Monthly Archives: February 2007

Rugby Bits & Bites On the Last Day of February

Already almost March, can you believe it? But I can’t wait for spring weather. According to our news, this past weekend’s blizzards gave us the most snow that our city has had in 16 years.

You can feel spring in the air at times though … like tiny little breezes mixing in with the winter chills. Although I don’t think these spring breezes were plentiful in the match featured in these photos from this past weekend’s Chico-Standford match (see below). Muddy and cold!

I’m feeling the Monkey Bar workout from last night a bit today. Not much as you would think, but my triceps just started whining a bit. 15/5s again. 15 second intervals of push-ups, pull-ups, front squats and kettle ball swings for five minutes. 15 seconds on, 15 seconds off with a partner. We switched to one exercise for the five minutes, instead of switching between two for 10 minutes. This makes it harder since your using the same muscle groups the whole time. The push-ups were killers. But I upped my weights/resistance, and that combined with a harder series, is good all over. Okay, not in my triceps, but still good.

One of our old boys brought his little boy with him and he did all the exercises with us. It was so cute. He had his own little 4 kg kettle ball. You know compared to all the monster ones we get to use. It was tiny, like a little Barbie purse. He wouldn’t trade me though.

On with the bits …

• All four women’s challenge matches are now confirmed …

#13 seed
SC#2 – Belmont Shore vs. W#2 – Austin Valkyries
April 21 at Austin

#14 seed
SC#1 – Scottsdale vs. PC#2 – ORSU
April 21 at Portland

#15 seed
NE#4 – Boston vs. W#3 – KC Jazz
May 12 at Kansas City

#16 seed
MW#4 – Wisconsin vs. PC#3 – Mudhens
May 26 at Seattle

So let the fun begin.

• Our blog friend John Birch in the UK e-mailed for our help:

Vote, vote, vote – for Letchworth girls!
I know you’re very busy, but any chance of giving us a click here so we can try to win our county’s “best sport site” and “best blog” awards?

And if you could ask your reader’s to drop in and give us a click as well you’d make a small team very happy!

So, please take a minute and support this energetic girls’ team in England and their great blog.

• Thanks to SoCal Blue and Christine in Cleveland for the good fundraiser ideas. SoCal Blue’s team throws a great golf fundraiser while Christine says their team has All you can eat Wing/Beer nights at local bars. Both good ideas and ones we’re considering. Have an idea you would like to share? Let me know!

• And did you hear? The Chico State Women knocked off top-ranked Stanford, 25-5, in a muddy, physical match this past weekend. Photos by David Flannery via the CSU-Chico Orion Newspaper.

• More snow predicted here tonight … JOY!!

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Tuesday’s Turbulent Thoughts

So now that the challenge match is set, we’re trying to pin down the rest of our schedule.

Waiting on that date really delayed confirming most of our remaining spring weekends and now we’re scrambling. And it’s looking more tough than I originally thought. Tough teams, tough plans.

Further, we’re planning our fundraisers (Sin Bin, Milwaukee, Saturday!!) and we can’t round up half of our team to attend workouts, much less help fundraisers. Where the hell is everybody?

I need to get my butt in gear for recruiting. And helping our fundraisers get materials to help find sponsors, etc.

Oy. Time to be much more proactive.

In “Sometimes it sucks to be a rugby administrator” news, I believe one of our players quit our team yesterday because she was pissed at me and our president. She didn’t like how we handled a few recent decisions and events. She also made her feelings abundantly clear in some e-mail messages to us. Which I would normally be cool with and have been with this player’s regular criticisms in the past, except that these recent e-mails were much angrier than the message required and at times, I felt, more personal attacks than actual feedback. I’m sorry that you felt the need to quit the team. You will be missed. But I’m also not going to just let someone yell at us when we’re trying to do our jobs in the best way we can for the given situations. And e-mail is a poor method of communication, which is why I instructed you to further discuss this in person. But perhaps a break from rugby is what you need.

So, yeah, what else? *sigh* Monkey Bar Gym tonight. I worked late Thursday so I missed out, so back to the ass-kickings tonight.

And I have yet to start running yet. We have a tournament in Chicago two weeks from Saturday. Where did Christmas go?

