FOG LEAVES GLORIOUS MARK AT THE 2008 DUBLIN TOURNAMENT
The San Francisco Fog saved some of its most memorable moments in its club history for the last day of the Bingham Cup® tournament, leaving every single ounce of passion and pride on the pitch in its four contested matches, and later in the day, in a boat race in front of the entire IGRAB community. As the 2008 Bingham Cup® tournament in Dublin came to a close, the San Francisco Fog yet again held its head up very high, as the Fog first side nobly placed fourth in the Cup bracket, while the Fog second side played its best rugby yet in the history of the club placing fourth in the Plate bracket, the second highest of four brackets. Perhaps most notably, Fog rugger Matt McManus of the Fog second side achieved high honor as the top try scoring player in all of the Bingham Cup® tournament. Over the course of these last three days, the legend of the Fog continued to resonate strong within the IGRAB walls, as the eye of the Fog looks onward towards the future and the next tournament in two years time.
PLATE BRACKET - Quarter Finals
SF Fog 2nd Side 14, Chicago Dragons 7
The Fog second side started the day playing tough rugby, scoring quickly and never looking back. With gorgeous morning weather shining on the pitch, the Fog showed why they belonged in the Plate bracket with its third victory of the tournament, scoring two tries to the opposition’s one.
CUP BRACKET - Semi Finals
SF Fog 1st Side 7, London Kings Cross Steelers 7
London advances on points differential
In a match that players and spectators will surely be telling for the next many decades, the first sides of the Fog and Steelers put on one of the most passionate rugby contests of the 2008 Bingham Cup® tournament. The Steelers came out of the gate strong, scoring a try in the first minutes of the match, and carried a lead over the Fog into the half. As each minute passed in the second half, the Fog looked into the eyes of fate, and when faced with possibly the last play of the match, the Fog marched almost the entire length of the pitch and scored one of the most glorious tries in its hallowed history to even the score at the end of regulation. What ensued was unprecedented in Bingham Cup® history, as London and San Francisco played through four complete sudden death overtime periods, and each team came a hair close to scoring tries numerous times in the process, miraculously stopping each other every time. The sidelines of both clubs multiplied rapidly, and the booming chants of “Steelers” and “Roll Fog Roll” permeated throughout the entire Bingham Cup® grounds. As the fourth overtime drew to a close, the referees and captains met and determined the match based on point differentials. As a result, the match that could have gone either way went the Steelers way based on the slimmest of margins, as the Steelers +123 point differential bested the Fog’s +120 differential by three points. Quickly, the Steelers and Fog not only shook hands but hugged each other, as they knew that they had just played a Bingham Cup® match that will surely be remembered for nearly an eternity. This remembrance was further cemented as both the London and San Francisco clubs proudly traded touring polo shirts with each other at the official tournament dinner later in the evening.
PLATE BRACKET - Semi Finals
SF Fog 2nd Side 0, World Barbarians 16
The Fog second side squared off in the semi-final match against the noteworthy World Barbarians, a group of ruggers that traveled from many continents to play with each in this hallowed tournament. The 2008 Barbarians continued its tradition of fielding a very strong side, yet the Fog second side once again never let down its guard, playing intense, technically-proficient rugby and holding the Barbarians to its lowest score in the Plate bracket competition, a feat that went unnoticed in IGRAB.
CUP BRACKET - 3rd/4th Place
SF Fog 1st Side 5, New York Gotham Knights 10
After playing 60 grueling minutes of passionate rugby earlier in the day, the Fog first side dusted itself off for one last match against the New York Gotham Knights, a contest of two United States powerhouses. The Fog scored early on a prop try, while the Gotham Knights answered back with a penalty kick shortly after. Both sides traded the ball back and forth with stifling defenses, until New York edged through in the last minute running to the corner of the pitch with the winning try. Though the Fog first side may have suffered its first solid defeat of the tournament, witnesses roaming the sidelines unofficially declared the Fog its champions of the day, as they saw the grit and resolve of the Fog over the course of a day that few are able to match.
PLATE BRACKET - 3rd/4th Place
Cardiff Lions 8 Beers, SF Fog 2nd Side Almost 8 Beers
A Boat Race Challenge
In unquestionably the most entertaining match of the day, both the Cardiff Lions and Fog second side counted their lickings and agreed to settle their score in Rugby’s esteemed third half, as eight members of each squad took the stage at the Olympia Theatre during the Bingham Cup® Closing Ceremonies, in front of rabid ruggers from more than 30 teams in the tournament. The theatre echoed ferociously in cries and shouts from the crowd as each player gulped their beer as fast as they could, with Cardiff finishing their beer just a little fast than the Fog. In the end, each team shook each others hands and drank to brotherhood and sisterhood, and similar to the Bingham Cup® tournament itself, went out in a style that only Rugby would know.
The San Francisco Fog displayed absolutely tremendous heart as they placed fourth in the Cup Bracket and reached the semi-finals of the Plate bracket. In what was arguably the most compelling, arresting match ever played in the Bingham Cup® tournament, the Fog first side came from behind at the last minute in regulation to tie the London Kings Cross Steelers after countless overtime periods, with the match being decided by overall point differentials (the Steelers at +243 vs. the Fog at +240).
