Ireland Too Strong for a Gallant USA

By Daniel Andruczyk, in Philadelphia

USA Tomahawks 08-26 Ireland Woldhounds

This afternoon the USA and Ireland resumed their traditional clashes. The Donnybrook Cup is the latest instalment in a long tradition of matches between these two nations and as the two nations promised in yesterdays press conference there were some big tackles. There was a strong wind going from North to south and the USA kicked off to the Irish who were running with the wind.

Both teams started the match a bit nervous, the opening 5 minutes saw several mistakes which saw a stalemate however the the USA probably had the better opportunities over the next 10 minutes. They were able to press the Irish line several times and Curtis Cunz was able to get over the line only to be held up over the line.

The Irish defence was rewarded by an American mistake and then a penalty saw them move their way up field. Ireland had their chance with a great flick pass ala Benji Marshall but was called forward. However on the 20 minute mark Irelands Simon Deevy crossed to open proceedings. A few minutes later the Irish were over again with Adam Hughes. This put the Wolfhounds 10-0 up.

As the game got towards the last 5 minutes of the first half, the USA had a repeated set of six. With ball touches and penalties it seemed inevitable for the USA to cross. It was not to be and in on the back of a penalty the USA captain Apple Pope called for a penalty goal. The Irish seemed to lift with this. The conversion was successful and the half time score was 10-2 to the Irish.


In the second stanza, the Wolfhounds opened the scoring early on with Brian Flanagan scoring and then soon after Ben Morarity also going in. But the USA rallied and the next 20 minutes all belonged to the tomahawks. Four times they crossed the line only to be held up as in the first half and the frustration started to show.

Finally with 10 minutes left the USA’s Louis Tulio crossed and received a massive cheer from the fairly partisan crown of about 1000. Nate Smith’s conversion brought the score to 20-8 to the Ireland team.

Ireland then in the last 5 minutes of the match were pressing and the inexperience of some of the latest USA players showed when they tried to jump in and grab an intercept, however this did not pay off and left a gat that allowed Adam Hughes to run in for his second try under the post just before full time .


In the end, despite a gallant effort form the USA it was going to be the Irish winning in this weeks St Patrick’s day celebrations and the Irish did celebrate, making the trip well worth it. The score in the end was 26-8 to the Irish.

Position USA Tomahawks Ireland Wolfhounds
1 Louis Tulio Ashley Huck
2 Nate Smith Adam Hughes
3 Andrew Malafu Ross Bengin
4 Curtis Cunz Paddy Barcoe
5 Mike Brazill Mar Touhy
6 Gareth Baxendale Sean Carmody
7 Charles Cortolano Joe Smith
8 Mike Cartwright Brendan Guilfoye©
9 Apple Pope © Jimmy Giblin
10 Andrew Kneisly Mark Oneill
11 Salesi Tongamoa Peter Howard
12 Conway Maraki Simon Decvey
13 Sean Taylor Ben Moriarity
14 John Convery Alan McNamara
15 Xavier Lozinguez Brian Flanagan
16 Kelley McGill Alan Trenier
17 Mike Talva John Bagnall
Coach David Niu Alan Robinson

Try scorer’s – Ireland: Simon Deevy, Adam Hughes, Brian Flanagan, Ben Morarity, Adam Hughes,  USA: Louis Tulio

Conversions – Ireland: Sean Carmody, USA: Nate Smith

Crowd: ~ 1000


I do have some comments from the Irish Captain Brendan Guilfoyle, USA coach David Niu and RFL international Director Neil Wood and will get the transcripts up tomorrow.


Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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44 Responses to “Ireland Too Strong for a Gallant USA”

  1. Do you have an photos that show an accutate crowd in attendance? Reports from some I now at the game put it at around 700, you guess is about 1000 and the WAR Site is stating 2500.
    How was the venue and event planning overall? Hoping to guage our performance in Jacksonville with the Atlantic Cup based on a similar event like this in the USA

    • major says:

      Good Game USA !

      • major says:

        I saw there was a ton of people from a lot from different places having what having a great time . Its hard to count but I would say there were a lot. and kids also chanting USA then the adults got into it . Then Tulio scored.

        More important how good is that fellow Tulio. I played against him at high level union some years ago and what a bloke good guy and Fast and hard . Great guy to get a Try.

        More importantly DS what happened why did you guys switch up just before this USA game that couldn’t have helped the country doing it right before Ireland. This week would have been better. Why not rejoin USA or is it too late?

