Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Heart says Yes

...but my body and my brain say no. So I'm taking a rugby sabbatical (1 year at most). My body needs a break from the grind...I keep re-injuring myself and I really should get physical therapy on my hip. Career-wise I need to get shit done. Find myself and rate myself, I'm going to immerse myself in as much into film studies as I can and see if I like it while working my way through a practice run of the admissions process.

Now try as I might to extract rugby from my life (at least temporarily), it has become almost as bad of a distraction as being an active participant. I've had SIX fucking nightmares about I'll concede...I'm an addict...a nut. Of course I've got to stay involved somehow.

I'm taking the level one officiating course this fall and I'm stoked about joining the flock of fantabulous referees in the norcal ref society. It's going to be an interesting pursuit for sure and if I'm still in the Bay during the spring I'll once again help coach my high school kids.

Of course I miss playing, every single goddamn bone in my body is screaming at me to put on my cleats and get back on the pitch, to not quit, to not disappoint my team. Loyalty, integrity, honor. @(*#*&@(#(*@ But then I have to step back and be an adult. I must concentrate on figuring out and achieving my career goals and academic ambitions.

So how does this apply to you dear reader? Well since I don't get to have my daily dose of tackling, rucking, and mauling I'll spare a little time on the side to keep tabs on my fave little region of women's rugby (not to mention satisfy my rugby hives).

In brief here are some things that happened:
The Eagles placed fifth in the world cup, the cool thing is that it got a lot more coverage then the last world cup. More about this later
Berkeley U19 didn't win a game all season
UC Santa Cruz lost in the semifinals
One of the UCSC players made the USA U20s squad and we had a rep in grizzlies
the Sacramento Amazons (senior side) did pretty well at Palo Alto 7s
UC Santa Cruz moved up to D1 this year...wooot!
SFog lost to Norcal Triple Threat for their first league game, they played the Seattle breakers this weekend, not sure who won
ABs beat the Twin City Zons this weekend for their first WPL game of the season

And here is a lovely video from Brown's Women's rugby team:

Two Words from Ploipailin Flynn on Vimeo.

It's good to be back and it'll be even better when I'm back on the pitch!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

No such thing as too much rugby

...unless you're my housemate and you have to deal with the smell of my muddy laundry pile just sitting there because quite literally I don't have the time to do it. I mean I'm sure I'll find time to do it eventually.

So quick summary. All Blues played the SF Fog we won handily (a game of quarters and rolling subs) but conceded a score early in the first quarter. In the last quarter the All Blues were forced to defend their try line for the majority of the last twenty but kept the fog clear. The All Blues got to blood a lot of their new young talent (a trio of U23 grizzlies entered the fray of club rugby) and some older campaigners re-entering the fight. I myself am bummed that I missed out due to a sprained ankle and foot that I acquired at the start of Thursday practice. Two weeks off no problem, hopefully I can talk my way into a lighter duty job so I don't have to clomp around on it all day at work but I have an AMAZING sports doc so email me if you're looking for one in the bay area. I'm missing the Champagne Classic as well and its a good thing too cause I wouldn't be able to play now so woohoo for saving money and boo for medical bills. I WAS going to buy new cleats and I probably still will.

The Berkeley Vigorous Gold Stars Berkeley U19 Girls Rugby team (yes that's their name) toughed out an impressive match against the Humboldt U19 team. The score was about 25-0 against us but the Gold Stars still defended with all their heart despite playing l3 vs 15 80% of the match. Unfortunately in the last ten minutes we lost another player and had to forfeit and borrow players from the other team. Our kids were super disappointed and wanted to soldier on 11 vs 15 to keep ourselves from forfeiting but it became a safety issue. Our defense is getting better and we actually had the majority of possession for the short ten minutes that we were playing 14 vs 15.

UC Santa Cruz plays Humboldt State for what is likely the last of their home games (unless USF manage to scrap together enough girls to play, or at least makes their way down here). The Slugs last match against Humboldt State was a true scrap where they had very little possession but managed to win 20-0 for a hard fought win. Today should be a better match on a much better pitch (the last match was in a muddy park). Go slugs!!! I'm actually attending this one.

UC Berkeley plays Stanford today at Stueber Stadium and this should be the match of the ages. Classic rivals, and a weakened Stanford presents a tempting prey for the Cal Bears and hopefully it'll manifest in a long awaited victory.

Coach Owens of UC Berkeley is also hosting a summer camp for U19/High School players this summer in Berkeley more details to follow.

