Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A break from resting...

Every once in a while I get curious as to why people visit my site. Since k-train is about the only one who comments on my blog I really have no clue other then checking out the referral page which basically shows what (weird and wonky thing) that people searched in order to pull up my site. More often then not it's some peculiar mish mash of phrases that google smushes together as a result for some especially odd search queries. One thing that's encouraging is the number of really odd search terms are far outweighed by fairly relevant ones, which is cool 'cause it implies that it might actually be useful for something. Here's a list of some from the last couple of weeks...(and no...none of them have beat "welsh gang bang" from the first year that I started this blog) So without further ado here is a list of randomly selected searches (excluding those searching for really boring stuff like...ykno...game results and such) in addition to my lovely commentary track:

mouth-guard pushups discipline (sometimes you just wonder what kinky crap people are looking for)
rugby and stereotypes(this came up a few times...maybe someone is writing a paper?)
how many times is a scrum won against the head(I don't know...how many licks does it take to finish a tootsie pop?)
chico davis(I'm glad my blog comes up SECOND when you search "chico davis"...this doesn't say anything about the area I swear)
hangover blackouts(so they checked a rugby blog...of course)
rugby hooker in college (woo +1 points)
Laura Cabrera rugby November 08 (*gasp* I might have included useful information for once)
rugby mmo(and I thought I was nerdy, someone apparently wants to go online and play rugby with people all over the world...instead of doing it in real life)
my cheekbone hurts(pobrecito! Ask a trainer not a hooker)
tina best alumni (?? It wouldn't be weird but it was searched in some Slavic version of google)
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN AN UNTOUCHED THROW-IN ENTERS THE THROWER'S GOAL FOR NEBRASKA (I don't know, sounds like soccer which means bzzzzzzzzt wrong sport)

Alright, this concludes my helpful little section...where all of your random ass questions can be answered...even if they are ridiculously off topic and I don't understand why you even clicked on my blog...

I'm stressed and sick and about to be homeless again.

The long story in a very short amount of time. UC Santa Cruz scrimmaged a B side Stanford and lost 50-17. It wasn't all that bad, but it wasn't exactly good either. Territory wasn't that bad of an issue but possession killed us. It was hard to watch from the sidelines as our defense (if it had applied a modicum of pressure) could have helped enormously. While scrums were initially fairly steady, our hooker had issues getting the ball back in the second half and our put-ins were being driven back eliminating any possibility of a platform (rucks were a lost cause). Stanford did a good job spreading the ball wide and simultaneous tiring out our pack and creating massive overloads (which they often didn't end up exploiting). It was surprising the sheer amount of knock-ons they had during the first half (that was about the only kind of infringement in the whole game). The three Santa Cruz tries came from our backs. The first was an intercept try, the second by...well I didn't see it but someone told me it was from exploiting a break in their defense, and the third a score on the outside thanks to an overlap. Eh lots of other stuff happened but I have a cold and I'm going to move on. Yea I'm sick. It sucks. I'm stressed 'cause my landlord was layed off and he's moving back in early January so I have to pack out before them. I get out of finals on dec 10 then go home dec 17 and won't be back till the very end of december. Leaving me precious few days to repack my life and move it up to Oakland IF I find a place (NOW) to live and WORK all this DURING finals. Ahhhhhhhhhahaha! Yea and I have a brainsucking deathcold and I can't think. Soooo real life is kicking my ass right now and I'm going to take a nap.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fun at Flanker

My shoulder has been feeling fine all week so I joined in on practice today. Fun stuff, did some forwards work and while the scrum wasn't great, it was holding up a lot better then it was on Tuesday. We ran a full XV vs XV which was fun as hell. Definitely was sloppy and our pack still needs to work together as a unit but it went alright. Ack I think I saw my first broken nose, one of our flanks face planted into someone else...that was pretty rough. Oh so I went in at flank which was magnificently fun and made a number of plowing runs (it's just so damn easy when you aren't grunting away in the front row). Anyhoo captains were elected, field captain is Rebecca "Becca" Rozo-Marsh (#9*), forwards cap is Kari "Lenny" Lentz (#8*) and backs cap is Rosie "Jersey" Chesney (#10*). I'm planning on sending them a packet so they can really review the laws of the game/memorize the damn hand signals. I may be living with one of my rookies family...interesting....hopefully we don't get killed too bad at Stanford ('cause it looks like I'm meeting them there...which is bad timing...with them seeing their daughter play rugby for the first time 'n all). Oh and our prop decided to remix a familiar standard with an operatic version rewritten as "The pitch is alive with the sound of scrummaging!!!"

