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13 May 2013


Kurt - with all due respect - is there really a need to finish on a negative after such a great run by the Eagles?

"In London, the US bested France and the Blitzbokke, twice, the first
time in series history the Eagles have topped this year's runnersup. But the Matt Hawkins-led side dropped a pair of winnable games to Australia, the latter shutting the US out of any semifinal berths for another season."

I guess it is a glass full versus a glass empty point of view but a more positive spin might have gone something like this:

The Eagles dropped two tough ones to Australia; the second match in a controversial manner as there appeared to be a double movement in the lead up to the final try; which came after the hooter had blown. However, the Eagles beat SA twice; the second match convincingly. This was enough to put the Eagles in position to take a third plate in a row but the Eagles were unable to post a third straight win against perennial powerhouse Fiji - dropping a tight 14 - 5 match.

Maybe I am too optimistic but I would have finished the article in the latter manner rather than finishing with the two losses to Australia ... but I guess that is just me.


Get your own blog, go somewhere else to read about rugby or STFU!

@same topic, different day...

You're in the wrong place to look for positive comment on the game here. Every positive comment has to be bludgeoned by a sea of negative rubbish.


Regarding Olympic qualification, don't forget that England, Wales and Scotland will be participating as part of the combined "Team GB". So that will thin out the competitors a little.

Balanced story. The team has gone 10th, 12th and 11th in the last three seasons. What was the story supposed to say, we are almost back to where we were two seasons ago?

To not qualify will be a letdown of massive portions.

I agree that it is a fair report. The team was off to a very poor start this season. Spain and Portugal were both outplaying the USA over the first few events. But it can't be denied that over the last half of this season, the USA team played as well as it ever has and very likely better than it ever has. The five cup qualifications in a season was the best the USA has ever done. Now, they didn't make any cup finals as they did in Adelaide a few seasons ago (the one and only time they have ever done that), but they did beat South Africa twice last week (they had never beaten South Africa before ever in Men's rugby). So the trend is clearly upwards and maybe the first half of the season was just what it took to get everyone on the same page. Remember how England struggled early this year too. 7s can be streaky. Will the USA start off as well next season as they finished this one? We don't, but let's hope. If they do, they will be a solid top 8 team going forward. And here is a bit of trivia to think about - Canada finished the 7s series in 5th place in 1999. All the sides are getting better - there is more parity now - but I for one believe the USA 7s side is getting better at a slightly faster pace than most of its rivals.

The Eagles 11th place finish is far more significant than any of their prior finishes. Why? Because with 15 core teams the competition on the series was tougher than ever. The days of having some fluff teams to beat up on day two were over and you could see that in the Eagles performance in the first half of the season. To their credit, adjustments were made and they finished very strong. Even early in the season the loss margins were closer than ever before.

Paint your picture to meet your ends, but there is no comparison and Kurt knows it.

The real question is can they keep the momentum going? They'll need to have a good showing at the World Cup and crack the Top 10 on the series next season or the vultures will be out.

Top 10 isn't as important by a long shot as qualifying for the Olympic Games and we need to beat Canada and or Argentina for that.

Although the process is not set yet the performance at the 2013 7s RWC and 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games surely will figure into qualification for 2016 Olympics for the USA, Argentina and Canada. What isn't known is how important will results at these tournaments weigh in comparison to IRB 7s circuit results.

Dexter - is only kowtowing to Kurt's point of view allowed here? This page has more ditto heads than Rush.

"a rudderless tax collection body"

JC should watch how much vitriol he spews towards USA Rugby. The bottom line is that the Varsity Cup, and some of the conferences, are chasing money along with USA Rugby. In JC's case he has the Varsity Cup and PAC12 conference as platforms to sponsor and broadcast partners. USA Rugby has their collegiate competitions, which secured/procured a deal with ESPN, but also the national teams in 15s and 7s.

If USA Rugby can package the national teams with collegiate rugby into a sponsorship and broadcast deal, then you'll see the Varsity Cup teams run to the arms of USA Rugby. In its inaugural year the Varsity Cup has produced no sponsors or broadcast partners. The newly formed PAC12 network has 7 networks (6 regional; 1 national) that are looking for quality sports content. How much money is on offer and what limitations are there when Cal is the only varsity program is yet to be determined.

Like most things in life, the bottom line is that money will rule the day on who controls collegiate rugby's top competition.

Many college conferences now have 24 hour TV networks starved for content. TV revenue sharing is what drove the recent realignment of college football conferences. PAC 12 Network and other conference networks will be covering many Olympic sports in addition to the more popular sports (football, basketball, baseball, lacrosse). Producing Olympic athletes is a huge source of pride for the college conferences. As an Olympic sport, rugby is uniquely positioned to get on regional TV. USA Rugby is not qualified to sign up the regional networks. The college conferences along with the SBROs and GUs in their region need to work together to professionally pitch their regional networks on the Rugby opportunity. No reason to wait for USA Rugby to do something productive. Can the regional conference administrators do better than USA Rugby? Let's hope so, it is a very low bar.


