Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The State Of Play - Episode 3 - Pacific Rugby Premiership

For my latest podcast, I hosts a discussion with USA Rugby correspondents, Curtis Reed (This is American Rugby), Grant Cole (Ruck Bottom), Ted Hardy (Rugby America), and Kevin Sullivan (Rucking Insurance) to talk about the Pacific Rugby Premiership (PRP). 

You can listen to podcast via the player below as well as via iTunes,  SoundcloudStitcher, and Feedburner

And as mentioned in then show, I welcome your feedback! Please share your comments and questions on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc. using the hashtag #TheStateOfPlay

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Asad Ziar: Rugby in Afghanistan

Special Report for A Rugby Life by Asad Ziar, CEO, Afghanistan Rugby Federation.  

After the rugby was introduced into Afghanistan, I saw many locals fall in love with it from day one.  I have seen many leave other sports clubs to come and join in a game that they’d never heard of before.  Rugby perfectly suited their physical and robust nature as well as having a pretty similar DNA to the national sport of Buzkashi (minus the dead goat).

As the force behind the development and progress of rugby, I have been traveling the country spreading the word and opening up rugby clubs wherever I can.  This is a huge undertaking for Afghanistan Rugby Federation ( ARF ) and have also been teaching everyone the game from kids to adults, giving them the basic skills they need to play.  

I am also very committed to introducing rugby to each and every kid in Afghanistan.   My aim is to support the youth, both boys and girls, who are choosing rugby against a backdrop of violence, conflict and suffering.  I'm not making judgments about the war, or about individuals.  It’s all about the sport, doing something positive, and having fun.   The positive aspect of this is that we will attract our new generation towards rugby while providing them the opportunity to not to be part of the violence, war, and drug addiction.   

I know this it is only possible with the help from people around the world. 
I encourage you to check our facebook page at and appreciate your support!

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Mount Beats Lord Fairfax in first NSCRO Spring Playoff Match

Special report by Steve Cohen, NSCRO President

The NSCRO spring playoffs have begun. The weather cooperated in Middletown, VA - the home of Lord Fairfax Community College - which stands at the gateway to Skyline Drive leading to the Blue Ridge Mountains. After the winter we've had in the Mid-Atlantic area, cooperation is no rain or snow and above freezing temperature. It was a dry day with temperature in the low 40s.  It was a 225 mile drive for me from Medford, NJ to attend this match. 
I was there to support the efforts of Aaron Painter and Stuart Freakly, coaches of the Lord Fairfax CC rugby club, who in less than 3 years have built a fine rugby team and created a strong foundation for the future at a community college. Very few rugby clubs exist at community colleges due to the challenges of a very non-traditional student population.

Lord Fairfax CC, the Cardinals Collegiate Conference Champion, was scheduled to host the Mount St. Mary's University, the Potomac Collegiate Conference Champion, from nearby Emmitsburg, Maryland in a NSCRO Mid-Atlantic South Region Qualifier. The winner would qualify for the MAS Region Championship in Jacksonville, Florida on March 29-30 hosted by the University of North Florida RFC. 
St. Marys Team Photo (Credit: NSCRO) 

Jay Myles, the Mount's Head Coach was concerned about match readiness for his players. Both teams have had a rough time preparing due to the unusually harsh winter conditions making outdoor pre-playoff matches impossible.

The match started and the Mount went to work right away with strong mauling and ball control when center Edmund Piper made a line break for 30m and passed to winger Brady Parson to put his club up 5-0 with just 4 minutes gone. About 10 minutes later, second rower David Harrison scored from a driving maul off a lineout. Then 2 minutes after this score, another driving maul by The Mount freed scrumhalf Sean Hartig for a fine 30m run and with his conversion, the Mount was off to a quick 17-0 lead. Tyler Long broke the Mount's defense and scored and with the conversion Chance Ramey slotted the conversion, it was 17-7. However, the Mount answered with 3 more first half tries taking a solid 32-7 halftime lead. The second half found Lord Fairfax picking up the pace and mounted an attack deep into the Mount's end when Renber Hernandez broke through the defense for a try just 3 minutes into the half. Then only 5 minutes later Derrick Hayes found a gap in the normally stingy Mount defense for a try and all of a sudden the score was 32-17. With the momentum favoring Lord Fairfax, the Mount woke up and began to assert themselves. They add 3 tries in the final 20 minutes to pull away with a 49-17 win when referee Simon Smith's final whistle sounded.

Full details about NSCRO and its small college national playoffs are found at

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