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16 October 2009


This league is a good thing. They've taken ownership of their own league and have made it a group project to raise the tide and all of their ships.

It is about setting standards and trying to meet them at every league match that is played. Want your match to look like there is an actual serious athletic contest, try mandating that some sort of scoreboard be present at every match. Any sort of scoreboard is 10x better than no scoreboard. I can't believe I went to a Mid-Atlantic "premier" match and had to ask random people what the score is. And of course got 3 different answers. It is ridiculous

It's a good thing for branding and marketing...but not for the competition. Look at the lopsided scores, PF/PA. Dartmouth is going to put a 50+ margin on Brown. Harvard is good, but below that there is no competition.

So they've ruined the competition in NERFU D1 to create an uncompetitive, but "marketable" league.

I totally understand why it was done, and even support it in theory. But in reality, it's taken one decent competition and diluted it into two weak competitions.

Is the goal to create a marketable product, or is the goal to create a better standard of play? Because this tips the balance to one extreme, while sacrificing the other.

I don't call that "progress".

Datruth, you would agree though that while the competition may have been miserable this year that it will almost definitely be better as the years go on? It's what had to be done. No sense in delaying it to keep together some leagues that will never raise programs up just b/c they are competitive. Army will do fine. And so will Dartmouth and they are the only ones who come out of there anyways. Now nerfu can regroup and get some other clubs to raise their game and ivy can go on and develop something special

you would agree though that while the competition may have been miserable this year that it will almost definitely be better as the years go on?


There's nothing I hate more than people that make statements and treat them as facts.

RJ, I agree. Let's look at the last round:

Dartmouth 55, Penn 3
Yale 60, Cornell 3
Harvard 78, Columbia 0
Brown 39, Princeton 10

The closest match was a 29 point differential, and that wasn't even a round with some of the most lopsided matches.

How will Cornell or Columbia get better, getting beaten by 60-80 points? How will Harvard or Dartmouth get better winning by 60-80 points each week?

I'm all for branding and developing identities that college fans can relate to. But I don't think it should be at the expense of improving the standard of play.

There's no correlation between playing vastly superior teams and getting better yourself. Sure, you need to challenge yourself by playing better teams, but not 60-80 point better teams.

It is the Ivy League.
It is good for Ivy League rugby.
Who cares about anyone else thinks.

Here's why this can be considered progress despite lopsided scores: After BYU stomped Utah on ESPNU in one of the National Guard Games of the Week last spring, the Utah AD called Utah coach Blake Burdette into his office and said 1. I watched that game, pretty cool stuff, 2. we can never again be embarassed by BYU on national TV like that, 3. what support can I give the rugby team to keep that from happening again.

The same thing applies to this Ivy League competition. Cornell's administration doesn't care about how Cornell Rugby does in the NYSRC against Buffalo or Brockport. But all the Ivies care about how they do in any Ivy League competition, be it in football, debate, or chess. So ideally, Cornell can take these results to their administration and say- "look, we're getting embarassed, we need more support." And eventually, that support will come. It may take a couple years, but if this keeps going, you will see the bar raised for all of these teams.

The results are already being seen at Columbia, where their roster almost doubled once prospective players found out they would be playing in the Ivy League as opposed to some METNY conference that makes no sense to anyone outside of the rugby community.

It's the same reason why the "conference tournaments" that have sprung up recently are a good thing. I recall two years ago after LSU won the SEC tournament, their coach made the comments, "Our school president has no clue what the Texas LAU or West TU competitions are and doesn't care if we win those. But he certainly takes notice when we tell him we won the SEC tournament."

The problem is that many in charge at various levels of rugby in this country don't understand the importance of the college game towards building rugby as a whole. I recently had a conversation with a TU administrator who refused to accept that a game between traditional college rivals like Ohio State and Notre Dame would be a more marketable TV product than an Eagles match. That's just ignorance of the way things work in this country and what the lay American sports fans care about.

And if there's any question about that, I know the National Guard is none too pleased about the empty stands in the Eagles matches it has sponsored as of late and is pushing hard for good college matchups on college campuses for its games of the week where there will actually be fans in attendance. (Fact: BYU-Utah drew a larger crowd than USA-Canada did)

So, to borrow a phrase from someone who understands all of the above, I say to the Ivy League, "Keep the Go Forward."

I'll let you know how the Yale vs Harvard game is. I am refereeing it at 1pm today.

Man these Ivy League wusses can't play Rugby!

"why this is a good thing" is right on the mark with this.

Keep it going, it will get better.

The Ivy League club leaders realized that they can get more money from their alumni if they all compete against each other. My instincts tell me the school administration (athletic department or other) don't give a crap about rugby. They will take notice however, if alumni start to deliver 7 digit donations.

