Tuesday, May 26, 2009


So I went to LA and back by car in 24 hours. Got some free sushi from the fam, chilled in SC for a little bit and then made it back in time for work on Tuesday....where I proceeded to get slammed by my new work schedule. Ugh and I forgot the balls for practice. After stressing about it all day I finally got my housemate to drop 'em off for me and ate like shit because I ran out the door with a measly cup of rice with shredded spinach and a scrambled egg (which doesn't satiate a forward for 8 hours of manual labor hauling boxes plus 7s practice).

7s practice where my brain dead self acted the fool and managed to repeat everything that Laura told us NOT to do. For fuck sakes I never realized how bad I was at identified the flow of the attack (or perhaps I haven't played in nigh 6 months) because every single time I killed the overlap by getting sucked merrily away into the ruck. I couldn't pass for shit and I panicked every time there was a decision to be made. So I'm going to get some sleep and post some pictures of the Pac Coast Grizzlies vs Midwest later this week. I'm sure there is rugby news somewhere but I just don't feel like finding it.

Oh and thee Jane Mitchell also works at my work. Wow.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Too Hot to Live

Grizzlies 17 vs MidWest 0. But it was too fucking hot. Screw ever playing for a select side (not that I could after seeing the caliber of players in person) but jesus shit christ why play XVs in spring/summer?!?!?! It was like 95-97 degrees out there with not a sniff of wind. This was the last warm up match for Pac Coast before NASCs in Little Rock, Arkansas where the Pac Coast will again play Midwest in the first round. It was really neat meeting/seeing so many all stars/eagle pool players in person. The weather was too stifling and brain frying to see a decent match. It was open subs and there were frequent water breaks but knock-ons and gate penalties seemed to rule the day. There weren't a whole lot of long breaks and scrums seemed highly contested but pretty fifty fifty. According to the Grizzly coach things they were playing a little antsy at first (I missed the first twenty) until they calmed it down and started taking more control over the pace of the match. Nathalie Marchino tried a number of daring and skillful attacks but was always contained by Christy Ringgenberg and shepherded into touch. Marchino never was really given the space to make a clean break (but she did a badass grubber then slide recovery to pop it to Blair hitting it at pace). Biscuit made a real impact off the bench, roughing up the scrums (making an appearance at hook) and being a pest in rucks. Beckett Royce made a sick catch under pressure and Captained the Grizzlies along with Ashley English. One Grizzly was yellow carded in the second half (probably for a late tackle) but they still kept the Thunderbirds scoreless. There was a fairly sizable audience of maybe 100 which was pretty good considering the damn heat. I know Tina Nesburg scored a try but I don't remember who else did. Steph Bruce's kicks looked nice and she only missed one kick that I saw. Oh and funny happenstance...one of the Pac Coast props looked familiar...like really familiar...like the captain of Plymouth State and loosehead prop the year we played them for the D2 Collegiate Championships back in 2006. Well funny thing, that just happens to really be Adrianne Acosta who now plays for ORSU and keeps it rock steady for the Pac Coast Pack. Always awesome to see DII ruggers man =]

Alright. And guess what...next weekend I DON'T HAVE ANY RUGBY EVENTS TO GO TO. HOLY SHIT! Free time! WTF will I do with it?! Lol in actuality I'll probably ask Coach Owens to teach me coding. =]

Oh and downside I don't think it's terribly realistic for me to go to away games in fall. Unless like I win the lotto or something. Alright, it's hot as hell, over and out.


Why the hell didn't they hand out trophies like these back when we won nationals???

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rugby as far as the eye can see.....

no...no really. I know I've said this before but my life before was life + occasional sides of fairly exciting rugby. Since moving to the bay (and graduating) it's become little stepping stones of work surrounded by an ocean of incredible rugby events and opportunities. Er I guess that doesn't make any sense. I mean...it's kinda at the point where I'm looking at Pac Coast Grizzlies vs Midwest Thunderbirds and thinking...meh maybe I'll miss it because I've spent every single weekend in the last five months at a rugby event. I haven't been blogging a lot 'cause every other minute something seems to be going on...er that and working my tail off.

So where to even start? I think I'll just fill in a bit and then screw whatever I missed so I can kill this nagging feeling that I'm always behind with my blog. Guess I'll have to take Blondie's advice from way back and just keep it simple stupid. I'll try and blog once a week consistently and build up again from there.

