Columns and Opinions
Written by Gavin Hickie    Tuesday, 05 February 2013 23:58    PDF Print Write e-mail
Hickie: ID-ing New Players at U20s Camp - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


Those who work in Junior and U20s rugby know the challenges of having to constantly find new players to replace those who have outgrown their grade and rebuild a team each season.


 
Written by Al Caravelli    Wednesday, 30 January 2013 21:16    PDF Print Write e-mail
Caravelli - the 7s Ruck - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


Former USA 7s national team coach Al Caravelli, in his first column for RUGBYMag.com, explores why there have been so many penalties at the rucks in the Sevens World Series.


 
Written by Alex Goff    Sunday, 27 January 2013 21:12    PDF Print Write e-mail
Eagle Eye: Is This 7s Team Magleby's Team? - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


The USA 7s tournament in Las Vegas is now only two weeks away, and with it comes an important time for the USA men’s national 7s team.

 
Written by Eamonn Hogan    Wednesday, 23 January 2013 16:13    PDF Print Write e-mail
Eamonn Hogan: It's the Warmup Part 2 - P
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In a previous article, Eamonn stressed the point that the warm up is the least attended to part of the training session. He surmised that many coaches allow the players to complete a warm up of their own which is unimaginative or does not prepare the athlete for the session they are about to complete, therefore contributing to the coaches inability to meet whatever the outcome of that session is. Following much discussion on the subject here at Rugbymag.com, we have asked Eamonn to follow up his article and give a little more guidance as to what basic ideas a coach could have regarding their planning of the warm up

 
Written by Shalom Suniula    Wednesday, 23 January 2013 16:06    PDF Print Write e-mail
Shalom Suniula: Gearing up for Vegas - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions



Shalom Suniula has been a regular with the USA National 7s team
since late 2008, appearing in the 2009 7s World Cup, and playing
in more than 30 IRB World Series tournaments, captaining the team
on numerous occasions during that time.

Editor's note: This is Shalom Suniula's latest column in his series of RUGBYMag.com The USA 7s team's most-capped player will be updating readers on life in the 7s team, the players, the coaching, and notes from the IRB World Series. This column is now available to RUGBYMag.com Premier Subscribers. - AG

 
Written by Alex Goff    Tuesday, 15 January 2013 21:55    PDF Print Write e-mail
Eagle Eye: Scouting at Heart of 2013 Eagle Prep - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


USA Men’s 15s Head Coach Mike Tolkin spent the past extended weekend at the USA 7s team camp and watching Belmont Shore defeat OMBAC in a club game in Long Beach.

 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Tuesday, 15 January 2013 01:40    PDF Print Write e-mail
Rugby Coach Weekly Reprint - Playing Through Mistakes - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


This is our latest reprint excerpt from RUGBY COACH WEEKLY details how you can help players respond to, and play through, mistakes.

 
Written by Jon Velie    Wednesday, 09 January 2013 00:00    PDF Print Write e-mail
International Seen - Hiring from Overseas for Your Club - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


Attorney, former rugby player, current rugby coach, and sports agent Jon Velie brings the first of his series of columns on working with international issues and laws and how they affect rugby clubs.

 
Written by Nicki LaMonde    Tuesday, 08 January 2013 23:12    PDF Print Write e-mail
Nutrition: Shedding that Holiday 8-10 - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


“Your mind will always fail before your body…keep pushing. I guarantee you can do more than you ever thought possible.” – My College Tennis Coach

 
Written by Nicki LaMonde    Tuesday, 08 January 2013 23:12    PDF Print Write e-mail
Nutrition: Shedding that Holiday 8-10 - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


“Your mind will always fail before your body…keep pushing. I guarantee you can do more than you ever thought possible.” – My College Tennis Coach

 
Written by Eamonn Hogan    Sunday, 06 January 2013 22:30    PDF Print Write e-mail
Eamonn Hogan: It's the Warmup - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


Coach Eamonn Hogan discusses the warmup, and how the frequent auto-pilot approach to pre-practice and pre-game warmup short-changes a team's preparation.

 
Written by Alex Goff    Thursday, 27 December 2012 13:35    PDF Print Write e-mail
Eagle Eye: Axioms of 2012 - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


The year in national teams was a year of proving axioms.

 
Written by Shalom Suniula    Wednesday, 26 December 2012 19:25    PDF Print Write e-mail
Shalom Suniula: Some Improvement, But More Needed - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


Editor's note: This is Shalom Suniula's latest column in his series of RUGBYMag.com The USA 7s team's most-capped player will be updating readers on life in the 7s team, the players, the coaching, and notes from the IRB World Series. This column is now available to RUGBYMag.com Premier Subscribers. - AG

 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Sunday, 16 December 2012 18:37    PDF Print Write e-mail
Rugby Coach Weekly Reprint - 6 Steps to Rucking Results - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


Our latest reprint excerpt from RUGBY COACH WEEKLY details an exercise you can replicate at training to produce the right results at the ruck.

