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Fiji brush aside Great Britain to take Gold in first ever Olympic Rugby Sevens

I'm glad New Zealand didn't win the gold in either competition. They win way too much. It's great to see other nations winning. I'm still fuming that New Zealand "beat" Ireland in 2013. When one nation comes to dominate a sport all the time it isn't fun to watch from a spectator's standpoint. Believe me, as an American, I'm not always rooting for my nation in some of these Olympic competitions. It didn't bother me one bit that Sweden beat America in that women's soccer match. I was glad to see another nation win and advance. I was rooting for Australia to beat America in basketball a few days back as well.

1 Week, 2 Days ago

Australia's Women claim historic Gold Medal at the Rio Olympics

Okay, so I guess it's okay to comment on 'looks.' Great Britain won the gold for that.

1 Week, 4 Days ago

Fiji brush aside Great Britain to take Gold in first ever Olympic Rugby Sevens

Fiji was just too physical for the British side. Big guys who can run fast: nothing beats it. In 15's someone with size and speed can be stopped, like Lomu against France in 1999, and he scored a try in that match nonetheless. 7's is just too wide open. The British, though, had some chances and bad passes equal tries in the other direction.
Here in the San Francisco Bay Area the rugby competition did get mentioned on the biggest sports radio station several times during the week, even the morning show's host mentioning he saw the Fiji match. In particular, the woman co-host mentioned that it was the team that Jerrod Hayne did not make!

1 Week, 4 Days ago

Australia's Women claim historic Gold Medal at the Rio Olympics

I saw some of the women's matches on NBC Sports and CNBC and MSNBC. I did leave the TV set briefly, but I do not believe the Haka was shown prior to the kickoff. Love it that Australia beat New Zealand. I could also take to heart that the New Zealand player, Portia Woodman, who committed the intentional knock on that led to her yellow card, really took the loss personally at the end of the match.
It's too bad that Great Britain didn't do well in that semi final. So, it's on to the men's competition, and great that Japan beat New Zealand today!

2 Weeks, 13 Hours ago

Sacramento Express go coast to coast for length of the field try

The referee and touch judges aren't even wearing proper socks, for crissakes. Looks really "bush league" if I can use that American idiom. This competition is about equal to class A minor league baseball, and that ain't saying much.
Trust me, pro rugby in America isn't going to take off. Many of the players in California had already played a full season, starting in November, through to April, with club sides or college sides, and then if they got picked to play in this professional league, they had no breaks between the end of the amateur competition and the beginning of this competition. And of course that is a great problem in America: rugby is played at different times of the year because of weather, and there's different climates to consider.

1 Month, 1 Week ago

Sacramento Express go coast to coast for length of the field try

Check the attendance figures for the games back to April when the "season" started. Very low attendance. San Francisco averaged about 1,000 per match, in a 3,500 seat venue. Not good. Sacramento did a bit better with their attendance. I mean, if I'm going to go up to SF from where I live, in the Santa Cruz area some 80 miles south, I'm going to see the San Francisco Giants play, not the San Francisco Rush!

1 Month, 1 Week ago

Georgia: Are rugby's Tier 1.5 nation ready for another step up?

What you say is true about all the second tier European nations to be honest. There are always one or two "upstart" nations that emerge now and then, talk of moving into the 5N and now 6N, and then that nation goes on a losing streak and gets spanked by a few 6N teams, and that's that. It was Rumania, Portugal, Spain, and now it's Georgia. Italy, instead of Rumania, which had been the number one outside the 5N candidate in the 70's and 80's, got good enough in the 90's to move up to the 6N, and they've done poorly in that competition ever since being "promoted."
Maybe Georgia is an outlier, and will be a consistently good rugby nation, with teams that constantly win in the European Cup. Give it a half decade more. If they can beat Italy consistently, then perhaps Italy could be relegated from the 6N. The distance from Western Europe is a concern for those wanting to travel to see matches. Otherwise, if Italy remains in the 6N, they must get better, or there will be calls for them to be relegated and replaced by a 2 tier nation: Rumania or Georgia could fill that void.

1 Month, 1 Week ago

Georgia: Are rugby's Tier 1.5 nation ready for another step up?

I remember back in the 80's there was talk of Rumania moving into the 5N. Then the sport went downhill there because of economic and political troubles in the 90's. Spain and Portugal were on their way up in the 90's and 00's, but they've levelled off in the quality of their play. Georgia is the new upstart nation in rugby. Maybe they will show some consistency. They can always play some of the 6N teams during the Northern Hemisphere season if they aren't directly I the competition themselves. Will Irish or Welsh fans travel to Georgia to see a match? That's a great question.
Otherwise a stronger European Cup, with better play by the nations involved in that, would be a great way to promote the sport and compete with soccer in those nations. The winner can always arrange matches with the Home Nations and France and Italy. And regarding Italy, maybe they should take a step down and compete in that European Cup. France for decades played in both the 5N and what was the equivalent of the European Cup.

1 Month, 1 Week ago

Georgia: Are rugby's Tier 1.5 nation ready for another step up?

I totally agree. If anything the Six Nations can relegate the wooden spoon winner and bring up a second tier nation. Italy could be relegated and Georgia or another nation move up. But that does mess with tradition? I take what you say seriously, and that competition of the original 5N is very old and has created great games more often than not over the time, now more than a century, that it has existed.
Italy has not done well in all the seasons they've been in the 6N. So, perhaps they just move down and involve themselves in the European Cup. Actually, France did play in that competition decades ago, as well as the 5N. One problem with those second tier nations is that soccer is always going to be more popular, and therefore there seems to be a lack of consistency in the quality of play, based on athletes who are attracted to the sport of rugby in those nations. They are up and down, and one nation in particular, even with people with size, never seems to get better at rugby: Germany. At one time, a decade or two ago, it was Portugal and Spain that seemed to have the same status that Georgia has now. Who knows if Georgia remains as consistently good in the future. Perhaps they will.

1 Month, 1 Week ago

The Evolution of Rugby Jerseys over the years

I guess that's one of my questions about polyester. Is it eco-friendly? It's coming from the ground, getting drilled or fracked. Yet cotton takes a lot of water to grow, and I'll tell you one US state where cotton should not be allowed to grow: California, and it is grown, in the southern half of the state in the Central Valley. Like Australia, we are in a long drought, having only a few winters with normal rain in the last decade.
I imagine more and more synthetic fabrics are in the works. I'd just like rugby to keep its traditional look. Baseball did it in America, as it went back to a traditional look, with new fabrics.

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago