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23 June 2009


Well said Kurt. If Eddie wasn't in charge Nigel would still be telling everyone we can't compete unless we are pros.

On a different matter. The ARN pod cast, yells out that the Canada v USA match is a million dollar match because the loser will need to keep playing and paying for matches until they qualify. Uh boys, the IRB pays for all RWCQ, not the unions.

Actually the RWCQ matches are the only assemblies that are free. This other shit the Eagles are doing is costing an arm and a leg.

Can you believe that ESPN is actually showing the Canada game LIVE and in HD. Look forward to it.

Our biggest worry should be about USAR running the event.

Good God what will the event look like on TV? Forget the match itself, its the stands, stadium etc that's a worry.

Sorry about that error. I thought it was paid for by the nation. I think that the RFU pays for the Churchill Cup and I don't know who paid for Wales and Ireland, generally the host nation foots the bill, but that would have been a silly deal for us to take.

Even so, I would rather qualify as Americas 1 than have to play a bunch of qualifiers all over the place. We could likely get some pretty good games and get hosted in the process.

It was good to see the guys run with ball in hand, the forwards even quickened the pace around the rucks and mauls which helped the team go forward. I even saw some decision making, Clever put foot to ball, players offloading while going to ground…great stuff!

Let's just hope this was not a “one-off-out-of-the-box-performance” for if the boys lost it wouldn’t just be the administration in the outhouse!

Hope they take the same attitude against the maple leafs and apply themselves for a complete 80 minutes. Make it (dare we say) two in a row?

I haven't re-watched the game again, so I'm going to say this with a grain of salt (or something like that):

Weren't pretty much all of the US tries and nice open play movements generated from either turnovers or counterattacks?

While its heartening to see that, and we got to see some great handling in the open, the set piece and phase play still aren't really producing much, are they?

A win is a win, and thank God for it. But, I'd think that this area would still be a big concern for EOS, no?

Here is what I saw during the Churchill Cup in anticipation of the Canada matches. The Eagles looked good against Georgia in the loose because we were as good or better athletes than them, and they were not very good with their scramble defense. DaTruth is right that the Eagle trys were scored on mistakes or line breaks and not from phase play and turning sustained pressure into points. Good teams will not leak trys like the Georgians did, and if you can not create and sustain pressure on a good team you will not force them into mistakes (pen converted into points) or break their defensive line.

What I did see the Canadians do is convert pressure into points against the Irish (both matches) and the Welsh (non-CC match). They dismantled Georgia from the get go. I think the Eagles are a year away from where the Canadians are now, and are going to have to be very fortuitous to win one of the two matches.

Sounds like a few Saxon players had a little too much fun at the strip club owned by Glendale rugby dude Dunafon. The local police had to straighten stuff out, so to speak.

I wonder if Melville will blog on the topic. Maybe some of you remember Nige blogging about the young kid dying at the "rugby party" that turned out to only have two rugby player present. Thanks Mr CEO what we would do without you?

He claimed this was the responsible thing to do. Well Nige, whats your plan for your USAR business partner who has Danny and a few of the Churchill Cup boys in to Shotgun W for some action?

Is this part of Rookie Rugby or the Rugby Month in Colorado program?

Sustained pressure is generated by getting through the gain line repeatedly and presenting clean ball. Some may argue that a pick and jam is sustained pressure. I'd slap those people in the face, steal their ball and overlap them before they turned around, but.... this is the Eagles and we need baby steps. The Georgia win was a win.

The points were started by our most gifted athletes. The tries had nothing to do with gameplan. If we had stayed to plan, we would have seen Usasz waving and pointing through 14 pick and jams exhausting the pack while slamming into the same three defenders. Then we'd watch a floater to a drifting Hercus who shovels the ball to a potential ruptured spleen, smashed by two forwards and both centers.

I hope this is just baby steps, because the Eagles look like Uruguay without the ability to maul.

Good thing the Georgia pros were in France and our two pros were willing to abandon the plan in order to score 3 brilliant tries.

Portugal ahead of us in the ranking would be embarrassing, glad we distanced ourselves a bit.

On a positive note, I wore an old jersey yesterday while cutting the grass. It still fits.

Damn people, accept the freaking win. Georgia is known as a front line factory and I'm sure some of these guys will be playing Premiership or somewhere else this fall. Can anyone tell me why though Georgia's pro's were still in France being that the season has been done and even Z was back from Biarritz? Head scratcher...

My guess on why the Eagles did a bit better in this game is that they had pretty much their whole compliment of players, finally, that will actually be the one's playing against Canada. All the games before that were honestly tryouts for most of the players and for EOS to give everyone a shot and keep the game plan pretty simple. As you saw, many of the guys were having troubles even doing the basic things before this last match. I hope with the guys he has now, he'll be able to instill a game plan in the next two weeks that the guys will absorb quickly and transfer it over to match day.
Lastly, as far as how the event will look on ESPN, it's out of our hands. It will be what it is. Hopefully there will be a lot of publicity for the event and people will show. If not, oh well. I'll still be watching our team on the big screen with a cold beer and some hot wings and cheer the guys on. I'm just happy to finally see them live on ESPN and not the "Ocho." Honestly, we're getting a better deal then the NHL did. They were on Versus for God's sake. I know USAR will screw it up, but tell me something I dont know. Hopefully ESPN will do a good job of publicizing it during their commercials the week leading up to July 4th and use a patriotism or us vs them angle. Who knows?
EOS will have our guys ready. If not, then more games to watch before WC 2011.

