All India Plate Winners
September 2010: 4th September 2010 Jungle Crows senior team rounded of a fantastic season with a victory in the All India Plate competition beating Kolkata Police by 37-5. The Police had little chance to get going with three early tries from Crows Fijian outside centre Noa. The Crows had started the All India on a losing note with a first round loss to the Indian Army Green team 17-5, they went on to win the tournament overcoming Chennai Cheetahs in the final 25-16. After their first loss the Crows went on to trample to the plate final beating Delhi Lions 40-12 and then the Police in the final. This was perhaps one of the strongest Crows sides to have taken the field since the club was formed and they left the Police no room to manoeuvre, even without star youngster Tiger who missed the final with a bout of Malaria.
Calcutta Cup Champions
August 2010: 21st August 2010 for the second time in three years the Jungle Crows have won the Calcutta Cup, overcoming the Armenian Sports Club 20-6. A tight first half saw the teams very evenly match at half time with the Crows just ahead 8-6. But as in most matches this season there was no stopping the Jungle Crows in the second half of the match and they ran in two tries which the Armenian boys were not able to reply to. Controversy marked the end of the match again as the Bengal Rugby Union and CCFC once again decided not to present the trophy, this also happened in the Centenary Cup Final. The Crows players visibly upset by this shouted their protests and eventually the club asked a barman to hand over the trophy to enable some pictures to be taken - shame on them!
Crows 29 Kolkata Police 8
August 2010: 18th August 2010 in the second meeting of the Crows and Police in 2010 and once again the Jungle Crows organisation and technique proved too much for the Police team.
Centenary Cup Hatrick
July 2010: 3rd July 2010 Armenian Sports Club 0 - Jungle Crows 20. Having not conceded a try so far all season and only two penalties against them the Jungle Crows have once again proved the best starters to the Kolkata season. For the third time in succession the Centenary Cup belonged to the Jungle Crows (although CCFC decided not to hand it over, citing tradition in which case how do they explain the fact we were given it for the last two years). The game showcased the work that has gone into the teams defence this year and though the bigger Armenian boys through everything at the Crows, especially in the last ten minutes the boys held out magnificently.
Jungle Crows Women in India Squad
June 2010: Seven girls from the SAI Jungle Crows who are now the number 1 team in India have been called up to join the India National squad about to start training in the Balewadi Sports Complex near Pune. This is recognition for the teams outstanding performances over the last two years since women's rugby properly began in India, since when they have lost only 1 match!
Crows take Centenary Cup
July 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!!!
The 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
June 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.
Though 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:
During the tournament Crows player Pankaj was featured in the Hindustan Times, check out the article by following this link:
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
Crows U13 Tiger Cubs Tour to UK
May 07: In May an under 13 International Rugby Festival was held outside London in the town of Bishop's Stortford. The tournament was played over two days and was played between eight teams, India was represented by the Tiger Cubs. The format was 15-a-side and this was probably the first time an under 13 team had toured in this way from India. The team was brought together by the Jungle Crows and was made up from 6 boys from Kolkata, 6 from the KISS school in Bhubaneswar and 6 from Manipur. The team was coached by IRFU Development Officer and Jungle Crows coach Sanjay ably assisted by India under 19 player Tudu.
The Tiger Cubs got of to a winning start in the tournament beating one of the home teams the Bishop's Stortford Cougars 12-10, and taking the Cougars who were a bigger and very much more experienced side very much by surprise. The experience of the Kolkata boys, mixed with the pace of the Bhubaneswar boys and the strength of the Manipur boys made a great and competitive combination. Next up on day one were the Bishop's Stortford Stags who had checked out our first game and beat the Cubs 10-5. Finally on day one the Cubs faced the Tlamelo Vultures of Botwana and had a comfortable victory 22-0. Two wins on day one was a great achievement, but the boys were tired and knew nobody would be surprised by them on day two!
The Cubs started slowly the next morning being comprehensively outplayed and out muscled by Hertford 19-0. But next up were another local team Saffron Walden and though the Cubs initially went down 10-0 they staged a fantastic second half fight back. Leveling the score at 10-10 on the final whistle the Cubs needed to convert from left of the posts to win, cruelly a super effort from Manipur's Somananda bounced back of the crossbar, 10-10 the final score.
