older and wiser heads that won the day. With Kolkata Environmental Improvement Project led by a stalwart touch player Jaap Buter winning the bowl, young guns from NGO Ashalayam the Plate and for the main trophy BOC took the honours ably led by Kiwi veteran rugby player Steve Watts.

The Corporate Touch event further reinforced ties between BOC and the Jungle Crows that first began some two years ago. In the week leading up to the tournament BOC also hosted a lunch for players from the Jungle Crows at their India HQ Oxygen House.

CCFC 17 - Jungle Crows 5

Saturday 12 August '06: A brave performance by the Jungle Crows was not enough to overcome the team coached by senior Kolkata Coach David Yah assisted with home turf advantage. Only 10-5 to the Reds of CCFC at half time and the Crows were always still in the game. Neither team had been able to call on its top 15 with this game delayed twice due to the monsoon rains. In the end the size and skill of the CCFC boys once again was too much for the Crows, but the Jungle Crows boys did go away thinking ..next time!

Crows reach Calcutta cup semifinal

Thursday 17 August '06: Just four days after a tough clash with CCFC the Jungle Crows slugged it out in the monsoon mud to beat La Martiniere Old Boys (LMOB) 19-0.

Three days of rain meant conditions for the match were wet and muddy. LMOB with a bigger pack and a couple of imports from Ireland were clearly contemplating revenge from their defeat to the Crows in the Centenary Cup. But from the kick-off the Crows played a higher tempo game and although much smaller their better organised forwards were able to clear out the ball and maintain continuity and possession. Good tackling by hooker Ajay and prop Arijit were notable and meant the Jungle Crows regularly turned over LMOB possession . An early injury to inside centre Arran meant the Crows had to reorganise their back line and bring on Crow stalwart Christophe who set of at a cracking pace making some big hits. 20 minutes of back and forward battles were broken by a neat Crows back move that saw Tuna crash over for 5-0.

The second half started much as the first with the Crows dominant but the conditions making it difficult to break down a determined LMOB. After ten minutes though the Crows pack crashed over and through the mud and about ten players the referee Mukhtar signalled a try. Sanjay, Captain for the day in the absence of Zaffar nonchalantly toe poked the wet ball between the posts 12-0. The Crows now began to out run and tackle the tiring LMOB players, but it was still close stuff. A high kick over the Crows defence saw full-back Neil ground the ball for a 22 drop out. Sanjay called quickly for the ball and with all the players still reorganising he dropped the ball to the ground and hacked it up field, one more fly hack and he left it to Tudu to run through, scoop up the ball and score under the posts - MAGIC! Another toe poke and 19-0 the final score setting up a first semi final place for the Jungle Crows.

Crows win Under 13's

Under13 Winners

Sunday 20 August: Kolkata's Monsoon Cup with 16 junior teams from schools and colleges around Kolkata competing for honours. Crows players made up 2 teams in both the under 13's and under 16's and played as Jungle Crows and Ashalayam respectively. The Jungle Crows under 13 team stunned all comers with a great victory. The Ashalayam under 16's almost pulled of a shock win just losing out to Future Hope in the final.

Crows Make Bengal Rugby 7s Squad

July 06: Over the weekend of 15 & 16 July the Qualifying Tournament for Rugby 7's in the India National Games took place in Bangalore. Two Jungle Crows made it into the squad: Sailen Tudu and Zaffar Khan. In the end Zaffar Khan made it into the team to travel to Bangalore and managed to rack up several tries in an all star team that included players from Future Hope, Kolkata Police and CCFC. Bengal finished in the top 8 which means they have entry into the India National Games which are scheduled to take place in Guwahati, Assam in January '07.

Calcutta Cup begins

Wednesday 26 July '06: The Crows were on top form in this evening clash with Kolkata Police Sergeants' Institute. The Crows for the first time in the season were able to call on their Armenian contingent and included three of the Armenian College boys in the starting 15; Medrik, Armen and Appel. From the first kick the Crows were at their finest, combining forwards and backs well and managing to work tries from both the forwards and backs.

Top try scorer for the evening was No.8 Jana with a total of 4 tries. With the score 33-0 at half time the Crows eased off slightly but never allowed the Sergeants' to get into their running. Too often the Sergeants' while under pressure resorted to kicking which sent the ball straight into Jungle Crow hands and set up yet another attack. With the score at 50-0 with only seconds on the clock the Sergeants' salvaged some pride taking a penalty kick from in front of the Crows posts. Last year we lost to the Sergeants' 12-0 and our former scribe Scrumcap savaged the boys under the headline "Where Have the Crows Gone?" 50-3 and the Jungle Crows had their biggest ever win and had made an excellent start to the 2007 Calcutta Cup competition.

CCFC 39 – Crows 12

Match with CCFC

Saturday 24 June '06: Top performance by the Crows in the first half saw the score at Crows 7 - CCFC 10 with only minutes to go in the first half and a penalty within kicking range for Tudu. A sweet strike and the ball sailed over beautifully from a difficult position to the left of the posts..but immediate controversy when the ref did not allow the penalty. Straight into half time and the boys sadly allowed this to get to them (at the end of the game the referee explained that he adjudged one of the Crows players to be in front of the kick).

