Ducks fall to Fort Wayne in final minutes

The Ducks after getting second place in the Midwestern D3 Championship.

The Ducks after getting second place in the Midwestern D3 Championship.

It came down to a last minute score.

That was all that stood between the Ducks and moving forward into the playoffs: a last minute try by Fort Wayne. The only loss of the season would also be Iowa City's last game until the Spring.

Despite the heartbreak, the season was still a success. The Ducks did a full 180° from 2016 — when they didn't win one game — to go 7-1-1 in 2017.

"We have to remember what helped get us from 0-6 last year to a Midwest Championship game," Duck's Captain Ty Carew said. "We earned everything from the hard work, dedication and sacrifices that every guy made."

Carew said the Ducks would do everything they could to get back to Midwest Championship in 2018.

"We put together an excellent season and every one of us had something to do with that," he said. "In the off-season we need to build on our strengths and correct our weaknesses."

Until the Spring Season starts, the Ducks will be training hard, working at Beat the Bitter in North Liberty and hanging out at Grizzly's, Deadwood, The Dublin Underground and other various sponsors around town.

Looking for ways to support the Ducks? Can't find that perfect gift for the rugby player in your life? Head to The Ducks Shop for all your waterfowl-related rugby needs.

Iowa City Ducks prove they're best in the west

The Ducks will face the Fort Wayne Rugby Club in Chicago on Nov. 11 for the Division 3 Midwestern Championship.

The Ducks will face the Fort Wayne Rugby Club in Chicago on Nov. 11 for the Division 3 Midwestern Championship.

The Iowa City Ducks are headed to the D3 Midwest Rugby Championship on Nov. 11 in Chicago after a wild weekend of rugby in Iowa City.

On Saturday, The Ducks faced Wisconsin RFC. As was the case for most of the season the Ducks found themselves down at half, but came out in the second half ready to roll. There was some confusion after the match, as the official had a different score down than scorekeepers on the sideline.

The Ducks wouldn't know if they had won or not until almost 9 p.m. Saturday night, when it was decided by the Midwestern Rugby Union the Ducks had won. Their reward? A match-up with Milwaukee RFC on Sunday for the West Division Title.

Milwaukee played with heart and a powerful pack, but it wasn't enough to take down the flock. Key runs by the Iowa City backline set a tone that Milwaukee was simply unable to match towards the end of the match. The match was a battle, but in the end the Ducks managed to escape with a win and a spot in the Midwest Championship.

The Ducks will face the Fort Wayne Rugby Club on Nov. 11 in Chicago. No matter what the result of that match is, it's undeniable this season has been one to remember for the Boys from Iowa City. Going from 0-5 a season ago to playing in the Midwest Championship isn't easy for any team or club, but the Ducks have pulled it off with a style all their own. 

The Iowa City Ducks will play Fort Wayne at 11:00 a.m. for the Midwest Division 3 Championship. The match will be held at the Chicago blaze rugby pitch at 13011 W Smith Rd, Lemont, IL 60439.

 

Of course none of this would be possible without the Duck's sponsors who have supported the club and helped make this season possible.

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Ducks fly into playoffs after déjà vu in Des Moines

The Ducks after their 24-24 tie in Des Moines on Oct. 28.

The Ducks after their 24-24 tie in Des Moines on Oct. 28.

The Iowa City Ducks are headed to the Midwest Playoffs. Or rather, the playoffs are coming to the Ducks.

The Chicago Riot, Wisconsin Sharks and Milwaukee Rugby clubs will be in town Nov. 4-5 for the first round of the Division 3 Midwestern Conference playoffs. The Ducks will be there too, after a big win against Muddy River and a last-minute tie in Des Moines to round out the last two weeks of the season.

Ducks Captain Ty Carew fights to keep possession against Muddy River on Oct. 21 at the University of Iowa Rugby Fields.

Ducks Captain Ty Carew fights to keep possession against Muddy River on Oct. 21 at the University of Iowa Rugby Fields.

Iowa City won big against Muddy River with a final score of 95-12 to close the point-differential gap with Des Moines on Oct. 21. 