Georgia had WC Qualifier matches at the end of March and the French club released their players for those matches. Z is most likely only released by Biarritz because of the Canada qualifier, which would be included in his contract.

Thanks for the info Bon Jour. Listened to ARN podcast and they said the Georgia forwards that did play were playing in France's lower divisions. So I'll correct myself in saying that they could possibly be at Premiership level in the near future.

Georgia took a squad of 28 players to the Churchill Cup, and 10 of them are playing in France from what I can tell. Most of those 10 are playing in the National 1 league, which is behind Pro D2 and Top 14. As a guide you can consider that when Georgia played Russia in late March in a WC Qualifier, they had 2 or 3 players in the 22 named that were not playing in France.

The bottom line is that this was a diminished Georgian side, which is just the way things shake out sometimes in test rugby. I would say that the Georgian side in Denver was a combination of available French players, young talent playing in Georgia looking to move to the next step (earned caps help players get work visas in France and the UK) and some old dogs playing domestically in Georgia that have been servants to the team over the years and can help the young talent along.

Why did we not give free tickets to every human in Denver?-On Tv the ground looked empty-this was a showcase for USA rugby-maybe having watched they would pay the next time there is an event!

Just out of curiosity, was the Saxons/Ireland match or the Canada match well attended (or a decent crowd at least)? Or was the entire day a bust, attendance-wise?

You have only been wrong twice in the 16 years that I've know you. Tickets to these events should be handed out at YMCAs, youth groups, community groups, churches, American Legion Halls, hot dog vendors, Dunafon's strip clubs, and loosely scattered from an airplane above the city.

Thank goodness Blackbaud Stadium is only 5100.

Not even USAR could screw up a 5000 seat stadium...could they?

I have to agree with you all- these small stadiums have to be filled by hook or by crook for the good of the game here in the US. What a disaster it would be to play to a nearly empty stadium against Canada on the 4th.

What a joke the ARN Podcast is! Misinformation, lack of brevity and dismal banter make it such a poor product. I feel sorry for Ray because he is the only person making points and being factual. Is this the best that USA rugby media can produce?

You're invited on this week. It is easy to get set up. We record on Sunday or Monday depending on schedules (probably sunday this week) and we could always use quality guests. Just tell us who you are and how to get a hold of you.

Sorry I will not be available for your podcast. It is my practice not to associate with the mediocre.

The crowd should be positioned for best camera angles.. everyone on the opposite side! then we only need 2,500 people!

We will let you speak and enlighten us. We will defer to your greatness and expertise.

Give it up Bruce. You are making an ass out of yourself on that podcast and on these boards. Assuming you didn't coach Petri on how to do that "chicken dance", you seem to be a good coach. Stick to that.

What enthusiasm for the college game, strong grassroots support and investment in youth through youth teams and Project 40 gets you:

USA 2 Spain 0.

Hope you're watching USAR.

Just watched that soccer game. Great effort by the US. Got me and a friend talking...how much of an upset was that game? Equivalent to USA Rugby defeating the All Blacks? or not that big?

The "chicken dance" is not an accurate term. Like a crow hop/step for a quarter back or baseball player, it is a mechanical/body positioning/timing issue. It is common, especially in the case of dirty ball. The dive pass is preferred as a flyhalf, but you'll take anything you can get going forward.

All srcumhalves do it, some more than others. Gregan did it often. This is why Larkham was revered as a tough guy. Joost did it as well. This is why they used a guy named "buzzsaw" at 10. The "one up" from Hercus is not much of an option and the the previous lot centers were speedbumps. So what you are left with is shoveling shite, kicking away, or something else...

Usasz does it as well, but you rarely see it, because he will only pass the ball from a stable platform. This is why I think the Sheriff is "Uselaz". The static ball, in phase play, is least flyhalf friendly. I would choke the guy if that is the only ball i got. A flyhalf doesn't care how it gets there (skipped along the ground, flung behind the back, dived, etc) as long as it gets there fast after "go forward" ball.

Eddie and the Sheriff produce static ball against a practiced defense. It does not create any opportunity. The crow hop is not ideal, but certainly better than setting up your buddy for the meat grinder.

Petri is a good scrumhalf, who's only defect was probing the fringes too often (ala Gregan). He appears to have overcome that, but would be better served diving out more ball - its faster.

Petri is better than Usasz, and produces more "go forward". I think Usasz might be exposed if he didn't rely on 8 forwards to create a perfect platform to shovel out a static ball.

I could be wrong.

EOS was a Stringer fan and I think it is because of two reasons:

A) Great down field vision and box kick skills

B) He passes the ball off the deck with the best of them. No chicken dance, crow hop or spastic sparrow from him.

