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11 February 2013


Qualifying for the Olympics is vital. To do that we need to be on the circuit next year. So if we drop out by a couple of points wouldn't it be ironic that that two crazy point losing decisions will go down to an Australian.

The Hume kicking issue is more of a symptom of a greater problem -- that our kickers are consistently poorer than those on top-tier 7s teams, and even as compared to our peer 7s teams.

Would love it if someone with the data can support -- or refute -- my contention that one of our weaker points is conversion kicking

The whole drama at the even of the Spain match would have mattered naught if we had of made kicks earlier in the game.

Not only that -- if the USA kickers had of made the first three conversions in the Spain game, the fourth try and conversion would have not even been necessary (as the PD would have been already in place). USA could have thus kicked to touch, and rested players before the game against Fiji.

In 2012, US average conversion was 60%, all teams average was 62%. NZ was 59%


Deal with it -- thanks.. Awesome analysis. I guess the Eagles aren't as bad as I thought.

So perhaps a conclusion to make here is that when you score fewer tries, the conversions are that much more vital.

On the flipside, when NZL is thumping someone five tries to nil, does anyone notice if they missed a kick or two? Probably not.

Perhaps next year, the IRB could analyze the relative position of conversion kicks. Say, between the posts, between post and 15m, 15m and 5m, 5m and touchline.

But it still might be tough to compare, given some fields are narrower than others (ahem, Vegas).

Perhaps another telling statistic is that the Eagles scored the least amount of tries of any core team (111), and less than half of NZL.

Consider further that the USA was only one of two core teams (SCO the others) to have played the entire series in the Bowl/Plate brackets.

ARG scored almost as few tries as the USA, but spent much more time in the Cup/Plate brackets, against tougher competition.

One would think that once you got into the Bowl/Shield, the scoreboard should roll over more for core teams.

And when you compare SCO to USA, they spent the whole season in Bowl/Shields, had nearly the same number of tries (SCO slightly higher), but SCO finished higher in the tables -- could SCO's conversion rate have helped? Hmm.

"Perhaps next year, the IRB could analyze the relative position of conversion kicks. Say, between the posts, between post and 15m, 15m and 5m, 5m and touchline."

I wonder if the distribution is more or less the same for all teams, or if better teams have a higher proportion of tries scored closer to the middle.

Grand Prix 7s cancelled. Least shocking news ever?


All hot air I'm afraid!

Bizarre comments from the Eagle Sevens Head Coach

“There’s a lot of positives. The guys are starting to have faith in what we’re about and what we’re trying to do on the field,” said Magleby.

“Fewer guys are going rogue. They’re adjusting to what they’re supposed to be doing and they’re finding success that way. When they do that, we’re a very good team. When they don’t do that, they revert to some old bad habits, and bad things are going to happen.”

Starting to have faith?
Fewer guys are going rogue. How about nobody going rogue?

Our "elite" American rugby athletes are full of self-confidence despite their lackluster results on the field in both 15s and 7s.

Until there is much deeper pool of talent, coaches will not be able to bench for poor attitude and influence change.

And meanwhile in the head office, Super League and Grand Prix Sevens are dead. Olympic Development Camps offer a ray of hope but any success will be due to the efforts of groups like Serevi rather than anyone in Boulder.

The head office had nothing to do with Super League or Grand Prix (?). And I was told the ODPs were Luke Gross and Mags's idea...

Nigel Melville and USAr sold to Grand Prix the exclusive rights to domestic 7's events. This pissed off the IRB and USA Sevens, excellent partners to USAr. The USAr-Grand Prix contact is all poorly worded and can be read to be expansive beyond its original intention. After all, what does the rights to "pro" sevens mean? Whatever the courts decide its means. This is where it will likely end up like all USAr business dealings. So Bill Tatham isn't going away anytime soon.

Boulder is neck deep in Bill Tatham and the Grand Prix mess.

The agreement that gave Tatham the right to a pro 7s league in the US came about in 2005 so I believe it predates Nigel & the current Board set-up.

I'm sure some of the brighter lights currently occupying seats in Congress were probably involved in the decision back then though.

