Pilsner Urquell

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Bring me your money

I should be out for tomorrow's practice. Bring me your dues. Amir paid his and he's only been with us for a week. I'll have the shirts, sweats, and hats available to buy. And, I've got the hockey tickets for next Friday.

Bring your gear and your paycheck to practice.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


DARC Wins In Austin, Zee has Red Shoes

On a windy but sunny day in Austin, DARC won handily over the Huns D3 side: 8 tries, 1 kick = 42 to Hun's 12. The trys were dotted down by Mark Wunsch (4), Drew McCure (2) and Philip Erickson (1), Phillipe Wauters (1) but it was really a great team effort. Cagey veteran (and normally a lock or flank), Cookie played Fly Half, for I think the first time ever. He used the forwards as a hammer against the Huns. The recycling of rucks and mauls allowed the backs (and the speedy scrum half) to take advantage when the defense wasn't able to reorganize quickly enough. Biggie Whitacre gave us the only conversion kick in the second half.

A lot of things we worked on in practice worked here. The biggest factor was simply moving the ball forward all the time. As Coach Swick said in practice, if you do that, calls will go your way - and they did. There were a lot of whistles in this game, and the ref's arm could have easily been pointing the other way. The heavy crosswinds pretty much negated much kicking from either side, and we got lucky a few times with kicks that could otherwise have gone very badly for us.

But more than anything, I think it was the team work here. The scrummies worked excellently in set pieces. Our backs had some excellent attacks with supported runs. Same with the forwards in the loose - there were some "Champagne Rugby" moments - or rather "sparks" - but they were there.

You might recognize these shoes:

Friday, February 23, 2007


Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to play we go

The game Saturday is against the Austin Huns, but we are playing at Burr Field, the Austin Blacks' pitch (see maps below). Kickoff is at 12:30!

The Van is going down tonight! We will try to leave Jack Carter Park at 5:30 PM. The show of hands last night was about 8 people for the van, so I'm going to try to get a 12 passenger instead of a 15 passenger van.

Van riders need $15 for van rental and gas, and plan on $15-$20 for hotel. I'm going to get two rooms for van people and the charity fund is closed.

The van will return to Dallas Saturday evening.

Burr Field

Austin Blacks' Directions

Google Maps Directions

Be at the field at 11:00.
Be kitted up ready to warm up by 11:30.
Be sober.

This is our last road trip for the season. Let's do it as we did Midland.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


No Hornets but St. Patty's Day is a Rugby Day

Note the schedule updates on the right.

No word from the Calgary Hornets, so the schedule is back to where it originally was: We host the Diablos on Saturday, March 17, St. Patrick's Day.

Money, Money, Money

Dues, boys!!!

Lots of guys are behind on paying dues. If you've played a game in 2007 and haven't paid, that means the club fronted you $55 to pay your CIPP registration. This is the one major obligation you have to the club and it's time to live up to it. PayPal link is on the page. I should be out tomorrow night to collect cash and checks. Swick is a trusted branch, so you can give him the money if I'm not around.

Also, I still have swag for sale:

Beanies ($10)
T-shirts ($10, 2 for $15)
Sweatshirts ($12)
Hoodies ($15)

Cool stuff to wear to Austin this weekend.

Hockey night in Frisco

We're going to have a non rugby related outing on March 9th. We've got a block of tickets for the Texas Tornado hockey game in Frisco. This is a junior league team which means lots of young prospects (Mark Messier's son Lyon plays for Texas) and lots of aggressive play. Should be a lot of fun.

Tickets are $10 payable to me or Swick asap. Also, it is Spring Break jersey night. The Tornadoes will be wearing a special teal and yellow jersey. After the game, all the jerseys will be auctioned off for charity, starting at $100.

This is a great chance for us to get together and have some fun away from the pitch.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Practice at Jack Carter

Jack Carter, until further notice.

No DVDs tonight

Haven't had time to make DVDs of the Fort Sill game yet. Will try to bring some on Thursday.

"Me Again"

Fort Sill played rugby hard on Saturday and the score reflected their tough play: 33-12, Fort Sill.

They were big, strong, quick, tough and organized for the most part. Our backs weren't able to get much going against them. One able tackler from Fort Sill (#14 I think), yelled "Me again!" just as he made tackles throughout the game. I think he must be in a PsyOps unit because the psychological warfare seemed to be working on our young side. From the sideline, it was hilarious, but I think it might have been getting under DARC players' skin. He even tackled Zee a couple of time, wrapping him up before he could accelerate or in mid-dance step.

We still managed to get two trys to their three, but their kicker not only made a drop kick from open play 4 minutes in, but his accuracy at penalties and conversions, especially in the high and variable winds, was their most devastating weapon. I guess that's what you get when you play against several artillery men.

And some of the forward play was pretty good against bigger opponents, particularly in the scrums where we were able to steal many of their put-ins with sharp short drives. My impression was that our backs were fairly good on defense when Fort Sill would play the ball out. Where Fort Sill got through our back line, it was near the breakdowns and scrums. And once they were through, we did a poor job of chasing them down. I think we need to do some corner-flagging drills.

The end of the game saw some chippiness that soured the mood. Especially in light of the immediately previous post, you can't play rugby if you can't keep your cool.

The referee's write up.

Some of that sourness was redeemed a bit by some 10s play after the main game. I'd like to especially thank Rod Puentes, the referee, for giving our 10s player a clue on how to organize in 10s.