Alright lets get this party started...I have to gimp around and help set up my favorite pitch in the world. Let's dominate this game slugs!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

USA Roster vs Canada

USA Lineup vs Canada
Atlantic Cup – January 12, 2010

1. Farrah Douglas (Keystone)
2. Mari Wallace (Beantown)
3. Naima Reddick (Berkeley All-Blues)
4. Jillion Potter (Minnesota Valkyries)
5. Sharon Blaney (Beantown)
6. Melanie Denham (Beantown)
7. Phaidra Knight (New York)
8. Kate Daley (Keystone)
9. Kim Magrini (Keystone)
10. Hannah Stolba (Minnesota Valkyries)
11. Nathalie Marchino (Berkeley All-Blues)
12. Melissa Kanuk (Minnesota Valkyries)
13. Emilie Bydwell (Beantown)
14. Ashley Kmiecik (ORSU)
15. Christy Ringgenberg (Minnesota Valkyries)

16. Jamie Burke (Beantown)
17. Kitt Wagner (Beantown)
18. Blair Groefsema (Berkeley All-Blues)
19. Kristin Zanczewicz (Minnesota Valkyries)
20. Claudia Braymer (Albany)
21. Stephanie Bruce (Berkeley All-Blues)
22. Ashley English (Berkeley All-Blues)

Kathy Flores, Head Coach
Candy Orsini, Assistant Coach
Alex Williams, Forwards Technical Coach
Krista McFarren, Backs Technical Coach
Michelle Carrone, Fitness
Lisa Bartoli, Medical
Krissy Temporiti, Trainer
Ginger Stringer, Manager

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Back (with a LOT of shit to cover)

Alright so here's the skinny on the last couple of months. The All Blues beat everyone in league with each game getting tougher then the next. By the end of the year everyone was pretty much playing injured, the All Blues lack depth so it's not surprising that a longer harder season took it's toll. Nationals were really neat (despite the horrid weather, disappointing results, and my social anxiety over snoring and sharing a room with (relatively speaking) strangers). I guess I stopped blogging because there was a limit to how much I could deal with my existential crisis in the public medium of blogging. It's been a pretty tough took me a while to realize that pretty much everyone is a bit scared, threatened, whatever right now and everyone is more then a wee bit prickly and not to take things too personally. I needed to cool my jets a bit and get ok with my current lot in life. I think I've figured out a few general long term goals so that's helpful too. Here's to 2010...shit people let's get excited! It's a frickin world cup year!

Alright so Berkeley U19 aka the Vigorous Gold Stars have started practicing. We have a full lineup of games as we're actually going to be competing in league this year. There's a two new squads that may or may not be forming up so as always the schedule is subject to change:

Saturday, February 6: Nor Cal girls' round robin tournament
Sunday, February 21: BHS at Alameda
Saturday, February 27: BYE (or maybe Humboldt; they don't currently have a team)
Saturday, March 6: home game vs. Sacramento
Saturday, March 20: home game vs. Davis
Saturday, April 10: home game vs. MotherLode

The All Blues will be starting up after a nice break for spring (aka developmental) season, our first meeting is on Jan 19th (comment if you need details but I doubt anyone reads this blog) but practice dates will be decided later but our schedule so far looks like this:

Sat Feb 27: SF Fog at Home
Sat March 6-7: Champagne Classic in San Diego
Sat March 13: Triple Threat in Chico
Sat March 20: Sacramento Amazons at Home
Sun March 28: San Diego Surfers at Home

UC Santa Cruz has a scrappy young squad with a long regular season ahead of it. They hosted a solid tournament (slugfest) with SLOboldt (SLO + Humboldt), Sac State, UC Davis. They won(?) the social bracket down at scrum by the sea. They narrowly lost a friendly against Stanford's mixed Crawford side. Just this weekend they had their annual clinic and friendly against cal playing mixed squad, rolling subs, for 3 rounds and won roughly 25-10(I wasn't keeping track of conversions sorry). So here's their schedule going forward (subject to change...duh):

1/9: UCSC @ Cal (clinic/DI friendly)
1/16: UCSC @ Santa Clara (league)
1/23: UCSC @ Sac State (DI friendly)
1/30: UCSC @ USF (league)
2/6: UCSC @ Humboldt (league)
(2/13: USA sevens in Las Vegas -- not an official team
2/20: Santa Clara @ UCSC (league)
2/27: Humboldt @ UCSC (league)
3/6: USF @ UCSC (league)
(3/20: PCRFU (Pacific Coast) play-in, host: Nor Cal RFU)
(4/3: PCRFU playoffs, host: Utah RFU)

If you're wondering/keeping track...yea we lost St. Mary's this clue what happened, something about numbers clearly (d1 lost chico due to suspension for social reasons). I'll ask St. Mary's coach next time I see him (he's been assistant reffing lately). So yea DII NorCal teams need a lot of help, if you're near a college please start up a team or think up ways to donate money time or whatev. It's really sad that our league has deteriorated from...I mean my frosh year we had CSU Monterey Bay, San Jose State, St. Mary's Santa Clara, Sac State, and us. C'mon DII!

