Monday, August 29, 2011

All Done with Rugby for 2011

And so we finish our youth rugby for 2011. There is still a lot of old boys Roosters rugby to play for Coaches Dacey, Hughes and Golding in the fall, but the opportunities for the kids are at an end.

What a year. We started with our first year of high school rugby, a full four years ahead of the originally assumed schedule. We had a great cadre of enthusiastic and dedicated young men, and parents familiar with our program, who fell in and got things going. And bam! the girls got themselves going, too. We didn't expect this, and we all managed to make this team go, too.

A big part of this was a great coaching turnout, with a ton of new coaches, and almost all of our coaches getting official USA Rugby Level 1 certification in February. Now we have a core of truly trained and highly experienced coaches.

We had two great high school seasons, with both the Warriors and the Gators going into the playoffs. We did very well, better than we expected, and are set now to really capitalize on our first year with our Spring 2012 season.

Coming with the high school season in 2012 are plans to tour. We don't have a destination set yet, but we intend to tour, likely in July 2012. This can separate boys and girls trips, or a consolidated trip; all of this needs to be worked out. Parent-volunteers will be crucial for this effort, as the coaches have too much on their plates to plan and conduct a tour.

And then we have the annual free-of-charge FCPS spring break clinic in April, and by then it'll be time to register for and start training for Summer 2012, our seventh year. We'll have an all-new jersey design again, and we'll get it going, just like we do every year.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Saturday, 25 June Match Reports and Wrap-Up

Another great Saturday of Fort Hunt Youth Rugby.

The 9s played a great set of matches with subs from BRYC. They won all three matches quite handily, and for a group of kids who have never played until this season they played as a team and used the lessons they have been taught in training. They all had standout performances, running and passing the ball well. They used the outside well, and were able to cut it off when the opponents tried to use it. We have a few speedsters on this side as well, with Kelly just running rings around the opposition.
Tons of scoring, with Michael, Kelly, Jake, Ethan and Grant all getting scores in.
Coach Layton adds: Kelly's scores were very dramatic and frequent. She ran completely across the field diagonally to get to the try zone corner each time in thrilling fashion, which although effective was dangerous and we can straighten that up I believe.
Player of the Match: Michael, for consistent straight-ahead running leading to numerous tries and, stealing ball in the open and lineouts, and even a successful try conversion. Kelly’s scrumhalf-ing was very good and alert, she even helped line up some kids when she was a back. Ethan is also a close runner-up.

The 11s had a really great day as well, crushing two of their rivals (Alexandria 1 and Chantilly), and tying the third match with Alexandria 2 .
Our slower but wiser forwards set up a number of our tries with some great runs, taking the ball right up to the goal line, to pass it off to one of the backs. The backs succeeded with SPEED and field sense, reading the defense and beating it. Patrick, Billy, Parker, and James drove through the competition. Clare, Martin, Andrei, Michael, and Fiona all ran the ball fast and smart.
Even though the scrums were uncontested we took them seriously, and the lineouts (practiced all week) were SPECTACULAR. We got the opponents a couple of times on the long ball, and even won a few of their lines just by being smart.
Scoring: Clare, Michael, Patrick, Jack, Andrei, Martin, and Patrick D.
Player of the Match: Clare for the usual leadership, defensive saves, good scrumhalfing and excellent passing, and weak-side scrumhalf runs for a tries. Honorable mention for Patrick D, who scored his first try and intercepted several because he stayed in his lane and did not play magnetball. Michael has really improved and is aggressive inside and both steals ball sand runs through traffic not worried about being tagged and makes non-panic passes, and scored a few times. Martin definitely gets a mention as a much improved player as he tried several positions and was very good at following directions and got a lot of ball and yardage as a result, and a try or two as well. We need to get that trophy up to the forwards soon enough as they all are doing their jobs very well and have learned so much and are playing so well. Fiona is all heart, and speedier and more impressive than last year and a great bad-pass-catcher; she wrote in her school yearbook that one of her goals in life is to play Rugby!

