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08 May 2009


The photos of illegal tackles posted on the "parity and commerce" article are nothing to be proud of. If fact they are insulting to the game.

What do you expect when you have 26 year olds and foreign imports here in the USA to play rugby against 19-22 year old college kids for a school founded on the principles of a cult coached by an Irish psychopath and supported by the cults' members? You didn't expect something non-cynical and honorable like most college sports in the USA? Did you?

What is wrong with that tackle?
I guess you guys grew up in the patty cake era?

Excellent tackle on a high ball by my viewpoint, similar to the hard foul in basketball.

huh? excellent tackle? as in worthy of praise? as in doing that might be hard to do? please. anyone can hit someone while they are defenseless in the air. and the intent to hurt that is clearly shown in that pic deserves a red card

Patty Cake,

Do you even comprehend how dangerous that "excellent tackle" is??

There are head, neck and back injuries that are very much at risk in this tackle. Players often times don't get up after a tackle like that.

You should be embarrassed by your thoughts, and I hope to GOD that a player that plays this sport, doesn't get paralyzed because of an illegal tackle like this.

Please take your "no holds barred" back to the MMA ring and keep it off of our rugby fields!!

Guys that talk this shit, are never the tough ones. They are D2 subs that were their jersey to the bar.

The around the neck tackle was over the top. The ref had no control over the match.

Wonder if ESPNU would broadcast the match if this Cal kid ended up breaking his neck?

anyone know if there is a relationship between the last minute colorado & penn state pullouts for scheduled matches w/ byu this year and byu's style of play? at the time those non-weather related cancellations seemed curious.

i'm wondering whether byu's "edge of the laws" style of rugby will cost it scheduled future matches as other clubs elect not to subject themselves to the byu style...something to follow

"Excellent tackle on a high ball by my viewpoint, similar to the hard foul in basketball."

Also completely illegal and would likely gain a yellow card if the referee is following the Laws of the Game. This isn't really subjective and up for debate. It's an illegal play.

I'm not going to venture into the tardfight that is the Cal-BYU game. I haven't seen it and I have no idea whether BYU really plays like that or not. But the people posting approving comments of the play in the photographs seen need to get a grip.

BYU are nothing in the wider rugby world - they'd get turfed off the park by several BUSC (British Universities) schools. This is, let's be real, the university championship for a team which has won two World Cup games ever. It stands to reason that the quality of rugby seen was not extraordinary even in recognition of the hard work done by the two programs to improve themselves. I'm afraid that's basically an objective POV.

Second, no successful international team has ever used illegal physical intimidation to win, so the idea of the USA doing it as policy should be and will be rightly a non-starter. The South Africans of 2002 tried to do it and lost by 50 points to England. The Polynesian teams do it on occasion and they rarely win anything. It is nothing more than lame prick waving to think dirty play is a winner.

Flynn is a coward.

More like Flynn's conception of rugby isn't a macho man bastardization lifted from American Football and big hits videos.

I was at the match and BYU intimidated the Cal players. The look on their faces shortly after the second half started told the story...."final whistle please" was what those faces told.

Should the ref given a red card for the dangerous tackle on the Cal center? Yes. Did he? No.

BYU intimidates Cal and gets the win. That is part of rugby. Dangerous tackle or not.

Not sure if Fynn is a coward. I think he is just a bit of a harmless rugby geek/dork.

a person using a pseudoname calling someone who signs his name a coward...

but flynn, why the crapping on the american rugby standard? why was that necessary? And other countries have basketball champs who would get thrown out of the gym over here.

that match was entertaining and hard fought. and a red card should be given when it is deserved. thats what keeps teams who think they can play "intimidation via dirty play" from doing so.

illegal tackle. period. "patty cake police" go back to gridiron, hard fouls in basketball draw blood, not break necks. hard play in rugby does the same thing. learn the laws before you open your mouth. what did your coach teach you about this?!

