2019 Rugby for Research Event a Success

The ninth annual Rugby for Research festival was the biggest ever, in terms of the number of matches played. It was the first time that a middle school rugby festival was hosted south of I-80 in Illinois, and it was a huge success. On a beautiful sunny spring day, 18 teams from 12 rugby clubs, over 200 players, played matches on two pitches. There were matches for U13, U15, and U19, as well as Rookie Rugby for the younger kids, and a TV crew from WEEK 25 News covered the event

The first match of the day was a thrilling 48-43 victory by the home team, with the Chillicothe Barbarians and Twin City Tornados playing as a combined side against the Peoria Area Renegades in Boys High School Division 3 action. The Barbarians, Tornados, and Renegades have participated in every Rugby for Research event going back to the first one in 2011.

Next up, on the main pitch, the home crowd favorite Chillicothe Maulers and Fox Valley Chiefs combined side won convincingly over the South Suburban Cobras 59-10 in a Seniors (U15) Division 2 clash. On the second pitch, the Naperville Crusaders and Illinois Valley Coal Miners won an exciting Juniors (U13) Division 2 match over the Fox Valley Predators Red side, 53-50.

In the third set of matches for the day, the Glen Ellyn Stingers defeated the combined Fox Valley Predators and North Shore Rhinos convincingly 62-7 on the main pitch in Seniors Division 1 action. Meanwhile, the in a Juniors Division 1 match, the Fox Valley Predators Black side defeated the home team Chillicothe Maulers and Fox Valley Chiefs combined side 63-31.

The penultimate round of matches featured the Glen Ellen Stingers against a combined side from the Maulers, Chiefs, and Cobras teams in a Seniors Division 1 exhibition match. On the second pitch, a Juniors Division 2 exhibition match featured the South Suburban Cobras facing the Predators Red for a half and the Crusaders/Coal Miners for a half.

The final matches of the day featured another high scoring affair, with the Chillicothe Cailíní defeating the girls from Lane Tech high school (Chicago) in Girls High School Division 1 rugby action. The Cailíní were missing several key players due to a scheduling conflict, so the team borrowed players from Lane Tech, a perfect example of the spirit of rugby. On the second pitch, the Glen Ellyn Stingers defeated the South Suburban Cobras 57-28.

There was also a rookie rugby session for the younger kids, and several parents got in on the fun. The silent auction featured over 80 items from dozens of businesses and individuals around the area. The event raised $3000 to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.