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08 November 2013


I'd argue that while the opposition matters, the marketing and promotion matters more. This summer, the Ireland match (and the Italy match the year before) was heavily promoted while the Tonga match in LA was not. This match against the Maori was heavily marketed and you see again the results with a large crowd.

My hope is that with Houston quickly becoming a location with a dependable crowd, USA Rugby will feel like it can enlarge its marketing budget for other matches in the summer and give those matches the promotion they deserve.

Tonga and StubHub, not Fiji and Staples.

I also agree that it comes down to marketing. The Charleston match against Canada was sold out as well.

USAR cannot enlarge it's budget when it's experiencing a serious shortfall of it's largest (+40%) revenue stream. If USAR doesn't start making money from test matches, it is in serious financial trouble.

Consider the following:

- USAR recently downgraded it's insurance coverage from $1M/$3M to $1M/$2M and completely did away with the $4M umbrella policy. This was done to save money.

- In August, USAR entertained an insurance bid presentation from it's sponsor AIG. USAR passed on this bid, renewed w/ Prudential & Nationwide, THEN went back to AIG asking for a mid-term quote! Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!

- USAR's premier collegiate competition (D1A) has not been receiving the money it usually does from Boulder to run to division. Look for USAR to quietly lay off all but a few of those working with D1A to save some money and blame any budget issues on the Commissioner (who probably has not even been given a budget to work with).

CIPP Dues are down because "rugby people" (a term USAR employees use in a derogatory manner to talk about complainers) are tired of paying for an organization over which they possess little control.

Great effort tonight. It was great to see the boys play with heart and passion and put in the full 80. Lets see what happens now with the rest of the professionals coming back but some of these young guys have proven they can flat out play.
From what I saw tonight the only guy who's spot should be in jeopardy is Petri but I have to believe those kicks were a result of a poor game plan that was poorly executed. Nevertheless, I think Davies deserves a good look after his ARC performance.

I'm a little bias, but those former college all americans continue to impress! Well done boys, very well done.

Davies kicking away during injury time showed lack of composure during an attack when the ball needs to stay in hand. Not that the Eagles would have won, but why give it away so easily?
I also think the main difference between Houston/Philadelphia and LA with Tonga was promotion. And possibly the Friday game date in LA. 3 times USA Rugby promoted a big match and 3 times it's sold out. This shows that 1. if you tell people they will come and 2. the game is growing.

Hulka is correct. But USAR dealt their best marketer a harsh blow and forced her to resign.

Given USAR's fiduciary problems, perhaps they should concentrate their fundraising efforts on marketing internationals, increasing charitable contributions, and increasing sponsorship dollars. When they start thinking about every bit of income being 6-figured, they may put meaningful funds in the coffers.

Clearly an impressive effort ... though I would like to cut Petri's feet off ... how many times does he have to do a poor box kick to get the hint that he is not good at it.

Great performance - best I've seen in years against a really good team

Might I also say that I believe the Canadian ref had an outstanding game. Unlike some of the pedantic "this is how it is done" officials that seem bent on teaching the Eagles a lesson on the laws of the game the Canadian fellow kept the game flowing, applied the advantage law well and was even handed in penalizing teams without trying to put a personal stamp on the game and in the process facilitated a pretty good game of rugby!

Davies should start. Tolkin likes his NY boys though and it won't happen.

Were caps awarded for this match?

I agree with The Hard Truth. Petri is continues to kick too much. 3/4 of his kicks seem to be random and without purpose. Frustrating to watch. Really like Davies at the ARC. Would love to see him come it at 55-60 and run quick ball.

Petri is really hurting the team IMO. He is not a credible threat as a runner so the defense is able to key in on the first receiver. The last straw had to be his woeful defensive positioning on his opposite's try against the Maori.

Agreeing with Cali Love, the attacking 9s are able to square their shoulders and at least present themselves to be credible attackers and move with options off the ruck on both the inside and out. That is lacking in our structure with Petri. Off static ball, his 4 steps and pass to the 10 or 1 forward pod really telegraphs our offense to the point where the defense is in our face before we are allowed approach the gainline. How many times was the NZ #7 just waiting at the tackle spot ready to slow down our ball as a result of telegraphing our 1 or 2 options

Was anyone else put off by the homerism color commentary?

Pete M: not me. It was obviously biased but fine. I think having biased Americans on commentary adds color, keeps it interesting as opposed to unbiased reporting. I think you're just looking for something to complain about.

Regarding 9s, we actually seem to have some decent ones coming through the pipeline.