      • druzik says:

        Major, I was over on the other side… at most there was about 1000. That stadium holds about 6000 all up, the smaller stand where I was probably holds about 1500… the main stand was not half full.

      • druzik says:

        It was certainly a very entertaining game. Looking forward to going through the video this week for the highlights.

        I couldn’t believe that USA crossed that line 6 times to be held up. Amazing defense.

    • druzik says:

      This week I will be putting up on the website a whole bunch of photos as well as a highlights package on the site and Youtube.

  2. Glenn Csonka says:


    Was the game played on the existing regulation sized American Football gridiron, or we’re different lines drawn to make the pitch larger for this match?

  3. Major – Not sure who you are (I don’t hide behind a “screen name”) – but we had our reasons for moving to the USARL – you can read all about it at as to the process we followed that lead us to creating an new league – we hold no ill will for the AMNRL but feel that the USARL gives us better chance a survival and growth

  4. And the AMNRL could have selected out players – we made it very clear that we would support them and most certainly let them play for the USA National Team – they chose not to pick them for this game

  5. Interested Observer says:

    Spinner, who will Apple play for this year? I imagine if he now reverts back to Jax, he won’t be picked for the USA against Canada etc…

  6. wrightyo says:

    sorry to be the bearer of bad news to you spinner howler, but i noticed the name of nigel woods there on druziks write up = you are out if those guys from leeds side against you forget it, unless you are on good terms with a miracle worker, cos they will make life difficult for you believe me, and will never admit ‘we were wrong’ no matter what you do, even if they are wrong. so unless you are prepared to waste the rest of your life banging a drum and being ignored move on is my advice there is no point just wait and see!

  7. That is up to Apple mate – we support him either way – we stand behind our players who have an opportunity to play for the nation even if the AMNRL won’t allow them to play for us – it is the ultimate honor they can achieve so we will support no matter what – either way he is still an Axemen and we will still welcome him and any time, event or game when he is ready (or if he is allowed)

  8. Yank215 says:

    I was there Dan. Looked like about 2,000 people in attendance. Way more than the 200 the Jax guys pulled in each night for the Atlantic Cup.

    • druzik says:

      That was no where near 2000…. if that was 2000 then I am winning a Nobel Prize this year!

      Its not to be negative, but seriously lets get real about the crowd figures. Agree the Jax crowds were low the first two games… this was more than those but absolutely no where near 2000.

  9. Atlantic Cup Crowds
    – USA v Jamica – about 900
    – Canada v Jamaica – about 250
    – USA v Canada – about 2500
    This did not include the invited guests that were hosted in teh VIP Suite Upstairs so you can add about 50 to each game
    Druzik was there and took lots of phots and can back this up I am sure
    I am not making this a battle of crowds – I just wanted to know how we stacked up against a similar event.

    As for Niel Woods – I have the utmost respect for him and have known him for many years – always seemed like a guy who has the sport at heart to me

    • Important to note
      – USA v Jamica – about 900 (Tuesday Night game)
      – Canada v Jamaica – about 250 (Thursday night game)
      – USA v Canada – about 2500 (Saturday afternoon game that wnet head to head with the last home game of the University of Florida Gators)
      I’d say we did OK?
      There was also a TON of talk about town from the locals – you could pretty much go anywhere and they know about the Axemen and the Atlantic Cup – I believe Druzik experienced this first hand
      Nothing but the facts!!

      • druzik says:

        I did, Steve Mascord and I pumped into many people in the restaurants and bars that knew about the games and were (intending) to go to one of them.

    • druzik says:

      Look the issue is not how big the crowds are.

      even 1000 is OK, it was a loud vocal crowd that seemed to know its Rugby League.

      All I am saying is that it was not 2500 that’s all.

      I dont see why there needs to be a comparison at all to the Atlantic cup… if you do that then you may as well go all the way back to 1995 and compare it to the crowds in all the games in between.

      Makes no sense? …. I agree.

