Jungle Crows

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Crows take Centenary Cup

Jungle Crows Win Rugby Centenary Cup FinalJuly 2009: Saturday 11 July 2009 and in their first senior team win over Future Hope the Jungle Crows have won the 2009 Centenary Cup.  In a game of two contrasting halves of rugby the Jungle Crows comprehensively outplayed Future Hope in the first period.  A try came in the first minute as Crows skipper Sunny made a crunching tackle and as the ball spilled out some footballing skills from Tudu and it was a score under the posts.  Not long after Future Hope replied with a penalty to make it 7-3 but the majority of pressure and pocession was the Crows.  

Pretty soon Zaffar was away from the middle of the field breaking two tackles and scoring the first of his two tries in the corner.  Zaffar's next would come from broken play in the middle of the field, some more missed tackles by Future Hope and a score under the posts. Between these scores a hard driving run from Sunny to twist, turn and drive over the line.  Half time 24-3 in front but the run of play was about to change!

Future Hope came out for the second half very fired up and immediately put the Crows under pressure.  For the first fifteen minutes this was absorbed with the Crows also setting themselves up in the Future Hope half, but neither team was able to break through.  Defending a ruck about ten metres out, a bit of argy bargy and one yellow card to Crows No8 Litu and suddenly the game changed.  Struggling to match numbers on the line Future Hope broke through for a score.  Only minutes later and a dispute at another ruck results in another yellow card to the Crows - stupid.  Down to 13 men and the pressure was really building, Future Hope set another move and crashed over to take the score to 24-13.  Getting a player back on eased the pressure but still Future Hope came and this time a superb run saw Future Hope's Saidul scoring in the corner.  Less than 10 minutes to go but the game was now in balance with the score at 24-18.  But the wake up call had at last sounded for the Crows and they regained some form to move the game into the Future Hope half.  The last play was called and though Litu decided to pick up the ball from the scrum with the fly half waiting to punt for touch it turned out to be a neat move that got the Crows up to the Future Hope line before a knock on saw the whistle blown.  Victory to Jungle Crows and for us a new record with our first win over Future Hope!

Maidan Hazards Kick Off
Jungle Crows (only just) reach Centenary Cup Final

July 2009: The senior Kolkata season has started with both the Jungle Crows and the Maidan Hazards playing.  Quite a headache for everyone getting two 24 man squads assembled, no more so than when we were scheduled to play on the same Saturday!  With the refrigerator turned up a couple of notches for the ice making.....it's worth recognising behind the scenes man of the match Nanda who managed to get together all the kit, boots, head guards, ice, medical kit, tape, shoulder guards and still train and play (and even that is quite extraordinary since he has played as a winger, full back and lock!)

The Hazards, led by Pintu started their first full season with a tie against Young Rugby Club (YRC).  In many ways this was a classic encounter, though both sides are very inexperienced the passion and commitment was 100%.  This was very much what we wanted the Hazard players to be part of and enjoy - something many had been waiting on the sidelines or the reserve bench to experience - and mostly they lapped it up though a few wondered what they had let themselves in for!  The step up from training on the Maidan and perhaps playing the odd 10-15 minutes for the Crows to playing and leading a team for the entire match was quite a challenge.  The challenge was ably met by one and all.  This time YRC ran out the winners but it wont be long before the Maidan Hazards are a new force to be reckoned with......watch out for Hazards!!!

rugbyThe season has so far read more like a football season than a rugby season for the Crows.  Putting aside a first game walkover where we were required to 'take the field' we then came up against the Kolkata Police and in a pulsating encounter beat them 3-0.  We had a penalty 10 minutes in which was the last dry moment as the Monsoon well and truly struck.  Five days later and we were up against CCFC, 10  minutes to kick off and the Monsoon was back and we started with about 2 inches of standing water! Another crushing 3-0 win  by the Crows!  So the first three Crows games aren't going to make a best seller in the DVD charts but we are in the final and thats what matters!?!

U20s in All India Final National Under 20 Championships

National Under 20s Rugby FinalJune 2009: Sunday was the final of India’s first ever 15-a-side National Under 20 Championships in Mumbai.  The Crows reached the final beating Jammu & Kashmir, Bangalore, Chennai Irish and the Mumbai Magicians.  

In reaching the final the Crows conceeded just one try and though one of the smallest teams in the tournament excelled with an exciting, well organised and fast paced game.

The final saw the Crows come up against home favourites Bombay Gymkhana and in a puzzling development they took full advantage of being at home to have the ground heavily watered. Something that had not taken place on any other day.  This immediatelygave their heavier forwards anadvantage compounded by continuous light rain during the game.

National Under 20s Rugby FinalThough resolute in defence pressure on the Crows line saw them concede a penalty early on and then later in the first half a try.  But the Jungle Crows never gave in and a comeback always seemed possible especially when Tudu kicked a penalty.  But the slippery conditions thwarted most good moves and the game eventually went away from the Crows to give a home win 15-3 to the Gym.