Isn't it a great picture...now we just need her to redo it in a jersey and perform it before games (what's great is she really is a classically trained opera singer)

alright updates on my life situation and much much more coming up (aren't you excited)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Feeling nerdy!

Yea this post doesn't really have a point...we've got a match against stanford this sunday. Our scrum was creaking at practice but since I was out (and plenty of folks were chattering away with the forwards) I decided to watch the backs practice receiving kicks and counter-attacking. I think I'll be ready to practice by Thursday, my shoulder/neck feels alright. Luckily I don't have to play on Sunday..heh who recently beat St Mary's 126-0. Stanford also recently lost to the Davis Double Deckers 44-19 (not to be confused with UC Davis) a strong women's D1 senior club (but new to the scene). What else...oh I've been learning to program in small basic (a language developed to teach CHILDREN how to program...) and I've had a lot of fun with it. Not surprising my first program relates to rugby. Here's a screenshot of it.

Isn't it spiffy? Updates on the UCSC vs Stanford match to come. And hopefully I get a house I'm interviewing for!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Niggling Neck Injuries

are never a good thing. It ends up when I smashed up my face at scrum by the sea I also did in my neck. I didn't really feel it on the day of the tournament but I've definitely been feeling it all week and it's not been pleasant. I can't really tell what triggers the sharp excruciating pain but it seems to be when I lean my head back and tilt it a bit...somewhere in my right shoulder/neck. It's getting slightly better but I think I'm going to pull myself out of practice...which stinks but yea, there's no reason to hurt myself in pre-season. We have a game this coming weekend against Stanford but I doubt I'll be in it (time to really blood the rookies). Eh what else...Japan beat the US MNT!! That so makes my day! Um and Blondie's back so hooray for Saturday's a Rugby Day. If anyone has any advice on my neck I'd love to hear it...I've never had neck pain like this in my life but I don't have the cash to waste my time/money at my school's health center (which has mis-diagnosed me like 5 million times and charges up the ass). OH! That's the awesome news that I forgot! Our team might have trainers! We might ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO USE OUR SCHOOLS TRAINERS!!! We've never been able to do that in all five years I've been at this damn school! How awesome is that...we can finally have injuries evaluated by someone who actually gives a shit and stop compounding injuries through ignorance. And it starts next quarter. @(#(&@#(*@#&*(@*(&#@#*&(!!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

And the All Blues for the win!

First off, duh, I have to say that the All Blues won the National Women's Club Rugby Championship. So hat's off to them! They beat NY 25-17 in what is reported to be a rather awesome match. I don't have the roster for who was in the match but a lot of it seems similar to the squad I got to see in action.

UC Santa Cruz was down at Scrum by the Sea, lovingly put on every year by UC San Diego. We thought we were going to field two sides but for some reason or other we didn't get two teams in. Which ended up being chill and we just made full subs at the half. Which is awesome that we're starting to build up a squad that's big enough to do that. Played our first match of the year against Univ of Arizona was a bit of a struggle. Our rookies were still getting used to the idea of a flat defense and not playing sandlot soccer. It didn't help that they had a pretty brutal 8 + 10 who refused to go down in the tackle and had stripping arms that would make a D1 flanker jealous. Yup so our ability to set up rucks really suffered as a result (cause our rookies thought rugby was supposed to be played at this constant, pop the ball out of contact pace. The second match was a lot smoother, it helped that it was against UCLA's B side so the fundamentals were there, rucks were cleaner and even existed. Oh, forgot, we won both games by a couple of tries which says a lot about our attacking potential. We had almost no possession and territory in the first match and still managed to pull off the win. We scored off of probably the two times we had the ball. The second match against UCLA B had three tries, including a sweet little chip over the top by our fly which she recovered, was tackled, placed, and then was picked up and carried over by our 8.

Right so that was the end of day 1.

Day 2: A good match against Davis B (who was fielding more of a split side) at this point we had some significant improvements in our phases and defensive organization. We still had the odd flanker hanging out with the fullback...^^; oh and I scored a pretty cool try off a tap and go about 30 m out, ehheh which was good fun 'cause I tried out the whole juking thing in order to shift the point of contact and it worked pretty damn well (thank you Berkeley). We won that one pretty handily and it was just a nice clean match with a number of buddies on the other team, like UCD's 10 Jen and our 8s twin.

Davis' 8 on the left and our 8 on the right. Did I mention they both wear scrum caps?