Petri is not going to get selected unless he can developed the skills EOS wants in a #9.

" Equivalent to USA Rugby defeating the All Blacks? or not that big?"

Well Brazil are probably the All Blacks in terms of mystique, but Spain are the number 1 ranked team in the world.

I suppose either the All Blacks or the Springboks. In either case, an enormous win.

The US spain results was the product of many years of hard work. A bottom up approach. Youth, high school, college and a domestic elite competition.

USAR is run by foreign short timers who are trying every quick fix in the book to get any old result possible before walking off into the sunset.

I'm actually a fan of the ARN podcasts. The guys obviously care a lot about the American game to put it out week in and week out--FOR FREE!!! You don't like it, don't listen.

Bruce, Brian, and Ray, keep up the good work. These whiners who offer criticism with no alternatives can gargle my hairy bean bag.

Then again, you get what you pay for...in this case a headache.

It's not always bad, mostly, but not always. Also it's our only pod-cast, which together with the free price is it's best features.

Stringer is overrated. He may be the toughest jockey to have played rugby, but his size is a liability, his boot is/was average.

Mike Phillips blows his doors off. Huge boot, flanker's size and a good pass from a clean platform. You don't need 8 forwards to protect him, so flanks can have a run out in the backs.

The game has changed. Forwards chasing the ball around like 4 year old soccer players to protect a scrumhalf creates problems. They are magnified when forwards can't present the ball, the backs are taking static ball, and nobody has a clue where its going.

Free is always good. I like the ARN Podcasts. I listen every week.

The ARN Podcast should be 10 or 15 minutes tops. Make your points for the week, tell a few jokes, set-up a minutes or two of your interview and out. I don't think many people want to listen to guys make stuff up like the Uruguay WC qualifier matches (if required) mean that the Canada game has a million dollar fee attached to it for the loser. This is false as the IRB pays for these matches. I can go to the bar after training and listen to this type of nonsense.

Keep it short, keep it factual and if you are going to go off the topic make it funny. I can care less about USC football, cricket or the cost of a mince pie in Sydney unless it elicits a laugh. And for the love of God keep Gary Lane off at all cost!

The podcasts are great. I started listening last year. The show is excellent and I look forward to listening every week. These guys are right on the pulse of American rugby.

Not keen on listening to politics so much. Would like to hear from some people that have been involved with the current Eagles in some capacity, in the next two weeks. Guys like Wiggins, LeClerk Hodges, Dave Williams. Maybe even guys that were part of the past Canadian braintrust. Guys like G Rees and Baggetta could shed some real light on the upcoming matches and what to expect, they are never short for words ;)

Wow, the hits keep coming. Now the chicken nonsense has spun into a bit of revisionist history about Gregan and Joost VDV?

I was under the assumption that at their peak, they were the best in their world at their position, and now I find out that they were a liability and because of it they had to have hard men at flyhalf?

I also was under the assumption that Larkham was revered as a tough guy because he was a stick, but always fearlessly played the ball close to the line. And Henry Honiball was a hard man both on attack and defense, and would prefer to attempt to run someone over rather than deliver ball to his backs.

I guess I was mistaken.

I also thought that go-forward ball was created by ballcarriers and support getting across the advantage line and, uh... going forward? Now I find out the scrumhalf creates it?

This is just a long-winded and sarcastic way of saying that this Petri nonsense is a joke.

His footwork may not be the best in the world, but it's certainly not awful. And what many of you view as poor footwork and a liability, many high-level outfits teach as a technique -- just go to the ARU Online Coaching site they have a video teaching the technique of using your feat to create space on sloppy ball.

The game has moved on from the dive pass, so let's end this silliness.

No kidding, Mike Petri is a really good kid that doesn't deserve this BS.

I rate him over the fly-in guy, but what the hell.

In the words of Rodney, can't we just all get along and agree about the easy stuff.

Roberts and his Board have got to go.

Melville is over paid by about $200k.

We might not need a $250k Eagles coach for our little team of try harders'.

Lastly, the pod-cast is good because it's free and we only have one pod-cast on offer. BTW, I fast forward through most of it. Love that feature.

Honnibol and Larkham were not traditional flyhalves, they certainly did not prefer slamming into a locks and #8, but were sometimes forced to. They had to, their body types suited this contact. Tall enough to offload in the grasp of a forward after a scrumhalf probe and stout enough to run over their opposite 10 when the scrumhalf took an extra step. They did not shovel shit to their centers. They actually went forward because they were forced to and were proud to do so.

That brings us to the term "go forward". Maybe you and Eddie are confused by the term?

Scrumhalves are responsible for dictating the flow of the game. You have to actually go backward (pass) in order to "go forward".
While they can speed up minimally (dive pass instead of crow hop), they can also slow it down to a restless slumber (see Usasz).

Maybe "go backward" should be the new Eagle catchphrase, cuz going forward aint working so good.

Don't tell this to Usasz, Hercus, or Eddie, they may take this literally and start hoofing highballs to our own fullback.

At this point, I'm really not sure what the hell you're talking about.

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