 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Sunday, 16 December 2012 18:37    PDF Print Write e-mail
Rugby Coach Weekly Reprint - 6 Steps to Rucking Results - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


Our latest reprint excerpt from RUGBY COACH WEEKLY details an exercise you can replicate at training to produce the right results at the ruck.

 
Written by Eamonn Hogan    Friday, 14 December 2012 23:10    PDF Print Write e-mail
Eamonn Hogan: Dear Santa - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


DEAR SANTA
 

As a longtime member of the rugby family, I haven’t really asked for many things over the years from you.

 
Written by Alex Goff    Friday, 14 December 2012 09:29    PDF Print Write e-mail
Eagle Eye: On Close Games, Stipends, and the USA 7s Team - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


It’s a common enough story, but is not less accurate for the repeating.

The USA men’s 7s team finished their last two tournaments 3-7, but with a series of very close losses.

 
Written by Jackie Finlan    Friday, 07 December 2012 16:34    PDF Print Write e-mail
Eligibility Issues for Women's College
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


There’s some schizophrenia going on in the women’s college sphere. With the advent of conferences, a lack of coordination between USA Rugby and administrators has teams questioning their eligibility for national playoffs or wondering if they’ll have an opportunity to play-in against other conference runners-up.


In the larger picture, the move to conferences was a necessary evolution, and it will help the sport’s growth and recognition. But that lends little comfort to college teams today, who can’t plan their spring seasons or allocate their budgets until some clarity emerges.

USA Rugby’s College Management Council will meet in January, face-to-face, to address some of these issues. Temple, for example, eagerly awaits their decisions, as their fate balances in the wind. At present, Temple is ineligible for DII national playoffs, as USA Rugby informed them over the summer that the program must play at the DI level. That mandate was passed down due to Temple's DI football program. When we spoke with Temple coach Owen Jones in late August, he wasn’t distraught about playing a league season without possibility of nationals.

“Not an ideal situation, but it is what it is,” Jones said. “I understand what USA Rugby is trying to do, and I think it is great how they want the level of play and organization to improve. I just feel they’re going about it too quickly and casting blanket rule over everyone without really understanding the dynamics of each club’s situation.”

But then word started to spread that teams in a similar situation – ones with DI football programs – were eligible for national playoffs. DII’s Washington State, which finished third at 2012 nationals and won it all in 2010, were planning on returning to the 2013 national tournament.

“The last discussion I heard was that in 2015 teams would be required to play in the conference that their school is a part of,” Cascade Conference president Sami Allen said. “This will mean that University of Washington and Washington State University will be asked to either move up or be ineligible for playoffs.”

It was the inconsistent ruling that Owen found troubling, especially since Temple went on to win the Mid-Atlantic Conference. He’s appealed for Temple’s inclusion at DII nationals, and Temple’s case will be reviewed in January.

Division I has evolved a bit easier, but that’s not to say conflict won’t arise. There are currently eight conferences, and thus far, only the champion receives an automatic bid to nationals. That leaves another eight spots to be awarded or contested across conferences in a play-in. In 2011, the Pacific Mountain Conference received six seeds to account for three territories combining into one. But with the fractioning of other territories into conferences, and those conferences receiving their own bids, it’s unlikely that PMC can retain all six seeds.

“The women's re-structuring is in semi-disarray due to miscommunication or no communication prior to [Collegiate Director] Rich [Cortez] and my joining USA Rugby, coupled with directives from some conferences and inconsistent opinions offered by some committee members,” USA Rugby Associate Director Tam Breckenridge said. “There is plenty of blame to go around!  For now, we want to move forward in a timely and consistent manner to ensure that all programs, deemed suited and ready for Division I women's rugby, receive the message and have assistance and direction in joining or forming a new conference.”

Right now, the hope is that January provides a clear, fair plan for the path to nationals. But it’s inevitable that  more conflict awaits in this continual evolution.

 
Written by Waisale Serevi    Friday, 07 December 2012 13:40    PDF Print Write e-mail
King's Corner: In Praise of the Underrated - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


The 7s great Waisale Serevi talks about who are the most underrated players he has seen, and why.

 
Written by Nicki LaMonde    Wednesday, 05 December 2012 12:12    PDF Print Write e-mail
Nutrition: What an Athlete Really Needs - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


We'd like to welcome Nicki LaMonde to our family of columnists. Nicki is an experienced fitness coach and works closely with her clients on nutrition plans as well as fitness plans. She will be writing on nutrition. - AG


As an athlete and athletic trainer myself, nutrition plays an important role for supplying the nutrients required to fuel workouts and promote recovery. For years I went along with the traditional "athlete diet,” which focuses on lots of grains, processed power bars, sugary sports drinks and few fats.