CCFC came out at 100% energy after half time having perhaps underestimated the Crows in the first half. Quick scores and the Crows were quicly on the back foot and though flanker Amar was able to go over for a try, the Crows had no answer for the CCFC strength and skill.

Crows 19 – LMOB 5

Crows Maul LMOB

21 June 2006: a six 'o' clock kick-off at CCFC and both teams were ready to challenge for the remaining place in the semi final of the Centenary Cup. The Crows knew LMOB would be tough opposition; experienced and clever with a little bit of gamesmanship thrown in for good measure. The starting 10-15 minutes saw the Crows absorbing lots of pressure, making strong tackles and driving back a series of LMOB attacks. As time went on the game began to even itself out with both teams making strong attacks but neither able to capitalise by scoring.

The Crows scrums and lineouts set a decent standard with which LMOB were only able to compete by pulling down in both the scrum and the maul. However, it was the Jungle Crows who were penalised early on for moving up too soon at lineouts, too many in the line out and a series of other minor infractions. But 0 - 0 after 30 minutes meant both teams felt they had the stronger chance - the game was still on. Then a rolling forward move up the left centre nicely completed by LMOB's speedy winger saw them cross the line and the Crows were down 5 - 0.

From the restart LMOB came forward quickly but the Crows tackling held strong and they quickly won back procession. The Crows ability to win back the ball as a result of tough tackles was a theme throughout the game. Then outside centre Zaffar received the ball about 10 metres inside the Crows half and set of on a high speed mazy run up the right side only five metres in from the line. Step inside once, step inside twice, big step outside and he charged around the full back on the inside to score under the posts..the Crows went wild, especially when Tudu converted to put the Jungle Crows up 7 - 5.

Only minutes left in the first half and LMOB captain stamped on one of the Crows defenders, the resultant penalty saw him loose his cool. The referee had put up with a stream of complaints and intimidation from LMOB and this time they had gone too far.yellow card and the skipper was out of it for 10 minutes. Half time!

The second half and the Jungle Crows came into their element with superior fitness and well drilled moves. The Crows scrum was working well against a pack possibly double their weight and winning their own and LMOB's scrum. Soon the LMOB flanker saw red and punched his Crow opposite number under the eyes of the ref, yellow card, 10 seconds of unfortunate reaction later, red card! Just as one LMOB player came back on another was taking a complete break from the game!

Clearly the LMOB boys were rattled and unable to compete with the Crows fitness and organisation. LMOB's attempts to disrupt the game had failed and there general lack of fitness now began to take its toll. Minutes later the Crows had a penalty five metres from the LMOB line a quick tap and scrum-half Tuna scored. The Crows were in the driving seat. Ten minutes to go and Fly Half Tudu made a scintillating jinking run from the LMOB 22 to round three players and score. The move was all the more impressive in view of the fact he had to take two steps back to receive the ball. A try to Tudu and also the conversion left him as the Crows top scorer with nine on the night.

Kolkata Crows link with Royston Crows

June 06: We were delighted to hear from David Gee, Development and Marketing Manager of Royston RUFC in their interest in linking with the Jungle Crows. Royston is a town some 40 miles north of London in Hertfordshire on the borders of Cambridgeshire.

Historically, the town of Royston was known for its population of hooded crows so common that it became known as the 'Royston Crow'. In the English Civil War Cromwell's Roundheads derided the inhabitants after a brawl with the local Cavalier sympathizers and called them "Crows" and the name has remained. The local newspaper is known as the Royston Crow as well as the local football and hockey teams, but linking with us is Royston Rugby Union Football Club - the top Royston Crows!

Royston RUFC is a small and ambitious club that has an active rugby development programme. We hope that the two 'murders' of Crows: in the UK and Kolkata can work together to help one another, particularly in development - a priority for the Jungle Crows this year. We are not sure how this unique crows link will develop but we are delighted with the idea and hope to have some fun with our Royston namesakes over time! Check out the Royston Crows at www.roystonrugby.co.uk.

 

Crows 34 - Army 5

Sunday 18 June at 9.30 am, CCFC Ground:
Crows first fixture in the Centenary Cup, the Kolkata Season opener. This was the first time that the Army's Eastern Command had entered a team and we had no idea how strong a team they would be. The Army team looked fit and ready to put up a good fight, with five players imported from the Army's central rugby training centre at Ahmadnagar, near Pune.

The Crows had trained long and hard for this match and were out of the blocks quickly. From our kick off we quickly regained procession with our forwards staking early superiority, even though the Army were on average 2-3 inches taller than our boys. We won line out and scrum regularly using our well drilled and organized forwards to break through the Army lines, perhaps the first time the Jungle Crows have played a strong forward dominated game. The first try came after about ten minutes of good Army defending when the Crows were able to set up their left winger Sanjay Das to dive over the line. A great conversion from the left side of the field by Tudu gave the team a great boost.