The tournament received plenty of local publicity and featured in the website Rugby in Asia:

http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=95328897759&h=8BDBc&u=YjrwE&ref=nf

During the tournament Crows player Pankaj was featured in the Hindustan Times, check out the article by following this link:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?id=3844c2f5-767b-4389-b4d7-6798d66dd73c

Jungle Crows Womens Team Reach Finals

May 2009: The Girls travelled to Mumbai on the weekend of 23/24 May to play in India's first ever National Women's Tournament.  Bringing together 16 teams from all over India nobody really knew what to expect apart from the favourites being Pune, since women's rugby has been played in the city for a few years now.  The Crows were trained by Coach Sunny and had been working very hard over the last few months to learn the game and get ready for this tournament.

The Crows family would be complete with a girls team from KISS coached by Crows player and former Ashalayam boy Roshan.

And what a cracking tournament the girls had, reaching the final and not conceeding a try until the final.  The Jungle Crows turned out to be the crowd favourites also pushing Pune all the way!

Game 1: Crows 20 - 0 Mumbai Rhinos
Game 2: Crows 0 - 0 Kerala
Game 3: Crows 15 - 0 Manipur

Quarter Final: Crows 10 - 0 Bhubaneswar
Semi Final: Crows 20 - 0 Pune B
Final: Crows 5 - 19 Pune A

Callaghan Cup Success

April 2009: In April the Maidan Hazards got a last minute call up to play in India's National Division Two Tournament, the Callaghan Cup, and managed quite an upset! The 12 team tournament was to be played over a week from 4 - 11 April and the Hazards were ranked 11. Rank 11 meant we had to play our first match against Rank 2 LMOB (La Martiniere Old Boys) and what a game we enjoyed! Last match on the Sunday evening LMOB got of the mark first after 15 minutes and went into the half time break just ahead. But then the Hazards worked out they were fitter and faster than LMOB and Sunny playing at centre was put through twice by Tudu at fly half to score in fine style. Sunny is one of our most improved players and will be a strong contender for a place in the Jungle Crows team this year, along with Pankaj who played at Flanker and had a great game. Both players should also be able to play for our U20s later in the year.....very exciting!!

Beating LMOB meant a bye straight to the semi final where the Hazards met the Army B team. Well this was too much for the boys and they suffered a bit at the hands of the physically tough and big Army lads. The top level of rugby in India is already dominated by the Army and it wont be long before they only play themselves at elite level...we've plenty of catching up to do!

Beaten in the semi but suddenly quite a chance, the organisers announced a play off for third place between ourselves and Bhubaneswar....the winner to qualify for promotion to Division 1. Well this was exciting especially since the Jungle Crows had been relegated out of turn from the 2008 competition. What a turn of events that would be, Crows relegated but the Hazards promoted, what a laugh!

Saturday morning the Hazards warmed up intensely, but no sign of Bhubaneswar? Then it was announced they had decided not to play, the result of some protest they had made against Delhi. A walk over and a walk into Division 1!

Come on you HAZARDS!!!!!

Crows Play for Bengal

February 2009: Following the State Games the West Bengal squad for the National Games qualifiers was announced and it was great news that Crows players Zaffar and Sunny were in. The Bengal squad was to be coached by Jungle Crows Coach and former Future Hope youngster Sanjay. And it was off to Guwahati in Assam over the weekend of 7-8 February. And what a cracking weekend of rugby we had in Assam! Thirteen State teams from around India and perhaps some of the better 7s rugby that we have seen in India for some time. Made even more sweeter when the Bengal team reached the final and came out victorious against the Maharastra team 17-0. Maharastra contained 3 players selected for India's Development Squad for the Commonwealth Games, the West Bengal team none so it made the victory feel even more special. The Bengal team were ably led by Future Hope skipper Lakhi with a strong defensive performance particularly from Crow Zaffar and Future Hope player Bikash - widely seen as the player of the tournament.

 

NALCO

February 2009: It's great to announce that we have agreed a principal sponsor for 2009 - Nalco. Nalco is represented by Peter in Kolkata and he has been a fan of the Crows since he arrived in the city from Australia. In fact Peter's sons Tom and Tim have both turned out for the Jungle Crows, so this is a real family affair. We hope that this is the start of an exciting partnership so.... CHEERS PETER and CHEERS NALCO!!! Check out Nalco at www.nalco.com

Crows Win Bronze - Hazards Launched

January 2009: Rugby 7's to start the year at the Bengal State Games on 28 Jan. Played at the Sports Authority ground in Salt Lake.

The Crows got of to a winning start with a comfortable win over YRC 43-0. We were then drawn against Future Hope in the semi final. From the whistle we had great pocesion and looked likely to score from our first move, suddenly the referee intervened awarding a penalty to Future Hope and the next two minutes were perhaps the strangest any Jungle Crows supporter has ever seen as it took Future Hope this time to put three tries past us....I was still wondering what the penalty was for when I realised we were 17-0 down! There was no way back from this and we ended up being dumped into the Bronze medal play-off game 32-15. At least the boys were able to take out their frustration on CCFC and quickly established supremacy and ran out comfortable winners to pick up the bronze medal.

As the Jungle Crows grow we have now launched a second team, the 'Maidan Hazards'. Rather than simply have a Jungle Crows 2nds we thought it would be nice to give the team its own identity and this is what the Hazards are all about. The Hazards made their first appearance at the State Games 7s and managed to beat the Kolkata Police Sergeants and reach the Plate final losing to an experienced LMOB team.

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