9/13/15: The Fort Wayne Black and Blue started conference play at home with a win over the Westside Outcasts by a score of 70 to 7. The game was the first game back for the Black and Blue after a two week break between beating Detroit RFC with a last second try. Westside was looking to improve on last season while Fort Wayne was trying to keep its winning ways.

The Black and Blue have been averaging about 24 men per practice, and in this game Fort Wayne got to showcase a wide variety of rookies and veterans. Fort Wayne would also rock orange socks for Colin Hunter who lost his father earlier in the week to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which has an awareness color of orange. The starting line-up for the Black and Blue was as follows: 1- Jim Burns, 2- Antonio “Moose” Gaytan, 3- James Sendo, 4- Bryan “The Day Walker” Werling, 5- Taylor Serres, 6- Brad Swickrath, 7- Felipe Martinez Calderon, 8- Ben Fuchs, 9- Colin Hunter, 10- Jeff Salamone, 11- Zo Holder, 12- Matt Mangan, 13- Chris Ballard, 14- Christopher Baker, 15- Nathan “Dad” Strack. The reserves were are as follows: Shane Trigg, Andrew Stephenson, Matt Brown, Ryan “Silent B” Bennett, Clinton Wall, Wade Bunnell, Ryan Day, Jeff Karthol, and Dan Duffy. Captain for the first half was Colin Hunter.

The game started started pretty well for the Black and Blue, scoring two tries in ten minutes. The first was scored by Ben Fuchs, the first of four, and the second was scored by Colin Hunter from an offload by Ben Fuchs while in the try-zone, Coach Bill Stevens was furious on the sideline but later accepted the planned play. In the next ten minutes the Black and Blue would score two more tries; one by Nathan Strack, and then Ben Fuchs scored his second. The last try of the half was scored on a 60 meter run down the sideline by Zo Holder.

The second half started with the whole front row of the Black and Blue being replaced; Andrew Stephenson and Shane Trigg for James Sendo and Jim Burns, and Matt Brown for Antonio Gaytan. These replacements would finish the work that men before them started. Both groups did this by driving mauls and dominating scrums for forty minutes each.  

The second half saw the scoring really open up for the Black and Blue, try scorers for Fort Wayne were: Ben Fuchs (2), Matt Mangan, Bryan Werling, Chris Ballard, and Clint Wall. Chris Ballard also made two conversion kicks. Captain for the second half was Bryan Werling.

Many young players and rookies got their chance to play a tiring Westside. Jeff Karthal, Ryan Bennett, and Dan Duffy got their first chance at league play. They made a huge impact tackling and keeping possession of the ball. Westside also scored its only try around the 70th minute of the game.

Fort Wayne continues to improve as every week. The Black and Blue never lost a scrum and stole three Outcast scrums. Fort Wayne needs to improve at lineout time, we gave up too many penalties for ball not straight and one lost to Westside. Fort Wayne has been improving its offence and tackling skills, solid defence and fast paced offence paved the way for great victory over Westside.

Team comradery is only rising for a fast paced Fort Wayne team. Before the game many of the Black and Blue family, old boys included, went to a showing for scrum-half Colin Hunter’s father showing. This helped set the tone for a game that was one sided in scoring, Fort Wayne would not let up or defeated on this day which was dedicated to Michael R. Hunter.

The Black and Blue are on the rise, and as league play continues so will the victories. THe league is wide open, with last years champs Michiana losing a close game to White River. Next up for the Black and Blue is a Marion, Ohio team that is not in conference. The following week Fort Wayne take on White RIver in what should be a great game at home. It was a great day of rugby and friendship last Saturday, and it will continue to be so throughout the rest of the season with many victories in the future. We love you Colin Hunter, and we are proud to call you our brother.

Bleed Black and Blue