The third game of day two was with West of Scotland, a team who had travelled to the tournament only having lost once in their home season. By now the boys were really working well as a team and some stars were shining through, in particular the Cubs speedy outside centre Bhubaneswar's Sudam who would go on to be named one of the players of the tournament. The Cubs were 5-0 up against the Scots in the last play and just some inexperience led to the Scots breaking through under the posts for a try and easy conversion 5-7 the final score.
The end of the league stages saw the Tiger Cubs in fourth place and drawn once again against West of Scotland in the Plate Final. This was perhaps a game too many for the Cubs who though played well were outmaneuvered by the Scots who constantly popped the ball to the big boys to drive the smaller Cubs back. With little possession the Cubs were restricted to one or two counter attacks and the well drilled Scots were eventually 10-0 victors.
The tour was made possible by UK charity TourAid and it is hoped more such tours will be possible with their generosity. Already another team from India is being prepared for a tour to the UK in October. The tours are also about so much more than the rugby that is played and are designed to develop lasting community links. The Tiger Cubs youngsters have had an experience that will stay with them for a very long time and it is hoped the support from Bishop's Stortford will be continuing.
Crows beat Cops
Jungle Crows 17 Kolkata Police 14
11 August 2007
Sunny finds light at end of tunnel
Late try to flanker-cum-center sends Jungle Crows to Centenary Cup semi
Untimely handling errors near the Kolkata Police try line had cost flanker/center Sunny Singh a pair of tries earlier in the match; his final sojourn with the ball inside the opponent’s twenty-two meters, however, in the game’s dying minutes, resulted in the try that handed Jungle Crows a hard-earned 17-14 victory. The win advances the Crows to a Centenary Cup semifinal to be played September 25 against the winner of Calcutta Cricket & Football Club/Young Rugby Club, at the CCFC grounds.
Down four points and awarded a penalty inside the Police twenty-two meters, the Crows kicked to touch five meters out from the opposition’s try line. A forward drive from the resulting lineout advanced two meters but was brought down by the Police defense. Prop forward Christophe Plais then made a go at the line himself and was held up. Plais deftly offloaded to a Crows teammate and the ball was spun out to the backs, where it ended up in the hands of Singh. Singh—who started the game at flanker and moved to the midfield when fly half Sanjay Patra came off for reserve forward Manas Jhana—made sure of this one, surging to the try line and rolling in with a defender upon him. The subsequent conversion by inside center Sailen Tudu put the Crows up three points and capped the day’s scoring. Tudu was successful in all three of his placekicking attempts and accounted for 12 of the Crows’ 17 points (1 try; 2 conversions; 1 penalty).
Said team manager Paul Walsh, “I had the feeling toward the end of the match that at any moment we were going to score. I thought, ‘at some point we’re just going to do it [cross the try line].’”
The Jungle Crows had had scoring opportunities earlier in the game. A bounty of handling errors halted some excellent attacking phases, including some obvious try opportunities for Singh and his teammates.
Strong defensive showings from both teams made the game a battle for field position in the first half. Effective kicking from the Police fly half put the Crows under pressure and led to first half’s only points, a converted try for the Police forward pack.
In the second half, the Jungle Crows’ attack found significant space to run in the wide portions of the field. Jungle Crows U19 player Pintu Das made significant contributions as a second half replacement in the wing position. Forwards running off fly half captain Sanjay Patra in the center of the field drew the defense, and Patra did a fine job of moving the ball to the backline. Outside center Nanda Gopal, visiting the Crows from Chennai, created openings for fullback Prosun “Tuna” Kumar Sao and his fellow outside backs to run through. At this point, the Jungle Crows attack began to show life. Dropped balls, however, influenced by pressure from the Police defense, denied the team what might have been a shining performance.
Yet after a Sailen Tudu penalty narrowed the score 7-3, Gopal put Tudu away in the most spectacular action of the day. Operating on a large blind side from a ruck forty meters from goal, Gopal took a long pass as first receiver and executed a clean draw-and-pass to the fleet Tudu. Tudu sprinted twenty meters untouched, then cut inside of two chasing defenders before winning a race to the try zone.
Kolkata Police responded through their kicking game. A chip kick from halfway bounced between more than a few Crow and Police hands and feet before ending up in the arms of a Police player for a try and a dramatic 14-10 margin, before Singh’s move took the lead away for the final time.
