Canada Drops to 15th, Welcome Back America, NWL Starts Thursday at UBC
[ed. comments below] posted June 25 2013
Canada Drops to 15th
Even though Canada had a fairly successful Pacific Nations Cup, finishing 2nd behind Fiji and going 3-1, they’ve fallen to 15th in the iRB rankings. The loss to Japan was the killer. Canada went into the summer in 14th spot, briefly rose to 13th during their first three wins but fell to 15th after the loss to Japan. Historically since 2004 Canada has “owned” the 13th/14th spot, occasionally dropping lower and briefly rising above. 15th is the lowest they’ve been in the last 12 months. Fiji and Japan have jumped ahead of Canada in the 13th and 14th spot.
Welcome Back America
Even though Canada narrowly missed getting promotion to the top tier in U20 competition this year, losing to Italy in the JWRT final, our neighbours to the south had a brief sojourn to the top tier. It didn’t go well however as they finished last and will return to the JWRT next year. They lost to Fiji 46-12 in the relegation match. They only managed 3 points for while amassing 251 points against in the pool round. It shows the gap between North America and the Tier 1 nations at the U20 level and highlights the need for elite development at the younger age groups.
NWL Starts on Thursday
The national women’s league starts Thursday. It’s not so much a league as it is a tournament. It runs from Thursday to Saturday. Teams from BC, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec will contest the senior elite title at UBC. Tier 2 will include Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quebec 2, and Atlantic. The U20 division includes Ontario, BC and Alberta. The women's U20 national team was selected almost exclusively from Ontario so it will be interesting to see their level of dominance on the field.
Rosters, schedules, etc can be found at the NWL website.
BC Premier Battle Begins Off The Field; Rugby Not War in Afghanistan; JDougg to London: UPDATE ON ARDRON & BRAID ELIGIBILITY ISSUE
[ed. comments below] posted May 10 2013
Off The Field Battle
Nothing like a little pre-game intrigue to make the final even more interesting. There's been a storm of controversy around the eligibility of Tyler Ardron to play for the Bays. The BCRU site says he's played 2 games but the Bays are saying the BCRU registration system is like a famous Mark Twain quote, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics", I guess they're saying BCRU record keeping is the fourth. The problem seems to originate with the reliability of the online registration system and the interpretation of eligibility when representing your country. I received this from one of the James Bay players:
Tyler Ardron has suited up for 3 games, and the BC rugby union has said that 7s tournaments that took place on game days here count as a game!!! Here is the problem, Tyler played a game in Feb for JBAA and was registered online (new dumb system) but there was something wrong with the system and the registration got messed up on BC Rugby Unions part!!!!! Now a panel consisting of some Burnaby members (Mike James for one) has declined Tyler the opportunity to play in the finals!!!! This just goes to show the consistent lack of professionalism on their part. And you wonder why rugby in Canada isn't improving!!!!!!"
So that's their side of the story. I don't know the BCRU or committee's side of things. If the BCRU or committee would like to explain, please email firstname.lastname@example.org In the end the battle will be decided on the field, and that's why we love rugby.
One final note, John Moonlight is carrying a shoulder injury from the Glasgow 7s and won't be suiting up on Saturday.
After posting the above, we heard from both Mike James and John Lecky, the BCRU President. Their comments below. My reply to them below that. And for extra reading material, the original decisions of the AC (Adjudicative Committee).
from Mike James
Please stop the slander to my name and BLRC on your website regarding JBAA’s frustration in their attempt to play players that have not played more than 3 games in the very long club season.
I think JBAA’s poor understanding or inability to comprehend the rules of competition has brought on their childish on-line behavior.
BLRC has hardly been the darling of BC rugby in the past few seasons- having been punished, fined and points taken away in recent seasons.
Perhaps if JBAA could run 3 full senior teams and a youth development program, they wouldn’t be scrambling to field Victoria based players from the National programs 24 hours before the Final.
I won’t be in Victoria to face any of these accusers in person as I have a family commitment in Kelowna this weekend.
I invite any of the JBAA gents to contact me directly if they have a problem instead of anonymous posts to your site.
from John Lecky
If you are going to quote anonymous players who are critical of the systems that are in place to govern Rugby in B.C….that’s clearly your prerogative.
To provide the forum to caste a Board Member sitting on a committee, who happens to have an affiliation to a club (like we all do!) in the Provincial Finals is cheap at best, and gutless not to put a name to the player’s quote.
Is it surprising we are always searching for quality, invested individuals to assist with growing our sport?
from the Editor
Thanks John, I often grant players and readers anonymity, it encourages debate and brings to light situations that would otherwise not be brought to light. In this case the player wished to remain anonymous. Mike’s name was mentioned as being on the committee, I take it that is true? Also the committee decided against Tyler Ardron playing, I take that is true as well. In that player’s opinion that was the wrong decision, which he’s entitled to say.
