Ft. Benning, GA. - The Tampa Bay Krewe Rugby team claimed the USA Rugby South Men’s Division II Championship trophy with a 33-22 come from behind victory over Baton Rouge (LA) at Fort Benning, GA over the weekend. After falling behind 19-0, Krewe mounted a torrid second half effort, both offensively and defensively, outscoring the Barbarians 33-3.
The #10 national seeded Krewe Rugby team will travel to Columbia, S.C. to compete against the top teams from the Northeast, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic in the USA Rugby National Championship Round of Sixteen, May 16-17. Krewe opens play against the West Milwaukee Harlequins, the #7 seed. The top two teams from the East Pool will advance to meet the top two teams from the West for the National Championship at Infinity Park in Glendale, CO, May 30-31.

Krewe (13-2) reached the Finals by defeating New Orleans (LA) 26-10 on Saturday.
New Orleans took a 3-0 lead when fly half Ricky Decastro slotted a penalty kick 8 minutes in. Three minutes later Krewe wing J.J. Kasper outran the Orleans defense for a 40-meter try. Marc “Peaches” Petrini added the conversion kick to increase the lead to 7-3. Wing “Sugar” Shane Stewart then scored off of a ruck and Petrini converted the kick for a 14-3 Krewe lead at the half.
South African lock, Fransua Van Den Berg began the second half scoring with a try for a 19-3 Krewe lead. New Orleans scored a try and conversion kick to cut the lead to 19-10 at the 60-minute mark. The next 15 minutes saw great defensive efforts from both teams until Augustin Pombo de Erazcano picked an errant pass, scoring a try and conversion kick for final 26-10 Krewe victory.
Joe Hillbush was recognized for his excellent work against former U-20 Eagle prop Matt Upton while J.J. Kasper was awarded “Man of the Match”.

Krewe versus Baton Rouge
Under blue skies and with the temperature climbing into the 90’s, the Finals kicked off at noon on Sunday.
“Playing at this level, in this heat and on consecutive days really tested the team’s depth and the individual’s commitment”, said Coach Kevin McWilliams. “Every man on the roster elevated his game to meet the challenge.”

Because of penalties, both teams had early opportunities but were unable to take advantage. However, ten minutes in Baton Rouge scored and converted to take a 7-0. They added to their lead with a second converted try at the 37-minute mark to take a 14-0 lead into the half. Only three minutes into the second half, the Barbarians scored again, but missed the conversion kick, stretching their lead to 19-0. The tide began to change when Austin Dacanay, a half time substitute at center, set the tone with a crushing tackle on the big #8, whose continual “chippy” play was rewarded a few minutes later with a yellow card for a neck tackle on Stewart, also a half time substitute. “Some of the Baton Rouge players were resorting to a little extra-curricular activity in the rucks”, McWilliams said. “They were obviously frustrated because they thought they could push us around. They didn’t know”
Five minutes later, Patrick “Skunk Ape” Reive put Krewe on the board with a try. The conversion kick by Pombo de Erazcano cut the lead to 19-7. Just three minutes later, Stewart scored his fourth playoff try and Pombo de Erazcano added the conversion to cut the lead to 19-14.

With Krewe playing a man down because of a yellow card, Baton Rouge mounted an attack. The Krewe defense held and the Barbarians had to settle for a penalty kick, increasing their lead to 22-14. They would not score again as Krewe added a try by Lt. Giles Sayner (British Army), his fourth in three playoffs games, a fifty meter try by Reive and a “pick pass” try by Pombo de Erezcano. Petrini and Pombo de Erazcano rounded out the scoring with conversion kicks for a final score of 33-22.

Josh Hayes, a converted wing who played a full 80 minutes at flanker, was recognized as the “Man of the Match” for his outstanding play in the loose and line outs.

About Tampa Bay Krewe Rugby:
Krewe Rugby, formed in 1989, is a 501(c)3 not-for profit organization dedicated to spreading the spirit of rugby by promoting loyalty, sportsmanship, discipline and teamwork throughout the Tampa Bay community.


Bradford Davis, Executive Director
813 977 3424 Office
813 527 4111 Mobile
[email protected]