For both 9s and 11s: Or teams played the sport well. They are understanding what to do, and when to do it. Our kids just looked more organized and focused out there than our opponents did. Our blitzing backs on defense swarmed their backfield at times and produced plenty of turnovers and overall mayhem for the opponents. Several kids on the U-9 team gathered and stole their ball away and on U-11 it produced direct interceptions of their scrumhalf-to-flyhalf passing, leading to tries for Andrei on two occasions. As usual our forwards picked up many loose balls that they forced out of the clutches of the opponents. Our quick penalty starts were fast, leading to tries that we were called back for a re-do on several occasions. Opponents’ jaws dropped and parents moaned each time we shot past their turned backs. Our U-9s and U-11s were scored on only when our wings left their side of the field to defend the other and could not return in time. We'll work on that some more. Good job, touch players!

We had a great turnout, with enough Alexandria and BRYC players--aided by Joey F and Ben D--to form their own team. We had a number of first-ever players, who all did very well in the match, playing cleanly and solidly, applying what they’d learned in training.
The 13s played a half against host Prince William and then a half against the Alex/BRYC team. We won one and lost one, both by one try apiece.
Man of the Match: demonstrating the two game objectives of the day--communicate and pass-and-loop--Erik R came away with the battered trophy.

We showed with just enough guys to form a side, and took the field against host Prince William. In a wide-open game with lots of outside running and increasing use of the kick, we went down to a narrow defeat late in the match, losing by just one try. Good consistent kicking and try conversions from Tom B. Our one weakness is the need to contain the outside run.
Man of the Match: Oscar G, who managed to score four times, consistently running hard and straight with the ball, and tackled solidly in close.

Girls Tackle
The Fort Hunt Ladies travelled to Warrenton and played their first tackle match of the summer season, final score Fort Hunt 58, Warrenton 15.
Due to Warrenton's short numbers, the match was played with six players/side. Honoring the game, Carol, Jadah and Sorenda volunteered, on a rotational basis, to play on the Warrenton side, and are to be commended for their sportsmanship. The Lady Eagles exercised tremendous support play and teamwork, displayed keen sense for tactical kicking, and exploited open space.
Scoring Statistics: Tries: Helen C (4), Carol B (2), Autumn B (2), Patricia G (1), Sorenda B (1); Conversions: Helen C (4).
Woman of the Match: Patricia G. Although this was her first-ever rugby match, she executed every aspect of the game surely and without hesitation. Most notably, she delivered a hard tackle on the opening kickoff that set the tone for the remainder of the match. And her brother got the 15s MoM!
The Borkowskis took a lot of photos, which you can see on their Picasa web album. I've also posted a link to the album on Facebook.

We will practice all days this week, Tu/Wed/Th.
We will practice Tu/Wed, 5 and 6 July.

Next Matches
No matches over the 4th of July weekend.
As of 7 July, we transition to Thursday evening AND Saturday matches.
Next matches, Thursday evening, 7 July.
U-9: home v. PAC and SYC, 6:00pm
U-11: home v. PAC and SYC, 6:00pm
U-13: away v. Chantilly at SYC (Springfield)
U-15: away v. SYC at SYC
Girls Tackle: away v. Fairfax at Fairfax
Game day email will be out within a few days.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Match Reports: 18 June

9-U Touch
We didn’t have a lot of Fort Hunt players, but our Braddock Road mates helped us out a lot. Jake and Max were moving the ball well, with Max making a few key tags. We are pretty sure we won, but the score is a mystery.
Man of the Match: Max, for good, solid overall play, and an honorable mention for Jake.

11-U Touch
Also just a few, with more help from Braddock Road.
The first half tied at 20-20, but we slowly started to take control, and use more of the field. We used kicking well, did some quick-tap penalties, had good communication, and ended up winning by something like 46-35. Great play from Parker, James (first score ever!), Billy (score!), Claire at scrumhalf (score!), and Andrei (score!).
Man of the Match: Andrei, for his leadership, conversion kicking and good chasing defense, with Claire as the runner-up for her outstanding on-field communication and positioning.

13-U Boys Tackle
Prince William showed with a deep side, and our 13s also had plenty of help from Alexandria and Braddock Road, with at least 8 substitutes ready to go.
We started off well with good ball handling and straight-ahead running, but got caught fixating on the ball instead of the offense, leading to a couple of breakaway tries on the outside when PW spun the ball wide quickly.
Good strong defensive work from Andrew B and Max D, and good straight running from Alex L, Patrick P, and Jimmy F. Final score had us losing by just one try.
Man of the Match: Alex L, for consistent straight-ahead running into contact, with an honorable mention to Jimmy F and Max D for their tackling.