"We needed a big win and we got it, good job boys," Forwards Coordinator Mike Brown said after the game. "We should be winning every game by that much."

The Muddy River win set up a showdown in Des Moines on Oct. 28. The Ducks went into the capitol to face off against a team that was hungry to avenge their loss from earlier in the season and it showed in the first half.

The Ducks fell behind early  plagued by errors and defensive miscues, Des Moines was able to take advantage and was ahead at half. But, similar to when Iowa City faced Des Moines earlier in the season, the second half would show the Ducks weren't done. 

An explosive try from Fullback Alistair Miller to start the second half gave the boys from Iowa City the spark they needed to start fighting back. 

Tama Leutele, who was named Ducks man of the match for the second consecutive game, said he was proud of his teammates resolve.

"I give my team lots of respect for not giving up after being scored on by Des Moines," he said. "The second half came and everyone adjusted the way they needed to and went to work."

It was discovered after the match that Leutele forgot to bring the man of the match jacket. As a result he was made to shoot the boot.

Despite two rumbling tries courtesy of Leutele, the Ducks still found themselves down in the dying minutes of the match, even after multiple opportunities in Des Moines territory. But a last-minute try by Outside Center Joe Ranard made the score 24-24 and sent the Ducks to the playoffs.

"At that point in the match I was just thinking 'someone has to score this try'," Ranard said. "We'd been so close to scoring a few times before and I knew there wasn't much time left, so when I saw my opportunity, I took it."

The Ducks will face the Wisconsin Rugby Club on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the University of Iowa Rugby Fields. Ducks Captain Ty Carew said it feels good to be back in the playoffs.

"A lot of hard work is paying off," Carew said. "We've done a nice job of staying focused."

Focus is also what Carew attributes the teams success during the season to.

"The team has focused every week on who our opponent is and what we need to do," he said. "We've done a great job of working on our weaknesses and using our strengths."

"It's hard to predict the playoffs. I know our first opponent will be a tough team, they have a history of being a great rugby club," Carew said. "However, I think we'll be very competitive and if we keep our heads in it, we could go even deeper into the playoffs."

Duck's President Chuck Furness said he was excited to be headed to the playoffs too.

"This is the youngest Ducks team I can recall, probably the smallest too," Furness said. "15 years ago we were a very pack-dominated, grind-it-out kind of team. Now, we're an up-tempo team that can put points on the board."

"One thing hasn't changed though," Furness said. "The Ducks still know how to have fun."

 

 

 

 

Ducks battle back to beat Des Moines, move to 4-0

Ducks Lock Tama Leutele puts the moves on against Des Moines on Saturday, Oct. 7. After getting down early, the Ducks fought back to win 30-27. (Photo: Ben Statler)

Ducks Lock Tama Leutele puts the moves on against Des Moines on Saturday, Oct. 7. After getting down early, the Ducks fought back to win 30-27. (Photo: Ben Statler)

The Iowa City Ducks escaped with a win on Saturday, Oct. 7, beating Des Moines 30-27 after falling behind by two tries early in the first half. The Boys from Iowa City now sit atop their division's table at 4-0 in league play. 

The Duck's man of the match Saturday was Scrum-half Ryan Taylor. Taylor said he tried to get the ball out quicker as the game went on, and thought the team ran well in general.

"I think as the backline gets more comfortable with each other in phases and get our fitness up, that will get better and better," Taylor said. "This was the first match I really felt in shape, I think our fitness work in practice is paying off on the field."

Duck's President Chuck "Prime" Furness said he noticed two major things the team could work to improve upon from Saturday.

"We had too many penalties. When we get better our penalties go down, but on Saturday we we're kind of going backwards with the amount we got, we have to cut them down," Furness said. "We also could have made some better decisions inside the 22-meter line, there was a lot of wind, which made it tough to kick, but we made some bad choices too."

But there were some positives Furness said he noticed as well.

"Our scrums got better and better, by the end of the game we were able to hold our own pretty well," he said. "We stayed and played tough like we always do."