Last weekend was the invite only grizzly tryout up north (uh in Oregon I assume) only one of our kids made the trip (despite four invites) and she made the squad! So 'grats to Kal McMahon

Kal McMahon and our inside center Mashawna Miller scissoring against UC Berkeley

So u-23 Grizzlies will be off to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania June 10-14 to play in the u-23 equivalent to ITTs(uh Jen's explanation, not mine). Pac Coast will be playing Midwest first then MARFU. Good luck to them *obviously* and I'll hopefully be able to post a roster for them soon.

What else....I've been enjoying our super small Thursday practices with Coach Williams...they've now shifted from skill only to a core/skill work split. I'm really focusing on my communication (and everything else) but I'm actually making some improvements by reducing my chat to where/when (ie the only relevant info). Um I've been working on the blues website adding more profiles so you should check'em out =]. I kind of have an open call out helping if any women's teams want some tech help I'm no specialist but I can definitely help get your basic info out there/essential web updates and scheduling stuff to the more superficial but equally important profiles and embedded media. I really want to get my coding up to snuff so I can start tackling the LAU and TAU websites. For chrisssake some of them don't even acknowledge women's rugby...like...seriously....wtf? And as previously stated don't even get me started on usarugby. It would definitely be cool to update the profiles for the women eagles pool.

I'm still waiting and hoping on the video coding training for the women's national team and doing research to find a setup that would work (stupid me not owning a stupid mac).

Yesterday was the first 7s practice with the All Blues and it was SUPER DUPER cool. Ok yea I know I describe a lot of All Blues stuff that way but this was really chill. Did I mention Laura Cabrera is coaching? I have a hyper-extended arm because....(oh shit I haven't even talked about alumni weekend!) well one of my drunken alumni jumped on me at the bars before the alumni match and apparently I dropped her. Long story short I woke up the next day with some nagging-sharp arm pain which luckily hasn't given me too much trouble at work...where I only lift heavy boxes for 8 1/2 hours a day =p Oh so 7s. I'm learning about running LINES. WTF it's mind blowing...you run lines to confuse and draw and manipulate the defense. Imagine that! My head was scrambled after the third pattern we learned but hey that might be because Chou and I collided at full speed (I forgot that she was scissoring when I was looping and decided to support two). There was speed practice before hand and unfortunately I felt like shit due to my lack of sleep and the crappy burrito I ate for lunch. I only finished half of the speed workout which sucked because I know I'm better then that. New rule: Eating shitty (fast food) makes you feel like crap. Food that's good for you tastes better and makes you feel better when you're doing something that you like (like rugby). So why the hell should I eat crap food? So the new rule is I'm enjoying rugby and I want to feel good while doing it so I might as well eat healthy. =p Back to 7s...it was really interesting how defense has more options...like if someone is coming into you turning their back you can give 'em a shove and slide on or look for the intercept. If it was XVs that'd be the time to stick a shoulder into their lower back but 7s makes it so much more complex. Now obviously I have no ambitions to be a great 7s player but if I can keep a hold of half of what I'm learning these lines are fabulous. It's like adding a layer to the cake and it just keeps getting better and better. Oh and despite feeling crappy I made it through practice which felt pretty good (although I started getting a calf cramp when we were doing conditioning sprints at the ends...which made me feel like a douche).

Speaking of douchebaggery....alumni! UCSC alumni weekend is always a blast and we actually got to play on the lower field (by we I mean the old farts (gee whiz maybe I shouldn't call them that now that I'm one of 'em) and the kids). It was a full length field and probably a full length match as well. The kids won by a single try but both teams got 3-4 in the match. I lost track of the score when I had to get my old flanker off the field when her knee went sideways...did I mention she has no insurance...did I mention that it's shit like this that has kept me off the pitch for almost SIX MONTHS now? Anyhoo luckily there's some amazing health care in Alameda county she got to see a doc and get some x-rays for a measly 35 bucks. No conclusions yet but she has a brace and a referral to see an ortho for 10 dollars! Why the hell didn't I go to Alameda when I was hurt...the exact same thing cost me 400 bucks =p (2 hip x-rays and a visit to an ortho without insurance). What else...Tank from Davis was there (the recently retitled Double Deckers and the Davis HS coach), Tina W. the Fortuna coach (and fellow DD member), Lucy from Fog, and a bunch of kids playing for the sequoias (who will hopefully get their act together in time for palo alto 7s), oh and apparently one of our alum is playing for aptos? We had a bunch of no-shows but we still were able to field a full XV vs XV with subs even. Pretty damn impressive for an alumni match eh?

