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24 August 2007

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The 49ers and Bears are playing a preseason game in Chicago the day before USA v. Munster. Does anyone know if there will be (or has been) any advertising for the match at Soldier Field or through the Bears organization? Seems like a great opportunity to bring football fans over to rugby.

Come on Mr Roberts, show Thorbs the money.

Come on Mr Roberts, show Thorbs the door.

Come on Mr Roberts, show Thorbs the money.

Chuck Norris says - hey Kurt, lighten up on your posts, bro!

This is a blog, man, not a derivatives site. Is the AP or Reuters picking up on your posts?

You write like they are being printed in every major sports section in the rugby playing word.

And bro, the passive aggressive tone is not upbeat.

Lighten up, my man. Thorburn is not the anti-Christ.

And did you contact Dana White, Kurt? You know he is a Munster fan, would have been good of you to invite him to join you, get him and UFC involved, you own the blog...support the troops and all that.

As always, looking forward to the comments that follow.

Yo, buy a freakin' Total Gym - I have to pay for my Gulfstream lease by the 30th!

Christie, pass me that towel, hon.

Later.

Chuck Norris rawks! er rox! er ROCKS! Chuck, did Bruce Lee get off lightly in his untimely death so as to not face you again?

Anyway, lets keep it in perspective. Munster vs. the USA is the equivilent of the Dallas Cowboys vs. the best NFL Europe team. This analogy is even flawed as the best NFL Europe team is mostly Americans that are paid full time to train and practice football whereas the Eagles are 6 to 8 professionals and the rest are the best athletic amatuers we have. If we could even get it to the point where our guys made a real living stipend then maybe we could call the current honchos on the carpet. Should they be judged on their results? Absolutely. Give it all a little more time before we undermine the current regime every chance we get so we can return to the glory days the Eagles had previously.

Chuck,

You speak the truth. My two sons are playing youth rugby this summer. Walker and Texas Ranger look forward to a better tomorrow in rugby.

Chuck Norris says - I love my fans! And he thanks Kurt for seeking thoughts and wisdom from correspondents.

Bruce was and is DA MAN. Chuck's career is due to Bruce. Rest in peace, Shaolin Master.

Chuck admires Ricky's courage to name his sons like he did - Chuck will send Ricky his hand combat CDs' and a free Total Gym for Texas Ranger. Chuck thinks TR will need this help with a name like that...especially on a rugby team.

Chuck is also grateful for having a smokinghotAmericanwife. Christie's not bad either.

Chuck wonders how the Eagles will fare against Munster. A bad name for a team. Yet they say it with a straight face even after 27 Guinesses.

Good luck, Ronin Rugby Dudes.

I know I have said I think it would be better if we all used our real names, but god bless Chuck, Ricky Bobby, Walker and Texas Ranger.

If you can be funny as these guys, you can be anonymous.

Cheers.

Rafael

Is it too early to comment on the game? Good start .... 25 solid minutes then it all just went to hell.

Individual performances ....

Burdette should not play hooker again or if he does have someone else, anyone else throw in. Lenz came in and the line out immediately improved. The first penalty of the game, a kickable one, was instead a kick to the corner with a botched line out throw - one of many - too many.

Bloomfeld - I was dissapointed. He failed to break any tackles in any meaningful manner. In fact he got taken down by a Munster midfielder in one of the better hits of the game. I'm not sure we have any other better options though.

Our backs - generally listless. "Z" had a couple good breaks but left his hands at home. Hercus made a line break that was not supported by the midfield or backrow.

The Eagles appeared to tire badly as the game went on.

If the Eagles had two or three other matches to prep for the tournament .... oh that's right, nobody thought of that apparantly!

France is going to be a very difficult task indeed.

I am very encouraged by this performance. The first half was the best half of rugby the Eagles have played in a long time. The back row was very good, especially Stanfill and Clever and the scrum was vastly improved (until Big Mac went off). Ngwenya showed some agility and pace but his hands were awful and he overran his centers far too often.

