Thursday, June 25, 2009

Off to my first test match experience

in t-minus uh 9 hours (I'm not counting men's matches =p). I don't know what to wear! I don't know what to bring. I don't know anything! Lol I really wish I at least knew the roster or something. feh. I just read goff's article on city based women's 7s and visited the site City Based 7s and I was tempted to design a header for them...and then I realized why should I help out the east coast. I'm kidding, I'm sure they have someone working on it already and lord knows I should fix my own header first. Ugh and so much to do on Berkeley's site..oh well. Surprisingly enough I'm not main lined to the internet so I'll be unable to update 'till I get home (one of the down sides to making a couple bucks over min wage). I'm sure my report will be far less technically sound then others involved but hey what's another perspective. Oh btw where the hell are the pictures from the 7s world cup? Seriously I feel like we've been waiting forever on those, at least Jen D. made her stuff available during the last XVs world cup.

Alright, off to buy snacks and burn cds. Oh and drive to Glendale.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

One day till the road trip!

Man am I stoked! The weather calls for isolated thunderstorms so hopefully the match actually...yknow...occurs. Here's some vids for thought, I'm really excited to see the sort of game that USA brings.

Here's the highlights from the USA A game vs Can A 7-10

Here's some talk with the coaches.

My ticket is already in my wallet, I need to do my laundry and pack some snacks and I'm ready to go =] uh minus the fact that I don't own any waterproof clothing. I may go the wear shorts and flip flops route.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Making Weight

Well I finally broke my fitness goal of the last...uh...two years at least. I'm officially 199lbs (! Holy crap! I'm really shocked because I'm currently exercising once a week. Yea I know, that's not exactly clear and away from 200lbs but still, the scale hasn't said that in a good long while (and yea I triple checked 'cause I didn't believe it myself!). I guess I'd better set a new one of 185 by the end of summer but yea not to shabby considering I'm not exactly working out or eating terrifically healthy (but better proportions).

I'm leaving on Friday for my four day road trip to watch the WNT play Canada which is pretty fucking exciting. I'm not prepared at all...I need to do my homework to fully enjoy the experience. The USA A side is going to play on Tuesday.

I can't wait till Tuesday and 7s practice. We did the WNT speed workout and played touch for and hour last practice 'cause coach was out of town. I was really disappointed in how quickly I was gassed and effectively out of the game due to my shitty cardio. I was able to make some good breaks but yea at this level I'm toast unless I improve...everything! My legs were trashed for the next two days from hitting things at full pace and I definitely ripped myself some new quad muscle. My buddy Georgi wasn't even sore from practice *sigh*. I have started working out this week with one of my rookies from UCSC which should be fun, we did some interval running (woo 13 min mile...yea people can walk faster then I run), core work, and some speed stuff. Hopefully I'll be able to join her gym and hit the weights before my upper body absolutely disappears. But I really should get back on topic...

Rugby...uh U-23 Pac Coast didn't do so hot, losing both matches and dropping to Tier 2. Internationally can I say THE MAUL IS BACK!!! HALLELUJAH! Did anyone see that maul in the first Lions Test, the boks bloody drove them back 20-30 meters. Sexy, gorgeous, and oh so beautiful. I love a good maul. Vickery was horrible, Both Williams should have been on the pitch, O'Connell was pretty damn useless as well. I swear I have no Welsh bias AT ALL. I was disappointed in Jones' kicking but meh Monye fucked up two tries that's a min of 4-8 points that could have meant a 'w' for the lions. SA needs to fix their midfield defense 'cause it's currently sucking. I love the welsh but Roberts isn't THAT good and just take him out and BOD will be out of the equation.

What else...oh I've wanted to put this up for a while now. Mostly 'cause this picture cracks me up. I shoulda gotten the girl to rig up the text though 'cause I suck at image editing. But enjoy. Ashley you rock!

"This isn't the ball that you are looking for, move along"

She's so good even Ruth is confused.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Watch out for Sweden

The editing was above average so I decided to post it. That and I was mildly terrified at the idea of not only one but two teams of giant Nordic blondes playing rugby.

This is a shout out for Laura Cabrera

Bomb ass 7s coach that she is. I felt compelled to write this post because I had a blast last night (and pretty much every night that I've had practice..sans the one where I had a taco truck burrito half an hour prior and felt like dying). I don't think I've ever had that much fun at practice a) she's hilarious so even when she's yelling at us I'm cracking up b) she's teaching me (a DII collegiate front row forward) how to run lines and break up the defense (and not in the typical forward fashion) c) I'm having this fun doing a non-contact passing/decision making practice. I dunno what I'm rambling about but credit has to be given 'cause I finally understand why rugby is fun for backs (a mystery I could never solve prior to this). Even the conditioning portions are light and fun. I know I'll never be some amazing 7s player but I've gotten better at this whole engaging the defense thing and I'm getting way better at doing the right thing like making the run myself or passing once I'm getting pulled. It's crazy how fast you have to be thinking I can't believe how fast backs must make decisions at this point I have a split second between recognizing the situation in front of me and reacting to it. I just need to practice my passing during the week more 'cause they aren't as crisp as they were in college (where I was in practice/training rookies 24/7). At least for the most part I get it, or my body is getting it and my brain is kinda being towed along for the ride (which credit should be given for really well designed drills that are etching this stuff into muscle memory. All right I guess that's enough, I think she's an awesome coach and this has been a shout out for Laura Cabrera 'cause I felt like it and this is my blog.