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Wisconsin Women vs. Emerald City Mudhens

Confirmed just today … my team’s USA Rugby Challenge Match is now set.

The Wisconsin Women travel to play the Emerald City Mudhens the weekend of Saturday, May 26. Winner earns a seed for their territory for falls Sweet 16s … either Pacific Coast keeps their No. 3 seed or the Midwest gains back their No. 4 seed.

We’re already in high gear trying to plan fundraisers to get us all to Seattle. It’s a lot of money … $10,000. If you have ideas, please let me know.

And if you’re in/around Milwaukee, Wis., this weekend, please stop by the Sin Bin Sports Bar on 39th & National Saturday night. Our team will be guest bartending and all tips go towards our trip. We’ll have lots of games, raffles, etc. Challenge Match Bash starts at 8 p.m.

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Check this out Today! Play Rugby Calendar!

Wendy over at Scrumhalf Connection, one of our original ruckosphere bloggers, has been working on a google calendar that all women’s rugby teams can use to share dates and info.

Well, I just checked it out and Wendy has been working hard. Be sure and check it out today add your games and a team link if she’s missing it. By the way, I just love the google calendar function. I’m was already working on incorporating one into my own team’s site. Fabulous!

http://playrugby.shorturl.com/

Nice job Wendy. And just more proof that women’s rugby is awesome.

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Home Sick, Bombarded by E-mails and Almost Passing Out at the Monkey Bar

So, it’s worth mentioning that I did not contract salmonella from my peanut butter. As of yesterday, one full week had passed without symptoms of gastro-intestinal distress.

That said, my boss did pass on a doozy of an upper-respiratory virus. Awesome!! I’ve been stuffed up and coughing since Saturday morning. A rhinovirus, maybe. It does kind of feel like a Rhinoceros (I had to look up the proper spelling of that) is lodged in my nasal passage.

I elected to abuse my benefits at work and stay home on Monday and Tuesday. I also skipped our indoor practice on Sunday night since congestion really doesn’t help my ability to breath while sprinting.

It worked out well to stay home though, even though I didn’t get much work done, I did take care of some nagging bills and continued to struggle with this challenge match fiasco bombardment of e-mails … which I won’t talk about anymore because if I start, I will unlease the hound dogs of hell. Maybe when it’s all over and my anger trigger-switch isn’t only 1 millimeter long. Maybe then. And maybe then I’ll photocopy my hand flipping the bird and mail it to some particular people too. Love and kisses!!

So, yeah, I opted to dig out some shorts and a t-shirt to shuffle my way down a block to the Monkey Bar Gym for our rugby training session last night. I didn’t really have much of an excuse now that I only live one block away. But it’s finally warming up again around here, 40 degrees. And I thought it might make me feel better. Or as Sue mentioned last night, sweat it out.

Well, I certainly sweated. Ugh. First we jump roped to warm up. Note to self – if you find yourself in a life-or-death situation requiring the need to jump rope backwards, you will likely die. Try to get in a different life-or-death situation involving something like eating ice cream instead.

After jump roping, our workout was unveiled, one I had missed the first week of class because I was moving. “I go, You Go”. More awesomeness! Kelly also pointed that my boyfriend was wearing a t-shirt that showed off his chest. Sure, just distract me in the middle of class so I feel the need to go over and pet him.

Then Goose was my partner for our workout. And Goose is in better shape than me, plus she’s been training with our trainer. And she didn’t have a rhino stuck up her nose either. Just her pink hands (don’t ask). I weighed the various weighted medicine balls I could use, realized that I felt like a runover skunk on a highway and hadn’t done this workout before and picked the 20 ball. I don’t know if was 20 pounds (I think so) or 20 kgs, but his name was “Otto”.

The workout was fairly simple. And by simple, I mean only three steps guaranteed to kick your ass. We stood over our medicine ball, picked it up for a clean, squatted with it and then pressed it up over our heads. Then back down. That was 1. So Goose would do 1, I would do 1. Goose would do 2, I would do 2. All the way up to 8 each, then back down again to 1 each. Timed for speed. By the second set of 7, Otto and I no longer were feeling love for each other and my form was kablooey. And by the end, Goose had to wait on me to struggle through. I was beat. I hate being sick.