The backs may not have looked like much but this was because of the TERRIBLE service from Erskine. Petri should have been subbed in at halftime, if for no other reason than to get him gametime since he is the only other scrumhalf we have in the squad and he is uncapped. I thought the backs did very well given the awful passing from Erskine.

All in all I give the Eagles' performance a B+. It was far better than expected but there is still much work to be done. At least I have a bit more confidence that we won't be embarrassed by Tonga.

I was very encouraged. The Eagles dominated most of the game in my opinion, they just need to finish. Too many missed chances today, the could have scored atleast 2 or 3 tries. The line outs were horrible.

That being said, many people thought Munster would kill us and that didn't happen, so thats a positive.

The Eagles are going to be humiliated in the WC. They struggled on the basics against an Irish regional side playing many of their developmental players. England are going to play their best side and are out to make a statement. I expect them to score a century on our Eagles, and the other pool teams to score a half century. I would be surprised if the Eagles score more than 3 trys during the entire tourney.

From the match today, I can say only one thing.

"almost"

The good:

Scrum is improving, OZ and Mac were very good. Blake scrummaged well.

2/3 of the backrow, Clever and Stanfill both were impressive.

Backs looked athletic and dangerous for the most part. However, Sika is not a wing.

The team finally looked somewhat organized, good job to the coaches.


The Bad:

Lineout is poorly designed, not enough movement or options. Blake threw into a defending lift on every occasion. It got better when he went off because for some reason Munster stayed on the ground defensively.

Hercus is not a test kicker or punter. This will continue to hurt the Eagles.

Can't carry a backrow forward, Henry did next to nothing and Aylor has been worse. This was a squad selection mistake. Payne is the best option at this point.

Chad was average, we should give him a pass just coming off injury, but he was out-played by a guy not going to the WC. Kjar where are you?

Eagles couldn't finish or score tries because they haven't played enough together. Poor WC planning.

Overall: C+/B- and something to build on.

The scrum looked good early - agreed on that - they took a tight head by pushing Munster off the ball. By the second half tough, things began to look all too familiar.

Regarding the line out I hate to be negative but Burdette is extremely week in this area. This happened at the Churchill Cup as well - he threw poorly, was replaced (I think by Lenz) and we began winning useful ball.

Had we won the 1st lineout in the corner when Hercus kicked for touch rather than the posts and driven it over the game may have taken on a different flavor. Instead a poor throw resulted in a turnover. It was the right decision to go for the try but the execution was wanting.

I was a bit dissapointed in the back row though I will say the backline consistently failed to break the gain line. That does make it difficult for the backrow forwards to secure possession.

Bloomfeld was not the answer - he was average at best and the pace of the game will rise a couple notches come the WC.

The backs may have been organized but to do what? How many times was the gainline broken or even challenged?

After 25 minutes I was actually very encouraged but the last 15 minutes of the 1st half things changed - Munster adjusted and wound up carrying play in the second half.

In the end I believe the players have been let down. This would have been a good start if there were 2/3 additional matches ahead to adjust, fine tune, work combinations. All the things other counrties are doing. The comment regarding something to build on is true enough - the problem is it is too late to build upon the foundation.

Western Samoa has been in England for a couple weeks preparing. Fiji is touring. Nigel Melville, with his connections, could not have helped arrange a similar type of tour?

I know the guys have made huge sacrafices regarding job and family and thanks to them for carrying the torch at no small sacrifice but if what the commentator said is true and the team has essentially been holed up in Aspen would it have not been more productive to take the show on the road so to speak?

Let's hope for the best and maybe pray for rain in Lens on game day!


I disagree regarding Bloomfield. He dropped a bit of ball but was very useful going forward. The starting backrow should be Bausari at blindside, Clever at 7 and Stanfill at 8.

The reason the backs, including Emerick, had trouble was that the service from Erskine was so poor. I would be more forgiving if Erskine was having to deal with poor quality ball, but he wasn't. The US forwards did very well and he still was complete shit. Any time he was stuck in a ruck and Wyles or someone else played scrumhalf, the ball was infinitely better. Petri should have come on at halftime for two reasons. One is that Erskine was complete shit. The other is that the World Cup is not the right place to get your first taste of top level competition. Does anyone know if Malifa can play scrumhalf?