Correct the original agreement was done by Bob Latham and Doug Arnot, but it was renewed by none other than Nigel Melville and the current Board.

@Deal With It

What do you expect when you hire a guy that was last coaching a club sports team full of highly educated kids to take on these types of athletes? He's over his head.

So if foreign coaches are bad and college coaches are not good enough, where is a decent Sevens coach going to come from? What is the path for an elite Sevens rugby coach in the US?

Who said foreign coaches are bad for 7s? I think James Walker would be a good candidate to coach the Eagles 7s team.

Reality Check,

Are you the same guy who was suggesting Tolkin was "over his head" [sic] back in October?

Something tells me Deal with it's logic is over your head.

If Tietjens and Magelby traded jobs today, then....(fill in the blank)....

> I don't think Isles makes the team.
> USA consistently beats 2nd tier 7s teams (POR,SPA,CAN,SCO).

Looks like the Varsity Cup has already fallen on it's face before a single ball was passed, kicked or contested. Playing the final at the BYU South Field is a joke. The brackets are all set for a BYU vs. Cal final and it is going from the state of the art Rio Tinto Stadium with a capacity of 20K to a place that holds 2500 unless you put in temp bleachers. Oh yeah, you can have people sit up on a hill or something too.

ESPN must be licking their chops!

Yea those 4-5k crowds at BYU suck. I'm betting that the VC will sell 20,000 total tickets at the 5 venues.

I'm betting that the total ticket sales from the USAr college playoffs and final will be under 3000.

Hasn't the USAR D1 championship been played before 10K plus the last couple of years?

The VC is not an improvement on the previous competition. At least three of these teams have no business being in an "elite" competition.

It's a joke.

The reason Jack Clark wanted out of the CPD was because after one year, which included a final in the Rio Tinto Stadium in front of 10K+ people, he felt that the commercial potential of the competition was not being properly leveraged. Now the new BYU lead Varsity Cup seems to be taking a step backwards from the CPD's first year. Of course the main reason Jack Clark didn't like it is because USA Rugby didn't share the ticket revenue with the teams. So now he is going to be flying his team across the country to Annapolis, Maryland and then to BYU for the final. He gets a home match against probably Dartmouth, but that's not going to produce massive revenue. It is most likely not going to get broadcast because if they had a sponsor that would be what they would be doing (sponsor pays for the production costs to get broadcaster and thus TV exposure). Not sure where all the sizzle is on this Varsity Cup.

Given the use of college logos in the Varsity Cup materials, I am guessing revenue sharing with the colleges was negotiated up front and Cal likes the new deal better than the last championship structure. On TV, a full 2,500 person stadium looks much better than a half full 20,000 stadium. Look at the minor college football bowls where tickets sales are small compared to TV revenue. USAR is trying to replicate the CRC format in 15s by selecting a few key brands. The Varsity Cup may not have TV coverage and sponsors yet, but expect USAR to try to get Varsity Cup coverage as part of a package with other properties like Eagles matches. Regional TV networks like the PAC12 Network may also pick up Varsity Cup as they are starved for content.

My guess is that it is not going to be on TV. The typical minor sport sponsorship goes like this:

1) Sponsor is secured with terms that include covering the production costs to broadcast the event (this may include paying the costs to get the athletes there, but for sure covers the cost to get a production company to film the event and the costs to secure the venue).

2) Event organizers go to the networks to secure broadcast of the event.

3) The sponsor has their brand all over the event and the broadcast of the event (i.e. Old Navy Rugby Varsity Cup).

My guess is that it is going to be webcast.

The Varsity Cup is good try and i think we should all give it a couple of years. The problem is that sponsors and broadcasters are only interested in the spring and they are only interested in sevens really. So what may need to happen is 15's gets played in the fall and Sevens in the spring. That way, the CRC will be a real championship too.

But what happens when the USA doesn't qualify for the Olympics?

Then we will all be back at the balloon park with the girls D2 teams dry-humping in their match warm-ups.

But we would have tried.

You had me at "ballon park", but lost me with bringing it back to the Rugby Chapter of the He-Man Woman Haters Club.

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