Monday, March 7, 2011

District Champs!

After a bit of struggling... we manage to make it. Yup, unbeaten in the four game round robin tournament to take the District Championships. I'm proud of the boys, the played good rugby throughout, incorporated some kicking into the mix, played great defence and above all protected the ball and won! It was boiling hot, and I'd prepared a coolbox with 9-1.5 litre bottles of water and some ice for injuries. After a nervous first game against tough Muyeye, we put in some bigger stronger forwards also to avoid injury to our more skilled players, we won 7-0. Our next match was a 21-0 win against a surprisingly fast Galana. Our biggest test was against Barani who had beaten us in the last tournament, and we managed to stay disciplined and win 7-0 and then I put basically the second team against Gede and won 19-7. We again overcame some pretty poor refereeing... but that seems to be the norm... All in all a string of good results, one step closer to the goal. Cheers to everyone who pitched in!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New boots, new outlook!

I know it must be getting tedious, but I managed to figure out the sizes we need and got 7 sets of new boots for the boys yesterday. It was exciting to have most of the boys in the scrimmage actually wearing decent kit! Thanks to Tara and Wild Fitness! I think everyone feels a bit more prepared for the districts on Monday.

Another nice thing is that everyone seems healed up and rested and ready to push for the tournament on Monday. It's great to be able to have options for the first team, as I wrote earlier, in the last tournament my selection was limited by injury. I think the new boots will help with this too. I've been pushing the boys pretty hard in practice with respect to fitness, and we've worked on being more deliberate about how we move the ball inside and out. I also joined in a few times to challenge the first team, it's been really fun to get in there and get my hands dirty. Feeling pretty fit these days!

A nice surprise is that I see a lot of the second team players stepping up and challenging the first team in the games I have them play against each other. I think selection will become a lot more difficult! Lots of little things have improved as well, kicking, set plays such as lineouts and scrums. I really hope we can put it all together for next monday.

Another nice piece of news is that Reuters apparently has commissioned a feature piece on the team, so we will have another camera crew at the tournament on Monday and a professional photographer... hard work is paying off! :)