Category: News

Men Open D3 Slate with Win Over Bragg

CLAYTON, NC – The Clayton Bootleggers opened up their 2017/2018 Carolinas D3 Conference campaign on a high note with a 52-17 victory over Fort Bragg at East Clayton Community Park on Saturday. Despite a shaky start to the match, the men eventually settled in and produced a nine try effort to surge past their visitors.  Nick Russell and Cam Grim each scored two tries to lead the offensive attack.

“It’s good to get a league win out of the way,” said Head Coach Rich Munro. “We’ve some big games ahead of us though. Time to get back to training and prepare for Cape Fear.”

After a shaky start to the match, the Bootleggers got on the board in the 6th minute with center Nick Russell’s first try of the day.  After the ensuing kickoff, Cam Grim added another score when flyhalf Brian Beauregard caught the Fort Bragg defense flat and chipped behind their lines. Grim ran down the kick, found a favorable bounce of the ball, and raced into the try zone. Beauregard added the conversion to stake the Bootleggers to a 12-0 lead within the first 10 minutes of the match.

No. 8 Gareth Davies extended the lead to 17-0 after crashing over for a try in the 17th minute and the Bootleggers appeared on the verge of breaking the match open. Instead, Fort Bragg dug in and Clayton ran into penalty trouble with a series of infringements at the breakdown. In the 26th minute, the referee took corrective action and sent lock Nick Taylor to the sin bin to cap a stretch of play littered with Bootlegger penalties. Fort Bragg used the man advantage to narrow the score with a try in the 31st minute to cut the Bootlegger lead to 17-5. The Bootleggers regrouped and finished the half strong with Russell’s second try of the match and a penalty goal from Beauregard as they took a 27-5 lead into the break.

Clayton got the 2nd half off on the right foot with Grim’s second try of the afternoon to extend their lead to 32-5. Fort Bragg answered right back with a try in the 53rd minute to put the score at 32-10. Bootlegger Head Coach Rich Munro went to his bench aiming to bring fresh legs on for the final quarter of the match. The Bootleggers responded with three tries over a seven minute span as 2nd half replacement center Deven Howard scored his first Bootlegger try. He was followed across the try line by flanker and Team Captain Simon Potter, and lock Ted Hardy as Clayton pushed their lead out to 47-10.

Fort Bragg added one last try in the 68th minute before hooker Eric Tansey closed out the scoring for the Bootleggers with a 76th minute try.

Final Score: Clayton 52 Fort Bragg 17

“For the season opener, I was very pleased with the result,” said Potter. “You always want to start strong, and we managed to do that in this game. Our organization was pretty good, and when our backline got quality ball they showed what they could do with it, running in some excellent scores. That said, there’s definitely plenty for us to work on before our next game against Cape Fear.”

The Bootleggers’ 2nd XV followed with an entertaining match against Fort Bragg’s B-Side. Fort Bragg got off to a strong start pushing out to a 20-0 lead in the first half. After spending most of the 1st half playing defense, the Clayton 2nds regrouped and carried the lion’s share of possession in the second half. Deven Howard added another try and lock Scott Dougal also scored for the 2nds. Fort Bragg added one second half try and were able to hold off the Bootleggers’ 2nds by a final score of 25-10.

The Bootleggers return to action on Saturday October 21st as they travel east to take on conference favorites Cape Fear. The next home game for Clayton is Saturday November 4th when the club takes on Hilton Head.

1st XV Box Score

10/7/17 Clayton 52
Fort Bragg 17
Scoring Summary T: Russell (2), Grim (2), Davies, Howard, Potter, Hardy, Tansey
C: Beauregard 2/8, Dixon 0/1; P: Beauregard 1/1

2nd XV Box Score

10/7/17 Clayton 10
Fort Bragg 25
Scoring Summary T: Howard, Dougal
C: Rinehart 0/2

Bootleggers Finish Off Pre-Season

CLAYTON, NC – On a steamy late-September afternoon, the Clayton Bootleggers finished off their pre-season warm up schedule with a victory over the New Bern River Raiders in a friendly match at East Clayton Community Park. The five 20-minute periods allowed both clubs to tinker with their lineups. It also allowed Bootleggers’ Head Coach Rich Munro plenty of playing time for his growing roster of charges. Many of which are new to the club and to rugby.

The Bootleggers started the match with fairly close to the lineup that will face off against Fort Bragg in their Carolinas D3 Conference opener in two weeks. The group started off slowly and a bit shaky. The clubs exchanged possession and also shared more than a few scrums. The Bootleggers found space to run early, but failed to capitalize due to lack of patience. The Bootleggers finally broke through around the 12 minute mark when a turnover at midfield went through the hands and found center Matt Aronowitz with space on the outside where he raced in for the first score of the match. Minutes later, a break from lock Ted Hardy led to a score for debutante Bootlegger wing Parker Slater to give Clayton a 10-0 lead as the first period ended.

The 2nd 20-minute period showed more patience and improved ball retention from the Bootleggers as the home side starved New Bern of possession. Aronowitz scored his second try followed by tries from fullback Camron Grim, wing Wesley Smith, and Hardy. The barrage extended the scoreline to 36-0 in favor of the Bootleggers at the end of the 2nd period. Head Coach Munro opted to dip into the Clayton bench during the 3rd period with a number of subs hitting the pitch for some action with the 1st team. The Bootlegger’s defense remained strong and thwarted a few strong attacks from New Bern. The Clayton offense slowed in the 3rd period, although they retained a great deal of possession. Bootleggers’ Prop Jim Bartles accounted for the only score in the 3rd period when he crashed over from a few meters out to give the Bootleggers a 41-0 lead.

