Weekly update June 2 (or 1), 2013 – June 8, 2013

As we end another week, I wanted to pinpoint a few stories that stood out to me from the week. I think they signify the direction that the sport is going, and they stay to be commemorative of how the week went. Because a Ruggers life is never one that goes with out something eventful. Just so you know, the date is for when the event occurred, we just are bringing it to you all at once now. So here we go…

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June 1, 2013

The new campaign that is now being pushed by USA Rugby, known as the workforit campaign, is the beginning of that time of the season….prep for the Olympics. You can find their story at workforit.org. You can tell that they are trying to push the USA as this up and coming powerhouse team and that you need to pay attention. And I think it’s a great idea. I think the whole concept at least makes it appear as if they care enough to make us care. But I hope this isn’t the best that they can do with it. They have a nice YouTube video that went with it, that i’ll admit, I had to watch twice because the first time it seemed really lame to me. But after seeing it a second time, it wasn’t bad. It’s nothing out the ordinary. It definitely could have a double usage as a Crossfit commercial if it ever became needed. But none the less, I find it to be a good start in the fight for building interest towards the USA team for the Olympics in 2016. 

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June 2, 2013

This is when New Orleans Gold won their bronze medal in Glendale, CO in the third place game against the Denver Barbarians 32-28. They put up a great defensive stand in the final seconds of the game to prevent the Barbarians from scoring and won the game. Especially after a tough game versus Seattle OPSB in the semi-finals, that lead to a loss and kicking them out of the national championship contention.

New Orleans getting the win has been so beneficial for Louisiana in multiple ways. In terms of recognition, the New Orleans Men’s team has allowed their to be an opening for spotlight on the rugby that occurs in Louisiana. Within the rugby community, much of it being centered around the west coast and the midwest, don’t consider Louisiana or the south to be a particularly good haven for rugby. When New Orleans entered into the round of 32, no one gave them a chance. And through every win that New Orleans had, it was as if there was no way that this could happen. And it wasn’t as if New Orleans beat these teams by the skin of their neck. These were big blowouts against these teams. So when each round magazines kept talking about shocker, Surprise, more shock. But the wins were consistent. It wasn’t until they lost to Seattle OPSB in the semi-finals did it seem like this was supposed to happen. And then New Orleans went and showed that they didn’t quit against a Denver Barbarian team that had come so close to beating the eventual champions, Life University, in the semi-finals. But throughout teams had to begin to recognize that tough, good rugby is no longer monopolized by the Mid-west and West coast anymore. And that the south has contenders as well. 

Which brings me to the next reason why New Orleans playoff run was so important. As a current Baton Rouge Rugby Club player, New Orleans is our natural down road rival. It doesn’t matter when we’ve played them, when Baton Rouge and New Orleans go up against each other it’s a tough match. Now New Orleans has beat us more times than we’ve beaten them in the time that I have been playing, but it’s never felt like it was so terribly mismatched. The fact that New Orleans has continued to be so impactful on that national stage, because it means that the competition that we face with them is that much more meaningful. And any rugby player knows that better the competition, the better you will be. Whether we are playing New Orleans in 7’s or XV’s, it’s always worth the time because we know that these guys have battled some of the best in the country. The more we play them, the more we can pinpoint where we need to grow. 

So, I congratulate New Orleans for there successes. They have built a great program from top to bottom and I wish them consistent success. Louisiana supports New Orleans, and let’s hope that their successes matriculate into the other programs around the state. 

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June 5, 2013

Don’t worry, we’re almost done… I wanted to mention the Junior World Championship game because of the USA’s participation in the games. But not just because the USA is a participant of the game, but also because we have a Louisiana rugby player that is a part of it. Bring recognition to former LSU rugby player, and current USA U-20 player, Cameron Falcon. I also wanted to show USA’s opening game of pool play, against South Africa, was less than stellar. A 97-0 loss to South Africa is absolutely abysmal. But it’s also understandable. It should be understood that South Africans play rugby from the moment the get out the womb. So though we have many talented players here in the US, watching the game, the difference in how a lifetime of experience changes the fluidity and the support in the way the South Africans play. I expect the United States to pick up their game. Next game will be against France at 11:45am. You can watch it at the International Rugby Board website

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Last one y’all…..

June 8, 2013

Today is the day of the second inaugural international test match in Houston. USA vs. Ireland rugby. The play of elite rugby in the south only made to bring rugby to the people. USA Rugby knowing that the south is aching for strong rugby after an impressive turnout last year when the USA played Italy, they know that we are people who appreciate great sporting. I know personally i’m excited because most of the times games like this don’t happen in this region. They are typically set up in California or the west coast in general. But this, this makes all the difference. Ireland is no scrub team. Ireland being ranked 9th in the world, compared to the USA at 16th, makes for this game to be one that gives all the good play of a tough match. If the USA were to beat this Irish team, that says a lot about the direction that the USA program has been going. The growth of rugby in the United States will be built on the foundation that we continue to play high competition like this. 

Thank you guys and GREAUX RUGBY

Gift Egbelu

CEO/Founder of Gift-Time Rugby Network

 

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