P.S. Is it just me, or is the ref missing an unconverted try from us?

Violence Bad, 'mkay?

Though you won't find this on the Texas Rugby Union site anywhere obvious (maybe it's buried somewhere non-obvious in that eyesore of a website), where, you know, people might like read it and stuff, TRU President Dave Jenkins recently sent a caution about violence to Texas clubs (this is the entirety of the message I received, not sure:
The TRU also wishes to make it clear to all member clubs that incidents of gratuitous violence, whether it be stamping on an opposing player's head or whether it be punching to the face of a defenseless player, will not be tolerated and the Disciplinary Committee will impose the maximum allowable punishment as outlined by USA Rugby.

Clubs that have multiple offenders in regard to these type of offenses will also be subject to disciplinary action. We expect club administrators and coaches to ensure that all of their players are aware of the consequences of such acts and they should educate the players as to what is robust play versus violent acts.

There were two acts of gratuitous violence on Jan 10th and as a result the TRU Disciplinary Committee after reviewing the referee's report on these red card incidents have decided to suspend the offenders from all rugby until June 16th 2007.
(No idea what the antecedent to the "also" is in the beginning, this was the whole of the message I received.)

The incidents appear to actually have occurred on February 3rd (January 10 was not a rugby day). A Fort Worth player and a HARC player in two different games, red-carded for punching and stamping.

The referee describes the Fort Worth incident:
At a well contested San Antonio breakdown 5m out from their own in-goal area, Mr. Valenzuela drove the San Antonio #7 back and onto the ground, no farther than 1m from my position (i.e. nearly at my feet). While Mr. Valenzuela was crouching down, stradding his opponent, who was both on his back and effectively defenseless, I instructed Mr. Valenzuela "Don`t touch him," as it appeared likely he would stike him. With no discernible initiating event of foul play evident, Mr. Valenzuela ignored this instruction and punched his opponent three times in rapid succession all on the same location, his opponent`s right eye.
And at HARC:

30 minutes into first half, 1 meter from the woodlands goal line a ruck situation formed. A woodlands player landed on the wrong side of the tackle / ruck, however the ball was not sealed. Mr. Vega possibly thinking the ball was sealed began stomping the woodlands player on the head. At least 5 stomps were direct hits to the victims head. No attempt to `heel` the player was observed. Mr. Goetz was than 2 meters away and blew the whistle hard and loud immediately. No fights ensued.
So, don't do that kind of crap. Not only won't you be playing rugby anytime soon, I'll try to get you kicked off this club.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


It takes Bare Knees to play rugby

A couple of our players were curious about why they were not allowed to wear thin compression leggings under their shorts and sock at recent games in what us old farts call "rugby weather". Although I would be much happier if their curiosity about rugby laws extended to something like the Offsides Law [PDF file], I asked the Society of Texas Rugby Referees to clarify. Referee Mark Woods, the referee preventing the pajama wearing in at least one case, provided the following elucidating response:
"The FFR [Fédération Française de Rugby] recently asked for clarification from the iRB [International Rugby Board] on what the words, shorts, shirt, socks and underwear, meant in the laws of rugby. The iRB issued a clarification that informed the world that both shorts and underwear would stop above the knee. That means the long-leg underarmour gear that some players wish to wear is illegal. All players must have bare knees.

I guess if you`re too soft to have bare legs, the iRB thinks you`re too soft for rugby." [Emphasis and acronym disambiguation added]
I don't think the iRB has a bare knee fetish, though I wouldn't be surprised if there are some Otaku who are into that. So, suck it up, gents.

Now, who has a question about the Crimean War?

Thursday, February 08, 2007


No No to the Boot Boot

In response to a question on the STRR site, Referee (and former DARC Captain) Mark Woods explained that you can't put your boots on a player in any way! There is no difference between a "rake" and a "stomp".
"Paddy O`Brien, the iRB director of referees, has issued a decree that NO boots may be used on a player at all. It matters not if you think you are raking, rucking or going for the ball, a players body is out of bounds for you boots. You may only use your boots directly on the ball."
There are other useful questions and answers there. Give it a read. STRR.NET.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Victory! 35-10

We made the long trip to Midland with 19 players. And it was worth it. Put one in the Win column: 35-10.

DARC scored 5 tries in the first half. Drew, Drew, Zee, Jesse, Tinashe. Forwards Win, 3 tries to two! Captain Russell made all of his conversion kicks.

Unfortunately, things slowed down in the second half. The Mad Dogs started to get their focus and almost the entire half was played in DARC's half. But we held them to two unconverted tries. Lots of good play all around. Let's make this a trend, fellas.

Men of the Match: The flyhalfs. Russell for DARC and Travis for Midland.

Several of our players filled in for Midland in their game against the Air Force boys from San Angelo. All three teams had a nice social afterwards, including a three-way boat-race under local rules, which DARC won (continuing our undefeated streak this season).

I'm making DVD copies of the game and will have some at practice Tuesday and Thursday.

Enjoy the well-earned victory boys. Until Monday, when you should hit the bricks for a jog. We've got a lot of work to do, especially for 2nd half fitness.
"Everyone has got the will to win,
It's only those with the will to prepare that do win."
-Bobby Knight
Side Note: Van Riders in the third row. What are you? 8? You left a mess and this will go down in your permanent record. Next van ride, we will stop at a car wash place and everyone will collectively detail the van interior including vacuuming it.