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Excitement Injection
You might think all I do on the weekend is it around and watch 6Nations games, and actually that’s not true – it takes me all weekend to get to one game because I am reporting on other rugby games.

But having finally watched Wales beat Italy this past weekend I have only one thing to say:

Two tries scored, one from a turnover and one from a quick tap on a penalty.

Producing a game where turnovers are more prevalent, not less, makes the game more exciting. Taking quick taps is good for the game, and coaches (yes, I blame coaches) are far too conservative in choosing kicks for goal or the lineout.

This is especially true for teams that aren’t all that good in the lineout. I would like to see the USA team be more daring in this way, and really I’d like to see more teams be more daring in this way. Most top-level coaches are very conservative, though, and will avoid risk.

Oh, All Right
Another thing. Wales had an odd-man rush and messed it up because one player send a long, looping pass out to the supposedly free many on the wing.

Why do people not understand this? The moment the ball is released by the passer on a long pass, players can assess its trajectory and see that the ball will not be caught by the next guy, or the next guy. So they key on the guy who will pass it.

Success comes from short passes (Oh! I need to look at this guy now!) and then short passes (Wait! Now the ball's over here!). Quick movement, not long, slow movement.

Just saying.

Sure, Why Not?
We understand that Bill Tatham has renewed his licensing agreement with USA Rugby which allows him to pursue a professional 7s circuit in the USA. Be advised, this agreement was first signed in 2005, and has produced zero rugby so far.

This is quite possibly the last time you’ll see us say anything about this until 2018, when the agreement come up for review again.

Something Bigger?
USA Rugby is expected to make a fairly interesting announcement regarding TV and webcast coverage for the High School National Championship.

This would be great to have those games get more than just one-camera webcast coverage.

Sad Warrior Demise
How sad is the demise of the Utah Warriors? I am sad, mostly for the players. What annoys me is that the Super League went against their normal MO to accept a club that had never played before. In the end, Utah owner Sean Whalen, according to sources, ignored repeated communications from the league asking them to register their players, submit a roster, and basically appear as if they were ready to take the field.

We’ve seen some clubs vetted and vetted and rejected by the Super League, and this organization not vetted sufficiently. In the end the players are looking around for a way to play rugby now, which is the cruelest part.

Sources also say the clubs in the RSL are really committed to continue in the league – maybe not all of them, but several. Clearly a few of them don’t have a lot of options. I reiterate my feeling that the domestic men’s club competition needs to be fixed, and it needs to be fixed without prejudice or politics getting involved.

Oh, sorry, did I just say that with a straight face?

 



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