Jungle Crows

News Archive

Playing Shirts Donated

December 2008: Nick Avery the Chairman of the British Charity TourAid visited Kolkata over New Year and carried with him two sets of jerseys donated by Bishop's Stortford Rugby Club and Hertfordshire Rugby. We passed on one set of jerseys to a new club just founded in Delhi, where they were also more likely to fit. Most of our boys can use an XL shirt to sleep in but they are built bigger in Delhi so much more use will be made of the shirts.

113 Players Trained & 3000 Bananas Eaten

December 2008: We served over 3000 bananas at our 13 day winter camp that finished on Sunday 4 January! More than 100 youngsters were trained and we had a daily average attendance of 70. For most this is the only organised sport they are ever involved in. On 15 February all the boys met at Don Bosco School Park Circus for the camp tournament. On the day we put everyone into a team, creating 6 U13 and 6 U16 teams to play in a round robin 7s tournament from 9.00am - 5.00pm. Lunch was courtesy of Christophe and the Terra Indica team. At the end of the day each participant was given a Certificate of Achievement and a smart Jungle Crows t-shirt. The only down side of the day was an injury to camp coach Bikash (top Future Hope and Bengal player) who hurt his shoulder in a friendly boys v coaches match and has subsequently needed surgery to repair it!

 

National Under 16s Bhubaneswar

November 08: November saw Bhubaneswar in the state of Orissa host the first National Championships for under 16s.  The Jungle Crows travelled with high hopes though with a slightly depleted team as the Marseilles boys were unable to travel again so soon.   The first five days were played in a 12-a-side format over two halfs of 15 minutes and expectations were raised after day 1 which saw the Crows run out 84-0 winners versus Kerala and 63-0 winners over Uttar Pradesh.  Day three and the Crows faced tougher competition from Manipur, winning 19-0 and a further encounter with UP.  On to the semis and the rugby was now on for real with the Crows matched up against crack Kolkata team, Future Hope.  This was by far the toughest game of the tournament ending 7-5 to Future Hope.  Both teams had great chances and played 100% committed rugby which was especially impressive since both teams are firm friends of the field.  Future Hope made the first break with a score under the posts and though the Crows probably had the better chances twice knocking on over the line the Future Hope boys deserved their victory.  But waiting for them in the final were the team of the tournament.....the Jungle Crows created and supported KISS (Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences) who ran out 22-0 winners in the final.  This was the team that had won TourAid's Nations Cup in 2007 and are now coached by Jungle Crow and former Pirate Ant Roshan.
The final day saw a whirl wind of sevens action with the opening game a Crows demolition of Kolkata's Frank Anthony School 74-0.  But this only led to another tough semi final against KISS.  A couple of early tries by them and they were on top and ran out 19-5 winners, little consolation that we were the first team in the tournament to score against them.  In the other semi Future Hope overcame Manipur to set up another KISS v Future Hope final, but once again there was little Future Hope could do against the tribal boys of KISS, 19-5 to them the final score. 

This was a great tournament thoroughly well organised by the Orissa rugby folk and the KIIT University in particular.  The Jungle Crows had a great experience, Subhash was our top scorer, Tiger the best player and Chiran as scrum half our hottest prospect!  We came away satisfied with good performances but with many ideas for further improvement.

Pirate Ants Marseilles Adventure

31st October 2008: On Friday 31 October a group of twelve under 16 Ashalayam Pirate Ants rugby adventurers set of from Kolkata to seek new rugby challenges in the French city of Marseilles, and quite an adventure they had to.  With a brief stop in Paris to admire the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame and the Louvre the boys arrived bright and fresh in Marseilles and were immediately engulfed in its heady blend of African and European culture.  Surrounded by rugby and Ashalayam supporters the boys hardly had time to settle with training, sightseeing, boat trips and banner painting all on the programme.  Day Three of the tour saw the first rugby action with a comfortable win over a local team in 7s, most of the French boys were new to the game and little did they realise the pace of the Indian speedsters.  Sadly this was to be the last moment of comfort on the rugby field as the boys soon got to know their tournament opposition.....Melton Mowbray (England) - huge, South Africa - huge and fast, France - pick up team with players from around the country and Madagascar - a little bit crazy!

