Saturday, 31 May 2014

In perfect conditions at Henry Turner South Reserve the home team comes back from a quick start of the visitors to win 22 - 15.

The Rams were quick out of the blocks with a try of their scrum half in the first play of the game. A couple of minutes after that a penalty extended the visitors lead to 10 points. Nic Henderson's team didn't panic and regrouped quickly to put pressure on Moorabbin. Shane Imo slotted the first of his four penalties to reduce the gap to seven and then came two tries for the doggies to nil for the rams.
After an highly entertaining and well played half from both sides, the score was 13 - 10.
Footscray moved better the ball with the backs and built on a solid forward line, whilst Moorabbin was to slow to capitalise on opposition errors and made to many handling mistakes.
In the second half the game turned more physical, with referee Beau Dean Gosper forced to go for the yellow card twice against the rams.
Footscray played a clever game of territory keeping Morrabbin in his half for most of the time and Imo accumulated points on the board from the tee.
The Rams get a try back thank to their left winger that used to his advantage the weaker body of his opponent, scrumhalf Yamada, today playing on the wing.
With the penalty count growing on the visitor's side the rams became also less patient and conceded more soft penalties one for a contact after the whistle could have costed more than three points and another one in front of Footscray posts costed a yellow card to their number 12 and a probable score.
With the time running out and a seven point lead the doggies held on with a lot of courage and managed to keep their opponents far from their posts.
At the end it was a very solid performance for the home team, a disappointing afternoon for the visitors a very enjoyable ball game for most of the spectators, the one not barracking for the black and white.

By Unknown on 01:31 No comments so far More

Thursday, 29 May 2014

National Championships will be held in Madison on Saturday

On the same day the major European National tournaments end, the US Rugby will held a day of ruck&maul extravaganza in Wisconsin.

I really like the fact that US Rugby gives the same space to all national divisions and puts together the finals in one venue. It gives all players the same level of visibility, although unfortunately not too high, and also gives women’s rugby the same space as men’s: a big change from how rugby is run in the other countries where female athletes are confined in small venues and almost completely neglected by the men’s counterparts.

Here the program:

Men's Division III (10:00 AM): New York Old Blue D3 - Life West

Women's Division II (12:15 PM): Rocky Gorge - Tempe

Men's Division II (2:30 PM): Pittsburgh Angels - Sacramento

Women's Division I (4:45 PM): Chicago North Shore - Oregon Sports Union

Men's Division I (7:00 PM): Life University – New Orleans

I have to admit that my level of knowledge on the US domestic competition, although improving, will not allow me to make any sensible predictions on winners and losers. I also fear I’ll have no chance to watch the games from downunder, but I’ll be anyhow interested in finding out how it will go. I’m a firm believer in the possibilities of the Eagles to achieve the first 10 positions of IRB rankings.
By Unknown on 18:23 No comments so far More

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Today I attended a foundation (coach & referee) course at Eltham Rugby.

An incredibly educational day where Nic Henderson and Marika Vertzonis brought me and other fellow 30 odd participants on a journey in the inside of rugby rules.
It doesn't matter how may years you have played, how many games you had watched on TV or at an obscure ground in the burbs, the technique evolves, with it the rules, the styles and approaches to the game.
After an afternoon of basic technique for all, we split in two groups in the arvo to deepen into coaching or refereeing. I choose the latter, a reminder of my days in a black jacket on the soccer pitches of Italy and a way to espy my sins on the sideline and on the keyboard.
Nic and Marika's first hand experience and teaching were great and being back on a pitch getting tackles, tackling or just having the egg in my arms was wonderful, even being, for the first, and most likely last time, in the front row of a scum was a pleasant experience.
I left with a lot of new knowledge and the firm belief that such days should be compulsory for everyone who wants to attend rugby games.
Thanks to the Melbourne Rebels, Victoria Rugby, Victoria Referee Association and Eltham Rugby Club for organising the day.
By Unknown on 04:11 No comments so far More

Friday, 16 May 2014

Between the two teams less than 7 points for the 12th time in a row.

Kiwis pride themselves for a running open game full of tries and line breaks. Well this happens in the ITM Cup on a regular basis and in most of the games, especially if the opponents comes from abroad, but this year, ironically, most of the derbys ended up with not too many points and in four occasions with the winning team scoring only from the boot. Friends from South Africa, payback time.
Regardless, the game has been on the line until the end and, despite my forecast that the Highlanders will have suffered from Lima Sopoaga's absence, his replacement, was the hero for the men of the far south. The Hurricanes showed more flowing game and TJ Perenara won his duel with Aaron Smith, not only for the try he scored stealing the ball from his fellow all black. Unfortunately for the men in yellow Barrett picked an injury in a clearance kick and wasn't able to resume his duties on penalty kicks and Taylor missed two relatively easy kicks that made the difference.
NZ conference remains for everyone to take, with the Crusaders ready to cash on Chiefs' bye to gain the first spot.
By Unknown on 18:03 No comments so far More

Thursday, 15 May 2014

After 12 weeks of exciting rugby the two teams that dominated the competition will face off.