15-U Boys Tackle
The Prince William side had more than 25 kids dressed out and ready to play, and we had our requisite 11, assisted ably by new assistant coaches Chris Tadie, David Fay and Mike Poulin.
The pace was considerably faster than the 13s, match, with a well-coached PW side rucking and counter-rucking very well and quickly spinning the ball wide. Our defense was quite good, with solid tackling and fair play, and only a few penalties for being off-side at the rucks and mauls. Good outside running from Cullen O’B and Logan B, and nice inside work from Ruslan P, Paris M and WDB. In the end we won by an approximate score of 29-22.
Man of the Match: Tom B, for his attacking running and precise kicking, with an honorable mention to Court H for his consistent straight-ahead running and solid presentation of posted ball.

Girls Tackle
Warrenton showed with a light side, but with just a bit of field modification it was game on. Our girls dominated from the start in the 5 v 5 game, with creative play, solid passing, good positioning, looping, and some smart tactical kicking to keep the Warrenton girls off their feet the entire time.
Final score was Fort Hunt A Lot to Warrenton’s 1 try, ironically scored by a Fort Hunt substitute.
Woman of the Match: Autumn Baker, for her on-field leadership, and for consistently running in support with her scoring teammates to arrive in the goal area at the same time, which paid off eventually with her own scoring.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Our First High School Season

And so our first high school season ends, with both the boys and girls making the state championship semi-finals. I hope no one is upset or angry about this performance; it is truly outstanding. Winning records are always something to be proud of, and winning records that propel you into the top level of the playoffs are even better. For two teams in their very first year of competition. Again, this is a fantastic achievement.

Thank you, players, for your dedication and your discipline, and for your enthusiasm in training and in the matches. Thank you for your bumps, bruises, and scrapes, and for a few of you, the season-ending injuries. We are looking forward to having you back with us next spring.

Thank you, parents, for supporting your rugby players so well. Thank you for supporting our home-game socials, and for providing rides to away matches. Thank you for becoming Fort Hunt Rugby parents.

We are working on plans for a combined boys/girls end of season party, with details out by the end of the week, hopefully.

There are a few loose ends, with a few boys players needing to pay for kit bags, and for shorts/socks. Please step forward and make this happen.

And summer rugby is fully underway now, with training begun and matches to start on 18 June. Go to our website and sign on up.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Boys HS Notes: Focus, Discipline and Dedication

If you train in a half-assed manner, not taking anything seriously, being lazy, cutting corners, being inattentive and goofing off with your buddies, this is how you will play in matches, since this is how you've trained yourself to behave. You will have missed or ignored important coaching points, and will be unprepared to compete against players who have been paying attention. If you take training seriously, and focus on your individual weak points, and listen to and take on board specific coaching recommendations and instructions, then you will play with discipline and focus, and you will improve.

Game focus flows directly from training focus. You will play the way you train, be it well or poorly. Bad game play reflects poor individual and team discipline. It shows a lack of dedication to yourself to better yourself as a player, and a lack of dedication to your teammates and yoru mission to improve and win.

We have a great deal of exceptional individual talent, and some very serious athletic depth in speed, size and strength, but none of this counts for anything against a team that has trained hard and well, and is cohesive in a single game plan, showing discipline to put into action the skills and tactics trained at practice. Every single player on our team needs to get better. This is not a criticism, but a simple observation based on the fact that we are young and inexperienced, and many of our players are true first-year novices. We need to improve fitness, strength, ball handling, tackling, rucking/mauling, developing the counterattack, and basic knowledge of the Laws of the Game. The coaches are ready to work on all of these, if players are willing to show the discipline and dedication to take it onboard.

Players should take EVERY training session as a unique opportunity to improve their game, to work on a specific weak point--and every player has at least one, and usually many. Training is for serious work, and socializing and goofing off is for before and after, and there is plenty of time for this. Show discipline and dedication to your team and teammates, and buckle down and work hard in training. It will pay off in matches.

High School Rugby: Conduct

This is for Fort Hunt high school rugby, both boys and girls. Let's talk about conduct.

