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Saturday, April 12, 2014

USA to Host Japan in Southern California in June….

After getting back from Atlanta a couple of weeks ago to see the USA Eagles beat Uruguay, I got a second bit of good news in the last week after I found out that I will be able to see the USA Eagles play again-without having to spend a ton of money on airfare and hotel-just a car trip down to Carson, just south of Los Angeles to see the Eagles host Japan in a Pacific Nations Cup match.

It's great news for USA rugby fans here in Southern California. Given the number of Japanese citizens who live and work in California, there should be a good number of Cherry Blossom fans at the Stub hub Center
The Stub Hub Center in Carson, California will host Rugby instead of soccer….
as well. I have Saturday, June 14th marked off on my calendar to catch some more international rugby.

The Eagles will play Canada the following week up the I-5 in Sacramento, the California State Capital-a game I will have to miss, as I plan on being in Minnesota to see my kids, my grandson and some other dear friends.
Sometimes rugby has to take a back seat to more important things.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

USA Eagles Punch Their Ticket to Rugby World Cup 2015 Against Uruguay.

Uruguay lined up for the National Anthem.
My buddy Tom Daniels and I made it out to Georgia for the second leg between Uruguay and the USA Eagles in Kennesaw Georgia. In match played in front of a little over 6,000 fans in conditions that went from wet and windy to dry with some sporadic sun, most of the crowd was hoping the Eagles would get a good start out of the gate. We were disappointed.
The Teros showed a lot of heart-particularly in their scrum.

The USA had to endure yellow cards to Olive Kilfi and Andrew Suniula. Playing a couple of men short, Joaquin Prada scored a try for the Teros. American Captain Todd Clever also had to leave the field to get medical treatment.
An audible sense of relief when Clever came back from inury.
Uruguay continued to give the USA scrum all kinds of troubles in the first half. Berchesi kicked two LONG penalties for Uruguay. Saracens fullback Chris Wyles hit a lone penalty for the USA. At half time the USA trailed 13-3. The big crowd that had started boisterous was very quiet. In a winner take all match, the Eagles were laying a big goose egg. The prospect of losing at home to Uruguay and having to play repechage matches to qualify for next years Rugby World Cup was unsettling, to say the least.

The second half would prove to be a massive reversal for the Eagles.
All of the sudden, Eagle physicality kept the Teros deep in their own territory. The Americans finally got a great push out of a scrum and Fry, one of the props, scored. a few minutes later, off a Uruguay penalty at their own two, American fly half Petri took the quick tap, and out raced the Teros to plant the ball down for a try. With the very pro-American crowd sensing blood, the eagles continued to dominate at the breakdown
, In a 10 minute period, they would score two more tries, care of the Suniula brothers. (Shalom scored his first Eagle try in his second cap) Wyles scored one more penalty for the Yanks, and the USA punched their ticket to next years Rugby World Cup.
The Eagles celebrate.

The Eagles took a well deserved lap of honor, glad handing American rugby fans and basking in the glow of a 32-13 win, that was really a tougher game than the score would indicate.
American Captain Todd Clever all smiles after the Eagle win.

What this means, is that now I can start planning my trip to England next year
Honey, we are going to England...
.
Petri shares the moment with his baby.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

USA-Uruguay Rugby World Cup Qualifier in Georgia: The Fan Pictures.

Cammo seemed to be a common theme..well, we were in the Deep South...
Young fan ready to go Teco hunting….
Elvis showing a hunk of hunk of burning love for the Eagles….
Some tongue in cheek humor directed towards the visitors from South America….
Don't ask this guy where he has been keeping his rubber hand….
Little guy with the great haircut and USA temp tattoo on his cheek….
Some USA Fans letting it all hang out….
I will have more to comment on Saturday's USA Eagle win against Uruguay in Kennesaw, Georgia. I just got back to LA and downloaded my pictures. As they say, a Picture is worth a thousand words, and there were a lot of American Rugby Fans having a good time before and after the Eagles Punched their ticket to next years Rugby Orgy that will be Rugby World Cup 2015….
Elvis was in the house, too...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

RWC Qualifier Second Leg: Made it to Atlanta

Well I just got into Atlanta after taking the redeye from Los Angeles to the capital of Georgia. My buddy Tom Daniels and I have tickets to see Saturday's game between the USA and Uruguay and a winner take all match. Last weekend the Yanks came from 19 to 6 down To actually go ahead of the Teros, but then Uriguay tied the game at the end and a 27 to 27 draw. The worrying thing for the USA Eagles, is that their scrum had all kinds of problems last Saturday-and the forecast for this Saturday in Atlanta is for rain, which will negate the one advantage the Eagles have over Uruguay is speed. Bad weather also tends to level the playing field, which is someyhing that the Teros won't mind.

