Pilsner Urquell

Monday, November 26, 2007

 

Back to the Ranch

Holiday is over, boys. We've got two weeks of practice before our last game for this year against Arlington. If everyone will get out and ready to go by 7 this week, I will do my best to get us through practice quickly. Let's get out there and get it together. It's been a season with lots of good things happening, lets finish strong going into the Christmas break.

And, get some dues to me, please. Big bills coming up soon. Cash, check, paypal. Let's do it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

 

No practice this week.

Have a good turkey day. Jog some of that stuffing off. Maybe join Timmy for the Turkey Trot.

Come back with a proper mindset for rugby:
  • Be polite
  • Be professional
  • Be prepared to kill
Ok, that's a General who works for Petraeus talking about soldiering, but I think it generally applies to a lot of things.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

 

To Highpoint Tonight, To OKC on Saturday

Reminder: Practice is as Highpoint in Plano tonight.
  • Go to Spring Creek and Alma (which is just West of 75 and Spring Creek).
  • Go North
  • Look at the lighted fields.
  • About midway through the fields, you'll see a parking area. Turn in an park.
  • Look to the North for a field along the street that is lit with a rugby ball being thrown about.
Saturday's game is in Oklahoma City. Our first game against the Crusaders. Their website with maps is here: http://www.oklahomacityrugbyclub.com/
 

Referees to Ref Games, Meet with TRU

Unlike Hollywood writers and French transit workers, Texas rugby referees are NOT on strike. STRR Chairman Chris Callan sent this news today:
To all TRU clubs;
STRR is not on strike. Apparently the letter TRU Executive Board sent to clubs on November 12 was prematurely released and has caused some confusion. STRR is not on strike. Apparently the letter TRU Executive Board sent to clubs on November 12 was prematurely
All matches will be covered with STRR referees this weekend (November 17) with a few exceptions where no referee is available to be assigned.
STRR has been covering TRU matches for many years and we expect to be doing that for many more. We have fully complied with all terms of the attached letter of agreement between STRR and TRU for the 2007 calendar year. However TRU has refused to pay over $17,500 for services delivered since February.
The current situation, which the TRU has communicated to you this week, will be the subject of a meeting next Tuesday between TRU and STRR.
A USA Rugby representative very familiar with Union, referee and club issues will attend to facilitate and help both sides move forward. The primary objective of this meeting is to ensure that all TRU clubs have access to certified, properly trained and insured referees for their matches.
Hopefully we will be able to send out a positive prognosis after the meeting. We will provide an update to this letter as soon as possible.
Please continue to contact Greg Puklicz (STRR-North) and Chris Callan (STRR-South) to schedule and confirm referees until further notice.
Chris Callan
Chairman,
Society of Texas Rugby Referees



Wednesday, November 14, 2007

 

TRU attempts to make STRR irrelevant

The TRU has announced in a letter released November 12 a new Referees and Laws Committee (R&L) based on US Rugby's system. Referees of any TRU-sanctioned game must be members of the R&L and abide by its rules. The TRU executive board states that this doesn't conflict with membership in the Society of Texas Rugby Referees (STRR), with whom the TRU reminds us they have severed their relationship.

The motivations for that step were:
"to obtain financial accountability over the use of your dues money, and
to advance the TRU initiatives in regards to recruiting and retention of referees."
With the new R&L Committee, the TRU is instituting some changes. For instance, R&L refs will be paid a per diem (today's Word-Of-The-Day), which will increase each year for the next three years. They highlight that this means no expense reports will be necessary, though that is how per diem's normally work.

Why the change? The Executive Board explains:
"...[T]he TRU R&L Committee is modeled on USA Rugby's R&L Committee and as such all funds for referee per-diems, referee training/certification and referee development will be provided by the TRU through the R&L Committee. Texas is fortunate to have quality rugby referees, who are stewards of the game and who ensure fair competition and safety on the pitch while educating its players. However we need more referees of a younger age and it is in the TRU's best interest to attract and develop those individuals interested in the same goals. This R&L Committee will allow for a more fiscally responsible organization and provide for fiscal oversight and budgeting of your dues money, while relieving some of the strains associated with the burdens referees endure to ply their trade."
Did we mention "fiscal"?