The 5 nation tournament was part of the Rugby Cite events hosted by the city of Marseilles to coincide with their hosting of the France v Argentina International (which we got to see in the Stade Veledrome).  The rugby tournament only lasted one day and coincided with clear skies but cold weather which didn't suit the Bengal boys very much at all.  Coach Zaffar did his best to warm up the boys and lift their spirits and it nearly paid of with a close match against the French team, to whom the Pirate Ants narrowly went down by one try.  But much as the boys fought against England, South Africa and Madagascar they had little chance against teams that contained academy and scholarship winning rugby players.  But the spirit of the team won the loudest cheers and certainly the Pirate Ants were the best supported team throughout. 

Jungle Crows in 2008 All-India  


September2008 :
This year the All-India senior competition was hosted in Kolkata by CCFC.

The Crows qualified after coming 2nd in the Callaghan Cup back in February.  This was our chance to pit ourselves against the best teams in India.  Our preparation wasn't helped by a couple of injuries and  two key players being unable to play, Tudu and Ropate.  A difficult draw saw the team come up against the No.2 seeds Chennai Cheetahs in their first game.  The boys really took the game to Chennai but silly mistakes let the Chennai team stay ahead through penalties.  In the end we lost 26-15, little consolation that we out scored the Cheetahs by 3 tries to 2.

The next game was the next day (tough!) against the Delhi Hurricanes.  The Crows put on the pressure early on to score two quick tries from Zaffar and lead 10-0 at half time.  Though the Hurricanes fought back we were able to keep ahead and the final score was 17-7.  This set up a bowl semi final with the Armenians.  In heavy rain the match was stuck at 0-0 until the last 15 minutes when the Crows defence was broken by the Armenians and we were down 5-0.  This gave the Armenians the opening they needed and they eventually ran out deserved 17-0 victors.  

The Armenians went on to win the Bowl, while the main final was contested between Chennai Cheetahs and the Army.  In a great final the Army were eventually crowned Champions of India.

 

Tudu joins Hartpury College


August 2008: Our Coach and star fly half Tudu left Kolkata at the end of August, the day after the Calcutta Cup final to begin studies in the UK at Hartpury College.  Tudu has received a full scholarship thanks to the generous support of Richard Yorke and his son Chris who trained and played with the Crows earlier this year.  Richard runs Yorke Construction and Raging Bull and sponsors the rugby team of Hartpury.   Hartpury is one of the best rugby colleges in the UK and Tudu is sure to thrive as he studies for a BTEC Diploma 'Perfomance and Excellence in Rugby'.





Calcutta Cup Winners 2008: CCFC 20-45 Jungle Crows

August 2008: The 2008 Calcutta Cup winners are the Jungle Crows!  This gives the Crows a clean sweep of Kolkata's senior rugby honours; Calcutta and Centenary Cups.

As in the Centenary Cup the  Crows faced CCFC in the final.  The early exchanges went to CCFC as they pulled away 6-0 as the result of silly penalties and good kicking by CCFC's Irish No10.   But as the game settled the Crows began to dominate, keeping possesion and able to alternate play between the backs and the forwards.  A sneaky drop goal from Ropate brought the Crows back to 6-3.  

And though it took a while, after 35 minutes the  Crows were able to fully respond to the CCFC penalties with a try from our U20 prop Arijit.  Quite how he found himself out wide between the centres was a mystery....but he was there to take the pass and score.  Tudu, as he would all day kicked the conversion. 

Half time and the  Crows were leading 10-6 and the feeling amongst the boys was good.  Kolkata rugby is normally played over 30 or 35 minute halves and the Crows fitness and training gave them a clear advantage for the extra effort of a 40 minute half.  Soon after the second half started loose forward Guna was over for our second try, again converted.  The Crows were on fire and soon the score was 31-6 !

The CCFC pack was always its strongest weapon and perhaps a little complacency allowed them to drive through our defence for a try, 31-13.  But the  Crows were able to quickly impose their dominance with another try, 38-13.  A try to each team in the final minutes and it was 45-20 at full-time......and the murder* went wild!

*a 'murder' is the collective noun for a group of crows!

Jungle Crows on Transworld Sports

August: Anyone who watches Transworld Sports hopefully saw a feature on the Jungle Crows in the latest episode. The piece featured an interview with Tudu resplendent in his Le Coq Sportif Crows shirt which of course is branded with all our sponsors logos. Transworld Sports is the most watched sports magazine programme in the world and will have been seen by thousands around the world.

