Monday, March 30, 2009

I want to stay in the bay!!!

Spring season is over for both the ABs and the Berkeley U19 team so you can imagine things are a bit more boring for me. While we only have one AB practice a week it's been super enjoyable thus far. Lots of fun mini-drills...I've been working on my fitness since it's spring and all and managed to survive two Eagle workouts (hehe I made it through conditioning day 2! Um I mean it's not like I'm making the time requirements but I'm still happy that I'm getting out there and staying active. Hopefully I can continue to work out time to time with my more fit teammates. Ooo and I'm down to 210lbs which might or might not be good. I'm definitely slimmer but I have a bad feeling that I've in fact just lost a lot of muscle mass. I'm biking a lot as well and that's fun.

What else, pac coast playoffs this weekend...details can be found in a previous post I'm really too lazy to bother re-posting. I'll definitely attend the games unless I miraculously get a job.

Here's a video posted by someone from St. Mary's

St. Mary's in the red and blue, the white and green is USF, The Black and Gold and Green is Humboldt

About last weekend...

Berkeley U19 (aka the Vigorous Gold Stars) held up fairly well against a well coached and physical Motherlode side. While we were borrowing three players it was nice for our girls to experience playing a full XVs game. Our tackling wasn't quite as good as against Alameda but our offense and phase play showed a marked improvement. When we had the ball in hand the girls were breaking tackles and linking up with each other which was totally awesome. We were beaten by a lot but there was definitely an exciting moment in the 2nd half when the Berkeley managed to score a try. It was pretty freaking adorable as the kids celebrated like they won nationals. Motherlode had a damn good and, more importantly, very organized team. With around thirty players and numerous u19 select side talent there really was only one team that was going to win this match.

Other HS Girls Rugby News..:

Location: Berkeley, CA
Dates: June 22 - 25, 2009
Ages: 14-19
More Details

NorCal High School Girl's Rugby Playoffs are being held this Saturday at Luther Burbank High School, 3500 Florin Road in Sacramento.

The first game starts at 8:00 am between Mother Lode and Davis. There was a three way tie this year between Alameda, Davis, and Fortuna so the two closest teams are going to play in the first match.

Pelican (NorCal LAU Select Side) selectors will be present at the Championship. As a result, there will be an extra match for any players who would like extra time being seen by the selectors. All players will be eligible to play in this match as long as they have not exceeded the 90 minute maximum for the day.

(yea a lot of this info is straight from Tank)

Anyhoo that should be it for this week. I'll post as much as I can about Pac Coast Collegiate playoffs. If anyone spots me at the tournament they should give me a rugby shirt...or food (heh playing off of Wendy from YSC). Oh and I haven't paid a lot of attention to the D1 stuff but I do know that Chico is playing UC Berkeley...hmm...if Berkeley is firing on all cylinders they should take it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Rugby is screwing up my sleep schedule...hardcore!

Last weekend I woke up dark and early at 5 am to get my stuff together and bike down to a teammate's house and catch a ride to Treasure Island to set up the field at 7am for a 9am kickoff. The next day I had to get up at 7 to catch a bus to get to Alameda for the Berkeley u19 game against Alameda. Then I had to way up at 4 am on Friday to drive a teammate to the airport. Tonight I'm probably staying out late to pick up said teammates....

but who the shit cares!? Cause the kids won!!! Um let me clarify now that I'm affiliated/covering three teams. UC Santa Cruz won a seed in Pac Coast Playoffs, knocking out PNRFU 2 Western Washington in the challenge match that just ended. The game was close and ugly with UCSC playing a match right after their finals week which didn't afford for great attendance during practice nor the greatest level of focus. Their play was riddled with penalties but Santa Cruz still pulled it through with two tries scored by inside center Jen Neely and a conversion. This squeaked them just ahead of Western Washington who...uh..scored an unconverted try and two penalty kicks and scuffed a third in the dying minute which would have given them the match (also it could have been a converted try and a penalty kick and one missed pk...I got my info from a very exhausted forward just minutes after the final whistle..I'll call coach and get more of an official score). So it looks like the final was 12-11 or 12-10...either way UCSC has clawed it's way back into the national running.

