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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hawaii Rugby Finals

I am glad I made it down to the park yesterday to watch the Hawaii Rugby Finals. It was a great game. Two semi-finals in the morning, then a Women's match, then the finals. I didn't get to see the semi-final games, but I'm sure they were exciting as well, based on what I saw in the finals.

Oh, before I forget, the finals pitted the Kalihi Raiders against the Tama Laie Lions. Kalihi Raiders won, 22-17. A close, and hard fought game.

The finals were a test of fitness since both teams had little rest after their morning matches. Although fitness has greatly improved over the last two years, it is still one of the things that the Hawaii teams need to work on. The game was delayed numerous times due to injuries, which only increased towards the later stages of the game. Injuries occur at a much higher rate when the players get tired.

I say this from me experience as a player and my own travels down the road to fitness. When I played rugby for the Pygmies in Socorro (New Mexico Tech Rugby Club), only a moderate amount of fitness was required. Since we often only had 15 or 16 players, and frequently less and had to "recruit" spectators, fitness was required to start or play. But then when I moved to Albuquerque and played club-side rugby for the Aardvarks, everything changed. I was competing for my position (blind side flanker) with one of the fittest people I've ever met. So I had to get fit. It took quite a while, but I did it. It also improved my game, because instead of gasping for breath I was able to actually play the game the was it was supposed to be played.

Another point that I think the Hawaii teams need to look at is the kicking. As in far too much of it. Kicking is important - when it's done right. But just kicking because you don't know what else to do, don't want to take the hit, or have no support, is wrong.

I also took lots of pictures. Some of which actually came out pretty well. Check some of them out here, and if I can get around to creating a Facebook page for them, I'll let you know.

Here's the women:

And here's the men:

Tama Laie

Kalihi Raiders

I got a few action shots. Not bad for my little camera.


Tama Laie scoring a try

Ikuna, Kalihi Raiders captain, kicking for goal

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