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28 May 2010


Good for RSL for figuring it out. The cost of the new college premier league will also be less than the teams are currently paying. One Spring season (not 9 months of play), regional league matches (maybe one airline flight) and a short tight post season. No brainer.

Only six games per year for the majority of the RSL Clubs will not grow rugby in the US. We need more Clubs competing in the RSL over a longer period of time

Whats the line? GG by about 15-20 points I reckon.

or NYAC by 3...

funny how yet again, USA Rugby uses Austin TX on a big weekend in town.

It is a city which while well-sized, it not big enough to have spare capacity (hotel, airfare, cars) for rugby teams booking 2-5 weeks out.

They hosted the women in 2007 during a UT home football game. Men's nationals in 2008 and now 2010 were held during UT graduation (10,000-15,000 students and families).

It gets back to the collective fate you mention. In the RSL, the league members directly pays the full cost of their event.

By contrast, USARFU awards the event, but does not directly pay the costs of the D1/D2/D3 events. Thus there is a fundamental disconnect in the incentives.

If USARDU is wedded to locales like Texas in May, then they should move the events one week up or down to avoid bigger events.

Well here are my thoughts from yesterday.

First the good: Nice crowd, maybe 1500 plus. TI is great, very rugby like.

The match itself was a back and forth affair with several lead changes. This made for a dramatic match.

Now the bad: The rugby on display was poor. Certainly poor for a championship final in what is believed to be our top level of competition. Golden Gate turned over the ball a dozen times in the first half alone. Careless, sloppy play. The GG team looked talented enough to be a championship team, but not well coached enough to play well when it mattered. GG also looked to be playing with two players whom were hurt and could hardly run. Was their no one else on their roster who could run. Their depth so poor that an injured player of no particular fame is better than a healthy player? This is "Super"?

NYAC on the other hand looked after the ball well, mainly because they never strung together more than two passes. Most of their pattern was one pass and straight into contact. Each phase well supported, but not exactly the stuff of champions. Was this a good victory for the NYAC? You bet it was. Was it good rugby that won it for them? No. It was sloppy, stupid play from GG and 1990's rugby from the NYAC.

How can this be considered the US top level? We must have several higher levels in us. Where is the domestic rep rugby? EOS has picked his team from this competition and he had better get to work. Not sure their was a real test player on the field. Certainly not a well prepared championship team.

We will see what D1 offers. The D1 comp wouldn't need to do much to equal or better this final.

I think Belmont vs. Life/LasVegas definitely has the potential to be a better standard of rugby than what we saw yesterday. I would hope we would at least see tight 5 players who are active around the pitch (AHEM-SFGG #1, I am looking in your direction...)

Belmont has a huge advantage in that I think they will coast in their semifinal while whoever comes through from the other semi will be spent.

"the good and bad"
say what you will, but both NYAC and SFGG are the two best teams in the country, with Life being a close third. I havent seen Belmont Shore since they dropped down, but if they are playing at the same level, they would probably be 4th, followed by Boston RFC, Denver and OPSB.
To say that the Life-Belmont game will be better rugby is a flawed arguement, as this is Life's B team, with their A in the RSL (and hats off to them for having such depth).

I'm just tired of everyone saying the RSL isn't "super", when, in fact, there are no better teams in the country than the top teams.

The Super League is NOT Super, and this 2010 season should be the final chapter in the failed enterprise. The facts are there are 8-10 solid competitive clubs in the USA (RSL or otherwise). Of course the big four; SFGG, NYAC, Life and Belmont are amongst them, as is (in no order) Las Vegas, Olympic Club, Denver, OPSB, perhaps Aspen and Boston round out the group. There is a definite drop off after that.

The best college teams belong in the top ten list. The level of play in the top college games is as high as the super league.

There is a story up on RugbyMag that Golden Gate claims they sold 2000 tickets for the final. This looks a little high, but lets use their attendance figure.