The downside of course is that Washington State beat Western Washington 29-0 in the previous week and that's who UCSC will be facing at Pac Coast Playoffs Friday, April 3rd, at Stanford. The good news is it'll be practically a home match and a couple of our starters who were unable to make the last minute match up to Washington will be there and two weeks should be long enough for the team to heal up, rest up, and bring the A-game that they're capable of playing. Not only will it most likely be warmer weather, but there will be firmer turf, and a sizable crowd of fans to help bolster the side.

The Pac Coast Playoffs are scheduled for Friday and Saturday to accommodate for BYU who, along with Chico, won their respective challenge matches to make it into the D1 PCRFU playoffs. Chico State beating Oregon 19-7 and BYU beating Davis 20-0. Dunno what that matchup means because I just don't have time to really cover D1 women's collegiate rugby =p

All Blues beat the Glendale Raptors 37-10 with a good number of Berkeley's tries coming near the end of the match...more details when I actually get to talk to my teammates instead of regurgitating a goff article. The match was apparently broadcast live on but I missed the live streaming...stupid standard time crap. But it's still available to download if you're a member/pay whatever fee that I can't afford. There should be another b-side match tomorrow but I doubt it's being broadcast. This pretty much ends ABs spring season...*sigh* practices are going to be cut to one a week which is a bummer but it's not like I can practice anyhoo...I'm just a wee bit sad that it was so short.

Hopefully I can get insurance before the U-23 Grizzly Camp in April...

What the Berkeley u19 lost to Alameda last Saturday 6-7 tries to 0. They played 13 a side with Alameda lending a player. The girls had a lot of fun and there were no major injuries, which is great news. Scrums were uncontested and play consisted mostly of Alameda keeping it tight and offloading out of contact. Our lineouts were looking alright, they kind of cheated by throwing the ball in crooked to their first lifter but the ref let it go. Berkeley was dominated in almost every aspect of the game but never gave up and kept tackling their hearts out. We tried to work on problem areas at practice but on the second day the rucks were looking worse then hopefully they'll sharpen up their focus before Saturday. We worked with our scrumhalf on passing from the ground (she was taking a couple of slow steps with the ball and was getting stuffed by their flankers). We also worked on our forward support lines which really improved as well. Eh their next game is tomorrow at Treasure Island against Mother Lode (who beat Alameda) kickoff is at 2 and I'll be there for sure.

Now my pinkie hurts from typing so much about I wish it was from playing!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

An Unfortunate End to My Spring Season

Nope I'm not even injured. It's worse, I'm 100% healthy (and probably fitter then I've been in years) but I can't get insurance. Yup, I'm a douchebag supreme and if I'd been on my shit from the start I'd have a job, some savings, and insurance by now. *sigh* instead I missed my dream debut, I was selected to start at hook against Sacramento today but I had to back out because I found out that I need to be injury free for 6 months before another carrier will pick me up. I thought my stuff was going to go through but it ends up it was rejected weeks ago and my fam forgot to tell me (err 'cause I'm *cough* NOT playing rugby right now). While I could have done the gutsy thing and gone for it I decided to make the extremely painful but correct decision. *sigh* so now I can't even PRACTICE with the Blues because of liability reasons. Fucking shit dude...if only I'd left college with a better plan of action...fuck! I'll still go to practice but I guess I'll just bring along a workout and kick my own ass. Live and learn, I've been a lot more productive on the job hunt lately and now it's official. I'm declaring war on unemployment and my own irresponsible immaturity! I will be victorious!!! Wow that was geeky. Now that that's over let's get to the real rugby news shall we?

