Monday's Musings

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Monday's Musings

CW/UVIC SPEEDSTER, Spencer Cotie.  Photo - Rugby Canada

Men Mired in Mediocrity – Some Observations


Following the NSMT’s Sevens abject results we now see our Men’s U20 program falling far behind the U.S.  In chasing a 15-point deficit to get to the WC Tier II competition, things did not start out well for the home team at Starlight Stadium on Thursday evening.  Poor open field tackling, deep restarts with no chance of a challenge, and what appeared as a lack of fire and passion were just a couple of reasons why Canada found themselves down, 17 – 0 after twenty minutes.  The one area of superiority – the set scrum produced first points with a penalty try.  The US reciprocated, almost immediately, capitalizing on a failed clearing kick, 24 – 7.  The Canadian scrum struck again and was rewarded on the fortieth minute with another penalty try and another yellow card to the US loose-head prop.  Ne’er-the-less, on display was superior US pace and a 25-point total deficit in their favor.


The second stanza opened brightly for Canada, in particular its set scrum superiority, centered around tight head prop, Feldman’s absolute dominance of his two opposite numbers, leaving the visitors two men short. When CW (& UVic)’s Spencer Cotie nabbed a second attempt diagonal kick from #10, Bennett, to bring the score to 24 – 21 there were hopes in the crowd for at least a victory in this match.  At the 30-minute mark after US pressure, a quick ball saw an inside delay pass and a 31 – 21 scoreline.  This was the straw that broke the back for this fan who left to “beat the traffic” of a fair crowd.  The final tally was US 41 – CANADA 21 and a total 35-point differential in favour of the US.


Rugby Canada mistreated an opportunity!  No scoreboard, no clock, no program and no one on “gate duty” to accept money from anyone inclined to donate.  Say no more.  If one had not seen a rugby game before (and there were some), you would not be in a rush to go again!  Pick of the pie – Brighton Feldman – a true FRF warrior who simply owned those opposed to him, admired by CW’s Gavin Kratz – that’s the good 'housekeeping' stamp of approval!  Lock, Doyle, won some good lineout ball, ran hard and obviously, pushed mightily.  Center, MacGregor showed flashes, as did Di Nado and Cotie’s pace stood him in good stead although burned by an opponent early.  This may sound like the backs played okay, not really so!  To conclude, I stand by my use of “mediocrity”.


Despite far greater numbers to select from, there is an obvious superior Collegiate development in the US since the last meeting between these two age group teams for honors to represent North America in this Tier II competition.  The decision-making by the US and their skill base with sure hands and aggressive tackling was a visible difference.  We wish them well in Scotland as they represent the growth of the game in North America.



ROOKIE - OF - THE - YEAR, Carissa Norsten.  Photo- Rugby Canada

Canadian Women Rule


A huge shout out today to Carissa Norsten who has been voted by World Women’s Sevens as the Rookie-of-the-Year.  Carissa is from small town Saskatchewan, Waldheim.  She was an exceptional young athlete who never touched a rugby ball until age fifteen, a mere five yeas ago.  From the ice hockey rinks to the heady stage of world rugby is a significant leap and we heap praise upon her.  Carissa’s male counterpart is none less than French XV, professional all star International, Antoine Dupont!  Her season appearances in seven of the eight tournaments has seen her score eight tries.  You rule, girl!