If you guys watched the HSAA tour of Argentina, Michael Reid was more impressive to me than Lamositele.

Tom Bliss was one of the bright lights of the U20s last June and has been getting some A team time with London Irish.

Then of course you have the more obvious guys like Davies and Saint. I think the future is pretty bright at 9. Hopefully Tolkin can overlook his long term relationship with Petri and do what is best for the Eagles.

Off topic ... I know so I will remove if asked but had to comment on the RL "World Cup". The organizers could have saved a lot of jet fuel and trouble at customs had they simply held the event in Australia. Looked at the rosters for the Cook Islands, Tonga, Italy and the "surprising" US Tomahawks (the surprise being that there are actually 9 players born in the US represented). None of the teams can field a full side with players born or based in the countries they are representing ... the US fields the most of this group with 9 US born players.

And yes I am aware that Rugby Union has it's issues with creative ways to establish someone's nationality for representing a national team but RL has certainly mastered the art ... despite what Brian Lowe might have one believe ... back to the regularly scheduled commentary :>

How many are born in the USA and raised in Australia? I know one was for sure because they mentioned during the broadcast he was born in the USA to Australian parents because his father was a pro golfer on tour in the USA.

Where is Don Pati in the 9 mix? I thought he had the most promise out of all of the up and coming ones. Is he not playing anymore? Re-watch him during the first CRC. Talk about an attacking 9. I would think he would at least be in the 7s mix.

Pati toured with the All Americans last year. He was listed as a Junior so part of his being out of the mix could be school-related. I do think he's much more suited to 7s than 15s, though.

This was the US coach's reason he couldn't coach the Tomahawks at the RLWC, about a month before the tournament:

“There's just been something come up that I really couldn't miss, unfortunately,” Smith said.

Quake Shaker-quality gold.

No Sgt Hulka I am not looking for something to complain about. The previous week I watched the Redskins host the Chargers on CBS. Dan Fouts was the color guy for the broadcast, yes Dan Fouts that was the QB for Air Coryell Chargers teams of the late 70s and early 80s. Nary a biased comment out of his mouth and this guy was the QB of a pretty good Chargers team that got smashed by a bad Redskins team in 1980. I can stomach homerism on regionally contracted baseball, basketball, hockey, etc broadcasts but not on a national broadcast. It wasn't even homerism, it was outright cheering on the team. These guys are suppose to be professional broadcasters, outright cheering on a team is bad form.

Well Pete, then turn the volume down. And, who watches the Chargers anyway????

I agree with Hulka. Vizard doesn't have the charisma of Johnny Most, but a little home team love is fine with me. And what's really the difference between regional sports broadcast for regional teams and a national broadcast for a national team?

Regional sports broadcasters are contracted to the the regional network (Comcast Mid Atlantic for example) which has a contract with the team (Washington Craps)to broadcast the games. National broadcasters work for a national network (NBCSN for example) and are contracted to the league (NHL).

Yes, the volume was turned down after Vizard started overly cheering on the Eagles.

It wasn't the Chargers I was tuning into watch, it was the Bobknee3 lead Redskins.

I dare to say that Vizard is a private contractor who was hired to cover the match and is not employed by Fox.

Listen to the England v NZ match this weekend, whether it's from an English channel or an NZ one, you'll notice a bit of home side cheering. Murray Mexted (sp?) does this often when the All Blacks are on the picth, from what I recall. No different than a former Eagle supporting the Eagles.

"Regional sports broadcasters are contracted to the the regional network (Comcast Mid Atlantic for example) which has a contract with the team (Washington Craps)to broadcast the games. National broadcasters work for a national network (NBCSN for example) and are contracted to the league (NHL)."

Except the league in this case would be the IRB and the team would be the Eagles. And it is a regional broadcast in a worldwide sense as it is aimed at an American audience rather than the audience of the entire "league", i.e. the world.

Last I checked Fox doesn't have a contract with the IRB.

Pete, I think you missed the point of my (somewhat rhetorical) question. But let's agree to disagree. I like a bit of homerism with my commentary.

Are you sure that your anger towards Vizard aren't just redirected feelings of hopelessness as a DC area football fan?

At least it wasn't Dave Sitton rambling on like a loon.

Um, when you're hoping to expose a larger audience than our 100,000 members to rugby, you want those watching to get behind the USA. There's nothing wrong with rooting for the Eagles when it's broadcast in the US.

World Cup? Yeah, I get it. Friendly that's not even a test? Whatever...move along.

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