Half Time: Jungle Crows 0 Kolkata Police 7
1 Arijit Sarker 2 Ajay Kumar Singh 3 Christophe Plais 4 Nitish Kumar Singh 5 Md Sharib 6 Thoudam Gunadunda 7 Sunny Singh 8 Surrendra Jhana 9 Brian Wolf 10 Sanjay Patra 11 Sanjay Das 12 Sailen Tudu 13 Nanda Gopal 14 Rohsin Xaxa 15 Prosun Kumar Sao 16 Md Akhtar 17 Soubik Biswas 18 Nanda Majhi 19 Arran Manton 20 Pintu Das 21 Debasis Mondal 22 Manas Jhana
Calcutta Cup Semi Final CCFC 20 - Crows 14
Saturday 28 July: Bugger we could and should have won this one - the semi final of the Calcutta Cup. We had lots of possession and the boys played very well. Some serious experience amongst CCFC did for us in the end and they were just a bit better organised and able to implement their game plan. Our planned higher tempo game never really got going as CCFC employed every tactic to slow us down. Although we never lost touch with CCFC as the game progressed we could never quite finish. Next time!!
Crows 23 - Army 3
Saturday 21 July:
The Crows ground this one out a bit but at the end of the day it is the result that matters. A couple of enforced personel changes saw Brian (our US expat player and coach) play scrum half in place of injured Sanjay P. Brian had a solid game and kept the team moving forward well and even managed to introduce a couple of innovative penalty moves near the line.
Sanjay D our diminutive winger (and Future Hope's carpenter) scored a couple of nice tries in the corners. Surrendra also scored a couple with some very direct running from No.8 - this really is his speciality.
Future Hope 10 - Crows 9
Saturday 14 July: Both teams were tense and nervous and the game very much reflected this. And it all came down to the last second.with the bell ringing the Crows were awarded a penalty in front of the posts. Tudu stepped up and slotted it through.this was surely an historic win for the Crows! But for the first time in our experience of Kolkata rugby the ref decided he would add on some injury time. Time for Future Hope to kick-off.a Jungle Crow to knock on and another Crow to play the ball.penalty Future Hope. The rest as they say is history.defeat from the jaws of victory!
A keenly fought game saw an unfortunate yellow card to Tuna in the second half for a high tackle. We also got marched on several times for some silly indiscipline. In a controversial incident the Future Hope try was clearly knocked on and their conversion it was later confirmed by the referee did not go through the posts, though the touch judges raised their flags. When the luck is not with you it is not with you.
But the Crows took heart from this match which saw us once again making progress against Kolkata's top team. Go the Crows!!
Crows 59 - Sergeants Institute 3
Saturday 30 June: Good win for the Crows and the team stepping up their game. Excellent performances from Guna, Tudu and Captain Sanjay. In the end to cheers of 'ALLEZZ' the crows had a record win snatched from them as the bell was rung by the Sergeants Manager five minutes early!
Calcutta Cup Starts
Crows 66 - YRC 0
Saturday 23 June:
The Calcutta Cup kicked of for the Jungle Crows this year with a fixture versus YRC. To be fair to YRC their team was much depleted after nearly all their players defected to the bright lights' of CCFC. The Crows put in a professional performance though with a clutch of tries from Surrendra, Zaffar and Tudu.
U19s at All-India Mumbai
17th June : 16 and 17 June was the first ever All-India Under 19 Rugby Sevens tournament. In advance Sanjay our Coach ran a two week preparatory camp in Kolkata. Having the boys brave very early mornings and heavy monsoon rains really helped the team bond together as a unit. We even had one session interrupted by a snake coming across the pitch!
Our travel to Mumbai was a bit of a trial as well. Although we had booked our train tickets well in advance they were not confirmed and on arrival at Howrah station we found we had no seats. Sleeping on the corridors next to the toilets was not really an option for 27 hours. Several phone calls later we managed to find tickets next day on Air Deccan - but that was the 2007 sponsorship blown!!
Saturday morning and all the teams were ready and warming up at the central Mumbai Bombay Gymkhana Club ground. A total of fifteen teams had turned out and the Jungle Crows had been ranked 12 th . We were drawn in what on paper seemed a tough group with Delhi Lions and Bangalore - both top senior teams.
