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11 October 2013

Comments

Not expecting much from the Matt Hawkins (aka. Tolkin 2.0) other than a lot of excuses and poor results. Just like Tolin 1.0 the 2.0 model is over his skis.

With the way the NY Giants are playing maybe Tom Coughlin can take a page out of Hawkins book and start himself next week to help stop their slide.

So disappointing we would go with a player coach ... Its one thing if you have a legendary player like Serevi doing it, but for a team on the cusp of falling out of core status each year it really makes no sense.

Canada has outclassed the US again in 7s and 15s. Canada has better managed clubs and a better managed high performance pipeline. Over the past 10 year the clubs in the US have done very little to build any sort of high performance competition that has a meaningful impact on the quality of the National team. As a result there is not a deep pool of elite athletes in the US to feed the National team. Many on gainline want to point fingers at USA Rugby but the US clubs have done as poor a job as USA Rugby in developing the game. Canada's population and GDP are just one ninth of the US and Canada faces the same geographic issues as the US. Canada has much better management nationally, regionally, and locally.

In a few years we will be looking back at the Tolkin and Hawkins years as the worst ever for the 7s and 15s MNTs.

@wtf,

That comes from far better competitive structures. The CRC is a major factor in that difference. Both their 7s and 15s squads compete in that structure. You play in tougher competitions you become better players. The USA needs to look at doing something similar asap.

As for the 7s. 3 from 3 is an improvement on last season. The team has the basic building blocks there. I agree on Hawkins as player/coach or coach in general. He's not a coach either way. If he has any nous about him he'll be getting the likes of Gollings and Severi in during the off period to help them out.

Yep - lets give him another tournament or two before giving him the boot. A Player-coach in charge just isn't going to work, but 3-3 is okay. So lets wait and see.

@Jack

They beat Portugal, Spain and a hapless Tonga. Canada came away with 7 points and USA 3. Hawkins is a mug.

I agree that Canada has a much better competitive structure. USA Rugby and US clubs have failed to create a viable competitive structure. US national team results are not surprising given the quality of players in the elite player pool and the lack of depth in the elite player pool. USA Rugby has shown they can not organize effective competitions that develop enough elite athletes. The clubs need to take ownership of their competitions and develop new revenue sources on their own. The good news is that some of this has started with CRC 7s, Varsity Cup, and West Coast premier rugby and the Academies sending their select side to top tournaments around the world. Private funding, not USA Rugby funding is the key.

wtf has it right. Other-than-USAR funding is the way forward, tough road that it is.

Roberts & Melville have screwed the pooch so much that real sponsors will not even consider USAR as a viable candidate because it is a brand without vision or value position. Since Congress and the Board are locked in positions that union members cannot oust, perhaps it is time to vote with our wallets.

Other-than-USAR funding is key but USA Rugby will still be involved in sanctioning and/or licensing and they will continue to manage the National Teams. As poorly as USA Rugby has performed, they are the national governing body recognized by IRB and USOC.

And that is fine. But we cannot rely on USAR To handle anything but the National Teams. They are failing at all of it and need to concentrate on what is important to an NGB - developing winning NTs.

Hawkins is a great player and might be a good coach. Any person is a joke trying to do both. Hopeless situation. Bad leadership decision. Look for Canada to replace USA as a core team with this strategy.

Hulka,

Umm...Canada are already a core team on the circuit this season and I'm fairly certain they were one last season as well.

Both Spain and Portugal would need to be more worried about relegation at present than the US as the US squad is better man for man than those two squads. Easily. Especially with the new rules around relegation where the last placed squad is automatically relegated and replaced by the winner of the qualifying series.

Something yet to be discussed is the player burnout - turnover in the sevens program. Not only have we got ourselves a player coach, but we have burned through several players who have tons of series experience.

The players have been mismanaged. As we approach the most important time in USA Rugby history, Olympic qualification, we are trending downward.

Yes he was a captain, but he wasn't the dominant force, tried & true leader of men into battle. Serevi had established himself as a clear cut gamechanger who knew every nuance to being successful. It wasn't as if we depended on Hawkins to carry us through the big wins. There are too many players on the squad that could see Hawkins just as a peer rather than a coach. Not sure if this scenario exists but I have seen this type of attitude ruin teams: "Why should I listen to you, Coach? I saw you miss the same tackle your asking me to make during last year's Wellington stop..." With the exception of the new players in the mix, the core veterans have heard every pre-game/halftime William Wallace speech Hawkins has made. His message might be stale already eventhough he's only 2 tournaments into his term. He's not removed enough from the current squad for them to see him as a respected voice. Not sure if we can wait til 2nd half of series to rebound from real threat of relegation this year.

Hawkins and the boys are having a good time travelling the world and making lifetime memories all on CIPP dollars from college and high school kids. Winning is second to the good times. These guys are a disgrace.

Right WCR, sorry I misspoke. But, you get the gist of my comment. We're regressing, not progressing.

"Winning is second to the good times."

Good times indeed!

The USA Selects had a good win over their Canadian counterparts 30-10.

Canada threw us a bone. Let's see how the rest of the tournament goes and how the Eagles do this fall.

Bruce, apology to Dolan? Seems like the player of the tourney so far and he was the one player you repeatedly said should not have been selected. Can't get them all right.

Cowley looks a good pick too?

Tier 3,

A 30-10 win isn't being thrown a bone. It's a good solid win. It will be interesting to see the result of the Selects/Uruguay game as much of the Uruguayan team will be fronting up to the Eagles in the RWCQ series.

@WCR

Yeah complete turn around. Tolkin on short list for IRB Coach of the Year. Eagles a sure bet for Quarter Final spot at 2015 RWC. #falsedawn

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