 
Written by Nicki LaMonde    Wednesday, 05 December 2012 12:12    PDF Print Write e-mail
Nutrition: What an Athlete Really Needs - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


We'd like to welcome Nicki LaMonde to our family of columnists. Nicki is an experienced fitness coach and works closely with her clients on nutrition plans as well as fitness plans. She will be writing on nutrition. - AG


As an athlete and athletic trainer myself, nutrition plays an important role for supplying the nutrients required to fuel workouts and promote recovery. For years I went along with the traditional "athlete diet,” which focuses on lots of grains, processed power bars, sugary sports drinks and few fats.

 
Written by Jackie Finlan    Tuesday, 04 December 2012 18:20    PDF Print Write e-mail
Dubai Upsets Speaks to Women's Parity
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


There are two aspects of the Women’s Sevens World Series (WSWS), which kicked off at the Dubai 7s last weekend, that continue to resonate. First, the parity of the teams. Second, the vast improvement of countries who were, prior to the tournament, more likely to play in the Bowl competition instead of the USA.


Simply looking at the Cup final score – New Zealand 41, South Africa 0 – one might be tempted to think the Black Ferns dominated the competition, but that is an erroneous assumption. After getting a good start against China (31-0) in pool play, New Zealand tied both Russia and Canada 12-12. The Kiwis turned it on during day two, defeating England 31-0 and Australia 28-14 before seeing South Africa in the final.

Onlookers were repeatedly entertained, and subsequently shocked, as the upsets proliferated pool play. It became evident that England was not in their groove, as South Africa beat the Roses 20-5; Spain defeated eventual finalist RSA 5-0; and Russia topped Canada (photo) 15-12. The playoffs were no different.

One of the biggest attention-grabbers was Russia, which won the Plate. As mentioned, they tied New Zealand and bettered Canada twice, lost to Spain 7-5, and toppled the Netherlands 21-5. It’s evident that hosting the Rugby World Cup Sevens in June has pumped up the women’s program, and they have no intention of being walked over on home soil.

“The IRB must be happy with the parity in the women’s game,” USA Women’s 7s coach Ric Suggitt said. “On day one, New Zealand tied Russia and Canada. Funny, if Russia or Canada had won their games by one point, then the Black Ferns would have in the Bowl.”

On one hand, it’s encouraging to know that no team enjoyed an easy road to success. On the other hand, the experience – especially for the Americans – reinforced that every error, every opportunity unrealized can have dire ramifications. Hence the USA finishing 9th overall.

“Of course we want to win every game by 100 points,” Suggitt responded to whether the level playing field was a welcomed evolution. “But for the growth of the game, this has to happen. No one wants to watch one-sided victories all of the time.”

When Suggitt wasn’t tending to his squad, he was in the stands watching the other women’s teams, or heading to the men’s competition when there was a break in play. As the game evolves, Suggitt knows it's important to not be labeled an "old" coach and be in touch with how the best teams are playing.

“There are a few nuances in the game,” Suggitt explained. “I really like South Africa. They’re really good at keeping the ball alive and not going into contact. They just ran out of gas against New Zealand in the final.

“The Kiwis are really good at deep switches and changing direction in open space,” Suggitt continued. “The Aussies are more direct and have some steppers. The Netherlands are similar. But I can tell you what Canada’s going to do in the lineout, or what New Zealand will do from a right-footed scrum. With all the video, we’re well aware of the competition. Main focus for me is that all we can do is control what we have. If we’re organized, we can make life difficult for the opposition.”

The Eagles have a couple of months to tweak their nuances. The next leg of the WSWS occurs on February 1-2, 2013, in Houston. Suggitt indicated that the players aren’t feeling any new pressure due to the uptick in competition, but he will have a mental preparation coach working with the squad as they build toward a tournament on home soil.

There’s another benefit of the international field catching up with each other. No one team will be able to rely on a presumed dominance and will have to play their hardest to secure the win. Watching that kind of battle unfold on the pitch is inspiring, and the Eagles are excited to have their fans experience that brand of rugby firsthand.

“They’re real ambassadors for the USA and USA Rugby,” Suggitt said after Dubai. “I can’t say enough how impressed I am with their maturity; it’s those intangibles you appreciate as a coach, when you want to thank the parents for raising great role models – because that’s what they are.”

The USA will see the majority of the same teams; they know what awaits them in the near future. The Eagles will have their shot to join the exciting group of "unexpected winners" soon enough.

 
Written by Mark Richards    Tuesday, 27 November 2012 01:38    PDF Print Write e-mail
Refs and the Offseason in a Changing Game - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


Referee Mark Richards humbly submits his first column for RUGBYMag.com’s Referee Section.

Mark is a longtime referee from Southern California, and we’re delighted to have him on board.

 
Written by Mark Richards    Tuesday, 27 November 2012 01:38    PDF Print Write e-mail
Refs and the Offseason in a Changing Game - P
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions


Referee Mark Richards humbly submits his first column for RUGBYMag.com’s Referee Section.

Mark is a longtime referee from Southern California, and we’re delighted to have him on board.

 
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