Vandals RFC

Vandals RFC

Rugby team
teamname = Vandals RFC

| imagesize = 75px| fullname = Vandals Rugby Football Club | union = Newfoundland Rugby Union
nickname = "Vandals"
founded = 1983
ground = Pleasantville Rugby Pitch
chairman = Robert Evans (Old)
coach = Frank Walsh

url =
competitions = Goodyear Cup, Sully Cup
Rugby team
teamname = Team Colors


imagesize = 75px
The Vandals are a Canadian rugby union team based in St. John's, Newfoundland. The team plays in the Newfoundland Rugby League and draws most of its players from the Newfoundland Rugby Union.

Team history

A Brief History of Vandalism – The 1980’s

In order to recap the history of the Vandals we must first discuss the history of rugby in Newfoundland. Rugby began in St. John’s in the early 1970’s with just one rugby club. By 1977 interest had grown enough for four individual clubs to be created, the Swilers, the Dogs, the Pirates and the Castaways, who competed in a local league until 1982. The league in those years was different from what it is today. Generally, there was only one game a week on Saturday and a number of the younger players felt they were not well represented on Match Day.

As a result, a group of young players from the Pirates and Castaways, through the efforts of Michael Green, Bernard Martin and Paul Newhook, met in Beener’s parent’s basement on Smithville Crescent. This eager group, ranging in age from 16 to 21, formed the Vandals Rugby Football Club in the winter of 1983 and thus embarked on this long, strange trip.

The older players from the Pirates and the Castaways went on to form the Knights of Avalon and under this rearrangement the Swilers, Dogs, Knights and Vandals competed for two seasons until the Knights folded in 1985. In 1992 the Baymen were formed in CBS thus giving the current form of the league as the Swilers, Dogs, Vandals and Baymen. There were brief entries into the league from Memorial University and the Norsemen during the late 80’s and early 90’s, however, neither club could sustain a team and the league is still comprised of four clubs. 1986 Quebec/Ontario Tour

In the first few seasons for the Vandals, youthful exuberance eased the growing process and a strong social tradition was started. There were a few great victories in those first couple of seasons and with the Knights folding before the 1985 season we complemented our young team with a couple of veterans. A notable bright spot was winning the 1987 referee sevens-a side tournament, our first trophy of any kind.

As our blended team got comfortable with each other we decided to take on a rugby tour. In May of 1986 we toured Montreal, Kingston and Ottawa. We started the tour in Montreal versus TMR RFC, then, moving on, we played Kingston RFC followed by a game verses Nepean RFC and finished up the ten day extravaganza with a game against the Montreal Irish. Our record was 2-2 and great fun was had by all.

A New Decade of Vandalism – The Early 1990’s

During the mid to late eighties many of our club members graduated from post secondary training and moved on to pursue careers. This natural progression resulted in many club members hanging up their cleats and retiring from rugby permanently. Retirements, coupled with the lack of a consistent junior development program, made it difficult for the Vandals to ensure club survival and sustainability. Mainly, through the efforts of the "original six" who created successful feeder programs in Gon1991 Tour of Britainzaga and Holy Heart High Schools, the Vandals managed to survive. Among others, the efforts of Mike Green, Robert Evans, Chris White and Michael Doyle should be applauded. With the hard work of these individuals, a strong junior men’s program helped galvanize the Vandals for the next decade.

With a new group of young loyal members we decided to tour Britain in September of 1991. Our intentions were perhaps too ambitious for our talent and we played six matches in nine days. We played two matches in Penarth, one in Malvern, two more in Redruth, and finished the tour in London versus Ealing RFC. Unfortunately, we were unable to win a match during this stretch but performed quite well in Malvern and Redruth. The tour left us all exhausted and sore but with an abundance of great stories and timeless memories.

Pure Vandalism – The End of a Millennium

This 1990’s decade was a good time for our club. We competed well in the senior men's league winning the Molson Cup (B division title) three times, and in 1994 the Vandals competed for our first Goodyear cup (A division title). Through the efforts of Phillip Sullivan and Marty Barron a women's team competed for most of the decade and toured Nova Scotia in the summer of 1993. Our junior men's program continued to develop and we were able to c1998 New Orleansontribute players to provincial junior teams on a consistent basis. Several of those players were able to make national age group teams during this period.

In 1998 we were ready to tour again; Phil Goodland and Michael Doyle remembered the exhaustion of the 1991 tour and chose our destination based on the fun factor. In November of 1998 it was off to New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama. We competed well and came up with victories against Tulane University and New Orleans RFC. We then travelled to Mobile to compete in their annual Battleship tournament. A first round loss to a club from Pensecola was our only blemish on the tour and we were able to win our remaining games to claim the consolation final. New Orleans provided us with many great stories and many great friends. Joe Doucette hosted us in French Quarter many a night and, willingly or not, his domicile became the Vandals’ unofficial clubhouse.

The Future of Vandalism: A Force to Be Reckoned With

The millennium came to an end with many successes, but we found ourselves unable to win the Goodyear Cup against the mighty Swilers. In 2001 and 2003 the tides finally turned with the Vandals boasting two great championship victories against the Swilers to secure Goodyear cups. Unfortunately, we have not been back to a Goodyear Cup championship match since that time. But, through the commitment and leadership of Frank Walsh we have developed another group of strong young players who are continuing with the Vandals’ brand of rugby. We will be touring this fall and beginning new chapters in our history.


"The Pit"

For the past few years the Vandals have been playing all their games on the road. Last year, however, the team returned to their home on the banks of Quidi Vidi lake, to "the Pit" in Pleasantville. The field had fallen into disrepair until it was overhauled with sod taken from King George V soccer field when it was upgraded to Fieldturf. This season marks the second year of play on the new field and will provide some entertaining rugby throughout the year.

External Links


Robert Evans cause he is really really old (almost dust)

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