Rugby, the Lows and the Highs.

Following on from the last update on rugby, we have finally played that rescheduled game.

The First half – The Grueling Reality

It kicked off like most games, slow and steady. the opposition scored a try and converted and that moment changed the game. Our own game became rushed and intense. I don’t mind high intensity games but I dislike rushed games because they create more risk. You end up playing yourself into rucks, narrow defenses and then you begin conceding points. The opposition came under pressure in their own 22 metre zone, they got frustrated at our efforts to disrupt the breakdown thanks to our forwards. The opposition started to scream into the referees face which resulted in that player receiving a yellow card. Either at that same moment or two short minutes later, another player was yellow carded. That meant we had 15 players and they had 13. You’d naturally assume we would gain the upper hand and score a number of tries or at least kick over a few points. It was not to be. We did score a well worked try, this was manufactured after we were awarded a penalty on the left side and we kicked down the line into touch to take a lineout 10 metres from the oppositions line. Our forwards retained possession and formed a rampaging maul and pushed over the line, Try scored! The opposition scored more points in the 10 minutes they had 2 players off than we did. Just at the end of the first half we had a penalty right in front of the posts, to which we tapped the penalty and tried to drive our way over to no joy (we actually did down the ball over the line but the referees perspective was of course different to our perspective).

The Second Half – The Desire not to Lose as opposed to the Desire to win

The second half kicked off and we played a rushed game as opposed to the plan we agreed at half time. Conceding two tries with the 40th and 55th minute. After conceding two tries our heads were down. They were leading 35-7. A few changes were made due to injury and tiredness. We began to organise ourselves and play a bit more riskier. This paid off, it lead to a lot of gain line success and meters made. A number of pressure relieving kicks forced the opposition to play out of their 22 metre zone resulting in an intercept try (35-14). Continuing to keep the pressure on in the oppositions 5 metre zone this lead to another 2 tries, one came from a beautiful line break and an under hand offload which passed through the hands of an opposition player and landed in the hands of our player who made the last 5 metres to score a try (35-21). The second came from a crash ball with a good leg drive, our player found space and got over the line to score (35-28). Again, after being awarded a number of penalties, we tapped the penalty (10 minutes remained) and went for the try. It took roughly 4 minutes to force our way over the line (35-33), it was out wide on the left, meaning a pressured kick, the opposition rushed our kicker early as he moved forward and kicked…….. and missed, resulting in a retake. Was it to be second time lucky? The kicker sets himself, moves forward with no pressure from any opposition players trying to run and block him down…. its a miss. That 4 minutes of play really took it’s toll on the team. The score was now 35-33 and with 4 minutes left on the clock we would have to force our way up the pitch to try and win with a try or force a penalty for a draw. We came under a lot of pressure because of a number of mistakes. Not catching the ball from the dropout and knocking it forward and a number of penalties inside our 22 metre zone. We managed to hold them out in the last 3 minutes. The last play of the game, scrum awarded to us on our own 5 metre line. What were we to do now? the backs were saying they were tired the forwards were also tired after taken more than enough carries into contact to beat the average. There was an agreement on the pitch that the team would run it out. Sure it was only 95  metres to the oppositions try line. It was a case of lose or win big. The ball came out of the scrum and was passed right to the fly half who out the inside center on a crash ball. The center took it into contact beating a number of players, a quick clean ruck followed, fast ball was now made available, the ball was flung out to the fly half who passed to the outside center, he made a number of yards which was made available by the previous skip pass, the center then passed to the full back who took on the opposition on the outside (the mistake was made when the center thought the full back had more gas than him). A covering player came steaming from the left side of the pitch to make a covering tackle. Our player just remaining short of the touch line, we had one support player with him who went into the ruck, suddenly a trailing offside opposition player went to the side of the ruck and kicked the ball into touch. That action which was deemed legal at that moment meant the end of the game. The final whistle blew, the final score 35-33 to the opposition.