I've asked the STRR Chairman Chris Callan for a comment on this development.

I can't help but note that, aside from the fiscal oversight, the TRU and the STRR seem aligned perfectly in their stated goals: recruitment, training and retention of quality referees for the improvement of rugby in Texas.

Why then a complete inability to come to a negotiated resolution in the last 5+ years? I don't have any unique insight into this situation, but I can't help but think that "personalities" are playing a role here. I've seen that be a problem in other areas of Texas Rugby. I don't know what a solution for that would be, or whatever the true problem is, but consolidating power, even more, in the three votes it takes to control Texas Rugby is unlikely it, though some might hope for the benevolent dictator situation (and maybe that will work, I think I might like to try it - make me dictator first and we'll see how it goes).

I do love the optimism of the TRU Executive Board though. Their parting words in the letter announcing this:
This step will put us on top.
Here's the letter so you can read it for yourself (80 kB, PDF):
The TRU's Letter To Members.
 

Thursday at Highpoint

Big lights for Thursdays practice. Also, it's a good place to make your travel plans for Saturday.

Go to Spring Creek and Alma (which is just West of 75 and Spring Creek).
Go North
Look at the lighted fields.
About midway through the fields, you'll see a parking area. Turn in an park.
Look to the North for a field along the street that is lit with a rugby ball being thrown about.

Monday, November 12, 2007

 

Tuesday at Austin Ranch

We are at the ranch for Tuesday night. We need everyone out and ready to go at 7. Oklahoma City beat Fort Worth last week, so we need to get prepared.

Thursday's practice location TBA.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

 

Practice at Austin Ranch this week

We'll be at Austin Ranch Tuesday and Thursday this week.
We host Fort Sill this weekend.

Map to Austin Ranch

Monday, November 05, 2007

 

Zut Alors!

Its official. From the Biarritz website:

05 NOVEMBRE 2007 19h58 Atterissage d'un ailier supersonique à Biarritz

Made in USA. L'ailier américain Ngwenya Takudzwa, qui a enflammé la dernière Coupe du Monde en déposant le meilleur ailier du monde, Bryan Habana, doit atterir ce soir à l'aéroport de Biarritz-Parme. Pour signer au BOPB, le club qu'il a choisi après les solicitations qu'il n'a pas manqué d'avoir.

Translation:

Zee is arriving in France to sign with his new club, Biarritz. Hopefully they won't forget him at the airport like the Quinns did to a certain So. African former DARC center when he arrived in the States.
 

Try Of The Year 2007

The International Rugby Board announced recently that the TRY OF THE YEAR goes to Zee.

IRPA Try of the Year

Takudzwa Ngwenya, USA – Not many people can claim to be quicker than Bryan Habana, but USA’s Takudzwa Ngwenya proved he had the edge by jinking his way round and past the IRB Player of the Year to round off a magnificent USA try against South Africa in the RWC 2007 pool match in Montpellier on September 30.

It began deep in the USA 22, when USA flanker Todd Clever intercepted a South Africa pass. Three passes later the ball reached Ngwenya just inside his own half. As Habana came across to make the tackle Ngwenya checked, sidestepped and powered round the South Africa wing to touch down in the right hand corner.

Someone should be sending Mr. Clever a 'thank you' pint.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

 

Practice at Highpoint Tonight

Scroll down to the map below.

  • Go to Spring Creek and Alma (which is just West of 75 and Spring Creek).
  • Go North
  • Look at the lighted fields.
  • About midway through the fields, you'll see a parking area. Turn in an park.
  • Look to the North for a field along the street that is lit with a rugby ball being thrown about.
Sorry for the late reminder.