Wednesday's Ruck and Maul
A SILVER LINING?
Today’s Ruck & Maul sees the return of The Ruggernut! The lead in is to remark about the incredibly amazing beauty of Atlantic Canada at this time of year, specifically, Cape Breton Island. The writer has been far removed from rugby however noting that many score line differentials at RWC reeked like the breath of a humpback whale!
The most unusual twist of having to cancel games was just another event anomaly. As for the Pool games, with the exception of the performance by the hosts and an amazing tackling display by Uruguay, things pretty much went according to Hoyle, with Ireland and Scotland disappointing. Then there was Canada – the least number of tries scored and the greatest scoring differential – maybe the effort was there but the chasm was vast, with the possibility of this being our last appearance at the Big Dance for some time. Just another afterthought questions the effectiveness of the MLR to date, with our neighbours also performing below what might have been expected.
What might this mean? Firstly, Kingsley Jones still has the reins, contracted until 2023. No doubt, this could change with any review by the ‘wigs’, if so, I would hope the mantra would be; “Made in Canada”. Is the silver lining in the fact that what appears as a heavy emphasis on the performance and results of the supposed lighthouse NSMT program might be re-thought and the role of development attacked with vigour, or is this simply too much to ask? With all of the seeming resources RC has had, to produce results inferior to Uruguay, Georgia, Russia, Namibia and miles behind Tonga is a blight.
Perhaps with the reappearance of the Pride and their already ‘stand-up-and-take-notice’ results, the ball is rolling. This writer recalls a season, yonks ago, when James Bay swept all clubs before them, yet faltered twice to the Pride – point being, the difference between an elite club team and a dedicated, “full-time” program with its players involved in ALL aspects, along with regular games is a definite plus; despite the centralization of the NSMT disproving this theory!
Further, on the local front, we see our Tricolours off to an unaccustomed start, with another major challenge on the road at Point Grey this weekend. Not having seen any matches I cannot speculate as to why this might be. Other early pointers lead to Ravens, Burnaby and UBC being the teams to beat, with the resurgence of a McKinnon led, Caps and James Bay being a weekly threat and along with the other un-named, all in a dog fight for playoffs down the road. In conclusion, the season is well underway with hearty numbers registered in minis and our boys and girls youth programs, some six teams returning from competition in Kamloops last weekend. Stay tuned and go, Ceedub!