Five minutes later and Crows No.8 Surendra crashed over for his first of three tries under the posts. A drop goal conversion from full back Sanjay Patro and the Crows were ahead 14-0 after 15 minutes. Half way through the first half and scrum half Tunu began to involve the backs more and more, resulting in the try of the match. 20 yards out Crows captain and outside centre Zaffar Khan received the ball, sidestepped past three players and scored next to the posts. This time the conversion didn't work. Throughout the first half the Crows demonstrated excellent ball retention not allowing the Army a chance to counter attack. Five minutes before the break Surendra crashed over supported by the forward pack, half time 24-0.

The half time talk focused on getting the job done and the danger from an Army side that were clearly fit and fast. Keeping the ball out of their possession would need to be a priority. From the kick off the Army had possession and began to run the ball, attacking the Crows with pace and aggression. With less that 10 minutes gone the Crows defence faltered and the Army scored a try in the corner, 24-5.

This was just what the Crows needed and though the 40+ heat and 100% humidity began to take its toll on all the players and officials, the Crows again began to dominate. After 15 and 20 minutes the Crows had two more tries on the scoreboard, the result of well organized and energetic forward moves, No. 8 Surendra and scrum half Tunu both getting on the score sheet.

The last ten minutes were fairly chaotic as the Crows made multiple substitutions and the referee began to suffer under the draining heat. As the whistle sounded all knew they had been through a tough tough match!

 

Sagar Island Rugby Feast

March 06:
25 March saw the Jungle Crows on the road, ferry and cycle van to reach the Gandhi City sports club for a most extraordinary and enjoyable tournament. Our Coach Sanjay has been coaching the boys of Sagar Island for about six months and this was their chance to put their skills to the test on their home turf. A mix of 23 Jungle Crows and Future Hope boys traveled to Sagar to make up three teams: Jungle Crows A & B and Future Hope.

Local Island Radio had been promoting the tournament in the days ahead and we surely had the largest crowds for rugby in Eastern India ever with 100s of local thronging the venue. The mornings play was made up of a series of round robin matches where every team got to play one another. All the games had an edge and the crowd really got involved and created a great rugby atmosphere. From the five teams taking part 4 were placed into semi finals: Jungle Crows A v Jungle Crows B and Future Hope v Sagar Island A.

So to the semis and two upsets!! In the first semi fancied Jungle Crows A led by coach Sanjay Patro went down 5-24 to the battling B team (incidentally wearing the Crows lucky green jerseys) led by Crows club captain Christophe. And even more dramatically in the second semi the Sagar Island boys played out of their skin to down Future Hope 17-19 (though not the proper superstar Future Hope team, still a team made up of much more experienced players).

So to the final and the Jungle Crows lifted their game and produced a very professional and determined performance to neutralize any threat from Sagar Island in the first half, going 19-0 up. One try a piece in the second half and the score reflected how well the Sagar boys had done, in reaching the final and losing by only 24-5.

The crowd eventually dispersed but this event is likely to be talked about for many years in the tea stalls of Gandhi City!

Crows Fire at Sevens

February 06:
The All-India Sevens took place in Chennai over the weekend of 11/12 February and the Jungle Crows were in their best form yet. Drawn in a group which included seeded team Mercantile Club of Sri Lanka the Crows managed to get of to a winning start beating Army C 5-0. We then had a lesson in sevens from eventual tournament winners Mercantile who knocked us down (but not out) 32-0. Our next match was a close encounter with Delhi Hurricanes in which we lost out 22-12. The Crows however picked themselves up to win their final group match against Chennai Irish 17-0.

We qualified for the plate with third place in our group. In the plate quarter finals we faced Bangalore Blackbucks and a strong performance saw the Crows run out 22-0 winners. Next was the plate semi-final and a tie against Delhi's premier team the Lions. In the end they could not be tamed and we lost out 22-0. Delhi went on to win the plate beating Kalinga 48-5. Kolkata's Future Hope won the bowl beating MEB of Bangalore 34-0 and Mercantile beat Chennai 34-0 in the main cup final. Read all about the tournament at top world rugby site scrum.com:
http://www.scrum.com/news/news_detail.asp?newsid=34599

This was a super performance from the Crows elevating us into the top 12 of Indian rugby and 'statistically' making us the top sevens team in Kolkata - Kolkata Police only made the quarter finals of the Plate and Future Hope the Bowl. Our top try scorer was Zaffar Hussain and Crow of the Series was scrum half Rohsin Xaxa - well done to them and all the boys who played so well for the Jungle Crows!

 

New Year Big Start

January 06:
The Jungle Crows have started training in full for the coming season, focusing in particular on sevens for the upcoming All-India Sevens in Chennai. Not only are we seeing good numbers at our training sessions - 20/30, we have also added to our coaching staff. Sukra Ekke - has joined the Crows as a Coach from January and will be working with Sanjay to boost our outreach efforts across Kolkata.

 

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