In international news USA is playing Canada in the 'atlantic cup' or whatever down in Florida. A bunch of teammates are down there and good luck to them, kick some ass, specifically Canada's 8-man.

What else....argh too much to get to. Oh well I'll leave you with some sick ass vids that have been posted in my absence (I don't know if anyone has posted them but I'm still working my way through the YSC archives so meh)

An English promo vid (gotta love what the world cup does to the promotion of the sport)

Old school world cup footage showing why Crawford is the shiznit

some footage from the black ferns vs england game

Check out Las Banditos (they're in the prison stripes kicking ass)

Ignore the super cheesy 80s music for a minute..this is contains some awesome freaking show of the flair of the NZ women's running game. Auckland is basically the # domestic team down there

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Playing the Valks this weekend

Skipped practice cause my ankle has been bugging me. Well I went to practice but missed out on a ton of great tackling drills. Missed the ORSU game 'cause I'm not traveling this year. Been slammed at work but at least it's work. Enjoying my new place a lot and I guess that's it for now.

"Hit Like a Bear" Women's Collegiate Rugby Clinic

Come be a part of an all-day clinic put on by the local women's club team, 12-time National Champion Berkeley All-Blues! Members of the All-Blues will coach you through general skills (passing, kicking, tackling), positional skills and sub-unit skills (scrums, lineouts, backs play, etc.) in the morning and in the afternoon you will play in live scrimmages. Clinic participants will be divided up according to experience and skill level, in order to make sure that those new to the game are instructed in the basics and those with some experience learn some more advanced skills. The day will wrap up with a discussion session during which players can ask their All-Blue coaches for specific feedback. We look forward to seeing you there!

Date: Saturday, October 10, 2009

Time: 9:00am – 4pm; Check-in @ 8:30am


Pinole Valley High School
2900 Pinole Valley Road
Pinole, CA 94564

The Field: From the parking lot in front of the school - the baseball/softball fields are to the right of the turf football field. People will park in the lot in front of the school and walk across the football field to the clinic fields.

Cost: $25 early registration gets you: a full day of instruction, and a t-shirt! Same day registration available for $30. PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN LUNCH! Water and snacks will be provided.

Open to: All women collegiate rugby players, regardless of experience

Early registration deadline: October 8, 2009

For more information and to sign up, email Julie Kieu jdkieu - at - gmail d-o-t com or please visit

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Berkeley All Blues vs Twin City Amazons

100-7. Yep. I didn't play but man am I beat between setting up stuff,running water, and cleaning up. It's tough to be a rookie! Although a lot easier and less stressful then being a's just a little harder the second time around. I bought another pair of shorts/jerseys 'to help support the wnt(actually just because I live in shorts and we scrum enough in practice that jerseys are useful)'. Uhh what else, I saw the gnarliest clash of heads that I've ever ever ever seen. Like...ever. Damn and I saw the photo after it was cleaned up and it's like 3/4 of her forehead! Holy crap! Uh, first half was pretty square, lot's of turnovers lots of territory gained and lost. The All Blues started ticking over some tries, the Zons threatened through the centers scoring their 7 points and almost struck again with a dangerous intercept that was chased down by Stephanie Bruce. Eventually the All Blues started clicking and the floodgates just opened with try after well supported try. That's about it, it's really hard to watch a match when it's broken up so much with scoring. I'm really looking forward to watching the game tape on this one. Some of our Santa Cruz kids came up (albeit late) which is awesome and exactly what we need, there were (gee whiz I'm horrible at estimating) maybe a hundred or so supporters who came out for the match. Fun times now I'm going to pass out =]

btw it's raining and man do my bones ache. I swear I'm only 23.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Getting pumped

First off they killed my favorite radio station (Energy 92.7) and replaced it with a hip hop!?!?! You take the best dance music station in the nation and replace it with a generic hip hop station?? You have to be shitting me. So shed a tear with me. So I've been re-watching last year's collegiate national championship (there is seriously something about watching a college final helps ones rugby soul) and it's an awesome match so far, I can't believe I missed it but knowing me I was probably writing a thirty page paper on nuclear weapons (*barf*). It's pretty funny 'cause you can see a bunch of whose who in the crowd whenever the cameras pan the stands. Also I just wanted to share this pic of total band geekhood. I know there aren't a lot of rugby nerds but I hope someone appreciates this pic of the Stanford band and remember 'all glory to the hypnotoad!'