What else...then we played a rather scrappy match against Humboldt. It was sloppy on both sides but unfortunately a certain player on their team felt it necessary to bring violence and dirty play into the mix. Unfortunately a yellow card didn't seemed to deter her...anyhoo their scrum-half was quite nice. We beat them handily but they scored the first try against us in the tournament.

Last game of the day was against old friends and league rivals Cal State Sacramento. With a number of grizzled vets they pretty much ran riot over us. They had been slaughtering teams all tournament and I think we held them to about five or so against us. It wasn't pretty but at least it was pretty fun all around. Their lineout wasn't as effective as normal but it's 'cause they were training in a new hook. But their backline was pretty lethal with no one on are team willing or able to tackle them.

So four wins one loss...not bad. I propped for the tournament, which was a pretty new experience for me. I really need to learn how to lift because I was getting frustrated being so useless during lineouts (I wasn't particularly helpful at fire). I'm pretty happy with the prop pair (excluding me) that we have, our locks got some work in, we have some really nifty rookie flankers. We have a lot of aggressive speed in our backs and for the most part their handling isn't too bad and they aren't shy of putting pressure and tackling. Our lineouts definitely need work, it's a big adjustment with completely new pods and new hookers. (the ball's going in wonky to pods that are only getting halfway up). Our scrum is improving, everyone has a better grasp of what is necessary to hold a scrum up...now we just have to rebuild it so they're working together and really popping the other side (we were kind of sitting ducks at the tournament, and never got clean ball because of it). Not too many injuries, a bruised rib, dislocated knee, broken shoulder, and a neck injury scare. I swear it just isn't scrum by the sea if an ambulence doesn't drive on the field at least 4 times a day.

Networking-wise it was pretty cool to see the old farts on the teams for probably the last time. Rabbit from U of A, props from pretty much every team...ahhh nostalgia. Speaking of which it was pretty funny I got to talk to Oxy and apparently they've been wearing the same set of jerseys for the last 5+ years...and there's not a single rip on 'em. I don't know how that works but either way I'm jealous. Well I got confirmation from the woman herself...Laura Cabrera is retired (she was down there helping coaching UC Berkeley) I was surprised to see that she wasn't down in Florida at least helping out the Blues. I talked to Ellen Owens head coach of UCB about showing up to a few of her practices to just watch her coach and she was super nice about it =] Oh and total sidenote I heard this rumor from my coach that Kathy Flores is going to coach the new Univ San Francisco team that's joining our league. Heh well if that's true holy shit it's a whole new ballgame. We'll see how that develops.

Uh this following stuff is from a post that I was working on right after the Berkeley Hit like a bear clinic:

I love learning from the All Blues. I was a lot more open/less shy about asking questions this year and as a result got a lot more out of it (player specific). Mari Wallace was working with the hookers and some of the key words / phrases she talked about was being responsible for ones own balance and stability. The technique that they were training involved the hooker having only slightly offset feet with wide footing, bind on the number, it's more important to have flexed have engaged arms, hooking foot used as handbrake and lifted on the engage (core to keep body even, props not leaning over to bind either, locks are responsible (new bind) to keep front row together this will allow props to focus on engaging square. Props should rest their outside arm on their thigh/knee to maintain balance while setting up, also ruck post x y and their responsibilities. and practice new style of throw in, bend at the hips then knees, work on my core! Yea those are my scribbled notes...sorry I'm too lazy to edit them into something coherent.
*sigh* I wrote an 8 pg paper yesterday in 3 hours I'm just a little too tired to make sense.

but long story short I love how much you can learn from them.

There's so much more to talk about but this is it. I'm tired. Run with it. More pictures, stories, gossip, and techniques to come. Next next sunday we're playing Stanford. Hopefully we'll do better then St. Mary's who lost +100-0 or something like that. Sorry for the long delay on this post. I've been busy trying to find a job, a house, and pass my classes.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Rougher...Longer Week

Yup one guess why I haven't posted in a while. That's right. Midterms! And me procrastinating...a lot. So much so that I can't even write one lousy post to inform you that I'm being lazy and procrastinating. Eghhhhh. Anyhoo I need to get back to studyin...ah hell who am I kidding...procrastinating so I'll have to post after Tuesday. Yup. Updates on the camp, slugfest being cancelled, the rookies progress, NAWIRA 7s, the Women's Club post-season, and run-ins with ruggers around Santa Cruz. This and much much more...as soon as I can force myself to write this @(*#(*@#&(*#@(*& paper!