First up and second game of the day Jungle Crows v Delhi Lions. Well we should have won, but nerves got the better of the boys. They were also a bit intimidated by Delhi's Fijian player - he was a damn sight bigger than our boys and made life difficult for us when he had procession and when covering our attacks. Five minutes each half also messed up our plans a bit.but a 0-0 draw was disappointing.
We only had an hour to wait for our next game and we were up against some more big lads from Bangalore. This time though the game plan clicked and we were able to move the ball freely and attack through gaps in the middle and out wide. Prakash on the wing ran in two good tries to make the final score 22-0. Great!!
The next day saw revised seedings and the Crows had jumped to 4 th and a quarter final against Orissa. Once again the plan worked and we were able to play a fast moving open game passing the ball and working to find gaps. Monu and Captain Tudu both got on the score sheet in a 19-0 victory.
So to the semi finals and at this point we regretted our failure to beat Delhi on day one and avoid top ranked team Armenians. We have played the Armenian boys plenty of times and as they played with the Jungle Crows for a couple of seasons we know them well. The Armenian boys are much bigger than their Indian opposite numbers and are always a challenge. The Crows started nervously again and a 20 point onslaught in the first half meant we could never get in the game properly. We did manage to hold them to a try a piece in the second half and run out 25-5 losers. Our only consolation was Tarak's try, the only one scored against the Armenians in the entire tournament.and by possibly the smallest player!
The Armenians went on to face Bombay Gymkhana in the final and were comfortable winners.
A great weekend for the Jungle Crows and we would now expect to be ranked 3 rd in India at Under 19 level having only lost one game as compared to two by the other semi finalist CCFC.
May 2007 : For the last couple of seasons the Crows played with one blue sock and one green sock. This tradition dated back to the founding of the club when there was a competition as to which colour shirt the Crows should wear.Navy or Green. This was resolved by the winner of the first game - the greens. But to respect both teams every player turned out in one green and one blue sock.
This season we decided to acknowledge the services of one of our longest serving players by including him in the sock design. Christophe is French and so our sock designer got to work and came up with a blue, green and red banded combination for 2007. And very good they look to!!
'Tour Aid' tour to UK
April 2007 : In April the Jungle Crows development work was recognised by 'Tour Aid' a UK charity working to give youngsters the chance to take rugby tours in the UK. Tour Aid asked Jungle Crows to put together an Under 14 team to represent India and take part in the 'Nations Cup'. The Nations Cup will be played between ten teams from developing rugby countries in England during September.
The Crows have chosen to extend this opportunity to one of the schools we have worked with in Orissa in collaboration with the Tag Rugby Development Trust. The school is named the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS). The tour is intended to develop links beyond just rugby and also foster educational links, so working with one of our schools seemed appropriate.
KISS is a very special School as it is home to more than 3000 children all of whom come from the many Tribal Communities of Orissa. Tribal communities are some of the most disadvantaged in Indian society.
The KISS Jungle Crows will be hosted by Cams Hill School, partnered by London Irish Rugby Club and sponsored by UK law company Ashurst.
U19 Jungle Crows Step Up
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
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
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.
Jungle Crows in Under 19 Camp
Three Jungle Crows have been selected to take part in the current India Under 19 camp. The boys are Sailen Tudu (scrum half), Arijit Sarkar (prop) and Masudul Haque (Second Row). The camp is taking place at Kolkata's East Bengal ground and they are joining boys from all over India including Delhi, Chennai and Orissa. The three Jungle Crows selected were all part of the Jungle Crows team that reached the final in the Under-19 Monsoon Cup. The Camp is to prepare for the Under-19 tour to Pakistan in December.
LSC Kolkata Rugby Tens
The London School of Commerce Kolkata Rugby Tens took place over the weekend of 19/20 November at the East Bengal ground on Kolkata's Maidan. The Jungle Crows organised the tournament and players made up two full teams, we also had a scattering of players in other teams including the London School of Commerce. 12 teams in total took part with back to back rugby action over the entire weekend.
Pre-tournament favourites the Army surprised no-one with a display of hard running and solid skills. In the main final they ran out 35-12 winners against London School of Commerce. In the plate Armenian College won out against a tough side from Orissa 5-0. In the Bowl LMOB beat absolute rugby newcomers Sagar Island.