It didn’t help that people pointed out that I could do more weight. Let me do it right the first time I do this and let me figure it out, okay? Just mind your own weight. Before I lick you and you get your own rhino stuck up your nose.

Afterwards, I was not happy. I was very sweaty, but not happy. Thankfully, we were done and just had some ab work. I had also missed this the first week, so when all of the powerwheels were grabbed up, I opted for a medicine ball again. This was too light, I probably should’ve used the powerwheel, so I will next time. More “I Go, You Go” with sit-ups with the medicine balls pressed above our heads or knees up/pikes on the wheels. And then balance work.

So, after it was done, I was glad I had gone. And now, I’m going to eat some of my lunch early. A Jiffy (not Peter Pan!) peanut butter sandwich.

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Canada Wins International Women’s 7s in San Diego

Much delayed, but here is the official USA Rugby recap of the women’s 7s tournament from San Diego …

2-14-2007 – USA FINISHES 2ND IN ITS 2007 INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S SEVENS TOURNAMENT IN SAN DIEGO
SAN DIEGO – The USA ‘A’ Team took on the Canada ‘B’ Team on Saturday night in Petco Park for the right to call themselves the champions of the 2007 Women’s International Sevens Tournament held in San Diego. In the end, however, the USA was unable to pull off a win, scoring only seven points compared to Canada’s 19 on the USA Sevens pitch.

“The level of competition was greatly improved compared to last year, but I was a bit disappointed in the USA’s performance. It seems that we are a team filled with Thoroughbreds and no workhorses,” Julie McCoy, the Women’s USA ‘A’ Sevens Coach said. “These women make up the best athletes on their team and they are all running around trying to win the race, but his is a team sport, and we need to emphasize that.

“The Canadian defense was well organized, and I was very impressed with their new coach,” McCoy added. “We, on the other hand, were not organized. I put this loss on myself, as I was extremely distracted by both trying to lead the team, and running our own tournament. In the end, the U.S. players lost patience with the score, each trying to win the game individually.

This women’s tournament featured the best women’s international sevens rugby North America has to offer by allowing two squads from both the USA and Canada to participate. This year, also saw China’s Women’s Sevens Team tossed into the action, and saw each team play at least three games early on Friday, Feb. 9, before going into the tournament rounds of action later in the day.

USA ‘A’ faced USA ‘B’, while Canada ‘B’ took on China for the chance to move into the final match held in Petco Park. China and USA ‘B’ ended their run at the title by losing to their respective opponents by 15 points.

It was obviously discouraging to have to play against our own team in the semifinals, but having the Chinese women there was a great addition to this tournament. They are a strong team and it was fantastic that they were able to attend,” McCoy said. “Both our players and staff learned a valuable lesson this weekend, and look forward to the opportunity to elevate our play at the Hong Kong Sevens.”

The results from the Women’s International Sevens Tournament is as follows:

Match 1: Canada ‘B’ 7, USA ‘B’ 5
Match 2: USA ‘A’ 29, China 17
Match 3: USA ‘B’ 19, Canada ‘A’ 5
Match 4: Canada ‘B’ 19, USA ‘A’ 14
Match 5: China 20, Canada ‘A’ 0
Match 6: USA ‘B’ 10, China 0,
Match 7: USA ‘A’ 19, Canada ‘A’ 5
Match 8: Canada ‘B’ 17, China 0
Match 9: USA ‘A’ 10, USA ‘B’ 5
Match 10: Canada ‘A’ 10, Canada ‘B’ 15

Semifinals
(#2) USA ‘A’ 22, (# 3) USA ‘B’ 7
(#1) Canada ‘B’ 22, (#4) China 7

Final: Canada ‘B’ 19, USA ‘A’ 7,

And in that other 7s event in San Diego, the Eagle men’s team won the shield and Fiji won it all.

Also worth noting, Alex Goff writes up a nice opinion piece about the weekend and the overall event here (free to read). By many accounts, a good and professional tournament. Goff thought the dancers were the only poor element:

But we didn’t like the cheerleaders, who were barely (pun intended) shy of performing lap dances. If we have cheerleaders, I’d rather see a real college cheerleading team do more rah-rah stuff. The gyrations we didn’t need. (Interesting to note that the cheerleaders performed after the kids took the field, and waited to do anything until every child was off the pitch – rightfully understanding that having both in close proximity was, frankly, a little icky. However, those and other kids were still in the park, watching the jumbo-tron.)