Oh and I really am pissed about energy, they just supported the Women's National 7s Invitational on treasure island and provided some badass beats both days. *sigh* I am so in mourning.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Making the Bench

Holy crap! I'm stoked! Ok scared but stoked none the less. I am pretty nervous but I know it's a chance and I should have fun with it. Coach just doesn't want me to freeze up and she said I'll probably be propping but maybe hook or flank(really doubtful). Anyhoo I can't believe I get to wear the blue jersey =] now I just need to do my research. Gah so if you have a chance this Sunday, Treasure Island, Gaelic Athletic Fields, 10 am kick off. Be there!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Women's Premiership League Videos are up!

Woot! Women's Premiership League Match VideosHow sick is this, one can actually watch high level women's rugby matches without boarding a plane every weekend. Please enjoy and watch all the matches! This weekend we have our first home match against the Twin City Amazons so show up and watch some kick ass rugby. 10am Sunday on the Gaelic fields (check out the berkeley all blues website for directions (I embedded a map weee)

Week 1: New York at Beantown (1st Half) from Women's Premier League - USA Rug on Vimeo.

Just to start you off here is the first half of the Beantown vs New York match.

Also I know this video has been around for ages I just forgot about it until now.

That's the sickest maul I've ever seen in my five years of watching pro, club, collegiate and hs rugby.

Oh on another note I'm starting to feel a bit more comfortable at practice. I'm still having a minor positional crisis (ie I'm just not tough enough to play at this level, much less in the front row). But having a lot more fun. I'm feeling alright in the loose but I'm really rusty linking up with others. I'm doing alright in rucks/counter rucks and carrying the ball. My lineout throws were fairly good and I'm happy to say I was hitting 'em both near and far. I did some ball handling practice today on my break at work...which means I'm probably hooked on rugby again. Practice tomorrow, coolbeans.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Patience...that thing that I have a lot of apparently.

So I haven't exactly been blogging lately, mostly 'cause I was seriously dangling onto the last frickin microscopic thread of love for this sport. Looking back at past posts I think it's pretty obvious that I've been doing some major level flip flopping this is mostly due to yea, some major level self examinations at what the hell I'm doing with my life and why I'm stalling it to play a sport that for a whopping nine months I couldn't even play. Not nine months in Vanawatu or wherever sipping on coconuts and enjoying sunsets but rather 9 months of showing up to practice, kitting up and sitting out for all the fun bits. 9 months of scrapping around for a job in a some new city, 9 long ass months of worry (and 9 months of bitching about it!)

Haha! But as of today I have health insurance and I had some fucking fun at practice. Played like crap but hey moving to the ABs represents a huge step up in playing levels so it's kinda to be expected. Some scrum practice (where I actually managed to not get blasted completely out of the scrum), agility and handling, defensive and mostly just prepping the traveling squad for their first premiership game in Minnesota. I'm missing due to budgetary constraints but I had a damn fun time disrupting possession on defense. Got a few thumping tackles in but mostly got dusted, I really need to work on the concept of connecting and defensive structure. The stuff is going directly over my head as UCSC generally lacks any defensive organization beyond lead and scrape. *sigh* maybe I'll attend some Cal practices. Ooo and I got a tech tee. Fancy.

Um lot's more to come. Grizzlies got third at NASC 7s in New York. Not bad at all hopefully with the new national invitational NorCal will finally develop a 7s scene beyond just Palo Alto 7s.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

National Women's 7s Invitational

kicks ass! Fog has put on an amazing show and it's been a seriously fun day. I was thoroughly entertained despite not um ykno...playing. So far Nova 1 and Berkeley have won their brackets.More great stuff tomorrow. I <3 the SF Fog for making this great event happen =]

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lets bring it all back.