On the field, we do not talk trash, even when provoked. We do not taunt, even if provoked, whether winning or losing. Let your actions speak for themselves, be it a score, a tackle, or any other aspect of your positive, focused play. When you talk trash or taunt, you are losing your focus on play and team, and thinking about something other than working to benefit your teammates. We are gracious in victory, and we are humble in defeat.

Off the field, you are a representative of Fort Hunt Rugby. If you use a photo of yourself in any form of Fort Hunt Rugby gear in any kind of online forum or post, you are identifying yourself primarily as a Fort Hunt Rugby player and member, and you therefore represent your team, our program, and the Fort Hunt Eagles Rugby Football Club. As such, we expect all of our representative to conduct themselves properly. We expect respectful and thoughtful conduct, in action and in words. This includes online posting. Our off-field conduct can do nothing to bring shame upon you the player, your family and your friends, your team or teammates, or the club.

When in doubt, check out the club player code of conduct for a specific list of what is expected of you, and what can happen if you choose not to abide by the code of conduct.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Girls HS Rugby: TC Williams @ Fort Hunt, 26 March 2011

On Saturday, 26 March 2011, the Fort Hunt Lady Ruggers played the first match of their inaugural season (the first ever Fort Hunt HS girls match!). They displayed a balanced attack (scoring from penalty kicks, tries and conversions) and a tenacious defense that held their opponent (TC Williams) scoreless. Every member of the team stepped up and played a critical role in the victory. In short, the historic significance of this match was not lost on the ladies; they opened this new chapter of Fort Hunt Rugby with a consummate team effort.

Srt Hunt Scoring Results:
Carol: 5 Points (1 Try)
Maddie C: 10 Points (2 Tries)
Helen: 12 Points (1 Penalty Kick; 1 Try; 2 Conversions)

Player of the Match: Helen
Golden Boot: Maddie C

Big thanks to Dave Evans for stepping to assist with the traditional rugby social for our guests after the match--the "third half" is almost as important as the match itself.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

A great weekend of rugby, in general.

Terrible that we lost Henry to the ankle injury on Saturday morning. It was just a freak thing, no one's fault, but a shame that Henry has to miss the season, after just joining us and fitting in so well. Stay in touch, teammate, and we want you back, as soon as you're well.

Good practice on Saturday morning, concentrating on body position in the ruck/maul, making the ball available to supporting players, and the quick pickup to carry on the attack or transition from defense. We learned the saddle roll, too.

Saturday night was great under the lights, lots of rugby, especially for our rookies. Great discipline in the off-sides, with very few instances of that, or hands in the rucks. We need to work on player communication, and especially decision making going in to the rucks and mauls--we are putting way too many guys in, both when we're on offense and when we're on defense. We need to keep our heads up and eyes open, see what's happening, and make fast, solid decisions that benefit our side--we'll work this in practice this week.

Big thanks to our parents who supported the concessions sales at West Potomac HS this weekend, especially Barb Roach for leading the effort. If we are going to go on tour every other year--with 2012 being our next year--we need to think hard about fundraising, and parents and players both need to be ready to raise funds.

See you on Tuesday evening.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tuesday, 1 March

A great evening for training, clear and crisp. A bit muddy, though.

First night on the scrum sled. Thanks again, FHYAA Board, for hooking us up with this great piece of equipment. Trained two full scrums on the sled and against each other, easing the rookies into the unfamiliar physical setting of the scrum. Worked both on the sled and some gentle pushing against each other. Cant' wait to see the ladies doing some work on the sled.

Had about 12 ladies out tonight, another great showing. Gotta get registered, please, ladies. We've almost got a full team now. Your shorts and socks are in, too.

Custom shorts and socks are in and available, for all players.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Second Practice, Cold and Wet

Cold, rainy day for rugby practice today. So the county closed Bucknell Manor Park, requiring us to displace to Quander Road School. Great flexibility on the part of players and parents--thank you.

Quander Road School is just north of the Bucknell Manor Park field. Exit the Bucknell Manor Park parking lot, turn right. Take an immediate left on Quander, go past West Potomac HS, and Quander Road School will be on the left.

This will be our SOP until further notice: if Bucknell Manor is unavailable, we will move to Quander Road School. If you get to Bucknell Manor Park and it is empty, look for a sign saying "QUANDER" hung on the park fence; that is the secret club signal to come to Quander Road School for rugby practice.