  10. wrightyo says:

    same diffference niel nigel its him he drinks from that poisoned chalice the rugby league jnternational development, they paid his fare, his salary drops into his bank account on the sweat of people like howler and other victims around the planet, trying to get rugby league taken seriously in far off places when in reality the game cant even expand into south yorkshire, and even london, you talk about crowds ranging from a few hundred to over a couple of thousand in attendance at this fixture between USA and IRELAND a ST PATRICKS INTERNATIONAL you know i think that is disappointing, both that such an important statistic as the actual attendance is dealt with as demonstrated and also a poor turnout all things considered, druzik this is your big stage enjoy it while it lasts but could i beg of you and your like to leave rugby league alone let it stay in its strongholds, and thrive, you are causing the game ridicule get over it move on and get a life, your new toy is awaiting,

    • jannerboyuk says:

      Oh good grief.

    • druzik says:

      I think I agree with jannerboyuk … Not sure where you have been burnt.

      same diffference niel nigel

      Big difference, they are two different people. Nigel Wood is the head of the RFL, Neil wood is the RFL’s international development officer

      poisoned chalice the rugby league jnternational development,

      What poisoned chalice… one needs to exist first. Thats the problem. International development is almost non existent. Its only through individual efforts of nations that it does get done.

      they paid his fare, his salary drops into his bank account on the sweat of people like howler and other victims around the planet,

      Um… so who was meant to pay for it? He was there representing the RFL and the World Cup organisers, he was doing his job. Like I was last week I was travelling through states visiting companies doing my job and my work pays for me to do that, they cover my food, fuel and hotel expenses…. as the RFL will for Neil and as any job does when requiring someone to travel. Very standard so I don’t see you’re gripe on this.

      trying to get rugby league taken seriously in far off places when in reality the game cant even expand into south yorkshire, and even london

      so the fact that there are many conference teams with at least one I know, The Coventry bears, looking to be the next professional team in the RFL. The 5 senior teams in London are not expansion? as opposed to zero years ago? Expansion is not about taking over and dominating an area, Union and soccer are too well established for that too happen, its about having a presence. That is the goal everywhere. the reality check is that there is so much sport out there no that we cant seriously expect to be the number 1 sport everywhere… would be nice… but that wont happen. Does not mean we need to stop promoting and develpoing it and growing it to be th best that it can be.

      you talk about crowds ranging from a few hundred to over a couple of thousand in attendance at this fixture between USA and IRELAND a ST PATRICKS INTERNATIONAL you know i think that is disappointing, both that such an important statistic as the actual attendance is dealt with as demonstrated and also a poor turnout all things considered,

      Crowds are always an issue and there was no way to count it at the door hence the discrepancy. I stand by my evaluation. If people want to take the 2500 then thats thei choice. All considering i think the day was pretty successful. There were no major hickups, players didn’t complain, I spent a great deal of time with the administrators staurday night talking about a great many things and no mentioned any issues to me…. maybe the ground could have been in a better position, it was a bit out of the way but the costs increase dramaticaly when you move closer to down town. Things like that need to be considered.

      druzik this is your big stage enjoy it while it lasts

      Not my stage?! not sure where or how you cam up with that one.

      but could i beg of you and your like to leave rugby league alone let it stay in its strongholds, and thrive,
      nope, its the best sport going round and I love watching it and I take it for all its faults as well positives.

      you are causing the game ridicule get over it move on and get a life, your new toy is awaiting,

      How am I causing it ridicule?! And what new toy to you suggest?

      I assume you are a Union fan?

    • Number 16 says:

      If wrightyo thinks that RL is struggling to expand in London then he needs to get out a bit more. Maybe he should make a trip to my club – South London Storm – or any one of a dozen of more others, all of whom are doing great and very REAL development work.

      • druzik says:

        Yes indeed. there are now 5 clubs at all levels of the sport, pro through to semi pro and amateur yes?

        Am hoping to get to London later in the year and maybe catch a game or two.

  11. I am not sure what your beef with NW or the RFL is, but I personally have a lot of time for Niel and based on the support of the RFL for the events we have hosted here in Jacksonville – Australia Day Challenge, Leeds v Salford, 2009 and 2010 Atl Cup, I would have to say they are doing a great job in my book. And as far as not spreading RL around the world – are you out of the mind?

  12. deluded pom? says:

    Has CJ risen from the grave?

    • Kingsland7 says:

      Mr. Sanders?

      I really hope so, that would make this thread complete!

      I’m not sure If I can stand the pessamism for much longer! its putting wrinkles on my face and Im only 22 years old!

      Nice coverage Druzic, and we all appreciate your efforts in simply reporting the truth, good/bad we want to here it.

      • druzik says:

        OK, lets leave Chris off this. He is not on here anymore and so no point saying anything about him if he cannot be here to defend himself.