Forgot to mention...

Bloomfield would be very useful coming on with 20-30 minutes left as an impact sub when the opposition is tired. He made some promising runs today but his fitness may not be there yet?

I thought Bloomfield looked good carrying the ball. Probably at times looked to run over people instead of the better option of the offload, but we need someone like that to set the tone physically. Time for the Burdette experiment to end. This is also why taking only two hookers was a poor decision. "Z's" hands were abysmal. Can we hopefully blame that on nerves? Agree on the Petri front- he needed to get on for at least 20 minutes (or we needed/need Kjar). I wish we could have brought in Kjar to replace Viljoen. Wyles, Malifa and Emerick can all play #15, so why do we need Osborne? Scrum looked good. Emerick continues to show himself to be a world class player. Other than that, not a whole lot to give any hope we can win a game in France.

As an Irishman who has lived in Chicago for twenty years I was a little torn. However, important to remember...this was a second string Munster side. The world cup will be a whole different kettle of fish. I never saw the Eagles play before and have to say that they impressed me somewhat..however...they are not a World Cup team. Good luck to them,however.

"Can we hopefully blame that on nerves?"

Did you see the Sevens? Answer is a resounding no.

Nope, didn't see the 7s. This was the first time I saw him play. Maybe we can transplant Viljoen's hands onto him.

pathetic, losing to a magners league 2nd and U-21 side...stop making excuses for them

Performance,

You mean a side consisting of players who won the Heineken cup in 2006 and who have Super 14 experience? Yeah, real embarrassing for a group of players who are over half amateur. Time to get real. Based on this performance I like our chances versus Tonga and think we can challenge Samoa.

This game was a perfect example of how good rugby is in the professional countries and rather than how bad the Eagles are.

That being said I was extremely disappointed that we could win this match. Esp at home in front of a big crowd (9000-ish).

Why didn't we get a match in with Portugal last week when they were in Toronto?

I really liked the new kit the Eagles had. The alternates are red, bout time the team had some good threads. Best since the reebok kit of the mid 90's.

goeagles...how many Munster starters were not playing....are with the Irish team? (the answer's about 12 I think). This lot were mostly reserves.

I'm not sure I get all the negative vibes here. In the last RWC, the US played very well versus Fiji and beat Japan. I feel our squad looks better leading up to this year's RWC considering our lack of tune up matches.

England will not put 100 on us, 50 maybe. Same with South Africa, who has struggled in their past 2 matches.

I feel we have a real shot at winning atleast one match.

Chuck Norris says - watched the game, who the hell were those goofball commentators? They were the perfect example of American Rugby - as were the camera crew filming the game. CLUELESS!

The game confirmed one main thing for Chuck.

Here it is: we could hire Graham Henry and the result would not be any different.

When rugby players are selected for their country, they are expected to know how to pass, how to catch, how to run lines, how to deliver from the base of a ruck, and how to run into and through gaps, and how to support in broken play and at every breakaway.

Our Eagle team as a whole do not have these qualities. The result of learning the game in your 20's.

Just the facts - not a big deal, but we will never be world contenders.

Chuck thinks the Eagles were lucky to get into the RWC this year - and Chuck thinks Thorburn's selections and inclusive approach to selecting the squad allowed the USA to eventually qualify for the RWC.

But if the IRB changes the RWC qulalifiers for 2011, then the USA will not be in another RWC.

This is why Chuck's boys are playing lacrosse, and will probably never play rugby.

Chuck loves rugby.

Chuck lives in the real world.

Now, bring the damn RWC to the US of A and the IRB will make more money than EVER in a RWC!

If there is one thing we Yanks know, it is how to put on a WORLD CUP. Just ask FIFA, they made more money when the US hosted the Soccer WC than ever before, and ever since.

A RWC in America would freakin' ROCK.

