Friday, March 27, 2020

Rugby Fitness for the Future

Lonesome Fitness

When the existing bans on group activities suspend, it’ll be a short order and rugby will resume toute suite as everyone will be jonesing for the pill badly by then one might think. Expect your local unions to facilitate the recommencement of matches in as expeditious a manner as is possible. Best then, to maintain or, if one has fallen off one’s fitness pace, obtain a conditioning level that will best support ones’ XVs when that blessed event re-occurs and the Sir’s strident blast signals, “Game on!”

Clubs are getting together for linked workouts, connected by apps like Zoom, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting  and FaceTime, though if you’re currently housebound and hurting for a fitness regimen to follow, here’s a site with rugby emphasis:

· - Ben Wilson’s comprehensive training schedules with pdf download… free and easy to read. requires email confirmation. Wilson is an author and rugby conditioning coach who has worked rugby fitness with individuals as well as international sides and informs:

“If the restrictions still allow movement (UK you can exercise outside once a day) then maintaining fitness is not an issue and could be a good opportunity to develop your fitness... you could do a short sprint speed session (hill sprints, 10-100m distance sprints, agility and plyometric work); a sprints conditioning session (100m - 400m repeats to work on aerobic and anaerobic fitness); or a more aerobic-based session (800m to 3km type jogging intervals). If you did each one of these sessions every week then you would greatly improve your fitness during the break from playing.” 
He further advises that, “rugby is an aerobic-based strength/power sport.... you cannot forget the fact it is based on aerobic fitness. The difference between an NFL player and an international rugby player is that the 260lbs props in rugby can run 2 miles in under 12 minutes. If you cannot leave your house, then do not worry, to maintain fitness it can easily be done with a few sessions on the skipping rope.” 

"For strength training with the gyms closed you will need to make use of your body weight, it is very easy to maintain strength in general as long as do some form of weight-lifting. So few people can do a one-handed press up well or a one-legged squat. So these can look after you,” reports Wilson, referencing his online video of body weight exercises, which may be accessed at: 

… and there are a plethora of generic links available; a few:

·         Crossfit generic workouts… free… online;

·         Nike Training Club see above;

·         Barry’s Bootcamp: on Instagram live ;

·         Peloton: offering 90-day free trial.

At the end of the day, fitness is the individual’s responsibility, especially when engaged in a collaborative activity such as team sports, specifically rugby. Bottom line: when play resumes, and it most certainly will, what shape will you be in to best assist your side?

Monday, March 16, 2020

Spring 2020

Rugby is off the world over now and for the foreseeable future in response to the global health crisis. With the completion of Super Rugby matches on the weekend, SANZAR has declared the season suspended, thus shuttering stadium doors in the last international competition that was ongoing. No word on when play will resume in either of the world's hemispheres as the planet holds its breath and hopes for better, more clement, days.

Looking forward optimistically, the next opportunity for a player to take the pitch in the 2020 cycle will be in the Mountain 15s Summer League, which runs from June into the first part of August on some of the finest venues extant. Should the handle be gotten on the health crisis Aspen, Breckenridge, Steamboat and Vail RFCs will commence play in the summer, most likely in some type of hybrid season inclusive of Rocky Mountain Rugby's Front Range plains clubs, lord willing and the creek not rising overmuch. 

So, wash your hands, limit interactions and no elbow bumping after you've coughed or sneezed into the crook of your arm!!!

Be safe and well my brothers and sisters

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Major League Rugby, PRP WRaps

Major League Rugby - Round 3 - On the Weekend, By the Numbers
Three are now two with ATL dropping from the ranks of the unlost
Home Happy: San Diego Legion
Road Warriors: DC Old Glory, NOLA Gold, Toronto Arrows
S-K: Austin Gilgronis, Utah Warriors
By the Numbers:
14   from a brace of converted touch downs inside of the initial 10 minutes sufficient cushion to carry traveling NOLA Gold  on RugbyDay to victory on the trot for the bonus-point victory over Colorado Raptors down the Kettle at Infinity, 27 - 20; 17 for visiting 15, Carl Meyer, on a 2-1-2 triple, this brace of groundings coming in the second stanza;    
13   for the house in Texas at the break, before DC Old Glory secured the win with 3 second half sticksplitters by 10, Jason Robertson, against sfa for Houston and 22 - 13 the traveler’s joy;
7      points for Utah Warriors at the death through front row, Kalolo Tuilomo and the deuce by 10, Hagen Schulte, enabled Warriors to draw level Austin Gilgronis in the Lone Star State, 20 the house;
24   for Arrows 10, Sudden Sam Malcom, and Toronto pounded out the hard-fought, 39 - 17 win in Seattle over SeaWolves;
2 weeks in succession now that RUNY powerhouse, Mathieu Bastareaud has found the Promised Land first and New York have won; this weekend’s result, 22 - 19 on the trot over Rugby ATL in Georgia;
5     in the bonus-point win for the West's only win as San Diego topped New England FreeJacks, 30 - 21, in SoCal;