I'm homesick for a homeland that is half make believe, part memory, part history, part dream. We had our second All Blues XVs practice yesterday with guest coach Jen Crawford. It was nifty but further illustrated the gap between old and new. Styles, philosophies, whatever you want to call it I don't want to adopt the nervousness that pervades. I wanna just be loose and play, enjoy the touch of the ball and linking up, running lines and run into someone. I don't give a crap about selections I want to listen and learn the fundamentals that I missed but I need to step out of the blinders of mindlessly trying to replicate each minutia of instructions and keep rugby in the larger picture. As cool as this new situation is I need to keep the reasons why "I" love rugby warm to my heart and ignore what frankly just doesn't apply.

I like this video (although the score at the very end is weird and slightly horror-esque)

National Club 7s is this weekend at Treasure Island.

Start Time:
Saturday, August 15, 2009 at 8:00am
End Time:
Sunday, August 16, 2009 at 6:00pm

I'll probably only go to Saturday. It's not too long till the first premiership match in Minnesota. I've pretty much decided that I'm going to save moolah and skip the away trips.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

as the days go by and I still think of you

Oh rugby. First practice went well, I was quickly reminded of the physicality of XVs over 7s practice. 7s practice was fun and we combined with fog for a day when our fields had further issues (I swear I've practiced on more fields with the All Blues during their off season then I've played on in the five years of rugby I've played prior (and we played on a LOT of different pitches). One thing I must say is that as nice as the Bay Area is I @(*#(@*&# hate geese! Seriously that's some nasty green shit that very quickly ends up on your face. And to make matters worse d'ya know where they're from? CANADA. Pff anyhoo our Eagles are up playing in the Nations Cup woo hoo. As long as we beat Canada (and South Africa). Anyhoo here's a cool vid from the southern hemisphere.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Don't take this the wrong way...

But screw the haka it's all about the Welsh National Anthem.

This is rugby pageantry to me.

I need to go to Wales and experience this shit. I mean really how cool is that? The first test match I ever watched was back in '04 when Wales played NZ in the a fall international. I watched it and a)fell in love with the sport b) fell in love with my buddies Jones, Williams, and Thomas. It's funny I really could have gone either way. Sure I could have sided with the all blacks or one of the other rugby giants (not that Wales is too shabby in its own right) but really I'm glad to back my team, through some particularly gnarly 6 nations campaigns to grand slam victories and lions honors. Is there a point to this post? I'm looking for some warm fuzzy rugby memories to keep me going.

I SHOULD be hired on permanent this week. It SHOULD be about another month before I get a healthcare package. I SHOULD be a lot happier in 30-40 days. Time to reset the clock. I apologize for being not showing up to palo alto this summer. It's been 7 almost 8 months now and I really can't stand just watching rugby. It makes me grumpy and depressed (I've missed starting for the ABs in a dev game against the Amazons, missed playing in my first Champagne Classic, missed traveling/participating in the Glendale game, missed playing prom dress rugby for the first time, missed trying out for the u23 grizzlies (my last chance), missed playing in a fun round robin with the slug kids (stiff arms galore), missed a scrimmage that ended up being contact drills/warmup against Stanford, missed playing against the kids and playing with my best friends in my first alumni game, missed midnight 7s, missed palo alto 7s, and most importantly missed the point in a number of practices/drills due to worrying about injuries/not wanting to go 100%).


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Playing Scared

I'm kind of at a crossroad right now so I haven't really been in the mood for posting. To be honest I'm still kind of in a funk and I haven't decided how I'm going to deal with it. This is all on the rugby side of things. Works been going and a bunch of buddies have been trickling up to the bay so things have been pretty good at that end. I'm just reallyreallyreallyreally waiting on insurance. My hips been bugging me more and more as well. It's kind of getting into my head at practice and doubt and fear has kind of overshadowed the fun of the game. I'm seriously tired of playing scared. I just want to have some damn fun. One more week and I should have a better attitude.

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

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 of the Pac Coast props looked really 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 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..... 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'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 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 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 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 was really interesting how defense has more 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 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.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Old "Hiding the Rugby Ball in My Jersey and Running Away With It" Trick

Holland from Sac State doing something rather stealthy for an 8-man.

Sorry I've been busy working 11 hours a day this week...luckily I was able to quit my part time job (dear lord don't ask) and I'm now happily working full time at Title IX. I absolutely love the company! It's well managed, structured, and everyone is so freaking nice and friendly =]

Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's been a long long time

but here's what's up. I got a part time job doing office work/web design/gofer duty for a personal training gym. I just got a full time job doing accounts receivable/stock room stuff at Title IX. I fixed my car. Got a tailored suit for interviews. Had my mom visit. Turned 23. Been practicing with the Blues. Finally updated the Blues roster page. Learned how to publish my web design stuff (ftp servers etc). Skipped the U23 tryout camp because I'm a mere 2 months away from being fully cleared from my injury (which increases my chances of getting accepted for health insurance). Ummm and more...probably.