Next practice: Saturday, 26 February, 9:00-11:00am at Bucknell Manor Park. Bring boots and a molded mouthpiece. We will have waivers for parents to sign and codes of conduct for players to sign. We'll also have the team box with jerseys, balls, stickers, magnets, patches and pins for sale.

--Coach Dacey

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

First High School Practice

So, we have begun our Fort Hunt Rugby high school program. A good six years in the making, and now we're on our way. I couldn't be more happy.

We have almost 40 boys out, and 5 girls. Most of our veterans are back, we have a number of rookies, and we are extremely fortunate to have two new UK veterans coming out to help us out. Things are looking up very well.

Rookies: we need to work on our concepts. Discard football, think movement, flow, moving forward, and no whistle after five seconds. Things have to be fluid, so as soon as you get tackled or are a tackler, you've got to get right back up and get back into the game. Next practice we're going to introduce the maul, go over the tackle, and introduce the ruck. We want all rookies integrated into practice with everyone as quickly as possible, because the best way to learn rugby is not drills and lecture but to get into the field and actually play. And we will be doing a lot of play, full-on 15-v-15 scrimmages to get everyone familiar with all aspects of the game.

Mouthpieces. Buy 3, mold it, and bring it. No exceptions, non-negotiable.

Kit Bags: we are going to order kit bags. Need a $50 deposit in the next month, so we can order these. Choice of black/blue or green/gold.

Saturday we'll be doing paperwork: parents will be signing the USA Rugby and Rugby VA waivers, and players will be signing the players code of conduct. We'll have the team box out with gear for sale: balls, stickers, magnets, patches, pins, jerseys, etc.

The bare-bones schedule will be out soon. We're still working on exact dates, times and a suitable venue.

Parents: ask lots of questions.

Fort Hunt Rugby newsletter for March will be out on 1 March, via email, and posted to the website.

--Coach Dacey

Friday, June 25, 2010

Nekkid Rugby in NZ

Only One Ball Counts in Nude Rugby
David Moye

(June 24) -- Rugby is tough enough when you're clothed, but it's even
harder when you're naked.

But that may just be the selling point of the annual nude rugby match at
Logan Park in Dunedin, New Zealand.

The seventh annual event was held June 19, and the freewheeling (and
free-balling) contest attracted around 2,500 fans, willing to spend the
first day of winter watching a very stiff competition between the
undefeated Nude Blacks and the visiting Welsh Leeks.

Wait, What?

Players compete in a nude rugby game at Logan Park on June 19 in
Dunedin, New Zealand. A naked rugby match is a traditional prelude to a
New Zealand All Blacks Test match in Dunedin against a visiting team.

The prize? A toilet seat trophy.

The event is the brainchild of Ralph Davies, who told
that nude rugby was in keeping with the student-dominated city.

"Dunedin students are well known for getting their kit off and running
around, so that's how the idea really became, and it's just blown out of
all proportion since then," Davies said.

Although some folks might be offended by the idea, Davies said every
effort is made to keep the game -- and the players -- clean and tidy.

"It's not a nudie perve, it's a kick and giggle," he said.

The event actually ties together two separate but equal events: National
Nude Day and a test match against a local team by the All Blacks, a
rugby team in New Zealand that is as popular in Kiwi country as the New
York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys or Los Angeles Lakers are in the U.S.

Rugby is a brutal sport, and players don't wear nearly the amount of
padding that football players do, so playing completely naked is
obviously even more difficult. Despite that, Davies said there haven't
been any serious injuries since the very first tournament.

"One guy did pop a shoulder once, but apparently this frequently
happened, and it was popped back in and he went on to score a try,"
Davies said in an e-mail interview with AOL News.

"One lady in the crowd did get in the way of a tackled player out of
play and was bundled over, but no damage. I am not sure if she
appreciated the hugs from the players to see if she was OK. But I think
the smile on her face presumed all was OK."

Considering the game took place on the first day of the New Zealand
winter, it might seem that wind chill could be as much of a danger as an
untimely kick in the wedding tackle. Luckily, that was not the case this

"[We had] brilliantly fine conditions -- a balmy winter's afternoon in
Dunedin [64 degrees] was a far cry from the frozen beach for the first
match in 2002, which was around [37 degrees]," Davies said.

