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24 May 2013


It wasn't that long ago when there were no East Coast eagles.

"Thus the IRB itself looks to be devaluing international rugby, which it is supposed to be protecting."

Where is the warrant for this statement? What about affording this Tier II match test status "devalues" international rugby?

Both teams named rosters with a majority of capped players. Both teams will field players with professional experience. This should be a good, tough match that both teams need going into the summer series.

Reserve Liam Murphy could also make his international debut.

Grant: A 'test' is two countries fielding their best teams. Time was, unions would refuse to recognize a game as a 'full international' when missing several players.

CW: Right you are! thx

It's a joke that this is being played as a test match. Why not have one of the RWCQs later this summer double as a PNC match instead of this silliness? If both unions still wanted this match to be played, it should have been an "A" match with an eye towards youth and trying out combinations. Instead we get a 31 year old outside center without much upside rather than seeing what Scully or Kelly could do at 13, all because the IRB decided to make this count for rankings purposes and for the PNC.

Of course, this is the same governing body that put up an article on its website in December playing up Cyprus's RWC hopes, without realizing that they weren't even eligible for their own competition. Fast forward 3 months and they realize Cyprus isn't eligible and quietly try to make it go away, while Cyprus gets pissed for not being allowed to qualify. Complete joke of an organization.

Seriously! We all love to bitch about Boulder, and not without reason, but the IRB really sets the bar when it comes to incompetence.

They were also pretty lucky that things in South America are so predictable, as there have been plenty of ambiguities in how that qualifying was organized.

And then there is the fact that the Ivory Coast (a team which has actually qualified for the World Cup finals) won all of their qualifying games for the 2015 tournament, and yet was eliminated and not allowed to advance to the second round of qualifying.

The IRB earns millions and pours it into the development of the game worldwide. It was instrumental in getting rugby 7s into the Olympics. They're a joke!

The IRB has one money-maker: the World Cup. It doesn't take a genius to make money from the RWC. Virtually everything they do is funded from that. Their funding is extremely wasteful and is nowhere close to efficient. Yes, they did well to get 7s in the Olympics, albeit in a poor format. What else have they done?

Rugby is globally popular. They SHOULD earn millions, they SHOULD pour it into global development, the sport SHOULD be in the Olympics. Getting back in after missing it 20 times (and letting it be in some shitty stadium miles from anywhere) is an improvement, but it's not exactly setting the world on fire.

Admittedly, I prefer the incompetents at the IRB to the thieves at FIFA and the IOC.

A lot of keyboard experts here. Any of you IRB haters run anything sports related? Your kid's little league pizza party? Rugby club? Anything?

That makes sense. If I haven't run something as complicated as the IRB, I have no business saying that they are inadequate.

That's like saying that because I never played high school basketball or owned a sports team, I am not qualified to judge that Greg Oden hasn't been much of an NBA player compared to Kevin Durant, or that Donald Sterling is about the worst owner in sports.

You can't actually be that stupid, even though you are pretending to be.

"About a year and a half ago we met with the IRB and said that we needed more competitive matches to keep developing and they came good with this tournament. It is a massive step forward for us.”

Mike Tolkin

Donald Sterling acquired the Clippers in 1981 for $12.5 million, and as of the 2013 rankings, the team is valued at $430 million by Forbes magazine, ranking them eighteenth out of thirty teams.

Donald Sterling's net worth is US$1.9 billion (March 2013)

@Kurt - Thank you for the response. I appreciate your view on the situation, but the IRB considers an International Match (AKA a "test") to be "any match played between National Representative Teams selected by Unions whether at 15-a-side or an abbreviated version of the game" (IRB Handbook, Reg 1, Pg 64).

Despite any purist definition of yore, the IRB likely looked at their own definition, coupled it with the Spirit & Object of the game, and decided that the USA vs Canada match of this weekend met well with all three. Nothing incompetent or devaluing about that.

There will be few exceptions where any given union may field it's "best XV" (subjective and arbitrary phraseology, as it is). We've been discussing (arguing about) this for years, especially in relation to the US team. because there have been few, if any, US test match outside of RWC appearances where we have put our "best" on the field every time. Inavailability for whatever reason, injuries, selection idiosyncracies, visa problems, etc. have plagued the US MNT time and again, thus it will always come down to the "National Representative Side selected by the Unions."

We wouldn't be remiss in arguing and discussing selections, but as to whether this is a test or not, the IRB makes the issue clear.

Touche'. Sterling is a great businessman. As an owner, he hasn't done much beyond get in an elevator on the ground floor. What value has his ownership added? He owns a team that plays in Los Angeles, and it is only the 18th most valued franchise in the league. If you own a team in Los Angeles and you are lagging behind Sacramento, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Portland, Cleveland, and Utah, you're probably not a very good owner.