There is seriously a ton of material to cover...when it comes to DII collegiate stuff I'm totally backlogged.

March 7 League Match Results
Cal 27 v Reno 5
UCD 97 v Humboldt 0 (waiting final score)
Sac St 19 v UCSC 7

Stanford 20
Cal 20
Chico 15
UC Davis 10
Reno 5
Humboldt 0

Sac St 14
Santa Cruz 10
Santa Clara 4
St. Mary's 1

Yup UCSC finally lost to Sac State, it was a fairly close match (we had them matched for speed and power...but experience won the day) 7 - 19 but yea, sucks but there are interesting implications. UCSC has been dodging the bullet of moving up to D1 for a while and this year it's mandatory DII winner of league HAS to move up if the bottom D1 team doesn't challenge. Humboldt has been trying for ages to get down to DII...ipso fact next year Sac State a team of a wee bit over 19 with 5+ fifth years, and a sixth year player (all starters mind you) will find themselves in the D1 racket next year. If this had happened last year I feel the current team could fend pretty well in D1, I know they could definitely take out Reno, and definitely pose a stern challenge to Chico and UC Davis. But next year? We'll see how their recruiting goes.

So what's next for UCSC? They're fundraising their butts off the good ol' fashioned Santa Cruz way (ie panhandling). They're flying up to Bellingham, WA to challenge Western Washington for a seed at Pac Coast playoffs. Should be an interesting match, if memory serves Western Wash had some pretty sharp backs that we managed to keep contained only by completely choking them of possession (although I suppose I could do some research on the subject and check my own archives but meh...another day).

PN1= Washington State University
PN2= Western Washington University
NC1= Sac State
Utah= they haven't shown up to Pac Coast playoffs since I was a freshman in like 04-05...uh if they brought anyone I suppose it'd be Utah State
PCRFU Playoffs
Host: NCRFU (natural rotation - NC '09, U '10, PN '11)
Dates: April 3/4, 2009 (Fri/Sat)
Venue: Stanford
MC: Theresa Champagne

Friday Matches if PN2 wins play-in:
2pm: Match A: NC1 v PN2
4pm: Match B: U1 v PN1

Friday Matches if NC2 wins play-in:
2pm: Match A: NC1 v U1
4pm: Match B: NC2 v PN1

Saturday Matches:
2pm: Match C: Loser A v Loser B
4pm: Match D: Winner A v Winner B

Winner D = PC 1
Loser D = PC 2
Winner C = PC 3
Loser C = PC 4


In Women's Club side news, a week after successfully winning the Champagne Classic the ABs stretched themselves again playing a double header The ABs faced off first against the SF Fog and then a later match against the Sacramento Amazons + a few whores. The low numbers led to a bit of early fatigue and drop in play but the Blues eventually cycled through the gears and hit top speed nailing in try after try out wide using Nathalie Marchino's seemingly endless speed and energy. The Blues won it quite a freaking lot to 5, with the Fog scoring a try near the end of the first half.

The second game was a bit like the first, with the Blues struggling a bit to cope with the physicality of the teams tight play (and spending a relatively large amount of time camped on their own tryline) before adapting to the conditions and creating cleanly sealed platforms for their backs to score off of. Petrie Quigley showed some nice tough defense on her own tryline squashing a number of dangerous Amazon forwards in their tracks and eventually poaching the ball to allow Berkeley to get ship the ball downfield and get some breathing space. Due credit should be given to the pack who gutted through both matches and had some good steals at lineout time. Oh and the ABs beat the Sacramento Amazons quite a lot to 0.