Of course USA Rugby can't sell content to a conference networks. They are going to go to the universities in their conference for the content. The big payday is national TV coverage coupled with national sponsorship. USA Rugby is in a position to exploit this with their national teams. If they can bundle college national championships with those properties, they have something that the colleges can not do themselves within their conference. They can with something like the Varsity Cup. Problem is that the capital and business acumen doesn't seem to be in either organization. USA Rugby does have a trump card with the IRB.

The CRC pools are set - what a joke some of those teams are?
I really don't understand why Arkansas State weren't invited, or Central Washington?

I can understand some local teams but not all of them - some of them do not belong.

And what are Virginia Tech and NC State doing there?
Such a joke!

CRC is an invitational and should be named as such.

In addition to the rudderless quote above, JC rightfully says, "USA Rugby doesn't have the capability to add value, so I'm unsure of its role."


Look how clever you are! Problem is a statement of fact isn't rudderless. Looks like being a JC sycophant has made you ignorant. Or were you that way from the beginning.

JC is correct about USAR, but his goal is only to do what is best for Cal. That is what he is paid to do. JC doesn't have the capability or motivation to add value to Rugby beyond Cal. And that is a problem too.

IRB flips Wellington & Vegas 7s dates for 2014. Vegas 7s will be played Jan. 24-26, the weekend before the Super Bowl.


JC is a hired gun. When he worked for USAR he raised more money than had ever been raised. He raised more money for USAR than Nigel Melville, Kevin Roberts and the 50 employees at USAR do today.

"Deal with it", is right JC doesn't have the capability to do anything for USAR today. He doesn't work for them.

It is more than just Cal. Clark also seems involved with PAC, VC and he's always promoting the CRC. He looked to be into everything but USAR.

JC works with PAC, VC and the CRC because they are good for Cal not because they are good for game of Rugby across the nation. USAR has a much more broad mandate and the have proven themselves incapable of adding much value. Clubs should stop looking to USAR to add value.

Maybe you're right DWI, but I doubt it. I think JC has done as much if not more for the game than any individual I can think of. No doubting Cal is his baby, but his work with USAR and now these competitions are a real contribution even if Cal benefits right along with the other teams and the game as a whole.


JC wasn't some fund raising mastermind. He was fortunate that when rugby union went professional in 1995 he was the national team Coach and General Manager. At the time Rupert Murdoch's Sky TV bought up southern hemisphere rugby union rights for big money as part of his sports rights strategy, which worked to great effect with rugby league in Australia, where exclusive broadcast rights for a sport is the reason a consumer will switch to his more expensive satellite TV as their home TV service. Sky TV threw USA Rugby $1M in the form of 10 annual payments of $100K, which was chicken feed in the rugby union rights spending spree. Had nothing to do with JC presenting some groundbreaking value or that the Eagles were something more than an average tier 2 nation. It was a 10 year hedge on the bet that rugby could become a big sport in the USA and it locked up a team that would be an opponent to tier 1 nations with an established TV audience. JC just said, "Yes!"

JC does only look after Cal and when it doesn't work he throws his toys out of the crib. He also doesn't roll up his sleeves and do any of the hard work required to make things work for all involved. JC went on the old ARN podcast and sold this idea of a top tier rugby competition that was a slam dunk commercial property. Gary Lane and Jeremy Ognall were the co-presenters on the podcast and they ate it up like kids getting free candy. The reality was that USA Rugby was hiring a collegiate rugby administrator to look at the entire game, which turned out to be Todd Bell. What happen was that a bunch of JC sycophants jumped all over the CPD idea and instead of this new manager dealing with all the issues that the 100s of college rugby programs needed to grow, he was handing the CPD with 31 teams of which some sucked and told to make it a money maker NOW! This all went down in 6 months from the time JC spewed the idea on a podcast, Todd Bell being hired and the first CPD game being played. USA Rugby and Todd Bell was doomed from the get go. JC did nothing to help it work. He just complained when he didn't get a payday from the final and then quit the CPD. Classy

What should have happen was that this new hire to manage college rugby doesn't waste time to become a commissioner of JC's imaginary league, which was only going to make money for the top few teams, and instead put together standards and resources for coaching, administration, facilities, etc for all collegiate programs so that the USA could be a rugby nation with 20 or 30 programs with the resources of Cal. That was the original intent of this new hire until JC got on a podcast with his dream.

Of course JC doesn't want 20 or 30 college programs with the resources of Cal.


JC's deal with SKY was a mastermind job. It was $1M PER YEAR for 10 years. $10,000,000!!! Plus deals for another $5M spread between several other major companies.

But we agree he's done with the fools at USAR.

It was 1M over 10 years.

If it was 1M per year, why were the Eagles during that decade not paid a cent? How much cash lined JC's pockets!

People in the know are now laughing at you Fake.

BTW, Eagle players made far more money then than they do now. Retainers, daily fees and bonuses. JC made under $100K. By comparison EOS was on $250k all paid out of CIPP funds. USAR got 10% of the $15m he brought in, the rest ran the Eagles 7 and 15's with some funds spent on other national teams. The Eagles cost USAR nothing during this period, unlike today.

CPD failed because of Melville. He wouldn't release the rights to the college competition for sponsors because he was frantically bundling it with the Eagles for Emirates - and a few others - on the orders of Roberts. . During that period USAR didn't even have anyone in charge of sponsorships other than Melville. Todd Bell was given such little resources he (and the CDP) was doomed from the start.

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