Compare that to the Jerry Buss, who bought in 1979 for 16 million, built a global brand, and whose team is now worth a billion.

So, yeah, you're kind of proving my point. I couldn't do what Sterling did, but that doesn't disqualify me from being able to look around and say that he is pretty lousy compared to his peers. Likewise, maybe I couldn't run the IRB, but it's not too hard to notice that they are pretty incompetent relative to FIFA, the IOC, the NFL, etc.

USA v Canada Webcast (courtesy of the canadians)


Rugby Canada getting their excuses in early with regards to having a poor webstream:

RugbyCanada ‏@RugbyCanada 23m
Hey @USARugby & @IRBMedia
Due to heavy wind/rain in #YEG, we may experience technical difficulties on our live stream. Stay tuned!

Anyone remember the joke of a stream they had last time we played them in Edmonton?

Is it just me or does this have a "Wayne's World" feel to the broadcast? Clearly they still have not managed to find a cameraman that can follow the play. And for all the bitching about commentators here in the US our guys are light years ahead of these two ... they are horrible.

@stdd - surely, you are correct in your assessment!

OMFG ... if it was going to be another Edward Jones commercial I would have about screamed ... but no ... the broadcast just ended... was there a curling match they had to get to?

I am assuming the Canadians won but really it was more a matter of the Eagles not taking one or two opportunities. Can't complain too much about their performance - much much better scrum ... need a bit more penetration in the centers ... maybe Siddall is an answer at FB so Wyles can play canter?

All in all a decent start to the season for the US. Now find a way to convince Manu to pull on the US jersey again ..

Can anyone get the eite cup webcast to work?

Never mind, I'm an idiot. It hasn't started yet.

Missing top guns is no excuse, but changes need to be made, and fingers need to be pointed. Come the World Cup Qualifier match in August, the best 15 need to be on the field, and that means difficult drops.

1 Pittman
2 Biller
3 Fry
4 Doyle
5 Stanfill
6 LaValla
7 Quill (Clever needs to show more, consistently)
8 Manoa
9 Shaw
10 L'Estrange
11 Ngwyena
12 Suniula
13 Wyles
14 Hume
15 Sidall

For me it's gotta be this team for the RWCQs (assumes all players healthy)

1 Pittman
2 Biller
3 Fry
4 Manoa
5 Stanfill
6 LaValla
7 Quill
8 Clever
9 Shaw
10 L'Estrange
11 Ngwenya
12 Siddall
13 Emerick
14 Hume
15 Wylea

16 Fenoglio
17 MacDonald
18 Wallace
19 Doyle
20 Dolan
21 Davies (over Petri for his kicking)
22 A Suniula
23 Paterson

Great broadcast and great game! Thank you Glendale. The gold standard in USA internet coverage!

Oh, and congrats to Golden Gate! Great match!

Tolkin's inexperience is exposed. Poor selections. Poor tactics. Poor substitutions. He might end the summer with a 3-9 record as coach, and looking at the long road to RWC qualification.

NPT - a very useful commentary.

For those with a less negative POV there were a lot of positives to come out of the game. The first 10 minutes were obviously not good but once the Eagles settled into the game they were the better team for long stretches. The Eagles were superior at the line out, were more effective in counter rucking and demonstrated a willingness to move the ball around a bit. Tactical kicking was good at times as well. Scrummaging was light years better than a year ago. The defensive structure held up throughout the game.

Areas to work on - plenty. But this was the first match of what will be a busy season and the final record matters not a lick if they perform in the WC qualifiers ... I think the center is an area of concern but perhaps Wyles can fill that role in the post Emerick era. Siddall did a good job in his debut. Playing two smallish wings in the modern game is a problem.

A draw would have been a better reflection of the actual play on the field and the Canadians will (again) feel a bit fortunate to have taken this game. The Eagles would have been flattered as well and it seems to me that two teams shaking off the cobwebs both left something to build on.

As for the broadcast - it was nice to be able to see the Elite Cup in order to compare the two ... and there was a vast canyon separating the quality of the two broadcasts. Canada, once again, have demonstrated that they are well behind the US when it comes to broadcasting. Say what you will about Boulder but the days of seeing test match rugby played on HS fields is over; thankfully. And while he is not going to go down as a broadcast legend Dave Sitton was far more polished than Wayne and Garth that did the Canada broadcast.

I like how they kept going to the camera that was covered in rain drops. "Yep. Still wet. Check back in 20 seconds, eh?"

The game was not even. Canada was better and the score reflected that.
There is no such thing as a morale win when playing Canada.

The Eagles were the better team over 70 of the 80 minutes. But not by much (9-6). Frankly I don't think either team can walk away satisfied. The Eagles left a couple opportunities on the table. Canada didn't really create anything. First game out of the gate ... plenty of rugby ahead with some established players coming back into the fold.

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