Crows beat Cops to reach Calcutta Cup Final

Saturday 16 August:
The Jungle Crows beat Kolkata Police on Saturday 13-5. A very tense game which was tied 5-5 at half time. But as the Police tired the Crows brought on their supersub Sanjay Patra who first set up a drop goal for Fijian Ropate and then chipped over for a racing Zaffar to score the winning try. With the business of the semi final completed the Crows move on to the final where they will once again face CCFC. Lets hope we can make CCFC miserable at home for a second time in the season!

Jungle Crows Win Centenary Cup CCFC 20 - Jungle Crows 32


July 2008: In a pulsating game in monsoon showers the Crows overwhelmed a fiery CCFC to lift their first major silverware, the Centenary Cup.  With the game going both ways in the first half it was fair that the teams entered the half-time break at 15-15. 

The second half saw the Crows superior fitness give them a greater control of proceedings and begin edging away with tries from Crows Fijian Centre Ropate and India U20 player Tudu.  A consolation try in the last minutes for CCFC's big Irish No8 was too little too late!


Crows reach Centenary Cup Final Crows 31 - Armenians 0


2 July: In an outstanding game today in Kolkata's Centenary Cup the Jungle Crows overwhelmed last years winners the Armenian Sports Club 31-0 to reach the final.  There they will face CCFC who beat Future Hope 28-11 in the other semi. 


The Armenians, favourites to retain the cup were never allowed to get into the game by a fired up and all action Jungle Crows team.  This followed the Crows 41-16 victory over the Kolkata Police last Sunday and means the Crows should go into the final with considerable confidence.



Crows Runners up at India U20 Championships in Mumbai: 19 - 22 June

12's & 7's

June 08: The Jungle Crows travelled to Mumbai in June to compete in India's National under 20 Championships.  The format was to be 3 days of 12-a-side rugby followed by a final day of sevens rugby.  Travelling with us was a team from KISS (the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences) who the Jungle Crows are supporting in their rugby development.  

Two days on the train found the boys a little jaded but raring to go!  The last minute withdrawal of the favourites and last years winners Armenian College meant the tournament was going to be very open with a new team sure to win both competitions.  

THE 12's

For the 12-a-side competition (two 15 minute halves) the Jungle Crows were in a group with the Mumbai Magicians, Chennai Cheetahs and Jammu & Kashmir Warriors.  KISS with Pune, Future Hope and Chennai Irish. 

The Crows kicked of their first day matched up against Chennai....and the boys really were raring to go, comprehensively out-playing the Cheetahs to comfortably win 38-0.  Second up were the Magicians who came quickly at the Crows and went into half time leading 7-0.  A bad first half was turned round in the second once the boys regained their composure and put 21 points up against an increasingly frustrated Magicians team, 21-7 the final score.  Day one had gone well for the Jungle Crows.  Only one game on day two and that against a new Kashmir team, 57-0 the score.  

The Crows had done very well in the league stage and were well set to make further progress in the quarter and semi finals.  The Crows had played a fast game that suited the team who were much smaller than most of the others.  KISS had struggled on both days, playing well but generally out matched by more experienced opponents, but at least this led them to the Bowl Final!

The Crows Quarter Final was against local Kolkata rivals CCFC.  In a close encounter both teams attacked hard and though CCFC had a good share of the ball they were rarely able to put together enough possession to make it difficult for the Crows; 12-5 for the victory.  So a semi final awaited the Crows and a re-match against the Magicians!  This time the Crows were not going to let the match slip out of their control and scored three tries unopposed only letting the Magicians have a consolation score in the last seconds: 15-7 and on to the final! 

Delhi awaited the Crows in the final.  This was speed and agility against bulk and strength.  Delhi had a couple of 6 foot plus lads and were going to be the biggest and best organised team the Crows had faced.  The game kicked of and for much of the first half both teams had some possession but determined defence meant few chances were created.  As the half ended Delhi kicked a penalty, 3-0 but really very little in it.   The second half continued much the same but with Delhi gaining momentum and becoming increasingly difficult for the lighter Crows to stop.  Eventually it proved too much and a Delhi try came and was converted, 10-0.  This was to be the final score and see Delhi crowned as the new U20 Champions of India.  