For the 4th and 5th periods of the match, the Bootleggers 2nd unit came onto the pitch. The group, with a number of new Bootleggers making their debuts, produced an entertaining 40 minutes of back and forth rugby with New Bern. The 2nds poured in multiple tries in the 4th period with Devan Howard, Anthony Crumity, and Brian Anderson each scoring tries while the visitors could only manage one try. New Bern came back strong in the final 20-minutes, scoring five tries in the final frame. For the Bootleggers, Crumity and Anderson each added another try in the last period to close out an entertaining finish to a fun day of rugby in Clayton.

“We’d like to thank New Bern for coming out and giving us a run today,” said Munro. “We’re still not where we need to be, but we’re a lot closer than we were two weeks ago. We’ve got Bragg at home in two weeks and they’re going to be tough opponent. We have to keep working hard and improving. We’ve created a structure that works for us, now we have to build upon it.”

The Clayton RFC returns to the pitch on Saturday October 7th at home against Fort Bragg in a rugby double header. The clubs face off in a Carolinas D3 Conference match at 1pm with both clubs playing a 2nds/B-Side match immediately following. Admission is free and new fans are welcome to attend.

Men Open Season at Carolinas Kickoff Classic

SOUTHERN PINES, NC – The Bootleggers opened up their 2017/2018 season this past weekend at the Carolinas Kickoff Classic. The men dropped both of their matches, but showed a lot of heart having traveled light to the tournament. The club also took an inexperienced side to Southern Pines with a number of brand new players getting their first live match experience. The Kick Off Classic was a great opportunity for players to step up and make a claim for spots on the 1st XV with the Bootlegger’s first home match of the season coming up on September 23rd. Some of them did exactly that and selections for the New Bern match should prove to be difficult for the club coaching staff. While the Bootleggers came away with two losses, there were a lot of positives to take away from the weekend despite the two losses.

The Bootleggers opened up the tournament against the Charlotte Barbarians, a club that will be in the hunt for the Carolinas D3 title this season. After putting early pressure on the Barbarians, the Bootleggers got on top early with a score from Gareth Davies after a quick tap from a penalty inside the Barbarian’s 22. The Barbarians bounced back by capitalizing on Bootlegger mistakes with quick scores to take a 17-5 lead into the half. The bulk of the 2nd half possession belonged to the Bootleggers as they spent most of the half camped in the Barbarian’s half. The Bootleggers showed good patience and retention in attack, but couldn’t crack the Barbarian’s defensive line. The Bootleggers added a score from newcomer fullback Cam Grim on a well worked back line move. As in the first half, the Barbarians punished a couple Bootlegger mistakes to finish with two more converted tries and a 31-12 scoreline in favor of the Barbarians.

In the second match, the Bootleggers were matched with familiar rivals Fort Bragg. Fort Bragg came out strong and dominated the early possession and territory. Showing a lot of improvement from last season, the Bootlegger defense held strong and kept shape as Bragg went through the phases with strong forward attack. The Bootleggers were first on the board as they capitalized on a few turnovers, from good work at the breakdown, and scored tries through Ted Chapman and two more from Cam Grim to take a 17-0 lead. Fort Bragg got one back before the half to cut the lead to 17-5. The Bootleggers lost scrumhalf Ted Chapman to a shoulder injury at the end of the 1st half and it took the steam out of their attack in the second half. The second half was all Bragg as they continued to wear down the Bootlegger defense with a punishing attach. Bragg took a 19-17 lead with about five minutes to play and then tacked on two more tries near the death to win 29-17. The Bootleggers have some work to do to prepare for their October 7th D3 Conference match against the much improved Fort Bragg squad.

“It wasn’t as bad as the scores reflect,” said Bootlegger’s Head Coach Rich Munro. “We have some new players that showed a lot of potential and the guys showed some real patience on offense. We saw some good things and some things that we need to work on. Overall, not the results we want, but at this stage we’re more concerned with being ready for the start of the D3 season.”

The Bootleggers return to action, with their first home match of the new season, on Saturday September 23rd with a friendly against the New Bern River Raiders. It is the club’s final pre-season match before opening up their Carolinas D3 Conference play at the beginning of October. Kick off is at 1pm at East Clayton Community Park. Admission to the match is free.


Bootleggers – 12 Charlotte Barbarians – 32
Tries: Davies, Grim; Conv: Chapman 1/2
1: Dixon 2: Foster 3: Bartles 4: Taylor 5: Dougal 6: Tansey 7: Kays 8: Davies 9: Webster 10: Chapman 11: Moriarty 12: T. Anderson 13: Hardy (C) 14: Rogers 15: Grim
Potter, Haskins, D. Parker


Bootleggers – 17 Fort Bragg – 29
Tries: Grim (2), Chapman; Conv: Chapman 1/3
1: Dixon 2: Foster 3: D. Parker 4: Taylor 5: Bartles 6: Tansey 7: Kays 8: Davies 9: Chapman 10: Potter (C) 11: Moriarty 12: Hardy 13: Grim 14: Rogers 15: Haskins
Bevelacqua, T. Anderson