Day Three full results will be posted on Monday, 16 June 2008.
FOG RUGBY CONTINUES STRONG PACE ON DAY 2
It was the second day of the three-day Bingham Cup® tournament, but the story remained the same with rugby-esque weather and three wins in four matches by the San Francisco Fog. The Fog second side successfully securing a spot among the final 8 teams in the Plate bracket, while the Fog first side advanced to the Cup bracket and are among the final four teams vying for the Bingham Cup heading into the final day.
SF Fog 1st Side 22 - Dublin Emerald Warriors 0
The Fog’s 1st XV started their day against Dublin, the home team and organizers of the 2008 Bingham Cup® tournament. Faced with determined play by the Emerald Warriors as well as a strong fan base adorning the sidelines, the Fog went to work with technically sound rugby en route to a victory in the last match of pool play.
SF Fog 2nd Side 0 - NYC Gotham Knights 39
The Fog’s 2nd side ended their pool play competition with another hard-fought battle against perennial powerhouse from New York. Though beset by a few injuries, the Fog never gave them an easy time during their 40 minutes on the pitch and held their heads high with continued strong rugby play.
PLATE BRACKET - Round 1
SF Fog 2nd Side 39 - NYC Gotham Knights 2nd Side 0
With all of their hard work in their first three matches behind them, the Fog’s 2nd XV erupted in their fourth match in an emphatic victory over New York’s B-side, featuring numerous breakaways and sprints toward the try line by the Fog’s back line, as well as hard crashes and rucks by the Fog’s forwards.
CUP BRACKET - Round 1
SF Fog 1st Side 29 - Los Angeles Rebellion 5
Similar to the Bingham Cup® in 2006, the Fog 1st side squared off against West Coast rivals the Los Angeles Rebellion in the quarter finals of the Cup bracket. The Fog again went to work, as both props crashed through the Rebellion line for tries, and the Fog back line ran up and down the field for additional scores.
The Fog 2nd side plays against the Chicago Dragons in the quarter-final match of the Plate bracket. The Fog 1st side plays against the London Kings Cross Steelers in the semi-final match of the Cup bracket, with the Sydney Convicts playing against the New York Gotham Knights in the other semi-final match.
Day Three headline results will be posted at the end of Sunday’s matches (15 June 2008), while the full results will be posted on Monday, 16 June 2008.
FOG RUGBY MAKES STRONG SHOWING ON DAY 1
The San Francisco Fog RFC made a grand entrance to the first day of The Bingham Cup® tournament in Dublin, winning three out of their four matches.
The day started with opening ceremonies highlighted by a speech from Mark Bingham’s mother, Alice Hoagland, and a rendition of the Irish national anthem. The temperature hovered around 18-22•C (65-72•F) with a mixture of sun, overcast clouds and a little drizzle - in other words, perfect for rugby.
SF Fog 1st Side 67 - Philadelphia Gryphons 0
The Fog’s 1st side took the pitch by storm, playing solid team rugby en route to a decisive victory over the Philadelphia Gryphons, a club that the Fog met once during The Bingham Cup® in London (2004). The Fog took a 29-0 lead into the half and never looked back.
SF Fog 2nd Side 0 - London Kings Cross Steelers 60
Facing the Steelers, one of the perennial top teams in IGRAB, the Fog’s 2nd squad gave their all, playing gritty technical rugby and never giving London an easy try. Though the score looks one-sided, the Fog showed tremendous spirit that impressed their opponents and which would pay dividends later in the day.
SF Fog 1st Side 12 - Manchester Village Spartans 5
The Fog’s 1st XV squared off against the formidable Manchester Village Spartans, who displayed superlative defense and immense heart. The Spartans led the match 5-0 at the half, having scored a sudden try with a cross-pitch kick and run in. The Fog responded in the second half with a beautiful dummy move by the flyhalf for their first try, followed by a breakaway run by their inside center leading to the second try, igniting the Fog’s sideline supporters.
SF Fog 2nd Side 5 - Boston Ironsides 0
The Fog’s 2nd side game against the Boston Ironsides RFC, who took the Bowl in the 2004 tournament, was a nail-biter. Closely matched, neither side was able to score in the first half. Then, in what became the Fog Rugby “play of the day,” a Fog prop broke free with the ball from inside his own 22m line, sprinting down the pitch and ultimately passing to his supporting runner, who scored the only try of the match.
Day Two results will be posted at the end of Saturday’s matches (14 June 2008).
The San Francisco Fog is starting to embark on its trip half-way across the world to Dublin, Ireland, as the club gears up to compete in the largest amateur rugby event in the world, the Bingham Cup®. Approximately 32 clubs from 9 countries around the world are attending this year’s tournament, hosted by Dublin’s Emerald Warriors RFC. The Fog are proudly fielding two full sides as the three-day tournament commences on Friday, June 13.
We will be providing daily updates on the Fog’s progress in the tournament on this website, so make sure to come visit here each day.