I find it interesting that I’ve received two replies, from yourself and Mike, lambasting the letter and the process of going public, but no one has defended the decision. It does bring up the larger question about these committees and their transparency. My recommendation is that committee membership be published right up front from the beginning, the names and club affiliations be made public. There’s an understanding that people have to wear several hats as volunteers in BC Rugby, it’s when that information is kept hidden that it makes people suspicious of the process. As the editor of BCRN I should be able to tell you who is on the various committees, but I can’t because the BCRU keeps that information low key, I haven’t seen it published.
If the committee had made their decision public with the reasons and listed the committee members, this likely wouldn’t have been an issue.
From my reading of these it seems they allowed Connor 3 games played due to national team commitment and November tour but he didn't play any more games so didn't meet 4 games. On Tyler they recognized he played 2 games up to April 19th (he played on the 20th against UVic after the letter) but didn't give him any credit for national team duty.
On a second reading of these decisions, it appears neither player was given credit for national team duty. I had assumed first time that when I read Connor's decision "Although the player was unable to play 3 of the eligible matches due to the November Tour" it inferred they were granting credit for those games. Connor actually played 2 games in the fall which isn't mentioned in the decision, if they had given credit for the November tour, it would bring his total to 5 games.
Even more letters on the Ardron / Braid decision
I am a member of a club that is not even involved in the Premier League, but I have been a keen observer on the sidelines for a number of years. However, I have been previously involved heavily in club rugby as a club president and a member of a league executive and the BCRU Competitions Committee.
I am a regular reader of your website. I also know some of the individuals on the committee that made the decision regarding the Premier men’s final player eligibility.
I totally respect their decision, which is obviously a tough one. The comments submitted to your website by Phil Meyer of James Bay RFC are outrageous. Unfortunately, the ultimate goal of many rugby teams in B.C. is winning, no matter what they have to do to bend or manipulate the rules.
As an aside, if you think I am a Burnaby supporter, you are mistaken. Personally, I would rather see their team lose, but whatever happens, it has to be fair.
Dave Pearcey Douglas RFC/ United RFC
Mark, The AC was aware and agreed that Connor Braid played two JBAA games prior to leaving on the Nov. Canada Tour . I have no idea why that was not written in the statement of facts. Connor played 2 JBAA games and missed 3 games due to National Duty. Tyler played in 3 JBAA games and missed games due to 7s in Hong Kong, Japan and Scotland. Both player's applications were denied by the AC.
Gary Johnston BCRU rep. for JBAA
Rugby in Afghanistan
Talking about deciding the battle on the field, here is a story about rugby's growth in Afghanistan and how organizers are hoping it will replace the attention of youth from picking up guns to picking up rugby balls. It's worth a read.
Apparently the final replacement at the London 7s will be Justin Douglas, nicknamed JDougg. Don't know if that's exactly true, the part about his nickname, but we'll start the trend here anyway. Douglas has played in a number of 7s tournaments this year but was at the U20 camp in Minnesota when he got the call up. He actually scored a crucial try in Canada's U20 victory over the USA on Wednesday. Canada U20 play USA again on Saturday in preparation for the JWRT in Chile. Anyway this is what my sources tell me, and they are never wrong, well hardly ever wrong.
DTH Gets Praised; BC U16 Trial Before BC Finals; Western Washington in Final Four; Jeff Hassler Highlight Reel
posted May 8 2013
DTH GETS PRAISED
Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend says DTH van der Merwe is vital to his side's chances of beating Leinster and reaching their first ever PRO12 final. The 27-year-old Canadian international has been in amongst the tries again this season, and his score against Connacht on Friday took him past Scottish wing Thom Evans' 27-try club record. FULL STORY
U16 7s TRIAL BEFORE BC FINALS
VICTORIA, BC - Head Coach of the BC Elite Youth Sevens program Shane Thompson will be holding a player identification session in Victoria this Saturday for male athletes in the U16 and U15 (born in '97-'98) age grades. The trial will run from 10am-12pm at UVic's Wallace Field, the same venue for the BC Rugby provincial club finals. All U16 players in attendance will have free admission to the finals set for 12pm (Women's Premier), 2:00pm (Men's First Division) and 4:00pm (Men's Premier). FULL STORY
WESTERN WASHINGTON IN COLLEGE DIV 1 FINAL FOUR [ed. Western Washington have a strong BC connection with coaches Adam Roberts and Paul Horne, they played in the Langford 7s last year and against the Velox Academy twice this year.] Western Washington beat Long Beach 39-26 Sunday in Tucson, Ariz. to win the West Region and advance to the Final Four (Men's DI College). Western beat Chico State 47-17 and Long Beach upset host Arizona 22-17 Saturday to advance to the regional final. FULL STORY