UpComing the Mountains Saturday, the RugbyDay, February 29
Colorado Raptors (1) v (7) Utah Warriors down the Kettle at Infinity, 4pm MST

The region’s D1 squad, Glendale Merlins, dropped their third road match in succession to Belmont Shore in Long Beach, 19 - 42. Life West Gladiators turned back OMBAC at home, 29 - 21, denying the former frontrunners a losing bonus point in their process.

 (psst... hey you)

Colorado High School Opening Day: Regis Jesuit Raiders v Denver East High Angels

Regis Jesuit Raiders v Denver East High Angels for “The Old Boot”

Regis began its 2020 campaign in much the same way it ended 2019, with a close, hard-won result over arch-rival Denver East in the annual boot contest.
Clear and cool for kickoff with a steady breeze outcoming the southern end of the pitch, which would figure large in the late stages of the derby.

Angels received opening kickoff and worked the pill crossfield in three phases before turning ball over at their ten meter line. The Jesuit worked steadily forward until East were assessed a penalty near 40 meters away from the sticks on the left between the hashes. Raiders first five-eighths Gordon McKeehan, cool as you like, nailed the three-pointer and Regis were up 3-nil early.

Denver were into Regis territory when field magistrate, Chris Brewer, awarded a penalty to East, and Angels standoff Ollie Walker’s strike sailed across the face of the uprights in the 5th minute.

Steady stuff from both sides featuring pick-and-go smashes in the near channels and backline misdirections, which saw some jittery handling errors that resulted in possession reversals.

McKeehan got three more for the Jesuit in the 12th from 35 meters in front and 6-0 for the home side just then.

East were working patient, with Walker’s halfback partner, Quintin Wolfe, serving swift and fluid from sets and the breakdown.

Wolfe-to-Walker pipeline afforded the Angels much quantifiable possession

Angels scrum-put, 30 meters from their own goaline. Wolfe’s quick cycle made for a movement outside and three-quarters, Darius Yavala, was loosed on the wing for a 70-meter scorcher to touch down for Walker’s conversion: new leader at 7-6 East in the 18th.

An East clearance that didn’t find touch, instead was collected by Raiders fullback, Dylan Renner, inside his own 10 meter line. A twisting, dodging return saw the ball into Denver territory and McKeehan in support. The Regis inside center took possession and his leap into the end zone to touch down the go-ahead try made tallies of 11 and 7 for homeys after 25 minutes of play and that was the scoreline when Brewer’s midpoint signal sent the lads to lockers for hydration, instruction and inspiration.

Not much difference in the XVs in the opening 30 minutes, though the brilliance of Yavala and McKeehan made for engaging excitement in that first half.

East drew within a point, 10-11, after Walker slotted three and the match was one of attrition with each side tearing at ball-filled arms in the maul and wrestling determined at breakdowns to secure the pill; both XVs keen for contact.

Twice Angels booted a ball carried by the wind through the Raiders goal, and the ball was returned; back down the pitch and Regis were gifted scrums inside Denver’s 22.

And twice East were down inside the Regis 22, into their business district within 10 meters of the Promised Land, when Jesuit backrow lock, Fenton Dowling, snatched ball and stepped to space for 40-plus meters in a get-out-of-jail sprint and Angels were on their back leg and scrambling.

Mr. Dowling commands this lineout

Regis scrum, just outside the traveler’s 22, won and spun to the middle of the line enabled a slick misdirect, springing flyer, Zach Van Haselen, to close in the corner and extend the home team’s lead to six at 16-10, where it remained until Brewer’s last blast for the record.

        Regis - Try: McKeehan, Van Haselen; Pen: McKeehan (2);
        East - Try: Yavala; Con: Walker; Pen: Walker

Match Official: Chris Brewer

One would do well to pay attention to Angels three-quarters, Darius Yavala, for the underclassman has power, pace, and size aplenty to go along with savvy smarts. we're talking a Ben Pinkleman or Cody Melphy here...

