That’s really the only way you can define what happened this weekend. A mauling happened in Metro Detroit, and no, a bear didn’t get loose from its enclosure at the zoo. If you had the pleasure of being at Levey Middle School in Southfield this weekend you would have seen first-hand The Detroit Tradesmen Rugby Club do just that to their opponents in the opening rounds of the Midwestern Playoffs.
Your Michigan #1 seed D4 Tradesmen kicked off first against Ohio’s #2 seed Youngstown Steel Valley RFC at noon. Building on their unbeaten spring streak they drove a staggering 66 points onto the scoreboard with relentless determination. Sadly, Youngstown didn’t have an answer to the constant barrage lead by Flyhalf Pat Khalaf. The aggressive running of forwards like Jeremy Jewell, coupled with the center pair of Zach Hudson and Zach Cohen, lead to try after try. Without any space to breathe, let alone fight back, Youngstown was only able to put up 12 points in response.
The Division 2 game looked much the same as the D4 match. Ohio’s #2 seed Cleveland Rovers traveled to take on Michigan’s #1 seed D2 Tradesmen. The match began with a bang and a quick try by inside center John Zemmer 1 minute in when the Tradesmen recovered their own kickoff and never let up on the pressure. The D2 Tradesmen put up a total of 58 points on Saturday, led by Captain Kevin Kreger at Flyhalf. While Cleveland was able to put up 24 points, there was never a question of who was dominating. Multiple long runs by center John Zemmer, 8 man Conrad Bontrager and flanker Joe Bargerstock showed Cleveland’s lack of desire to bring down the ball carriers.
With two of the 4 Ohio teams handily taken care of, the Tradesmen are at it again this weekend. D2 Tradesmen will be kicking off at Levey Middle School in Southfield at 1pm against Cleaved Eastern Suburbs RFC with the D4 Tradesmen traveling to Canton Ohio to take on the Canton Maddogs RFC.
As always, if you’re not content with only watching, both teams accept new players at all times. Practices are at Eliza Howell Park in Detroit, Tuesday, and Thursday at 6:30PM.