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Miles Craigwell makes no bones about his goals. The former USA 7s player wants that "former" title taken off.
|The Player of the Week Award is brought to you by Rhino Rugby, makers of high-quality, made-in-America rugby balls, rucking pads, tackle bags, and scrum machines.|
"These are the first steps for me," Craigwell said moments after helping Seattle-OPSB win the Pacific Coast 7s Championships. "Training, getting fit, working with the ODA [Olympic Development Academy]. This [summer season] is here for you to prove that you belong on the team."
Craigwell has improved. The former football defensive back who learned rugby in the summer of 2011 and made the Eagles right after, has become a versatile player, one who can play wing at a high level and now wing or prop in 7s. He was a huge part of Seattle-OPSB's success, often putting the opposition under the cosh early by streaking down the sideline for tries.
He also has shown a better appreciate for the finer points of 7s.
"Sevens is a different fitness level than
15s, but I am getting better and I love the game of 7s; it was my first
introduction to the game," he told RUGBYMag.com. "And the game is coming to me a lot slower now."
Craigwell helped his club wade almost untouched through the Pacific Coast Championships, as they won 50-0 twice in pool play, plus a 43-0 shutout of a highly-regarded Olympic Club. Then they put up 64 (!) on the Sacramento Lions, before getting by SFGG 28-17 in the final. Overall, five games, 5-0, and an average score of 47-6. Their strike rate was a try every two minutes, which takes some doing.
"Every time we go into a tournament, regardless of who we play against, we want to stick to our pattern," Craigwell said. "We want to build off what we did before. We blew out a couple of people, but SFGG we only beat by one or two tries. We have to be prepared for those games, and we do that by trying to get better after each game, and peak at the right time, which is at nationals."
To do that, said Craigwell, you have to concentrate, play defense, and talk to each other.
"We have lethal weapons in our forwards
and our backs," he said. "We know we can score tries, but we also know it's
defense that wins games. Our goal is to communicate all the time, and when you’re tired,
communicate that much more. When we win, it's a credit to our style of play
and our entire team - our bench, everyone. All of us just want to get
And it looks like Miles Craigwell is getting better, too. He is our RUGBYMag.com/Rhino Rugby Player of the Week.