Law 10 Foul Play

Section 4 Dangerous Play or Misconduct

(e) Dangerous tackling. A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously.

A player must not tackle (or try to tackle) an opponent above the line of the shoulders. A tackle around the opponent’s neck or head is dangerous play.

A ‘stiff-arm tackle’ is dangerous play. A player makes a stiff-arm tackle when using a stiff arm to strike an opponent.

Playing a player without the ball is dangerous play.

A player must not tackle an opponent whose feet are off the ground.

it is a penalty, get over it. It wasn't when I was playing.

In fact, he could have spiked him into the ground as well. Maybe punch him in the face, off the ball a bit later. No harm no foul.

I agree that it is a penalty, but the reactionaries are forgetting that rugby is a contact sport.

It is a penalty, get over it soft serves. Hopefuylly the Eagles will place some harder guys on the squad, fellas that are adept at playing physical rugby.

Does anyone have a comment on Kurt's post? I admit I'm not always the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but I'm unsure what he's trying to say. Sleeping giant or not?

I admittedly didn't understand at all what the point of this post was. I think the term "sleeping giant" in reference to American Rugby is that if we were to capitalize on our already existing high performance structure within the scholastic/varsity environment and in the process capture some more athletes like Kevin Swiryn (mid-level college football player becomes international rugby star), we could eventually compete at the very top of the international stage.

"but flynn, why the crapping on the american rugby standard? why was that necessary? And other countries have basketball champs who would get thrown out of the gym over here."

Other countries don't have people who post on blogs fist-pumping (to put it mildly) about how a policy of hard technical fouls will take their team to the Olympic gold medal over LeBron and Kobe.

I'm not coming here to be a turd in the punchbowl about the quality of the kicking game or the technical nous of the tightheads or the lines run by centres. I want to see USA players playing rugby, not playing some Jack Tatum-wannabe felonious assault. If people are stupid enough to think that's a legitimate way to play rugby then they need to be put into their place by being reminded that the thuggery involved isn't putting them at the very pinnacle and forefront of the game. The USA will only get to the forefront of the game by being the best at playing rugby because there will be opposition who will match up blow for blow.

I post from the other thread:
"I would love to see the Eagles lay some Daryl Stingley type hits on the All Blacks in a World Cup with a full house of Americans going ballistic talking trash and booing opposition kicks for points."

Given the completely pitiful way that people can hide under anonymity here, it's hard to tell if this poster was serious or not, but if so that's an absolute disgrace and an insult to the game of rugby. I'd love to see BYU or any other team take that kind of thuggery and get curbstomped by a British university team playing real rugby.

Taking the man out in the air and high tackling is not rugby, it's tools that an inferior team uses to prevent the opposition from playing rugby. If people think that's alright then they need to man up and learn to box so their pathetically spineless yet violent impulses can be dealt with in a more honorable fashion. The Daryl Stingley mention is doubly insulting, since Stingley broke his neck and died young from complications due to his injury.

Rugby teams in this country should be beating the opposition by playing rugby and that's it. Thuggery is not only dishonorable to those involved and to the game itself (as well as perpetuating every bad stereotype that exists in our country about rugby), it's an abdication to the opposition of the right to play rugby. It's a tacit admission that we do not have the skills to play rugby, so we'd rather play something else instead. Which is crap and a shame.

Something like a high tackle can happen in every game, that's not the situation in the BYU-Cal match.

In this match there were many dangerous tackles. In each case the BYU player followed through with the assault, never easing up once they understood they had a player by the neck, or helplessly three feet off the ground.

These dangerous moments were intermixed with general penalties which were good penalties, if Davey's the ref, because they traded tries for penalty kicks. With a different ref, they would have traded long penalty advantages and yellow cards, but not on this day.

I'm not sure Cal was intimidated. They all but won the game, losing on a dodging penalty at the scrum in the final 2 minutes. However it did look like the ref was intimidated. He was afraid to take BYU on with both their dirty and illegal play.