Who the hell cares if we don't know the game? It has big hits, no pads, no helmets, bulging muscles visible to every panting soccer mom, accents galore, and is a true world event.

Americans are the consumate hosts, and we are the consumate sports fans.

BRING THE 2015 RWC TO AMERICA - and buy a freakin' Total Gym for those fat @ss commentators!

Later.

I thought it was a solid performance, in most areas for most of the match, against a decent Munster XV. Yes, missing 12 1st choice players, but nevertheless boasting 5 Irish and 1 Argentine internationals (Foley has 60+ caps, and O'Driscoll is a wily fox).

Lineout was awful at the start (Munster's shaky too) but improved. Hercus reasonably trusted it at the end. Back row all impressive, esp Stanfill. Ngengya certainly has poor hands, which is a shame as he also showed great pace and elusiveness when he kept hold of the ball. And Emerick cleverly bought him space at the last, drawing 2 defenders... Wyles looked good.

Thought the defence was committed, accomplished and well organised. I thought I counted a 3-1 overlap (poss 2-1) in the mid 1st half, which was neatly snuffed out. And they did very well to end big Mick's act of piracy on that sly cross-field penalty.

Shame about the finishing, but we gave Munster a hard game, and don't moan about the quality of the opposition - those guys are all pros. Well done and good luck. 4 tough pool games beckon.

"But if the IRB changes the RWC qulalifiers for 2011, then the USA will not be in another RWC.

This is why Chuck's boys are playing lacrosse, and will probably never play rugby."

Chuck,

This doesn't make sense to me. What would the Eagles not qualifying for the 2011 RWC have to do with your kids playing lacrosse over rugby? It's not as if lacrosse has a major international scene the way rugby does.

If we beat Samoa and Tonga, we could finish 3rd in our group. A 3rd place finish in our group gets us into the 2011 RWC.

A long shot...sure

Impossible...no

The U17 Soccer World Cup is happening now. The US lost their first two games, yet finished 2nd in the group after beating Belgium. They finish 1-2 and by all rights, shouldn't advance. However...they did. It looked impossible and yet they advanced. Who's to say it couldn't happen for the Eagles?

Sorry if I missed this info... But do the Eagles have any more warm-up games against credible foes?

Sorry if I missed this info... But do the Eagles have any more warm-up games against credible foes?

They have a warmup game on Saturday, Sept. 8 against England.

Re: Lacrosse, At least lacrosse has a professional league in the US. How the "if-you-see-kay" that came about I don't know. I thought it was just a bunch of east coast frat boys. What's even more astounding to me is that here in the Mile High city we have a pro team. I mean, WTF, and how many people even know that USA Rugby HQ is just a few miles away in Boulder?! Makes me want to take one of those lacrosse stick things and beat some sense into the wankers at USAR.

Chuck Norris says - GoEagles, my man, where I live junior lacrosse is very, very well organized.

It is played in the high schools (public included), and there are clubs for youth through high school, and age group State Select Side teams for the best players in the State.

The lacrosse clubs do not fight against each other, they support the game and youth programs, which secures fields, sponsorship, and full time coaching and admin positions.

Post HS, there is a plethora of lacrosse scholarships for the great to the good players. And there is a club system for grads in most cities, similar to rugby clubs, that includes Masters for the plus 35 guys.

And if you want to be a jock through your 20's and you are good enough to go pro, you can.

Fred is right - if USAR wants to model an AMERICAN APPROACH to rugby, they would probably do well by talking to US Lacrosse.

Chucks knows USAR is reading this right now...makes sense, no?

And Chuck wants Total Gym to be the sponsoring home gym for USAR.

Chuck gives bulk discounts...and free towels!

And Christie LOVES short shorts, don't cha hon?

Body By Jake says, I founded and invested millions of dollars into the pro lacrosse league.

Jake sell fitness crap on TV like Chuck.

Jake give to lacrosse, Chuck give nothing

Jake good lacrosse make, Chuck no rugby give

Where are all of the Thorburn experts now? You all seem very quiet.

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