Monday, February 17, 2020

MLR, PRP Wraps

Major League Rugby - Round 2 - On the Weekend, By the Numbers

Three clubs undefeated after the second weekend of action. East newbie ATL and True North’s finest, Arrows, join the West’s Legion as the only clubs with unblemished records following rugby on the weekend. All clubs in the Eastern Conference with at minimum one joy, while three in the Western Conference, including reigning champs Seattle, unwon. Five home wins, though four of those happened in the City of Variable Fortunes, Las Vegas*.
All clubs in the East within a weekend’s win of one another and San Diego are a bonus-point victory ahead in the West.
All rookie franchises have at least one win.
Pay attention to the Warriors of the Western Slope for they are dauntless. In the young season, they’ve dropped a close contest to Eastern headboy, Rugby ATL on the road, then took down high-flying FreeJacks in their last effort. Utah is well-coached and its staff is well-appointed. The men on the field work as a unit to their mutually beneficial end in an expression of clear vision. Just sayin’...
Home Happy: DC Old Glory, Rugby United New York*, San Diego Legion*, Toronto Arrows*, Utah Warriors*
Road Warriors: Rugby ATL
By the Numbers:
5             trys for everybody, and 4-from-5 of those made seven, but differential counted early on with a pair of sticksplitters by Utah standoff, Kiwi born-German International-who played for Guinness Pro14 Glasgow, Hagen Schulte, and 39 - 33 the Warriors happiness at Sam Boyd in Vegas over FreeJacks;
5             for Mathieu Bastareaud to open the RUNY account and 15 for United 10, Cathal Marsh, on a grounding and 5 conversions in the 49 - 31 rout of Austin at Vegas;
17           in front at the half, 22-5, enough cushion to provide victory at the end of the day for Toronto Arrows over Houston SabreCats at the Sam Boyd in Vegas, 27 - 22;
17           , too, for DC Old Glory 10, New Zealander Jason Robertson, on a 2-1-2 triple and the MLR first timers notched their inaugural win at Catholic University, 28 - 22, over traveling current champs, Seattle;
5             for veteran campaigner, Ma’a Nonu, in the 29th to aid his Legion’s happy over  Raptors and San Diego went on to ground Colorado, 49 - 22, at the Boy-oi-oyd;
4             sticksplitters in the second stanza for South Africa playmaker, Kurt Coleman, sufficient to return ATL from 2 behind at the break, 5-7, for 22 - 10 victory and the Scott Lawrence-led franchise is undefeated yet in their inaugural season after the win over NOLA Gold.

UpComing the Mountains on the RugbyDay:
Colorado Raptors (0) v (5) NOLA Gold down the Kettle at Infinity, 4pm MST
Austin Gilgronis (1) v (5) Utah Warriors at Bold Stadium, 6pm MST

Pacific Rugby Premiership

Glendale Merlins, the region’s Division 1 side, dropped their second road match in succession to OMBAC in Vegas, 33 - 36, after taking an eight-point advantage into the sheds at break. The match will count as a home game for the Merls even though OMBAC’s home ground is about $452, 961.50 closer to Las Vegas than Glendale. Next up for the Merlins: on the trot at Belmont Shore next RugbyDay, February 22, 2pm MST.

Shore rocked reigning champs, Life West, 73 - 24, for their measure on the weekend.
(psst... hey you)
Soon Come

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Major League Rugby - Round 2

MLR - Round 2
Next steps for the Mountain Clubs have each squaring off against undefeated XVs: Utah Warriors host New England FreeJacks in Las Vegas; New England knocked Matti Basteraud’s boys about for their inaugural joy; match kicks at 12:30pm MST (live on Eleven Sports, FTF, NESN); while Colorado Raptors are on the trot in the City of Fortunes, 4pm MST, Sunday (on ESPN+) in a teller against San Diego Legion, who denied reigning champs, Seattle, the happy ending last weekend.
Warriors will have to contain the New England midfield, especially Whakatane (NZ) hard-nosed magician, Beau Waaka, while Raptors must stifle an explosive Legion offense that put all its points onboard in the 20s either side of the break last time out.
Utah Warriors (0) v (5) New England FreeJacks at Sam Boyd, Las Vegas, 12:30pm MST;
Rugby United New York (0) v (0) Austin Elite at Sam Boyd, Las Vegas, 4:30pm MST;