Sagar Island were the crowd favourites. The boys from Sagar Island have only been playing rugby for a couple of months under the leadership of Crows Coach Sanjay Patro as part of a Jungle Crows development programme. Sagar Island can be found at the end of the Hooghly River on the edge of the Bay of Bengal in the Sunderbans delta system. Special thanks go to Toyota who sponsored Sagar Island and made their participation possible.
London School of Commerce received a well deserved cheer at the end both for their generous support as title sponsors and putting on a fine display of expansive rugby. Other partners were Red FM and Cobra Beer.
Crows v Kolkata Police in Chukka Match
18 September 2005:
On 18 September the Jungle Crows took on Kolkata Police in a Chukka (friendly) match at the Bodyguard Lines, Alipore. The game kicked off at 4.00pm. This was a warm up match in advance of the Kolkata Police team traveling to the all-India finals in Mumbai.
The Crows enjoyed a good game and took the chance to give a number of new players a run out. The conditions were hot and muddy. Kolkata Police made the early break through and went up 10-0 with a couple of tries after 15-20 minutes. The Crows kept up a good level of work throughout the match and were unlucky with some decisions.
In the second half the Police put over a couple more tries but the Crows kept fighting and scored a consolation try towards the end. The game finished 20-5 to the Crows. Good warm-up for the Police and a great run out for the Crows.
Centenary Cup Match 2 - August 2005
17 August 2005:
Jungle Crows 0 v Police Sergeants' Institute 12
Where have the Crows gone?
18 August 2005:
Wednesday 17th saw the Jungle Crows attempting to reach the semi-finals of the Centenary Cup in an afternoon clash against the Sergeants' Institute at CCFC. An unseasonably hot and humid afternoon saw a dire encounter with little for spectators or players to take away from the game...
JUNGLE CROWS ON TOUR: The Callaghan Cup, New Delhi - August 2005
Day 1 of the Cup, 4pm and the Crows are up against Delhi Lions. It was rumoured Delhi fancied their chances against the Crows but less than 10 minutes into the game and the Crows quick start had the Delhi boys floundering down 12-0. A strong run down the right side by Wilcko playing at No.8 with a nice offload to Medrick on the right wing saw the first try scored. Another followed minutes later when Zaffer broke through the Delhi back line to score by the posts. A conversion by Armen saw 12 points on the board and less than 10 minutes played.
There followed some scrappy play with the Crows foolishly sitting back on their lead and Delhi trying to re-organise. Some concerted Delhi pressure saw a try but order was quickly restored with another score, Wilcko running in this time. 19-5 at half time and it was looking good for the Crows.
Delhi came out quickest from the re-start and had another score on the board in minutes. But again the Crows were able to counter with Medrick touching down. Delhi came back and though the Crows were able to absorb plenty of pressure on the line, Delhi's two Argentinian players were too big to hold at bay for long and one crashed over for a try. Missed tackles by the Crows in their own half had led to the three Delhi tries and though it was great to see how much pressure could be absorbed on the line it was all self inflicted!
10 minutes to play and scrum-half Tudu was replaced by experienced Crows Coach Sanjay who injected some real zip into the game. A quick lineout on Delhi's five yard line saw the ball cross the line but the referee called play back. Another good Crows line-out and Sanjay ran of the drive and over the line for the final score, Crows 29 Delhi 15.
Sanjay took a head over heels tumble as he crossed the line and collided with a Delhi boot, a gash in his head would later require four stitches. This was to highlight to the Crows the appalling arrangements (we already knew they were pretty bad: no running water, sleeping on the floor, wiggly lines, no flags on the pitch, no match ball, etc) but the reaction of the medic and ref to Sanjay's injury was a disgrace. He'd taken a bad fall and clearly had a head injury and other possible injuries, he had been mildly concussed and his breathing was erratic. The medic on reaching Sanjay, seemingly against any sensible practice lifted up his head! The ref ordered the players to get him of the pitch so the game could carry on - without even checking on the injury! Needless to say both the ref and the medic were given short shrift! Fortunately Sanjay wasn't badly hurt but a formal complaint will be going to the IRFU.