THE 7's

The draw for the 7's competition had the Crows play the Chennai Cheetahs again in the opening and once again the Crows organisation and natural 7's style had the Cheetahs on the back foot for a 20-0 victory.  Second game was KFANDRA Pune who were very big lads and fairly competitive in the 12's.  But 7's clearly wasn't their game and the Crows ran havoc posting a 42-0 score and this in two halves of five minutes for the league stage.  This also secured a bye to the semi final as the best qualifier.  

The semi final brought together the Crows and Future Hope.  Both teams play fast rugby using speedy backs and clever play to get through bigger opposition - this was expected to be a close encounter with both teams determined to win!  The Jungle Crows got of to a flying start with Sunny being put through for a chase to the line twice in the opening exchanges and at 14-0 up the Future Hope boys were on the back foot.  The momentum never let up and as a final flourish Crows fly half Tarok set up the try of the tournament looping around Monu to set up a blistering Bijoy cutting in to score under the posts, 33-0 and on to the final.

KISS had also made decent progress and though they struggled in the group matches they had got to the semi final of the bowl beating Mumbai Schools to reach the final.  The Cup Final would see the Crows up against hosts Bombay Gymkhana and in the Bowl KISS up against KFANDRA Pune.  In the end the Cup Final was perhaps a game too many for the Crows, much of the boys energy had been exhausted in the Future Hope game and though they played well the Bombay Gym boys were just too big and well organised for the Crows.  In the opening minute our play maker Tarok limped of with a twisted knee and the game never got going for the Crows and they ended up being well beaten 17-0.  The KISS boys however saved their best till last and romped through KFANDRA 20-0 to win another Bowl!

The Stats   
      
Over four days of rugby the Crows scored 41 tries and conceded 7.  We were the only team to reach both finals and were unbeaten until the finals.  Out of the 16 man squad 12 of the boys were former street children from Ashalayam Don Bosco.  5 Jungle Crows have been named to go forward to the India U20 camp later this year.  

Season begins with winning start: CCFC 0 - Jungle Crows 27

June 08: The Jungle Crows have made their best ever start to a season with a 27-0 victory over CCFC on 7 June.   With the game played in appalling conditions - switching between monsoon downpours and drizzle and always hot and humid the Crows made a fantastic start almost scoring from the CCFC kick-off.  Flanker and debutant Crow Jaganth caught the kick-off and ran the ball back to the CCFC five yard line only for a scrambling defence to eventually drive him into touch.  The pressure on CCFC never let up in the first half and only knock ons and valiant defence kept the score to 15-0.  

The Crows first score came after Fijian centre Lepani managed to touch the ball down in the corner minutes after having fumbled his first attempt in the CCFC in goal.   The South Pacific  connection continued as then Ropate side stepped round two flat footed defenders to make it 10-0.  Goal kicker and fly-half Tudu had yet to make an impact but this soon changed as he set of on a trademark run straight through the centre of the CCFC defence.  Going round their fly-half, a couple of forwards, a centre and the full back he scored possibly the try of the game.  15-0 at half time!

CCFC came back well in the second half with their heavy and experienced forwards setting up excellent field position but the backs were never able to capitalise.  The Jungle Crows defence didn't falter and though there was some valiant rolling maul work from CCFC there was no way through.  

To keep the score board moving scrum half Sanjay set up a superb attack using the Crows forwards to suck in the CCFC defence over multiple phases before letting winger Zaffar loose to score in the corner.   The last try was scored by Ropate who in true Pacific style jigged under the posts.  A simple drop kick conversion and time was up!

 

Le Coq Sportif and Jungle Crows


June 08: The Jungle Crows are now an official team of the famous French sportswear manufacturer Le Coq Sportif. At the end of May our new kit arrived and we are delighted with the unique design Le Coq have created for us. Our shirts now feature a large Jungle Crow and are possibly the first ever custom made rugby shirts of any club in India. Le Coq have also produced a range of casual polo shirts that are available for sale in Europe, the following link takes you to the on-line retailer http://www.sportsaga.com/product_info.php?products_id=770 Frederick Michalak is featured modelling the shirts and some proceeds from each sale will come to us.


The shirts are of course emblazoned with our sponsors logo's including a large CDE on the front as our prime sponsor for 2008.







 

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Final day of the Jungle Crows Winter Camp in Kolkata, 10 mornings with more than 200 children each morning.
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