May 17th will be an important day for US rugby, it could even be an historic one, with the first PRP coming to an end.

img - (c) https://www.facebook.com/PacificRugbyPremiership
Every successful story has a beginning, as well as the not so successful, and sometime the beginning could be end, of the season. In 1892 the 30 Frenchmen, who ended the first final of what now has evolved in the Top14, were probably unaware of the bright future ahead, they most likely were just sore and eager for a nice glass of red.
The 30 / 40 men at Infinity Park will be equally sore and equally eager for a drink, beer most likely than wine, they’ll be less na├»ve of her brothers of 120 odd years ago, but equally unaware of the way ahead. A way which I hope it will be a successful one, PRP showed that the public is willing to embrace more and more the game played in heaven and that a regular competition with strong team will attract interest, even in a nation where the game played in heaven is still a minor one.
It is somehow funny look at the US from over here in Australia: the US situation is opposite, downunder a third tier competition is struggling to emerge, hopefully NRC will be a success, but second tier, i.e. Superugby, is at one of the highest levels in the world. On the other side D1 (and D2 and D3) are so strong and women’s D1 and D2 are amazing, but elite club rugby is struggling. Maybe the PRP will pave the way to a similar “ARP”, Atlantic Rugby Premiership, to group the elite teams on the other site of the country to start build around few clubs the talent pool that will elevate the eagles to higher ranking.
Regardless of who will win the game, my 2$ will go for the Raptors, the final will be remembered and I envy who has a ticket for Infinity Park, and I hope some good soul will provide a feed.
By Unknown on 21:57 No comments so far More

Friday, 9 May 2014

I will not complain about the ref
I will not complain about the ref
I will not complain about the ref
I will not complain about the ref
I will not complain about the ref
I will not complain about the ref
I will not complain about the ref
I will not complain about the ref
I will not complain about the ref

But don't kick the ball away every time!
By Unknown on 01:34 No comments so far More

Saturday, 3 May 2014

The Raptors don't leave any doubt they are going to the final as favourite.

Win a comprehensive win Glendale has shown San Francisco that on May 17th it will be hard to top the team which, incidentally, they were the only one able to beat in the whole regular season.
The scoring for the home team started early on with a Caswell try after only 3 minutes and kept going from there, ending the first half 33 - 5 and finishing the match with an impressive 42 points margin.
San Francisco will need to regroup and forget quickly this game, the final will be a whole new story and both teams will start from square one and they have the chances to turn their fortunes.
Similarly the Raptors need to forget about this win and concentrate on the game in 2 weeks time, another 80 minutes to go to end in style the first very successful Pacific Rugby Premiership season.

In the other games of the round Olympic beat Belmont 31- 17 and OMBAC topped Denver 52 - 22.

Before the regular season will be over Belmont Shore will host OMBAC in the match originally planned for March 1st. The Dolphins still has a slight chance to overtake OMBAC at third spot with a 5 points win scoring more than 7 points than their rivals.

OMBAC - Denver Barbarians 52 - 22 
Olympic Club - Belmont Shore 31 - 17 
Glendale Raptors - SFGG 59 - 17
By Unknown on 23:25 No comments so far More

Friday, 2 May 2014

Get on with it, not just the man in orange penalised the Rebels

Yesterday after the game I was not happy with the ref, I admit, it is the wrong attitude, but years out of the playing field it develops naturally. The referee made bad calls, especially was not able to get the game flowing when it should in a northern hemisphere style he tolerated both teams to slow down the ball, with my one eye I could see any white jersey rolling away, but I guess there were as many Rebels slowing down the ball. Some passes were blandly forward and between the three officials they picked half of them.
But the Rebels and we outraged fans should look at the game plan, the game was lost there, blaming the referee does not help anybody.
The Sharks came with no intention to play at all, they sat back and waited until the right counter attack gave Mvovo an JP Pietersen their only try. Merit to them that they executed their plan so good, but shame on the Rebels that didn't dared to attack more and reverted to an incredible number of futile kicks.
The Melbournians played the same game in the first half against the Brumbies and it didn't delivered, but that time they were able to reassess and come back in the second stanza of the game with a different spirit that gained them a well deserved win. Yesterday the adjustment mid-way through the game didn't happened.
The kicks continued until the very last, when, down by 13 they had to push on the pedal. And it worked, one try arrived and another two were near. But the time was almost over and the Sharks were able to hold on and got rewarded with a dubious penalty after the siren.
At the end the Sharks take the 4 points and are the first south african team to win abroad in 2014 and the Rebels take another losing point that bring them ahead of the Reds in the Australian conference, small consolation.
The improvements under McGahan are remarkable and the gap is narrowing, the last step is not far away, but next week the Hurricanes are coming to town, they'll come to play and the Rebels will better change their mindset if they want to deliver a smile to their 10 thousand (and two) faithful.
By Unknown on 16:02 No comments so far More
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