That said, I'm glad to be here in Atlanta. Aside from being at the airport and a waffle house, i've never seen anything here. So Tom and I got you a couple of days early, so we could check some things out. Crossing my fingers that everything comes out okay on Saturday's match.  I still plan on going to next years rugby World Cup in England, but if the Eagles were to somehow not qualify, it's obviously going to make a big change my itinerary. I guess that I will know more in a couple of days.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Bad Start to Six Nations for Scotland-But Scots Rocking Out here In SoCal Anyway….

Rocking out the Scottish Metal and Bagpipes aboard the Queen Mary.

It has been a rough start to the Six Nations for Scotland. Destroyed in Dublin and Impotent at Murrayfield in their second loss against England, getting shut out 20-0. So what does a Scotland fan in Southern California do? You find a place with a whole lot of other people in Kilts, find Alcohol, Highland Games, and people with Scottish Accents. In my case, that meant going to Long Beach California with my wife and going to the Long Beach Scottish Festival and Highland games. On an off weekend for the Six Nations, it was a good way for an American with Some Scots-Irish background to forget about Scotland's problems on the pitch. At this point, this 2014 vintage for Scotland looks like it will be battling Italy for the Wooden Spoon at the Six Nations.

This Scottish dude would be a welcome addition to Scotland's second row on Line Outs. 
Well, if Scottish Rugby is having troubles, there is always the Highland Games in Long Beach.
Scotland Fans will be needing a lot of Scotch to get through this 6 Nations, I'm afraid.
A Scot does not live on Haggis and Scotch alone….

Friday, February 14, 2014

Isabelle Ithurburu: Making Rugby Fun to Watch in Any Language

A sight for sore eyes of a rugby fan...
One of the myriad of channels I get on my cable TV is TV 5 Monde, which allows me to keep up with my French, as well as what is going on the world and NOT having to hear a thing about the Kardashians or Lindsey Lohan.

Along with the news, TV 5 Monde allows me to watch soccer and rugby, as well.

One program that is bookmarked on my DVR is "Jour du Rugby", the weekly show that gives the highlights of the weeks matches in the French Top 14. Getting to see the highlights and analysis is great-but having Isabelle Ithurburu as one of the commentators is the cherry on top of the Gateau Basque, as the comely Ms. Ithurburu simply is a sight to behold.(I shudder to think what the fashion budget is for the show, because every week, Ms. Ithurburu is wearing a different stunning dress)

For the people who feel that she is just window dressing, I should add that she is from the Basque Country-Pau, to be precise-right in the middle of rugby country. The former Miss Pau-Bearn has a love of the oval ball that just flows through her gorgeous DNA.

At any rate, on Valentine's day, as much as  I love my wife of almost 30 years, I also share a crush on a gorgeous Basque who also loves rugby. Does that make me a bad guy?

Oh...for those hoping that they can someday fulfill their fantasy of finding that perfect woman who is drop-dead gorgeous, charming and loves rugby-forget about it, she is married to a very lucky Argentine fellow.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Thankful the Next Rugby World Cup is NOT in Sochi....

"It could be worse-I could be in Sochi…"

Watching the buildup for the Sochi Winter Olympics is almost like witnessing a car crash, or two drunks having a fight-you want to avert your eyes to the ugliness, but you watch it anyway.

Whatever shots one can take at the IRB, at least you can say they are not quite as incompetent and corrupt as the IOC, who allowed this fiasco to take place by giving the Winter Olympics to a city with virtually no infrastructure, and run by a man who looks and acts like the heavy from a James Bond movie.



"I'm too sexy for my shirt,  comrade!"
Next years Rugby World Cup will be in England and in 2019, in Japan. I think they got this one right.

As far as Sochi, with the homophobic rhetoric of Mr. Putin and the recent news release that Sochi is going to work overtime to not just get stray dogs off the streets-it's going to be open season as the Russian authorities will be culling the streets of any stray dogs.

Glad I am going to be watching this train wreck of an Olympics-complete with unfinished hotels, facilites and no snow-from the relative safety of my apartment in LA.