The RSL final is held at the home field of one of the finalist, in the SF Bay area, with a substantial population and hotbed of rugby, and there's only 2000 in attendance. A 5-6 high school football team would get 4000 fans. But only 2000 for the Super championship!

Among other things this means that the RSL final would draw between 250-500 at a neutral site. Because don't tell us the local's at this final would get on an airplane to view it. A couple hundred fans isn't much of a contribution if the event is held in conjunction with a test, as it has in the past.

There was no record of the match being played in the local newspaper press. Not a mention on local TV news.

No sponsorship of the event. No real event promotion. No nothing.

If this competition happens next year, call it anything, but the "Super League".

i cant comment on fans or bad promoting, i just stick by the level of play and the RSL is still head and shoulders above the rest.

wrt, i hear what you are saying, but i dont think you are thinking about this rationally. Only Cal and BYU can really be considered in this arguement and i think you put too much stock in results that have occured in the RSL preseason. I have no evidence to back it up, but i would think that Cal v NYAC would be a much different result if they played this time of year, instead of when the RSL is in it's preseason and they havent played a game yet. Also, don't discount the fact that these kids probably couldnt take playing games this competitive week in and week out.

marginal at best, not head and shoulders! Having seen both finals I would say the Cal BYU match was played just as fast and physical maybe more so, than SFGG vs NYAC.

Both those uni sides are probably better coached than any club team in the country. Competitive matches every week? well maybe not but that is not the secret to their success.
Uni rugby is the future for America.

i am not disagreeing that the future of rugby in our country doesnt start at the bottom and not saying that the current SL should be the standard, rather a stepping stone and a rather good one at that. HS and college (maybe earlier, but i wont get greedy) are where we need to grow. By definition, we will produce better players if they play quality rugby from 14-22, so when they join the SL, it will become an improved product.

Marginal? the 3rd of 4th best RSL team's B-Side is contending for a D1 National Championship and, when they enter college next year, will contend for that spot as well. So a "B" side is one of the best at the next lowest level, what do you think would happen if a RSL A side played these teams? Laser show. Big time.

As far as the uni coaches go, i will take it one step further and say their training is better as well. they live and train together and a serious team can take tremendous advantage of that. RSL players arent professional and rugby is at least #2 (work) if not #3 (work, family)in their lives.

BTW, why the hate for RSL? It is a self funded comp. Everyone assumes it is the RSL's job to better USA Rugby (which i think they are doing; 11 Eagles for the Churchill Cup), but it was formed so teams could actually play good games most weeks, instead of running over local teams week in and week out. If you don't like it, fine, but i dont know why such criticism.

Spot on Hammertime, and as usual the RSL haters give no solution or options to improve anything. I believe in college rugby,but what happens when these guys graduate? USARFU has done zero to prop up the RSL and as usual let others time and money do the work for them.

I think the top 6 college sides would regularly defeat the bottom 6 RSL sides.

I think Cal and BYU would compete just fine with the best of the RSL clubs.

I don't think you can dismiss Cal's two victories over NYAC. I think the NYAC took them lightly the first time, but wanted revenge in their last match at Ruggerfest in Florida. Cal proved to be the better team. Maybe as you say the outcome might be different in May than March, but this discounts that Cal also gets better.

Keep in mind that the great OMBAC RSL champ team with Payne, Clever, etc. only beat Cal by a try. Cal returned the favor the next year.

I don't think their is much in the difference between BYU, Cal and the two top RSL teams. And I know there isn't much difference between the rest of best teams in either division.

I had a great time at the match on Sunday. I watched rugby, had a beer, and both teams played hard.

Paul and the SF-GG staff did a great job. My guests enjoyed themselves.

I think we (SF-GG) should invest in creating more elevated seating-raised bleachers like Stanford has in place for the College Finals. I frankly miss the whole view of the pitch as one had at Balboa years ago. We'll get there.

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