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Friday, November 30, 2007

Hawaii Rugby Tournament Scores - Day 1

Today was a good day. And a big day for me. I met lots of people and got lots of great information. Seems there is a vibrant and growing rugby community here in Hawaii, but no one knows about it. I'm trying to change that.

There's a rugby tournament going on, today and tomorrow. Below are today's scores, but first some information and commentary. I discovered two more teams today, Maui Rugby, which turns out to be a team as well as an organization organizing and developing youth rugby, both boys and girls. Excellent! And Tama Sule Ie Rugby Club. They're out in Nanakuli, on Oahu, and they practice Mon, Tue, Thur, and Fri from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, at Nanakuli Beach Park. Maui Rugby practices at a field on Shaw Street in Lahaina, and they have directions and contact info on their website. I also met the new president of the Hawaii State Rugby Union. This Union is news to me, but it looks like there are some people who are serious about getting things organized here. Excellent! I'll put a link to their website, but it seems that there was some technical difficulty putting it up (I was told it was just put up yesterday) and there's nothing there yet. Hopefully it will be fixed by the time you read this.

I'm also told there's going to be a clinic for referees on January 11-12, 2008. I'm also told it's going to be run by the head of referees for USA Rugby. That will be good, not just for training refs and passing on information, but in developing stronger relations with USA Rugby.

Now, almost ready for game results, but I have to make some comments. The tournament is being played by teams that are composed almost entirely of Pacific Islanders; Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand, and I don't know which other islands. There is, or has been, a stereotype of Pacific Islander teams. Whether they were true or not, the stereotype was there. But after watching these games today, any preconceived notions I had are gone, and yours should be too. There was some great rugby played today, and all the games were clean and well controlled. There was definitely some physical play, but it was all conducted at high standards. I wanted to mention that for any naysayers out there. And, in case anybody's interested, I'm haole.

And it goes without saying, rugby people are good people. Everyone I met today, and the past several weeks I've been out gathering information, is just wonderful. The tournament organizers, refs, coaches, players, and the fans. And tomorrow's day 2.

So, the scores:


Maui Rugby
Islanders (withdrew and forfeited games)
Tama Sulu Ie

Game 1:

Maui Rugby - 13 vs. Barbarians - 5

Maui Rugby played a man short due to not arriving on time from the flight over, but scored two tries and kicked one penalty to defeat the Barbarians, who scored one try. The first half was very well played by both teams, before getting a little sloppy in the second half. I have to mention that Mark stole one lineout from Maui (his big play of the day, per him). Three cheers for us old guys. I have noticed that fitness is a big issue with all the teams I've seen play the last few weeks. Fitness, tackling (effective tackling, that is), and ball control are the big areas that need work. There is no lack of enthusiasm though. Makes you want to get out there on the field.

Game 2:

Hurricanes win by forfeit over Islanders

Game 3:

Tama Sule Ie - 10 vs. Kalihi Raiders - 5

Tama Sule Ie scored one try, with conversion, and a dropkick. That dropkick was great. Totally unexpected, from about 30 meters out. The Raiders scored one try on an outstanding play that saw great passing and support.

Game 4:

Hurricanes - 26 vs. Barbarians - 0

The Barbarians suffered from their fitness. After playing their morning game, of 20 minute halves, they looked tired and played tired. They've got some potential and some good players, but we'll have to work on that fitness. The Hurricanes scored four tries, and converted three of them.

Game 5:

Kalihi Raiders - 8 vs. Maui Rugby - 8

I was too busy talking to make any worthwhile comments about this game, except to note one player from the Raiders. This guy is good. To look at him you might mistake him for a prop, but he plays, I think, Inside Center (refer back to my talking and not paying attention). He's got wheels, can cut and run, and can run you over.

Game 6:

Tama Sulu Ie won by forfeit over Islanders.

Tomorrow, the games start at 11:00 am (Kapiolani Park). And I'm told there's an after tournament dinner, to be held at the Puerto Rican Hall in Kalihi. I'll have to look up where that is, but it's $10 to get in and you get food and good company.

Now I have to tell you about Jim (not his real name). Actually, that's how he introduced himself, but he's from Japan and I know his real name is not Jim. He wandered over to the park this morning and stayed all day. He's 56 years old and plays Senior Rugby for a team in Kobe, Japan. He used to be a flanker, but now plays out on the wing (there's a story behind that), and gets cold alot standing out there. Another reason to be a forward, no chance to get cold. And Jim's goal is to be the #1 oldest rugby player in the world. But he has to play for another 50 years. Apparently, the oldest rugby player is 103 years old. Hang in there Jim.

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