Rugby Bits & Bites: Almost the Weekend

• Rugby Magazine finally got it’s E-News entity up and running here (old link also redirects). There’s a women’s profile on Belmont Shore’s Kelly White and an interesting discussion about D-II collegiate teams, focusing on the Iowa State Women.

Worth noting, I’ve been impressed by the ongoing E-News coverage as compared to the old Goff and Rugby Magazine. I don’t believe the Magazine has changed much at all, but Goff’s area is definitely better. I also like the new comments section on each story.

And despite my hope to no longer subscribe to Rugby Magazine last year, when I went to re-subscribe for E-News, the better deal gave me both the online and magazine together. Oh well.

Photo: Rugby Magazine

• Australia’s head coach John Connolly thinks the value of drop-goals should be reduced from three points to one point. I rather agree.

Rugby-Australia coach calls for drop goal points change
Sun Jun 24, 2007 2:33AM BST
SYDNEY, June 24 (Reuters) – Australia coach John Connolly wants the value of drop goals reduced from three points to one to prevent the game being dominated by kicking.

Connolly said the whole purpose of rugby was for teams to try and score tries but the three points available for drop goals was persuading teams to take the easier option.

Connolly, whose Australia team was beaten by South Africa last week following two late drop goals, said he did not want drop goals banned altogether but said they be reduced to just one point, as in rugby league.

“I don’t want this to come across as a case of sour grapes, but I believe field goals should be reduced to just one point,” Connolly wrote in his weekly column with Sydney’s Sun-Herald newspaper.

“In saying that, I’m taking nothing away from South Africa’s Francois Steyn, who showed incredible courage and skill to slot two late field goals to beat Australia at Newlands last weekend.

“To lose in those circumstances was extremely tough. And it’s worth stating that, over the years, I’ve been on the right side of the ledger more often than not.

“But rugby is about scoring tries and I can see a bigger focus on field goals if the laws are unchanged.”

Drop goals have played the deciding role in some of the biggest matches in international rugby over the past 15 years.

South Africa beat New Zealand in the 1995 World Cup final after a drop goal in extra time from Joel Stransky then England beat Australia in the 2003 World Cup final when Jonny Wilkinson landed a drop goal in the last minute of extra time.

Decisive drop goals from Rob Andrew helped England reach the World Cup final in 1991 and knock defending champions Australia out of same competition four years later.

England were eliminated from the 1999 World Cup when South African flyhalf Jannie De Beer booted a record five drop goals in their quarter-final in Paris.

Ironically, Australia, who have often been on the wrong end of matches decided by drop goals, went on to win the 1999 World Cup after Stephen Larkham booted a 50-metre drop goal in their semi-final against South Africa at Twickenham.

“I wasn’t complaining then! But on a serious note, I would prefer to see the law changed,” Connolly said.

• For our ongoing discussion of touch rugby, there was a recent women-only touch tournament in the UK. They are using touch to bring more women’s players into the game.

• Via our friend John Birch in the UK, did you know the 25th anniversary of the first-ever international women’s rugby match was June 13th? France beat the Netherlands, 4-0, at Utrecht. Following this up, John sent me this e-mail about a little project he’s starting and could use your help!

Its a Sunday in June, its raining and I’ve nowt better to do so… I thought I’d try to do something about the complete lack of any listing of women’s internationls (highlighted by the recently ignored 25th anniversary)

So herewith a work in progress – a (not yet) complete listing of all women’s rugby internationals. See Thus far I’ve reached 1997

If you or any of your readers can fill in any gaps I’d be very grateful. Most RFUs can’t be bothered to list their women’s internationals at all, some start or finish at random dates. USA do best by far – but don’t give match venues!

The game has a long and growing history but no-one knows about it. And I rather object that its easier to find about the international history of the Wallis and Fortuna Islands men’s team that pretty much any women’s national teams…

Thanks John!

• The Philly Women asked me to remind everyone that Pumpkinfest 2007 is on! And sorry, Angelia, my team can’t make it. That’s our first league weekend here in the Midwest.

• A tourney update from an old blogging friend in California …

Hi Blondie,

There’s an excellent 7s tournament series we love here in the Bay area and I was hoping you could help raise awareness of its existence so more women’s clubs might make the trip out to our sunny Pacific Coast. The tourney is Mission Rugby’s Palo Alto 7s Series and runs on a bi-weekly schedule from June-August. The location is in lush & picturesque Palo Alto (near San Francisco). We love this tourney since it’s superbly organized and has some of the top West Coast women’s sides in attendance. See


Berkeley All Blues

Hope you’re doing well Petrie!

And that’s all I’ve got everybody. Have a good weekend!

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1 Comment

Filed under Rugby: Bits and Bites

One response to “Rugby Bits & Bites: Almost the Weekend

  1. Anonymous

    Mwahhaaha I love this many things to comment on. As much as I appreciated our match against Iowa state (as it challenged us to improve and strive for more) it was slightly frustrating to have it billed as the DII national championship. If our league play last year had consisted of a D1 schedule then the match might have been on equal grounds but as it was it was more of a D1 vs D2 match up. It could be argued that as a repeat high end DII team we should be able to contest with a “lower” ranked D1 team but this runs contrary to the other longer running DII dynasties who aren’t expected to compete with D1 opponents. Just throwing it up for grabs because I’ve honestly come to terms wih the results and am frankly looking forward to the growth of our rookies next season. On a side note I must say I disagree when it comes to erugbynews. I feel that before the merge they wrote more on DII womens (and womens clubs in general). It’s still an entertaining read but I feel that there is less of what I’m paying money to read. I’ve stated it before on my blog and received a response from erugbynews but I can’t say I’ve seen too much improvement. They did mention, however, that they’re perfectly willing to accept submissions which I may consider doing next season (the only caviot being that I’m a horrible journalist). Lastly, Petrie is right, Palo Alto 7s is a helluva lot of fun.

    well that’s my silly opinion blogging from way out in Istanbul
    your banana slug blogger

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