But there were some problems. For instance, every year the event is
plagued by some spectator who insists on streaking while wearing
clothes. Inevitably, this scofflaw is arrested by a naked constable.
This year, a woman fan chose to get in on the fun.

"This year, we had a totally random woman drop her kit and run on to the
field to the delight of everyone, including the players as she kissed
and hugged them," Davies said. "She carried on to take part in a
line-out and score a try of her own."

Although playing nude might be a deal breaker for some teams, Davies
said he's never had a problem finding teams willing to do it. But even
if he did, he has that covered.

"We've never had any cancellations," he said. "A core group of Dunedin
University students -- or 'Scarfies' -- makes up the Nude Blacks, and
they can provide extras if we get short on the visiting team."

This year, the Nude Blacks once again won the trophy, and now, according
to the Sydney Morning Herald, the team already anticipates next year's
nude rugby World Cup.

"We know what the Scots wear under their kilts, so we can expect an
interesting matchup for that fixture,'' Davies said.

Since the Nude Blacks don't wear britches, there's no chance of the team
getting too big for them. Davies understands the appeal of nude rugby is
based on its now-you-see-it, now-you-don't quality.

"I think if it was held every week, the interest would wane," he said.
"So we only pull it out once a year as a precursor to the big matches
and thus maintain the interest and fascination of the public.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

2010's First Matches

Well, we finally got to play on Saturday, and here's what I saw/heard:

9-U: I refereed, and you guys did great. We still have to remember that rugby is not keep-away, that unlike football you don't run away from the opposition, you run directly toward them to bring the defense in to create space for your teammates. Our control and passing was good, as was our communication. And it was clear everyone was having fun.

11-U: I refereed this one, too. Still playing a little bit too much magnetball on defense, everyone crowding to the ball to get into the action. Then the opposition makes two passes out, and it's off to the races. That killed us on Saturday. Our ball control on offense was good, but too many players still running sideways instead of straight ahead.

13-U: I refereed this one, too. Almost everybody was standing right outside the action, waiting for the ball to come to him, and therefore we didn't do or get anything; the other team got into the action, they got the ball, and they scored, over and over. Hardly anyone wanted to go into the rucks or mauls, and we therefore lost almost every single one. We had no heart, no aggression, and no grrr, 11 guys all playing their own individual game instead of playing like a team. We finally started to get into the game in the 3rd period, and were doing well, but our defense, and lack of desire to close with the offense and tackle someone, doomed us.

15-U: Very impressive start, guys. We got good help from BRYC, and took it to Warrenton. Our guys did great, even though the scoring was all by BRYC players. We were best at defense, with some really, really good hard, safe tackling. Our offense was lacking, as too many of us are still unsure, not confident with the ball in our hands, and we therefore made a number of blind, panicked passes.

17-U: I heard good things about ball control and team play, and we won.

Girls Tackle: I also heard good things about teamwork, and unselfish play. I heard they were good on defense, with good, hard, safe tackling.

Keep it up, team. Only a month to go.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Playing the Celtic Fest

Well, I have to admit I was disappointed by the Fort Hunt turnout at the Potomac Celtic Fest in Leesburg this past Saturday. In all, out of 77 registered players, we had six Fort Hunt Rugby players in attendance--and good on them, too. Thank you, Victoria, JT, James, Andrei, Alexandra, and Max for coming out and supporting your club. Thank you, too, to two Aidens (a litle brother and a buddy) for joining us and learning about rugby. We even got some mom/dad participation in there, which was great for the kids. You dedicated players will get a token of thanks at practice this coming week.

And as always, thanks to the moms and dads who got their players out to the demonstration.

That being said, it was optional after all, so I really can't get too upset about folks not being there.

It was a good time, though, a warm day out at the festival, with lots of cool stuff to see and do.

Yes, we do plan on doing this again next year, folks.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday Miscellaneous

Saw Invictus on Friday night, and I pronounce it a good film. It's not a rugby movie, as it's not the story of rugby. Rugby is the glue that holds it together, as Mandela finds a way to start to unite black and white behind a common effort, the Springboks' quest to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup. The film is about leadership and vision, and how that kind of faith and inner strength can genuinely change things, can make things happen.