The biggest difference was at the Life College regional, BYU was refereed, thus the closeness of the matches.

Older, foreign players, playing dirty. Its how it is. We need some teams to stand up to this and beat them, because the refs aren't all up to it.

I suggest you all watch the game on the 20th, take video clips of all the alleged BYU infractions and make a highlight reel to send to USA Rugby. I was there, watched the match, and, except for Sam Thorley tackling a man in the air, I didn't see what you're talking about. What I did see was a lot of very physical, "smashmouth" rugby from both sides. There was also a lot of good positional kicking, passing, rucking and tackling. I thought it a generally well-played contest. I will record the the telecast. Please publish the times of the specific instances you are citing. Until I see them, I really don't think I can believe your implication that BYU is a dirty team.


What about the photos posted on this site, not only of the Hawley tackle, but of a second around the neck job. Somebody posted a non-link to another site which had another a clear photo of a short arm to the throat of a Cal players. Those photos don't lie.

What I will find interesting in the TV broadcast is the last penalty against Cal. BYU had a prop off and moved a back-rower to prop and also I think moved the TH to LH. They had been getting pushed and on this scrum the new LH just stands up and the ref pings Cal. He doesn't reset the scrum, he gives BYU the match with a chip shot with next to time remaining. The ref just lost it in my view, I'll be interested to see it again.

I gotcha Flynn.

The short arm actually produces less damage than a well timed stiff arm. It is an underutilized tactic in my opinion. Aim for the sternum and if he stands up he gets a good one in the face or throat. If he ducks, push his head or shoulder down.

I didn't see the match, but maybe his timing was a little off. Maybe he'll get it right the next time.

Good news. My sources at ESPNU tell me that not enough homes have ESPNU to warrant a Nielsen rating. So when nobody watches this game on May 20, nobody will know.

I say that USA should go beyond thug rugby and go for ghetto rugby. Let's teach the game in the inner cities and get some straight gangsters playing rugby. I want to see the Eagles turn Twickenham into a scene from a prison yard riot.

Ghetto Rugby is the way to the top for the Eagles.

I'm all for some ghetto rugby. We already turned rugby ghetto and violent once when we turned it into gridiron, so let's do if it again without changing the rules this time. I would love to see some straight up inner city gangster brothers go at the Boks after a little pre-match motivational talk about Apartied.

WTF??? Just watched the ESPN game of the week, BYU v Utah and have to say, our officials suck butt. At the 32:30 mark of the 2nd half, BYU scores to make it 29-8, two Utah players collide as one is jumping over the try scorer, when one of BYU's Polynesian players comes barreling in and throws a running clothesline at one of the Utah players. The 2 touch judges, the referee and Alex didnt see or say crap, even though for Alex it was right there on the broadcast. If we dont get some good referees to call the matches well, the lack of rugby discipline will continue to be a stumbling block in having the public embrace the sport. What sucks is the majority of BYU's players wont even play for the U.S. as they are from rugby strong nations. Should BYU's new name be Southern Hemi U?

back to the subject of Kurt's post, just a thought about the metaphor "sleeping giant". Insofar as the metaphor refers to America's already existing player pool, and not just to the idea of the USA being potential rugby territory, the metaphor applies. The giant hasn't reached its potential. And as everyone recognizes, its a perennial problem. The US is a middle-heavyweight who gets pounded by welterweights and even lightweights.

And for sure, the factor of proximity and distance is very important for improving the quality of play. Consider that small geographic areas like Western Samoa, the Scottish Borders, or France's Tarn department, all of these are small compared to Northern California but have roughly the same numbers of players.
With proximity comes rivalry, which is but key factor in the growth of any team sport.

I say let's go ghetto on the rugby world. Break some bones with some thugs on your side will stir up the IRB and the world rugby press.

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