A good first victory and with Sanjay stitched up and well the Crows were in good spirits for their next game against top seeded side Bangalore. First though since this was the first time most of the boys had been to New Delhi we spent Sunday on a sightseeing and shopping trip!
Day 3 of the Cup and the Crows faced possibly the toughest game in their short history up against Bangalore. With Brits at No8, Scrum half and inside center and with French and Fijian Flankers this was going to be quite a challenge!
The Crows got of to a slower start and within five minutes were down by a Bangalore try 5-0. But a penalty kept the Crows in the game 5-3. The Crows held Bangalore well but another 2 tries and conversion saw the boys go down 17-3. At this the Crows heads dropped (something we'll need to work on) and Bangalore turned on the pace and style for the last ten minutes of the half. With the Bangalore backs running freely, well supported by a quick pack the Crows game deserted them and Bangalore ran in three converted tries 38-3 at half time!
A strong team talk delivered by Wilcko at half time and the Crows stormed into the second half. Resolute defending by Bangalore held the raging Crows at bay but only a break away try and conversion from Bangalore bothered the scorers. In the end the Crows rotated their team to ensure everyone got the chance to play in this the Crows first 15-a-side tour! Defeated they may have been but their enthusiasm and pride got the loudest cheer as the Crows players came of!
The Callaghan Cup doubled up this year as the qualifying tournament for the all-India finals due to be played in Mumbai at the end of September. Making this the second most prestigious tournament in the country. The playing and ancillary facilities were terrible. The benefit of being knocked out, as many remaining teams said to us, was that we got to leave and go home!!
Arijit the Crows softly spoken Prop was named Crow of the Tour for a 100% solid performance and some excellent tackles.
Manager: James Matthew
- Christophe (Capt.)
- James (Wilcko)
- Armen M
- Armen A
- Sanjay P
- Sanjay D
Asst Manager: Abishek
Centenary Cup Round One Win - July 2005
The Jungle Crows in their first centenary cup fixture beat LMOB 8-7. This was the jungle crows first competition fifteen-a-side victory in this their first season. The crows lead early on with a penalty kicked by Armen and kept this lead until half-time. Early in the second half a try by Zaffar (Crow of the Match) saw the crows into an 8-0 lead. A late try and conversion by LMOB was not enough and the crows held on to a deserved victory. There was quite a party afterwards! Read a full match report at Scrumcap.
Under 19 Success in Monsoon Sevens
Kolkata Jungle Crows under-19 team perform brilliantly in Kolkata "Monsoon Sevens" tournament. Win four games on the run to reach the final. Showdown with top Kolkata side Future Hope sees them eventually loose out 32-7.
Jungle Crows players make up the bowl winners: Ashalayam Don Bosco and the semi finalists: Armenian College. The future looks very bright for the crows! TV coverage focuses on Kolkata's newest and fastest growing team - the Jungle Crows. Kolkata Police Commissioner Prosun Mukherjee pays special compliment to the crows on the phenomenal rise of the team and the spirit they always show.
Calcutta Cup Results
4 June 05:
Jungle Crows 17 - YRC 17
[Check-Out the Scrumcap]
18 June 05:
Jungle Crows 5 - LMOB 23
The Jungle Crows had their toughest encounter yet on Saturday taking on the experience and guile of LMOB! A 3.30pm kick-off on one of the hottest days this year, +40 degrees, did not stop both teams playing high energy 100% determined rugby. In the end what separated the teams was the class and experience of LMOB. In only their second ever 15-a-side game the Crows, however, battled valiantly.
LMOB were ably led by former Indian international Tony McCluskie, playing at number 8 he set out LMOBs game plan early with a string of strong forward moves. Whether from a driving maul, scrum or ruck LMOBs discipline and experience had the Crows on their heels more than once. But it was the Crows who had the first scoring chance with a penalty inside LMOBs half after less than 10 minutes, missed short by Crows scrum half and captain 'Tuna'. The first points on the board came from a penalty kicked by LMOB to give them an early 3 point boost. Two tries for LMOB followed, set up and scored with good quality forward play. Just before half time the Crows sent a kick into LMOBs corner and the pace and reactions of Crows inside centre Armen M meant that the team went into half time only 13-5 down.