Tomorrow, Sunday, 2.16.20
Toronto Arrows (5) v (4) Houston SabreCats at Sam Boyd, 12:30pm MST;
DC Old Glory (0) v (0) Seattle SeaWolves at Cardinal Stadium, CU, 1pm MST;
San Diego Legion (5) v (0) Colorado Raptors at Sam Boyd, 4pm MST;
NOLA Gold (5) v (5) Rugby ATL at the Shrine on Airline, 4pm MST

PRP: OMBAC v Glendale Merlins

Pacific Rugby Premiership - Round 2

Merlins head coach Mose Timoteo has changed up one-third of his starting XV for the second round matchup with OMBAC. The fixture kicks off at 2pm MST today in Las Vegas, Nevada. The changes rung: two in the tight five, one on the side and a brace in the backthree backs. Merlins look to even up their record after their opening round defeat to Life West last weekend, while OMBAC look to go 2-and-0 in the league.

Go You Merlins!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Merlins Round 2

2020 Glendale Merlins and the Pacific Rugby Premiership: Round 2

The men’s division 1 Merlins, our region's only top flight USARugby XV, transit to Las Vegas on the weekend for a derby with OMBAC (Old Mission Bay Athletic Club). The Colorado Raptors taxi squad is 0-1-0 after last weekend’s 9-point defeat to reigning champs, Life West, and looks to level up in the City of (ideally good) Fortunes with an 8pm kickoff tomorrow.

The Merls will feature a number of local products on their rostered flight; four fast-flying  Rugby Colorado (RC) high school Grizzlies: Paddy Donovan, Seth Halliman, Jacob Russell and Liam Wynne join CSU Rams and Denver Barbarians alum, Carmine Hernandez, in the pumped-up, 23-man roster. In addition: ex-RC Chaparral and Boulder Rugby standout, Stephen Karas; and 19 years old Palmer High School tighthead, Moses Saole will make the transit to Vegas for the fixture on the upcomer.

Merlins finish February on the trot versus Belmont Shore and then Seattle Saracens, who compete in British Columbia Rugby Union -,  in the next two weekends before a blockbuster home opener first RugbyDay in March against Sarries on the StoveTop at Infinity. I’m goin, you goin?

Monday, February 10, 2020


Major League Rugby - On the Weekend, By the Numbers
Both mountain clubs went down on the trot, not-getting losing bonus points for their efforts, while two-from-three newcomers got their initial “W”s in the league.
0             losing bonus points awarded in all matches and all victors with 4 trys or better;

10           for Houston SabreCats 10, Sam Windsor, on a 1-1-1 triple, the penalty struck in the 78th minute to deny Colorado Raptors a losing bonus point and ‘Cats roared, 20 - 12, in Space City on the RugbyDay;
3              groundings for USA Eagles basher, Cam Dolan, and NOLA Gold leveled newbie Old Glory DC in the Big Easy, and the Beastsie’s Boys dropped their inaugural to the Gold, 46 - 13;
11           behind approaching the hour mark for Rugby ATL, 8-19, not one worry for the Georgia XV as a threesome of trys, 2 converted and a three-point sticksplitter made for a deliriously happy ending for Coach Scott Lawrence’s MLR debut on a 28 - 19 record past Utah Warriors;
2              touch downs for FreeJacks threequarters, Beau Waaka, and New England are perfect in MLR competition after a 34 - 14 victory over Rugby United New York in Boston;
2              trys, too, for San Diego Legion South African number 2, Dean Muir, and homeboys exacted a measure of vengeance on the reigning champs with the 33 - 24 result over Seattle SeaWolves;
5              try Toronto Arrows bested Austin Elite in Texas, 38 - 10, to claim their current second placement in the Eastern Division due their points differential;

Glendale Merlins, the region’s Division 1 side, dropped their road match to Life West at California Maritime Academy, 26 - 34 on the RugbyDay. The Merls were without a number of transfers whose  switch hadn’t been approved by USA Rugby in time for them to be rostered for the match at Life. This transaction should be a mere toggle, or at worst a copy-and-paste effort that a well-trained chimp could manage; however it would seem beyond the scope of our national union’s capabilities just now... leading question being: Who’s monkeying who around, nuh?

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Merlins open 2020 at Life West today

Colorado Raptors feeder XV, Glendale Merlins, travel to the Bay Area to commence their 2020 campaign for a derby with Life West Gladiators, number one in the Pacific Rugby Premiership last season.
Merlins, who finished third on the chart in 2019, feature veterans James DelBozque at number 2 and former Middle Tennessee State University Mooseman, Devin Vaughter, in the engine room. The action kicks at 4pm MST (3pm on the coast) at California Maritime Academy.

Soon Come the Rakavi!