OH and I can't believe it I'm so excited for Can Am! *Does cartwheels* and I have a part in my first rugby skit (damn D1 traditions). The U23 Grizzlies are off to Pittsburgh, Penn so hopefully one of my kids will keep me up to date. 7's is just around the corner but I think I'll be missing the first one 'cause I'll be in Glendale and the 2nd one we won't have any of our top players cause that's Grizzly 7s tryouts lol I should try out for All Star 7s so I get through my bitter non-selection experience (jeez there are so many players who have horrible experiences with select sides). I just want to play rugby. I just want to play rugby. I just want to play rugby. Alright off to work.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Berkeley Hills Death Ride

So I haven't been riding my bike to work (mostly because let's just say I saw less shootings in Compton then I have so far in Richmond) and with practices reduced to once a week I'm starting to feel on the verge of losing whatever gains I had made post-hip breakage. So I decided to go on a bike ride today...after a MONTH of not biking I made the highly intelligent decision to attempt The Berkeley Hills Death Ride. Mostly because it sounded fun and I figured I could take it slow and it wouldn't be that big of a deal. Sufficed to say I now have indisputable proof of post-college brain atrophying. Death Ride = fun and feasible? Ok in my defense I knew going into it that I was only going to attempt the first (and worst) climb of the Death Ride. So I bike over to Berkeley in no time flat and I'm feeling great, I hike up a little curving climb to the base of Marin and holy shit it's just....up.

Look Ma...a deer

It was so steep my camera phone got vertigo

Yea pictures can't really convey what a 30% grade feels like

Finally at the crest!

And the view isn't even that great.

So yea I rested every block (and on the 30% grade hill I rested every 15 feet or so) and it still was ridiculous. I love my Schwinn hybrid but c'mon it's a hybrid with mountain tires on a 1.5k climb with an average grade of 22% (and that's including the flat intersections!). I was on my lowest gear and I was popping wheelies when I tried to crank it, when I would brake I would start skidding downhill. It was a terrifying and ridiculously fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon. back to rugby. I've been tinkering around on the All Blues site, making some touch ups here and there but I really need to relearn css 'cause it's been a while and I suck at it. Also as you might have noted I cleaned up this dumpy blog just a bit and 'fixed' the header as well. I'm going to partake in my first rugby skit this coming Saturday and I'm pretty nervous about that.

We got our schedule and the Blues are having their annual collegiate clinic on Oct 10-11. I'll post the deets as they come out but yea.

In international rugby I've been catching up on the Lions matches and I have to say that for once I'm happy BOD's side is doing better the big ugly munster man. He's a better Captain although Paul did get stuck with a squad with significantly less shape then the weekday team.

I'll end with this rugby league video because it's fucking funny and that's all you need to know.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Hell yes! Can Am Here I Come!

Yup, I decided to do it. AND I got the time off work. I'll just be poor for a bit. I mean when am I not? Anyhoo I'm stoked!

Oh and here are some pics from the game...never thought I would see Peter Stringer live...wish I could have gone to the Wales game...fucking Dwayne Peel + Ryan Jones *drool*

Oh sorry...back to Ulste*cough* I mean Ireland A.

Buckshaw Stadium

"Huh wot?" Sorry Mike, you're a good guy but this pic isn't the most flattering

Poor Stringer...probably the only man from Munster NOT on the Irela*cough* Lions Squad (yes I used that joke twice in one post...)


Thursday, June 04, 2009

To Try or Not Try...that is the question...

I don't really have rugby news this week because everyone knows Pac Coast won NASC and the Collegiate All Americans made it to tier a (the two most relevant pieces of news for my blog). What I'm debating missing work (despite the fact I'm only a seasonal worker and won't be hired on permanently until late July) in order to make the Can-Am match. I'm struggling with it 'cause if I go it'll be a road trip (which would be hecka fun)but I dunno if it's worth it. I caught last weeks eagle match against Ireland A and I gotta say it was kinda dull. It was a sold out stadium but no excitement or animation in the crowd. The action was alright, I might be more impressed when I watch the replay, but in person *shrugs* it was kinda boring. I've seen a couple of men's test matches and I gotta say (excluding the Uruguay match where I spent the whole game heckling Clever) they weren't very entertaining. Long story short I'm kinda worried about the Can Am match not being worth the money and effort...I mean I know the game will probably be fairly exciting to watch (it's always more interesting when you actually know the players doing cool stuff) but I'm kinda worried about a 46 hour drive to watch 80 mins of rugby. I know I should go to support USA and it'll be a cool experience watching my first live women's international match...bleh and the debate continues. I mean on one hand a shitload of Eagles are there and that'd be cool to get a taste of the history (ok I'm lying, it'll be awesome from a whose-who perspective, plus I might meet YSC which would be cool). Downside...possibly losing my job in the worst economy ever. Ummmmmmmmmmmm.


I hate it when the lines delineating practical vs fun have to be so bloody obvious. Knowing me I'll flip a coin.

U23 NASCs are just around the bend. Can the U23 Grizzlies stand up to the might of NRU or MARFU? Who knows because no one ever publishes their damn rosters. Well actually I have the U23 Grizzly roster as of a couple weeks ago...feel free to comment if I screwed up somewhere (the list was horribly formatted to begin with so I might have screwed up a few names and who knows if availability changed or whatever).

Zully, Camacho (Cal, All American), Tori Campbell, Delaney Chapman, Elaine Daggett, Siche Green-Mitchell, Jenn Greenspan (Oregon), Milika Hopoi, Liz Kilgore, Molly Kneen, Jackie Lewis, Kal McMahon (UC Santa Cruz), Angelina Pascual, Megan Sanders, Nikki Steele, Cameron Stewart (Davis alum), Claire Susz, Felix Tsang, Kara Winek, Shannon Woolley, Christina Zier

Alts: Alicia Gonzales, Chelsea Adams, Vanessa Avila-Esparza, Kelly Morris