The start of the second half saw the Crows attempting to get their back line more into the game but good defence by LMOB held them at bay. It wasn't long before LMOB got back into their stride and began to put big shoves into the scrum, clattering the less weighty Jungle Crows aside. The heat began to tell on both sides but LMOBs forwards kept up good pressure and eventually drove over both in the left and right hand corners to pick up tries. At the end of the game both teams knew they had been through a tough tough game (only let down by the refereeing about which less is said the better)!
6 July 05:
Jungle Crows 0 - Kolkata Police 22
[Check-Out the Scrumcap]
Crows Rugby Festival - May 2005
We had an amazing days rugby on 14 May to say farewell to Jungle Crows stalwart John Hamilton...8 under-14 teams played tag and 4 teams played senior rugby 10s....over 150 players in all! The school teams included Future Hope, Ashalayam Don Bosco, Frank Anthony's, St Joseph's, Armenian College and St Thomas'.
The four adult teams were pick-up teams from all the players that registered, mainly Jungle Crows but also some from Future Hope, Kolkata Police and CCFC. The captains for the day were John Hamilton in charge of the "Scots Crusdaers", Christophe Plais with his "French Fire", Gary Stilgoe policing the "English Bulls" and Sanjay Patro calling the shots with "India Cyclone". So our very own four nations tournament! The final was between Crusdaders and Cyclone with a tie at 5 all after full and extra time. In the end the game was decided on drop goals, best of three and then sudden death. The Cyclone came out winners 7 drop goals to 6!!
Crows appoint Coach - April 2005
Sanjay Patro will be the Jungle Crows coach for the 2005 season. Sanjay works as a Development Officer with Bengal Rugby-Football and is a regular player for Future Hope. Sanjay has started his work and brought a new professionalism to the Jungle Crows work.
Sanjay also has significant development experience and we hope he will be able to bring this to bear in his work with the Jungle Crows. All the Jungle Crows are looking forward to a successful first full season under the leadership of Sanjay.
All India Sevens in Chennai - February 2005
The Jungle Crows latest tour took them to the All-India Sevens in Chennai this February. The majority of the team traveled down on a 24 hour train journey.showing a true spirit of dedication to the Jungle Crows spirit! The Crows were drawn in the toughest group in the tournament with just two other teams both of whom were expected to do well; Bombay Gymkhana and Tamil Nadu Police A.
The crows faced both teams on the opening day and were comprehensively beaten, but the spirit and fight shown by the Crows won them yet more supporters from the crowd in Chennai. On day two the Crows were drawn in the bowl quarter finals against Delhi Cobras. The Cobras opened the scoring with a converted try - 7 points. The Crows fought back with their own try, not converted; so 5 points. As the seconds ticked away the crows scrapped and battled for a breakthrough but with only seconds left the more experienced Cobras snuck a final energy-sapping try from the Crows, the match ending 12-5 to Delhi.
The Crows had repaid their supporters and sponsors BOC, ABN Amro and Descon; not in trophies but in pride and spirit, perhaps commodities even more valuable!
The all-India final pitted local teams Chennai Cheetahs against the Tamil Nadu Police. This was what the crowd had been waiting for; two strong teams playing over an extended time of two ten minute half's. The Chennai Cheetah's are the reigning India fifteen-a-side champions and showed their class from the start pulling in front and staying there to record a 22-14 win.
On Tour in Orissa - October 2004
The Crows first out of state tournament was to Bhubaneswar, Orissa. Supported by sponsors Crown Relocation and Skytech Software the Jungle Crows were able to record their first out of state win.
The Jungle Crows were matched in a group that included Future Hope, Kolkata Police, Delhi and Haryana. A tough opening game against Delhi saw the Jungle Crows just beaten but the highlights of the tour were quick to come. Playing against Kolkata Police under floodlights at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack was memorable for all involved. With few supporters around the atmosphere was more eerie than big match. But the chance to play in a huge and renowned stadium was unforgettable for all the players! Top side Kolkata Police soundly beat the Crows.
The next day still on a high the Crows made a slow start against Haryana but soon found their stride and were able to post a win, helped by new Crows Ramesh and the try scorer James! Bhubaneswar had never seen sporting celebrations like it as the Jungle Crows, their supporters and even the losing side celebrated the win.
Future Hope went on to win the tournament coming back from behind in a thrilling game to beat Maharastra State Police.