Duck's Captain Ty Carew said he agreed with Furness.

"That will to win really came out," he said. "We did well in some tough situations and we were able to come through."

Carew said he thought tackling was one of the biggest areas of improvement the club could focus on before hosting Clinton on Oct. 21. 

"I think almost everybody tackled high or missed in some way, once we get hands on a guy, we have to bring him down, that's how you stop good teams," Carew said. "But I thought we were coming up together well and our point of contact was pretty good."

Going 4-0 is something the Ducks haven't done in awhile, and Carew said it was good to see the team working together.

"It feels pretty good, I think everyone's kind of on the same page," he said. "I think we have a great group of guys that are focused on a single goal and people can align with that." 

Furness said he agreed with Carew.

"We still have that 'buzz'," he said. "Not many teams are able to keep that going."

After Saturday's win the Ducks hosted Des Moines at Grizzly's South Side in Iowa City for a social and some cold beer. That win, the closest all season for the flock, wouldn't have been possible without everyone on the club putting in effort, Carew said.

"It wasn't just the 15 guys on the field that won that game for us," he said. "It was the 30 guys that keep showing up and practicing hard every week."

 

 

 

 

Ducks fly high in win over Northeast Iowa

Ducks Oktoberfest.jpg

The Ducks remain unbeaten after defeating the Northeast Iowa Barbarians 46-21 on Saturday, Sept. 30 at Oktoberfest in Amana. The Ducks previously beat the Barbarians at the beginning of the month, but this win brings the flock to 3-0 in league play this fall. 

Duck's captain Tyler Carew said he thought the team had done a complete turnaround when compared to the 2016 season.

"Last year at this time we were 0-4, now we're 3-0, that's a complete 180°," he said. "I think we're turning it around for the best."

Although there were a lot of positives to take from Saturday, Carew said there was still more the team needed to work on.

"We need to work on letting the ball do the work, there were some times where we didn't," he said. "We also need to work on our tackling and breakdowns and not relying on the sir."

Forwards coordinator Mike Brown said he saw a lot of good things out of the pack on Saturday, but saw room for improvement as well.

"I thought we spread the ball really well and had a pretty solid defense in the pack," Brown said. "Communication's a huge thing though, we have to talk more."

Backline coordinator Tyler Dailey said he thought the backs did a good job of keeping their heads up.

"Overall we tackled fairly well and we didn't allow mistakes to get us down," he said. "We have to continue to work on spreading the field on defense and communicating both offensively and defensively."

Next up the Ducks host Des Moines at home in Iowa City. Carew said it would be the team's biggest challenge yet.

"Des Moines has a lot of speed, we're going to have to counter that," he said. "They move the ball well and they play good defense, it's going to be a challenge."

 

 

Ducks knock off the rust - Defeat Northeast Iowa Barbarians

On Saturday the Ducks flew North to Decorah, IA to battle the Northeast Iowa Barbarians.  The match was tight the entire first half with the Barbarians trailing by only 3 at the break.

In the second half the Ducks proved to be too much for the Barbarians to handle.  Ducks finished the match winning 58-26!

Next Saturday the Ducks fly east to Clinton, IA to battle the Clinton Muddy River Rugby Club. 

Fall Schedule announced!

Below is our Fall schedule for 2017

Sept 9th - @Northeast Iowa
Sept 16th - @Clinton
Sept 23rd - TBD
Sept 30th - HOME vs Northeast Iowa  (Octoberfest)
Oct 7th - HOME vs Des Moines
Oct 14th - TBD
Oct 21st - HOME vs Clinton
Oct 28th - @Des Moines

Nov 4th and 5th - WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS

Nov 11th - MIDWEST CHAMPIONSHIPS (LOCATION TBD)

Ducks Heading to All Iowa!

This weekend the Ducks will travel to Iowa Falls for the Annual All Iowa Tournament!  Matches will begin around 8 am and last until about 5 pm.

We will be actively updating scores and pictures on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Twitter: @ic_ducks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IowaCityRugby/

Good luck Ducks!!!