Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Rugby Canada and 303 RFC: kismet and serendipity

Kismet & Serendipity - Rugby Canada & the 303

Sometimes it all just comes together. Seemingly disparate elements converge in fortuitous happenstance to create an event of moment. Such an extraordinary sequence evolved in the summer of 2010 involving: Rugby Canada, a recently formed youth rugby club in Denver, and the partner of a recently deceased member of the Rocky Mountain Rugby community. This is the way the happy circumstance unfolded.

In June 2010, Infinity Park Rugby Stadium hosted the first two rounds of the last Churchill Cup to be held in the United States. Rugby Canada were in town and had beaten Uruguay to open accounts and was looking at a contest against a youthful and ever dangerous French XV on the weekend. 

The Rugby Canada manager mentioned to Canada’s liaison, who’d been provided by USA Rugby, that some of the roster were going to work with the Glendale youth side at the youngsters’ training.

Now Glendale is in a unique position in the region in that they have by far the most substantial infrastructure of any club around with a stadium and an extensive paid support cohort, and Glendale play host to any number of international rugby events, so their club is fortunate in that top level interaction is most always around and on offer.

The Rugby Canada liaison informed the RC manager that although instruction of the Glendale youth would be absolutely spot-on and appropriate, if a singular, momentous impact were to be made, then perhaps a visit to one of the local youth clubs, specifically newly-formed 303 RFC, might be a more considerable effort. 

Next thing you know, a group of the True North’s finest: team captain Pat Riordan, blindside flanker Nanyak Dala, backrow Aaron Carpenter, engine extraordinaire Tyler Hotson and Glasgow Warriors wing and Canada center, DTH Van der Merve, were down the park at Lindsley imparting fundamentals of our game to a most welcome audience!

But that’s not where the kismet and serendipity comes into our story, here’s that: as the Canadians worked skill drills with the 303 group, a woman whose recently deceased partner, a true rugby steward, was power-walking on the 1/3 mile track that rings Lindsley. She came up, introduced herself, and asked if it would be all right if she ran home and got her camera so she could snap some images of the truly hands-across-borders action.
And so she did: 
RC engine, Tyler Hotson, talking his walk; 8man Aaron Carpenter ready with the workpad, and team captain, Pat Riordan, oversees

Max Lupo (grey shirt back) and mate prepare to test Carpenter's defense!

Riordan explains the finer points

303 boys giving the Canadians whatfor - Nanyak Dala with ball in hand


ed. note: Rugby Canada beat the French in a sizzler, 33-27, on the day 
ed. note #2: a member of that august RC squad, as a matter of fact the man that scored the winning try v France A, Brian Erichsen, coaches Denver Barbarians RFC today. Erichsen touched down for the win in the 70th minute, so it was by no means a done deal and France were... persistent in their intent for the remainder of the lively, if a tad fractious, contest

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