Thursday Jun 2, 2016 All Black legend Mils Muliaina scores first try in USA Pro Rugby with first touch

All Black legend Mils Muliaina scores first try in USA Pro Rugby with first touch
17
Comments

All Blacks legend Mils Muliaina managed to grab his first try for new club San Francisco at the weekend, with his first touch of the ball in USA Pro Rugby. While he has scored far more impressive efforts, it is nice to see a player of his calibre on a new stage.

Muliaina almost walked in after supporting fly-half Volney Rouse who had burst through some poor tackling.

It was the former New Zealand international’s first match for San Francisco after arriving in America on Monday. The fullback has played all over the rugby world including Italian side Zebre, newly-crowned PRO12 champions Connacht and the Red Hurricanes in Japan.

San Fran are currently fourth out of five teams in the inaugral Pro Rugby league, their 35-20 win over Ohio being their first victory of the season.

USA international David Tameilau, Tongan international Viliame Iongi and Jacob Finau also scored to cancel out Ohio’s tries from Chile’s Sebastian Kalm and Italian Filippo Ferrarini.

You can view the try below as well as a post-match interview with Muliaina.

credit: pro rugby north america
note: if the videos above don’t work for you, you can view the try here

17 Comments

  •  larry
    larry

    The announcers for games here in the US, which are usually on NBC Sport, are in a word, terrible. The main announcer I doubt ever played the game, and the commentator, someone who played, his name is Hightower I believe, stinks too. US soccer matches sometimes has someone from the UK doing the announcing, who knows what he's talking about. The problem with rugby being on the TV in America is that most who are watching played the game, so when an announcer keeps "educating" the viewer who doesn't know much or anything about rugby, it's tedious. I can see taking three or four minutes of a broadcast to go over the laws and scoring for those not familiar with the sport, but after that the game should be commented on as though the viewing public at home actually knows the game.

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    Check the attendance figures. They are on the Internet on Wikipedia. Just google 2016 usa pro rugby season. If you think 27,000 people seeing all the games of the five teams so far, over the last two months, is good attendance, think again. 27,000 in the seats at AT&T Park in San Francisco for the baseball Giants would be considered a bad attendance day. They get 40,000 almost every game. The San Francisco Rush has played on at least two Sundays head to head against the Giants across town. Fans numbering 700 on one game, and 1300 the next isn't going to cut it, I'm afraid, at Boxer Stadium, with a capacity of 3,500. The attendance for the other clubs isn't all that great either. Sacramento had 3,400 for one of their matches. Not a good showing overall. San Francisco's Kezar Stadium could be used, but it has a capacity of 10,000 only anyway (it used to be 60,000 before the '89 Earthquake, and it was torn down and rebuilt). If only 1,000 show up for a match at that venue, only 1/10 of the stands would have people in the seats. It would not look good on TV!

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    I'm surprised the San Francisco team hasn't done better, because Northern California has been dominant in US rugby over the years going back decades and decades, and many of their players play for Life, the upstart club in the East Bay that has taken the Northern California Rugby Union by storm this season and last. As to whether this pro league prospers depends on if people come out to see the games. San Francisco has been averaging 1,033 per match, at little Boxer Stadium, and since they started play in April, they've had to compete with the San Francisco Giants on at least two occasions. Not easy against the Major League Baseball champs three out of the last six seasons. The other teams, Sacramento for one, have drawn more people, if you want to say a crowd of 3,000 is something to crow about. Tickets for the San Francisco "Rush," as in Gold Rush of 1849, as in the 49ers of the National Football League, have been upwards of $30/ticket. I'm sorry, but I'm going to go to see the Giants play. I see plenty of rugby just as a referee during the season from Nov.-Dec., through April. So, will pro rugby take off in the USA? Looking at the attendance figures for the first season, it doesn't look good. I understand someone is bankrolling the whole thing, and that person isn't going to take financial losses over and over for years to come.

    Reply
  •  gonzoman
    gonzoman

    5 teams makes sense to start - the player pool available to the league right now isn't as deep as in the rugby strongholds of the world. If you had 10 team right off the bat, you run the risk of having players on the field that aren't up to the level needed to catch and hold the public's interest. By phasing teams in slowly, you can develop that talent pool gradually - all while minimizing the financial requirements of the league until it can prove the business model works. Having most teams in the west isn't too much of a problem for now - we here in North America have been looking forward to our own pro league for so long that many of us are adopting teams that have nothing to do with where we live. I'm in Montreal, but I support the San Diego team. Here's hoping that eventually there's a pro team somewhere within a few hours of my city! Until that time, up San Diego!

    Reply
  •  prestwick
    prestwick

    They're working on adding two Canadian teams and four possible American teams for next season I believe. The problems they've had have been trying to find a site which is compatible with World Rugby's rules on playing surfaces which also matches what they want in terms of capacity, price, etc. For example a ground sharing deal with New York Red Bulls wouldn't work because it'd be prohibitively expensive for them and PRO frankly isn't big enough yet to fill even a 20,000 seater stadium. If it fails then it fails but one thing PRO has done is open the pandoras box of professional rugby in America. It can't be closed after this...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I agree that a vast amount of marketing is required to sell the sport to the US, especially considering they already have an extremely well established form of it already (American football)... But I can't help but feel that these commentators actually thought they knew what they were talking about... I saw what Stroudos saw, 9 passes to 10, 13 cuts back to receive forward pass.....

    Reply
  •  ispotts27
    ispotts27

    The commentary is weak but they also need to play up the routine plays as they try to grow the market in the US. Once more people get into the sport they will be able to get better commentary and treat routine plays as more routine. I just hope they get another east coast team or two next year so I can make a match or two.

    Reply
  •  ispotts27
    ispotts27

    I heard they are trying to get it to 10 teams next year. I imagine that eventually there will be Boston and NY teams as they are good markets and have a decent rugby presence at the club level.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    It's fine RD, just more to highlight the rather shakey commentary..

    Reply
  •  rugbydump
    rugbydump

    Video supporting the story rather than the other way around. It happens sometimes

    Reply
  •  rugbydump
    rugbydump

    They are apparently live streamed via the Pro Rugby USA Facebook page

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Agreed.... I can only assume this video falls into the category of a bit of rugby news about how a pro player is getting on in life whilst trying something a bit different.... Because the try was bloody boring and Muliaina did about as much work as I did boiling the kettle this morning....

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Sorry to be that guy again and I do think you have to admire the commentators' enthusiasm, but that awesome "planned move" looked very much like a straightforward 9 to 10 followed by a massive forward pass to the next bloke.

    Reply
  •  kevbot
    kevbot

    Matches are streamed at prorugby.org via YouTube I believe.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Well if they want to start up another team for the league I'm happy to come over and play for that team... just sort my citizenship out and you can have me :D

    Reply
  •  canafrikaaner
    canafrikaaner

    Totally. The league will grow yet, lets hope the fan base does so as well

    Reply
  •  tphillipsstl
    tphillipsstl

    I really hope this league works out. I fear it will not. Rugby is the best sport in the world, and this is such a large country I've always thought if marketed well there can be a professional league here. But this league seems doomed from the start with only 5 teams, and 4 of the 5 are west of the Rockies. With no team on the east coast and only one in the Midwest it will be a surprise if this works out at a national competition.

    Reply

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All Black legend Mils Muliaina scores first try in USA Pro Rugby with first touch | RugbyDump