Did I mention Tina was in shape and raging in the match?

Oh and our alumni jerseys are hilarious...of course Michelle Sit would get the 69 jersey and our crazy ass fullback and rostered U19 USA 7s player Natalie Jacuzzi was wearing the mad hatter 2/3

The game itself was way more physical and serious then expected. Some tempers flared which wasn't helped by the casual refereeing via the men's coach Scott Carson. The young kids were a little hot under the collar and the old crew had some mean skills on the pitch. I was definitely impressed by the crispness of the old slug backline despite the fact that I know for a fact that their fly half hasn't run in at least a year! Christie Ravera is an absolute beast and it would be the largest shame in the world if the sequoias don't use her talent (as would most of the team). It's good to see that Val (my old vet hooker) is playing for Santa Monica who apparently did quite well last season. The kid pack did slightly better in the ruck situation but were beat out at scrum time.

Events in the near future:
This Sunday at 11am @ Stanford the Senior Women's Grizzly side is going to play the Midwest.

uh Sunday May 31st there's USA vs Ireland I'm looking forward to seeing Rory Best, Denis Leamy, Mick O'Driscoll Eoin Reddan and Peter Stringer in person.

I may be road tripping to watch the usa vs canada match June 27th. USA A plays Canada A on the June 23rd as well. Oh did you know that canada's players get paid..not all of em duh but they do get a stipend.

Rugby Canada is pleased to announce the senior women's team players that have been named to the 2009-2010 carding cycle.

Canada’s top twenty-two women will receive funding on behalf of Sport Canada’s Athlete Assistance Program ranging from $900 to $1500 per month.

The group represents a good cross-section of athletes from across the country who excel in various positions on the field:

*Marie Eve Brindamour Carrigan (Que-NWL/Montreal, PQ) (Lock)
Paige Burdett (Calgary Irish/Calgary, AB) (Lock)
Leslie Cripps (London Saracens/England) - (Prop)
Kim Donaldson (BC-NWL/Vancouver, BC) (Hooker)
*Marlene Donaldson (BC/NWL/Vancouver, BC) (Prop)
Gillian Florence (Ste. Anne de Bellvue - Que-NWL/Hudson, PQ) (Flanker)
Maria Gallo (Burnaby Lake-BC-NWL/Vancouver, BC) (Wing)
Megan Gibbs (ON-NWL/Barrie, ON) (Lock)
Brooke Hilditch (Yeomen/ON-NWL/Mississauga, ON) (Centre)
Heather Jacques (Capilanos/Vancouver, BC) (Flanker)
Jennifer Kish (Edmonton Rockers-AB-NWL/Edmonton, AB) (Flanker)
Mandy Marchak (Capilano-BC-NWL/North Vancouver, BC) (Centre)
Lesley McKenzie (BC-NWL/Vancouver,BC) (Hooker)
Barbara Mervin (Velox - BC-NWL/Victoria, BC) (Flanker)
Katie Murray (Lephrechaun Tigers-AB- NWL/Edmonton, AB) (#8)
Ashley Patzer AB/NWL(AB-NWL/Lethbridge, AB) (Fly-half)
Kelly Russell (Toronto Nomads- ON-NWL/Bolton, ON) (#8)
*Anna Schnell (BC-NWL/Vancouver, BC) (Fly-half)
Laura Stoughton (Calgary Irish/Calgary, AB) (Scrum-half)
Julia Sugawara (Burnaby Lake - BC-NWL/Langley, BC) (Scrum-half)
Sarah Ulmer (London Saracens/London, UK) (Centre)
*Julianne Zussman (Town of Mount Royal-Que - NWL/Montreal, PQ) (Fullback)

*Denotes first year carded athlete

The NSWT has an aggressive competition calendar from now until September 2010 to prepare for the next Women’s World Cup which takes place in London, England. The women are currently ranked 4th and are looking to finish in the top 2 of the World Cup next August. Some of the most notable events for the NSWT include:

- 2009 CanAm, June 20-28 ( Denver Colorado) featuring two tests vs. USA

- Senior Nations Cup, August 6-23 (Appleby College, Oakville Ontario) featuring England, France, USA, South Africa, and Canada

- Fall tour to France, mid-late November 2009 (TBA)

- Spring tour to New Zealand, May 2010

taken from Canada RFU's site because for some reason direct links get re-directed.

Alright. That's enough. Seriously...I've been writing this for HOURS.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Congrats to the All Americans!

And specific props to Zully Camacho from UCB and Raina Timmel from Sac State!

The list is obviously from erugbynews so the cite goes to them

Division I - First Team All-American
Position Player School
Prop Andria Payne Brown University
Prop Lauren Rusert Penn State University
Hooker Kristen Snyder Penn State University
Lock Lauren Daly University of Colorado
Lock Kayla Ellingson Brigham Young University
Flanker Kassie Drey University of Northern Iowa
Flanker Alison Worman Penn State University
Eight Kate Daley Penn State University
Scrum half Annie Zeigler Penn State University
Fly half Sadie Anderson Penn State University
Center Lauren Rosso Penn State University
Center Melissa Smit Stanford University
Wing Erica Cavanaugh University of Virginia
Wing Ono Nseyo Stanford University
Full back Jessica Sexauer United States Military Academy

Division I – Second Team All-American
Position Player School
Prop Susan Dekker Stanford University
Prop Tabitha Schaap Brigham Young University
Hooker Tess Kohanski University of Syracuse
Lock Marianne Sparklin United States Naval Academy
Lock Annalisa Wilde Brown University
Flanker Martha Camacho University of California, Berkeley
Flanker Adria Orr Brown University
Eight Jillion Potter University of New Mexico
Scrum half Elizabeth Trujillo United States Naval Academy
Fly half Deanna McGillivray University of New Mexico
Center Alexandria Hartley Brown University
Center Morgan Rovetti Brigham Young University
Wing Ploipailin Flynn Brown University
Wing Ashley Miller United States Military Academy
Full back Jessica Watkins Stanford University

Division I - Honorable mention
Position Player School
Scrum half Amber Glasrud University of New Mexico
Fly half Kirsten Siebach Brigham Young University
Center Danielle Cicuto United States Naval Academy

Division II – First Team All-American
Position Player School
Prop Lisa Hrunka Shippensburg University
Prop Nicole Muraglia La Salle University
Hooker Jennifer Ward Stonehill College
Lock Meghan McCloud Shippensburg University
Lock Kathryn McCormick University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Flanker Tiffany Gjestvang University of Minnesota, Duluth
Flanker Brittany Myers Shippensburg University
Eight Jen Larrimore East Carolina University
Scrum half Brittany Houston University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Fly half Laura Fischer Stonehill College
Center Jenna Boggi Shippensburg University
Center Jillianne Whitfield University of Michigan
Wing Kimberly Lane University of Delaware
Wing Raina Timmel California State University, Sacramento
Full back Natalie Monroig Shippensburg University

AGONY! Watch Cardiff vs Leicester!

Good god was that cruel and wrenching and here I am staying up till one just to gnash my teeth at the very end. Watch it...there's more drama then a theater troupe in close quarters. All I have to say is for fuck's sake let Gethin Jenkins kick. Not technically a very great match but that's just how English teams play semi-finals. There was a round robin this weekend in Santa Cruz with Santa Clara and USF. Our rookies got to play their butts off with two back to back abbreviated games. Everyone whored for everyone and it was overall a good learning experience. More on this later...I'm just distracted by the semi-final.

Oh and wtf Stanford AND Cal lost?? Damnnnnnnn congrats to Ship and Penn.

Here's the posted schedule for Palo Alto 7s (which I grill into pretty much any rugger I meet...cause 7s is fun and I wish the NorCal women's 7s scene was a little bigger/better established)

June 27
July 11
July 25

No clue when but it's at Cubberly Field, Palo Alto. Uh...when I'm not lazy I'll look up a map and embed it. Ooo I think someone might be tinkering with the USA rugby site cause it's looking slightly different. Maybe someone will finally listen to me and @(*#&&(*@# get rid of those stupid frames on the site. Oh and you know...re-organize the link tree so it can make sense (it get's annoying having to write 10+ lines of instruction just to tell a rookie how to CIPP there self).

Yup. Sleep. 5 hours till I have to get up for work...weeee.