Monday, November 20, 2006


Eh, so I got in a spot of trouble with half the leadership on my team for being negative about a training session we had on Saturday. It was an hour and a half session with a personal trainer...and frankly it went fine. I will be honest that for a DII Women's Collegiate team I believe that we should focus more on being intense in practice then taking more time out of frosh lives running in circles. That's for high school sports and DI teams. We're out there to have fun. Meh.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Scrum By the Sea

So last weekend we drove down to Scrum by the Sea in San Diego. UCSD took the competitive division and we took the social division. We don't know if we were placed in the social division for any particular reason but we can only assume that it was our late registration to the tournament. (Our match scheduler didn't know we were going up to a day before we drove down). Yea, anyhoo it was amazing how well run the tournament went. It was really inspiring to see what a collegiate all women's tournament could look like. Definitely made me feel guilty over Slugfest.

Let's see the competitive div had UC San Diego, Cal, Davis, San Jose, ASU, Chico, UCLA and Sac State. The social div was Claremont, University of Arizona, Cal B, UCLA B, Oxy, and us. Can't say how many games the competitive div was playing or how long but on Saturday we were playing 25 minute games (no halves) and on Sunday we were playing 40 minute games (with halves). We played seven games total (giving our rookies as much play time as possible), five on sat and two on sun. We swept all seven games to win the social div (and got a shiny but no plaque).

It was a chill tournament, nothing like driving down nine hours, shoving 11 people in a one bed room, and playing an ton of rugby. My coach had me in six out of the seven games to work on my fitness and provide some front row guidance (I was the only vet tight five player we had...which was scary). Anyhoo it was a great exp and taught the rookies a lot. Our rookie scrum half got a concussion somewhere around our second game so our alumni scrummie got to notch a few more games into her belt. The kids were learning by leaps and bounds (we're developing a few really fearsome rookie forwards). Our lineouts still need work as we don't have an ideal pod yet (and my throws are woefully inaccurate (as the Claremont coach can attest). Our backline...sweet jesus our backline was incredible. They were running sideways and dropping balls but jeez dude, our rookie inside/outside center Mashawna Miller scored nine trys. This was her second time playing rugby! Pretty much every single one of our rookie backs scored at least two trys. We were pretty psyched. After our first game we pretty much didn't let anyone score. Our scrums were pretty dominant and I played both hook and loosehead prop (so we could train in another hooker). We were stealing 4-6 balls against the head per game...which makes me a happy hooker. Our final injury tally was 1 moderately concussed scrum half, one sleep deprived lock, one hung over prop, two strained hammys, one case of severely bruised ribs + sternum, and one inside with a broken ankle.

Cal was looking spiff with their mazy 8 giving cut out passes most backs would cream themselves to throw (whilst being EVERYWHERE and doing EVERYTHING on the pitch) and their back three looking incredibly threating on the outside. Their 14 would get around the corner with half of the opposing team's backline on her and still make it fifty meters for a try (and repeat that 3-4 times per game). Watched the first fifteen of the Cal Chico game and for the first fifteen Cal was dominant. Supposedly they ended the half quite ahead of Chico and then Chico came back for a final score of 23-22 (or something close).

Davis was looking good and made it 0-0 overtime against UCSD before San Diego finally scored a try in overtime giving them the win (an event which caused a bit of a scuffle between the Davis coach, the SD coach, and the ref based upon the misunderstanding/lack of communication on the exact overtime rules of the tournament, ie the Davis coach hadn't been told it would be sudden death style).

The pitch was pretty perfect and there were at least four trainers always on call. The lines were well done and the ropes were actually restrictive.

I'm rambling but it was an awesome but exhausting tournament. I wish we could have gone to the social but meh. We decided to miss the Chico Holiday Classic (a shame 'cause SLO rocks). Our next game is undecided. We've got a whole lot to work on but we're learning faster then your average slug.

On a side note, it was awesome seeing so many California collegiate teams, and it's a neat experience getting to see the familiar faces again. Geronimo and Mel from San Jo, Jo from Sac State, Amara's sister from Chico, Swifty from cal...yea chill stuff.

Slugfest Nov 4th (Previously posted on another blog)

Slugfest went well, all things considering. It's been an interesting experience teaching aprox. 25 rookies and running a field crew. I have come to realize that my style of leadership is to panic and get shit done. Our lines weren't done nor were our posts put up so we bought 21 cans of orange field spray paint (get the downward facing nozzle) and spray painted over a taunt rope held by tent stakes. It works. The refs were just pissed at us 'cause we didn't do the ten and the five (we ran out of spray paint). On a side note one of our refs mistook a random field line from soccer for the tryline. Eh. Eh so after dropping two or three metal posts (assemble them on the ground first and then slot 'em in) we were good to go. The regulation "crowd barriers" are great fun to put up when you realize that they really only have to be symbolic. Our rookies did fabulous considering there were some major things we forgot to tell them (like you have to push up together on defense). Anyhoo, we got slaughtered by Sac State as our first game (btw we were fielding one team made up of two shifts with vets equally distributed among the sea of rookies). We lost to Humboldt 7-8, and beat reno two trys to none. One of my kids (I spend 14 hrs a week at practice, they are my kids) scored two trys which is just sick yeh? One of our pods got used to lifting fully with legs and they were stealing shit left and right. Good stuff. So many things went well. Clean up went quickly. Scrum by the Sea next week.