Another great movie, in which rugby plays a role, is Forever Strong. This is a values movie, about a selfish punk who becomes a part of something bigger than himself, and finds the strength in team, instead of always playing on his own. This movie is also about leadership, making hard yet correct decisions, being honorable and honest, and staying true to yourself, your family and your team. This is a fantastic film for all rugby players, and is a great father-and-son movie.

The weather this week promises to be wacky; I don't know if we'll get to practice tonight. Stay alert, and check the website and your emails for updates.

The parents meeting we missed last Thursday has been moved to this coming Thursday, 7:00pm at Dave Poulin Field (Collingwood Park).

Tackle players: start reviewing the website links on the ruck and maul, and on off-sides. We're losing practice days to the weather, so if you do your homework ahead of time, it will save us a lot of explaining during practices.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday's Weather

Sorry, team, but that's the way it goes sometimes--I guess we should have practiced. Oh well. That's the price of being safe.

The parents meeting is moved to next Thursday.

See you next Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another Great Practice


Things are going well, and it looks like we'll have two full days this week to train--stay tuned for weather updates.

We introduced it last night--DRS. That's Discipline, Respect, and Safety. Have the discipline to stay quiet, listen, do as you're instructed, and keep your head in the game. Be respectful of your teammates, your opponents, officials, coaches, and property which does not belong to you. Be safe at all times, whether it's weather or contact drills and play.

It's getting hot--bring water to practice, and when the coaches call water break, make sure you drink some.

You guys are doing great, learning the basics. We're going to reinforce the scrum this week, and move on to lineouts, then the maul.

For the experienced players it may seem like baby steps, but we are setting the standard for all players, using our basic contact drills so that it becomes second nature.
As Coach Roach said last night, the more mature you are, the more you pay attention, and the more you work on these drills and master them, the faster we can move on to more complex drills and play.
Bring your mouthpiece!

See you out there this afternoon.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fort Hunt Rugby Night at Primo's

Well, we did okay for our very first Fort Hunt Rugby Night at Primo's. We could do better, but we've got three more chances this summer to work it out. I did see Alexandra G and her dad there, Patrick K and his dad, and David B and his dad, too. Good on ya, guys and gals, for supporting our biggest sponsor.

Next Fort Hunt Rugby Night at Primo will be on Sunday (they're always on Sundays), 27 June. See you there!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Refer first to our website for all questions.

Another excellent practice last night, with super turnout.

Paperwork: players won't get their jersey until all required paperwork is turned in:
  • USA Rugby registration: this is the signed USA Rugby agreement/waiver, and your receipt with your CIPP number.
  • Fort Hunt Registration: we have that already, so you don't need to bring it.
  • Rugby VA waiver: we will have those at practice starting next week.
  • Commwealth Games waiver: we'll have these at practice starting next week.
Players: bring water. This is your responsibility.

Tackle players: we started the basics of contact last night, with the intro to tackling. This drill is going to be a standard contact warmup for all practices, until it becomes second nature. We'll move this forward next week with the introduction of rucking pads, tackling dummies, and starting player-on-player contact drills. We'll also start getting into the scrum, ruck and maul.

Equipment: remember, take off all jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets, watches, earrings. This includes friendship strings, etc. Empty all pockets. This goes for tackle and touch players.

See you next Tuesday.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

So We Begin, Summer 2010

Excellent practice last night, team, over 50 rugby-playing kids out there, learning about rugby. That's fantastic, hopefully on our way to 80+ kids, maybe even 100. Bring a buddy to practice, or two or three.

WATER: Bring water to practice. This is a player responsibility.

Jerseys are ordered, and will be in by approximately 10 June. You can't get your jersey until you are registered and have all required paperwork turned in.

Tackle Players: Take a look at the video of the week--also linked from the splash page of our website. This is how we are going to train in the basics of the tackle. Concentrate on these aspects
  • Focus on the body core, not head, eyes, ball or feet
  • Keep a light, moving, dancing stance
  • Place the lead foot forward, with the lead hand to the center of the body core
  • Keep the head up, eyes open, with the back straight
  • Shoot the arms forward on both sides, and link up in back
  • Take the ball carrier down, then immediately get up and go for the released ball