Wednesday's Ruck & Maul

Wednesday's Ruck & Maul



Both teams are on the road this Saturday, the women facing Capilanos who have a five-point lead in the league over the visitors; however, CW has a game in hand.  Caps are an old nemesis for Ceedub.  CW has a superior defensive record going into this critical encounter now placings are so important for the playoffs.  The men take on the former heavy-weight, UBC Thunderbirds.  Many a classic battle between these two clubs has taken place at Point Grey, however, this season the Birds trail CW by seven points and are not the team they have been in the past.  Taking a recent line through scores by both teams against league-leading Ravens, one would have to say a “hungry” Thunderbirds side with a -29 differential vs a -57 differential for CW would get the nod.  As the reader knows, in rugby, on any given day, anything may occur.  The writer would give the home team a three-point advantage.  Jacob Bossi just might have something to say about that!


NST Hong Kong Sevens results – It was a rather dismal weekend in Hong Kong for Canada last weekend.  The women finished in a disappointing sixth pace, losing 15 – 19 to Fiji and their final match, that being after winning their pool 3 – 0.  The men finished in12th, winless, although their effort against Great Britain was a better performance than that which had preceded.  For the men it is difficult to spot just what the problem really is, apart from facing a talent deficit.  We have a Canadian coach who has faced the challenges of the circuit, there have been injuries but??  As for the women’s program. Coach Hanratty will be leaving the program after the Olympics to go to the University of Ottawa.  I make the observation here that the salary for that advertised vacancy started at $86,000, peaking at $104,000, depending on credentials!  Not bad bikkies for a University Coach and that is not differentiating genders.  CW wishes Jack all the best during his remaining tenure and his future challenges.  He seems to me to have proved his worth with a national team program that very quickly went awry, despite its previous success with coach Tait.


On the local front – CW junior ‘grad’, Muiredach Casey suffered a very serious injury in last Saturday’s UVic match against Westshore.  The injury was such that it required ambulance attendance and the match was postponed.  Muiredach was starting to hit his straps in his second year at UVic.  Most fortunately, the rugby gods shined on this young man, perhaps a tribute to his physical form and the community’s vibes.  He is at home resting and recuperating.  Our thoughts and wishes are with you, sir.  May all be well.  This announcement segues into the news, known by many but perhaps not known too well in this neck of the rugby world, about “smart mouthguards”.

What is a “smart mouthguard”?  It is a tool which measures the g-force incurred upon a collision.  World Rugby has been keen to follow up on earlier experiments with such a measure, ascertained by chips in the mouthguards – the point at which ahead acceleration event has a higher likelihood of being a concussion.  To do that it needed data, and a large quantity without every head movement registered.  The technology collects only data on events over 8 g’s (G Force).  Kids jumping on a trampoline is about 8 – G’s, maybe a pillow fight about 10 – 15 G’s, a sledgehammer to helmeted head about 60 G’s, and thus data was collected over three years and some 200,000 head acceleration events. 

Then came a “historic moment” when a Scotland player was removed from the pitch in a Six Nations match against France due to his mouthguard detecting a collision which could have caused a concussion!  His mouthguard alerted the medical staff after a head acceleration because of a tackle.  Fortunately, he passed his HIA and returned to the game.  In both NZ and UK sanctioned matches, the mouthguard must be worn so that a HIA assessment can give the player a chance to return if it is passed.  If the player has chosen not to wear the mouthguard, they would not be eligible to return.  As the reader can imagine there are many problems with this initiative, not the least being freedom of choice.  Also, in New Zealand, it has been found that in certain locations there is interference with the cellular waves, giving incorrect readouts.  The final word is that it is another tool in the HIA toolkit to support the drive towards better player welfare.  One which will be followed with great interest.

Around CW.


CW hosted the final Mini Rugby Jamboree last Sunday.


On Saturday evening the players celebrated their Awards Night.  Pictured is President Klash being presented the Service Award.