Alright so I should have been keeping score (and I know my match analysis was pretty poor) but I was busy running the kicking tee every couple minutes and I kind of just lost track. Even though the whole insurance thing was a bummer I had a really fun time being a rookie again. It's fun to be helpful and I ended up getting to line the fields which was pretty cool if not a little messy (and I may be in trouble because some of the jerseys got paint on them because apparently the paint have enough time to set...gah) and bringing the kicking tee was a new experience. Heh now I know that Steph Bruce likes to kick from a cone whereas Ruth Bryson prefers a real tee. Oh and I talked to Ellen Owens (or more accurately stuttered and stumbled all over my words) about learning coding game tape which is something I know very little about but am VERY INTERESTED in learning!! Weee! I'm stoked! I know I never managed to go to the UC Berkeley practices but it's mostly because I think they're at the same time as the ABs practices. Kal McMahon might move back to Berkeley and play with the ABs which would totally be fun. Oh and I can't believe that the ABs don't have cut tampons in their med kit...I'm going to have to cut some up for them. We had like three nosebleeds today and seriously, rolled gauze just doesn't cut it!

Alright so what's next?? Berkeley U-19 vs Alameda High School kick's off tomorrow at 11 at Thompson Field in Alameda. The lineouts were looking sharp last practice, and the girls were hitting the ball with more pace. Hopefully they'll do fine against Alameda.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Full contact!

I'm going to make this quick 'cause I have to get back to job apps (I finally, finally am getting on track...really). Uh so we had a full contact practice last Thursday and it was seriously awesome. Granted I ran my butt off for two hours before hand but I still had some gas in the tank for the ABs practice and it left me for dead by the end of it. The closest thing that I could compare surviving that practice to was a final game, like a national championship game...that was the intensity level required for me to keep up. The scary thing is it didn't even seem like the Blues were's like they were still wearing kit gloves or something and I still got suplexed by vix (I really need a scrum cap). To put it simply my 110% equaled their 50% and every once in a while they'd take it up a notch and I'd go flying (literally). Still it was the coolest thing ever, 20 mins of full contact scrums, 20 of full lineouts and light phase play afterwords, then like an hour of full contact scrimmage (those going to champagne classic vs people who weren't) practicing their offense and defense. I'm still getting a hang of their...everything! Scrums, lineouts, defensive org, and attacking patterns it was pretty freaking magical! In scrums I'm still unsure of the basics like locking out, not sure of their cadence and calls...and what it means for the hooker. Lineouts are mine boggling, oh and they lift shorts at practice to save money on tape for lifting shelves. Oh on offense if I'm not rucking or supporting a back I should be about a yard and a half behind the scrumhalf. I've always stacked weakside because that's how we do shooters but it makes a feckload more sense to be there. It's fun being a pain in the ass at the breakdown and I created a few turnovers. Overall I'm totally in love with the blues. It was a bummer that I couldn't go to Champagne but I really needed to save the money...I'm down to my last rent check + all. Feh and then I lost my running shoes that'll cost 90-100 bucks to replace anyways. *Sigh* Shit happens.

Blues did good at CC, beating Belmont Shore in the Semi and then taking out a Boston/Beantown mixed team in the final. Lot's of people were playing out of position and the ABs had nary more then 21-22 players on any given day during this 6 game tournament.

Tuesday practice was canceled due to the extra wear and tear on players bodies so I hopped on Bart and caught a ride down to the Sequoias practice. My ankle was giving me a bit of trouble and I'm still fielding a nagging feeling that it may have a hairline fracture (it's been weeks since it got stomped on..) but it could just be the extra pressure on my arches because of my lack of proper shoes (*&@#^@*). It was fun 'cause I was definitely schooling my old teammates fitness-wise (which constituted the majority of practice) but it was mainly's really easy to have energy and run around when you aren't working full time. Heh, it was still fun absolutely dusting my old flanker =] They still need people so if anyone in the San Jose/South Bay/Palo Alto/Los Gatos/Oakland/San Mateo area are looking for a fun team to play for make sure to look 'em up. They just put up a website and I'll link it in a bit. Alright, peace and I'll update more on the league later.

ps it's super cool helping out at the berkeley u-19 practice and they have their first game this Sunday against should be interesting!