Right, that's what I was getting at. College and University administrations care about sports only to the extent it affects the bottom line (money). If alums at Cornell and Penn start complaining to the administrations about their rugby teams getting trounced in the Ivy League and either withhold or earmark donations, then these teams will begin to improve and get more support from the school.

Ngwenya scores a hat-trick against Gloucester.

He will be an Eagles Seven star in the Olympics.



If we are relying on Z in 7 years to compete in 7s, we already lost.

USA Selects can't even get a win of a Canada's Ontario Provence! The ARC is a joke, unless you are Canada who had the IRB pay for a Provincial tourney getting multiple matches and developing players like Nathan Hirayama a 21 year old fly-half who scored all of BC's points in a losing effort against the Jaguars. WE SUCK!

Harvard 26 - Yale 7 in a match that was closer than that score suggests.

A cracking match, really fast, lots of running, hard rucking, and the standard of play was definitely high. A very enjoyable match to referee.

Like I said before, I agree (in concept) about the reasons for creating the league. As a marketer, it makes great sense.

But at the end of the day, creating "marketability" at the expense of competition or parity is not a recipe for creating better performing teams and players. You can't market your way out of 60-70 point whuppin's, week in and week out.

I guess we'll have to wait until next year to see if these trouncings help anyone -- help Dartmouth prepare for the round of 16, or the teams that are getting beat by 60 or 70 get better.

yes. BUT the only reason you want to market anything is to make your team better. So if we can agree that this will bring more support/money to these programs then the level of play will automatically rise. Unless they are all completely incompetent. we are talking about rugby here so some of these teams probably have clueless people running them. Or they could have kept everything the same and played in a moderately competitive NERFU league (where Army and Dartmouth would have still smashed those teams and the MARFU teams would be in the d2 bush league) orrr they could do this which has 10x the potential of keeping things the same. This is what you call a no-brainer. If you can at least manage to look beyond 1 or 2 seasons.

The Ivy League website is actually www.ivyrugby.com.

Peters and Robinson can't play rugby at this level. No understanding of the rules and how costly penalties are in the game. Those two gave BC position on all of the points of the first half.

Forwards had a bit of go-forward. You'd just like to see them organize a bit better although you can chalk that up to the fairly short time together.

Swiryn looks like the truth though, so its good to see him at 13 more. He'll be tested defensively against a better running backline, but he seems o have the attitude necessary to do well enough there.

Edwards isn't a fullback, but he looked solid and we need real depth on the outside.

Lastly, the kicking game was atrocious for both sides. With the way the games being played today if we ever want to start winning games we need to tighten up the kicking. You must convert easy penalties and you also have to have enough confidence in your kicker to line one up between 35-40 meters out.

SOmething to build on for the A team though.

OH and we need to get more training for referees at this level. Plenty of blown calls and some things missed all together.

For the record the AD DID NOT CONTACT ME! I have had conversations with other people on campus, but not the Athletic Director.

Better clear that up with Nigel Melville then, Blake, since that's precisely the story he told the Congress.

Melville has never had a conversation with a college AD. Been here coming on four years and has done his best to stay away from professional sports administrators. He would get found out in a New York minute.

This is lie number 4 told to Congress. Just think about Melville taking credit for this. What a laugh. Lets remember BYU paid for all event cost. BYU then offered for free to ESPN/National Guard the broadcast rights. Utah paid their cost. The NG paid to produce the match.

Then Melville air-freighted two USAR signs to Provo and claimed the event is his success.

Nige, just get out of the fu*king way!

Why is USA Rugby still involved with the college game? Just sayin...

Blake, because we let them. Get all of the college coaches in this country together yesterday and make the decision. Do you think USAR will voluntarily let its biggest tax base break off? Make it happen. Please.

Who are the college coaches who don't believe USAR is capable of managing college rugby.

So far, Utah through Blake's comment. Some of the All-Star TU coaches, Stanford, Claremont Colleges, Wyoming, Ohio State, Army. I think the guy from Kutztown was kissing Melville's ass on the ARN podcast so we've leave him out.

Navy, as coach Mike Flanagan has written some unhappy letters to ARN. Jack Clark on the ARN podcast doesn't have anything good to say about USAR's work on college campuses.

Tennessee through Marty Brady, has been critical.

BYU supports USAR because they make all the teams take another day off school so BYU doesn't have to play on Sunday.

San Diego State and Life, can't say anything because the coaches work for USAR.

What is allowing USAR to be the tax collector of college rugby? When does college rugby get tired of funding Melville's fat paycheck?

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