And I find it more than hilarious that a different media member commended the tournament for the dancers and how very American it is. At least this year, he didn’t categorize it under “Women’s Rugby”.

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Aaarrgggghhhhhhhh!

I’m fighting the overwhelming urge to tell the entire world to bugger off this morning, drive somewhere far away and imbibe several fruity drinks and/or pints of frosty brew.

Oh where, oh where shall I start?

How about with rugby!

So, my team, after much debate and planning, chose to accept our opportunity to challenge for the national challenge match. Which is a huge expensive trip for us. And even though we only found out about our eligibility to do this because I found out about it here on the web (not by any official notice from – oh i don’t know – governing bodies), we announced our intent to challenge by the deadline. And then we didn’t hear anything … at all. Past the next deadline.

Turns out somebody forget to tell the other team (which was not our responsibility). Just part and parcel of playing rugby in the States. And because we played by the rules and asked that by missing a deadline, which in any other circumstance related to rugby would mean you couldn’t play, that this means we can save our $8,000-plus to take this trip and get the forfeit, someone’s trying to tell us this makes us look bad.

I’m sorry that our team played by the rules, followed the deadlines, assumed everyone else involved was too, and bother to ask what happens next. You know what happens next? It doesn’t matter. We’re just waiting to hear back from the other team to find out what they want to do. We’re just going to shut up and deal, because anything more in the situation would be a waste of good, positive energy.

And just to clarify, I’m not pointing fingers. I’m not blaming any one. I am however frustrated that this happened and my team’s been sitting around waiting for the past few weeks stressing out and wondering if we really needed to start busting our asses to raise $8,000-plus to spend on one weekend or we could use those plans to raise money for other things we also need around here at home. And this is the last I’m going to speak about this here.

Moving on …

So have you seen that there is a national outbreak of salmonella in peanut butter? Yeah. I sat in on a meeting related to this yesterday. And as I sat in on this meeting, listening to the identifying factors of the brand of peanut butter, I realized that I had just bought a jar of that exact brand of peanut butter on Monday night. And I only remembered this because I stood there for a minute or two debating the brands of peanut butter versus the prices, ultimately selecting this particular brand – which I had never bought before in my life – because it was the same kind I would normally buy from Skippy, but was five cents less. I’ll save myself a nickel I thought.

I am sooooo smart. S-M-R-T. (Simpsons reference for you non-simpsons watchers).

Then on Tuesday night, I wanted something light to eat because I was hungry after work, but we had our Monkey Bar Class, so I couldn’t eat a full meal because that would make me vomit mid-grueling workout. So, isn’t a peanut butter sandwich perfect for a light full-of-protein snack an hour before a workout? And from my new jar of peanut butter? Of course it is!

So yesterday, I go to check this jar and sure enough, it’s the exact brand. And sure enough, it’s the exact identifying number on the lid for this outbreak. And symptoms can show up 24-72 hours later or even as long as a week. GI Tract illness, nastiness and possible urinary tract issues. What a wonderful and relaxing issue to possibly have. So, yeah for me, I get to sit around for the week wondering if I’m going to get salmonella because I wanted to save a damn nickel.

I’m in full-blown Monkey Bar workouts as well. Which don’t get me wrong, I do love. I’ll love them even more when I’m not sore for the next two days. But I could’ve done without the 100 lunges with kettleballs we did on Tuesday (Prison workout, 100 lunges, 10-1 sets of pushups and body rows) followed last night by the Deck of Cards workout … with 104 lunges!! And 104 hindus. 104 body rows. And 104 around-the-worlds. Yeah. Yippee. Yeah!!

Plus I hate this project I’m trying to work on at work. And I think my boss gave me a cold because I have a sore throat this morning. Oh yeah, and my new job position is still be audited.

It’s rather hard to maintain a positive attitude today, but I’m trying. Oh and my boyfriend now thinks it’s funny to call me “Sal”. You know, for “Salmonella”.

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