        This is a comment for everyone that comes onto the site – This site is for rugby league discussion and not for slagging people off. If it gets out of hand I will ban people… friendly banter is OK but I will not tolerate abuse.

  13. deluded pom? says:

    Or whatever his name was.

  14. Ryan McGoo says:

    Spina Howlin!!!!!

  15. Ryan McGoo says:

    Just kidding. Anyway I was there too. I’d say about 1800-2000 considering the stadium fits 8,500. Much more than the Atlantic Cup, which crowds were pretty weak.

    Also, this means Apple isn’t playing with the USARL? That hurts them a lot.

    Do they have any players? I heard a bunch are jumping ship to the AMNRL soon. Maybe they should have thought about this split. USARL is looking weak.

    • druzik says:

      Seriously, there was no where near 1800… have a look at the photos. If that was a 8500 stadium there is absolutely no way that place was 1/4 full.

      Apple is not playing with the USARL or the AMNRL. He told me that exclusively after the game at the after game event. I am not sure why that hurts them. No player is bigger than a sport and so single players leaving or joining should hurt anyone..

      You need to go and ask the teams what their rosters are like I guess.

  16. dragons4eva says:

    Good on the Irish for winning. A crowd of 1000 on a cold Philadelphia day in March isn’t too bad for Rugby League. Shame the Tomahawks didn’t pull of a win. Aww well…they have the Colonial Cup and World Cup qualifiers soon so they can’t dwell too much on this Result. Gotta get back on the horse and prepare for the Wolverines, Jamaicans and Rhinos!!!

    • druzik says:

      Yep… thats all any team can do after a loss.

      I think the positive for the USA is that they were not blown off the park, it was just a few silly mistakes which allowed the irish to get the initiative. they were able to convert their chances better than the US… the USA certainly had many opportunities to score.

  17. Interested Observer says:

    Wow, I leave the computer for a day and the loonies are let out on day release. Wrightyo you must be watching the game from some other parallel dimension bro as you are W A Y off the mark.

    If people thru history maintained your point of view on anything, progress would have come to a stand still and Marty McFly never would have ridden a flying skateboard.

    Thanks Spinner for your feedback, I think everyone appreciates hearing from someone at the coal face as opposed to the numerous lounge chair critics surfing the RL forums.

    BTW I’d say there were about 83 people at the game and 23 of those were lost and thought they were attending a petting zoo for a dog and birds of prey show……………………….just kidding Major, don’t get your knickers in a knot.

    Keep up the good work druzik.

  18. Ryan McGoo – that is hilarious stuff – great name – If they ever make a comedic/parody movie about RL in the USA this would be a great name for Ryan McGough – I can see Will Farrell playing this part
    Ryan McGough – Great Man for Rugby League in the USA – just keeps pushing away and raising the bar for RL Club operations in the Philly area – In three years running the Fight they now have a stadium with lockers rooms, about 350 fans coming to games, cheerleaders, food and beer sales and a well run team and they will have hosted 2 Grand Finals in a Row – pretty impressive stuff in three seasons if you ask me

    As far as Apple Pope – with the latest Press Release posted at We Are Rugby looks like Apple may get to pull on an Axemen Jersey after all

  19. “Also, this means Apple isn’t playing with the USARL? That hurts them a lot.”

    Apple Pope certainly is one of the greatest players in the USA – he has done a TON for the game over the past 5 years as a player.

    Not sure one player can effect an entire league but it certainly is flattering for Apple to be considered by some to be almost “larger than the sport itself”

    I am so happy for him that he has become one of the best known players in Rugby League in the USA.

  20. Chris Sanders says:

    Doesn’t matter how big or small the crowd was.It’s immaterial.
    Instead the USARL should form their own National Team and should not worry about what the other lot[USNRL] are doing.
    Run your own race.

  21. Conor Kelly says:

    Just came across this thread. Re the attendance it doesn’t seem to matter what is quoted as the amnrl will be slated eitherway! From experience with ireland there will always be those holding a grudge. Last season we played in a bigger ground than the one in Philly which was 1/6 full. But got slated for saying we got 1000 there!

    Re apple pope from what I saw in the paddys day game. He was poor. Hopefully it was a bad day as if that squad goes to the world cup it could be damaging for the USA.

    Just my opinion as he was hyped as a superstar and he in no way lived up to that.

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