All 4 or 5 of our girls (unfortunately more couldn't make it) were invited to go to the real tryouts in Oregon. Which is cool news, the camp was pretty cool with lots of fun games.

Um our girls lost their first game weeks back against Washington State, I'll admit I wasn't very focused on the matches so I can't report back too much. Their backline was pretty fierce, fairly fast and very tough they were hardly stopped by our horrible tackling. We (UCSC) won the consolation match against Utah State which probably will help out next year with the seeds and such but it should be mentioned that Utah was playing multiple players down fairly early in the match. Both teams lacked depth, while Santa Cruz has a large squad an unprecedented level of serious injuries scythed down the squad. Sac State won their first match against Utah State in a tight game but weren't playing with the sharpness that they normally have. Against Washington State, Sac's players began to crumble and lacking subs their quality of play degraded further, costing them the match. Um I could report more about what happened in Elite 8s blah blah blah but I don't feel like it right now.

Here's a cool clip:

Um more rugby to come.

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!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Quite a handful of rugby

So another week of quadruple practices for me and I'm pretty beat, beat up, and brow beaten by my parents for not job hunting 24/7. While my 'rents have a good point, at this point it's my money, my mistake. Annnd I might have gotten a small week long gig for a hundred bucks and every little bit helps.

Um on Tuesday my feet were absolutely killing me because I have no arches and I was barefoot for so long on Sunday (@ prom dress rugby). I didn't feel it on Sun or Mon, but when I put my cleats on (no arch support) SHIT I just about died. It was like sophomore year all over again, I could hardly walk much less run through practice (man I'm glad I finally bought good shoes and stopped having this pain on a regular basis). Later in a non-contact drill I was part of the defensive line, got bumped onto the ground and then someone planted on my instep ankle. The joint locked up and it seared like fire on impact but I think it's ok. It was a lot of weight on it and so I'm a bit worried that it could be fractured...namely because its such a difficult area to diagnose. Well I don't have two hundred dollars for x-rays so I'll just deal.

I'm having a blast helping out at the Berkeley U19 practices (despite the inordinate amount of muddy clothes I've had to wash as a result!). Actually my room smells like a swamp due to the hole in the ceiling, my muddy gear, and the lack of window screens and sunlight. All of it is my fault but still...I'm a tad worried about my lungs.

Alright in reality I'm just finishing up a post that I worked on weeks ago. So much shit has gone on I really don't have time for it all. More later. As always...your dutiful hooker signing out.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Synchronized Underwater Prom Dress Rugby Scuba Diving

The Goalpost almost floated away on us:

So the Job Corps field was flooded and a number of participants from both teams showed up. While everyone was appropriately garbed for a barnstorming match, the weather didn't permit for a full contest. After much milling about, the women were split into motley(mixed) teams and decided to play about twenty to thirty minutes of touch rugby. There were a number of highly amusing moments where certain agile Eagle wings attempted to make some deft cuts and ended up plowing face first through the lake. Considering the circumstances a fair number of wet weather spectators showed up and stayed through till the end(although a few stayed in their cars the whole time). Apparently some money was made and much fun was had by the participants.

A motley crew of women's ruggers

NorCal Collegiate Women's Rugby Updates

FEBRUARY 21 League Match Results
D1 Matches:
Cal 22 v Davis 10 (most of the D1 teams consider themselves to be rebuilding this year so it's not too surprising of a result. Davis may occasionally have better talent but Cal has a much better infrastructure, it's just a general observation but it may be the reason...I'll try to get the deets.)
Chico 24 v Reno 5 (Reno is a traditional contender for the wooden spoon)
D2 Matches:
SCU 24 v St. Mary's 17 (Now this is an interesting one, going off of history I would have expected St. Mary's to take this match easy. I talked to one of the Sac girls this weekend and apparently St. Mary's lost some of their size in their pack. Also credits got to be given to SCU, it's nice to see them with a win under their belts.)
UCSC played a mixed friendly with USF so no league points

Norcal Women's Collegiate League Standings for uh 08-09
Chico 15
Stanford 15
California 10
UC Davis 5
Humboldt 0
UN Reno 0

UC Santa Cruz 5
Sacramento St 5
Santa Clara 4
St Mary's 1

Alright I guess that's it. Practice tomorrow =]