What was set to be a trashing in the first half turned  out to be a heroic fight back to just fall short. The comeback was a win in itself but we all know, the feeling of losing is always triumphant in the mind of a sportsperson. At least for the short term.

Where I Stand.

OK, so I’ve been busy lately. Let me recap.


In rugby, we’ve been venturing on. The number of people at training has plateaued to 6 (if you include me). We’ve had 2 games scheduled since my last post. Game one was a loss by 1 point. Our discipline was very good for the first 30 minutes with only conceding a low single digit penalty count. The balance of the game dramatically shifted to them in the second half. This was down to our failure to exit our 22 metre red zone which resulted in tiredness, which had a knock on effect in terms of our attitude. This was compounded by the unbalanced refereeing calls. The crucial penalty which ended the game was awarded about 15 metres from our try line. The opposition took this penalty quickly (albeit no were near the referee and he was the mark) this lead to the final try of the game. The score at this moment was 17-16 to us. We had lead the entire game until that point. They kicked over the conversion and won 18-17. The referee had the score 15-14 in his book, so he calculated it wrong. The penalty count in the first half was a ratio of 2:1. They conceded 2 penalties for everyone 1 penalty we conceded and we ended up with a man in the sin bin on the 75 minutes. This unbalanced refereeing has always affected our club and it does play on the minds of our members, that is unfair and is creating a volatile atmosphere between ourselves and the referees which we are working very hard on our end to eliminate.

As a team must, we regrouped for our next Friday night away game. Most members met in our club early to travel as a group, some traveled directly to the away venue. While we were en route we received a call (75 minutes before kick off) informing us that the game has been cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch. It had been raining all day and I had assumed that morning it was to be called off but they failed to inform us in advance and relied on making a late decision. This seems like a minor thing but when some people ask their employers to leave early or take time off from work, college or family to play and the game is called off in the last moments, that is not acceptable. We returned to the club packed away the equipment and settled for a beer while watching Connacht Rugby play on TV.



My last update on college was centered around my work on temporary accommodation. I am still focused on this subject and I am building more structures in college along with some projection ideas. It’s all getting very close now as I have my Degree Exhibition on June 7th. Essentially I have 3 months to formulate, develop and exhibit.

Everything Else

I am currently looking ta volunteering with/through EVS (European Voluntary Service) after I complete college and officially graduate. Where will I go? what type of organisation will I work with? How long will it last for? all of these questions are currently in the process of being answered but will take some time.

Before that, I am looking to try and get away for a weekend, nothing has happened yet as I am also trying to get a couple of friends to also go but when you try organise something  with others it can be very difficult.

Currently reading ‘M Train by Patti Smith’. I just started this last night. After chapter one I am now interested so I will continue to read it. This is difficult because when I get home from College, Ruby, the gym or other things I do, I do be exhausted and find it difficult to find the time to read but I am prioritising it now so I hope to finish this book by the end of the week.

I’ll update next week. Thank you for reading.

I’m now a Rugby Coach.

I began to coach a rugby team in Dublin, Ireland. I’ve been doing it since July 2015, when we began pre-season (mostly fitness and circuit training). It is the most rewarding and most stressful thing I’ve done.

I’ve learned to plan productive training sessions and pregame warm ups. The toughest thing is team selection. Who starts the game? who do you sub off and sub on? who misses out altogether? I’ve learned that subbing people on or off for the sake of it is stupid rugby. It is probably only necessary when you are losing by a lot or winning by a lot. I make substitutions based on who is tired, who’s under performing or having a bad day or maybe the player on the bench has something different that he can bring to the game and the player coming off just doesn’t.

The toughest thing to deal with as a coach is trying to get players and club members to buy into the team, its philosophy and the family that is created from that. How does one increase player commitment ? is that possible for a coach to do ? Is it ‘build it and they shall come’ thinking? how do you get players and members to physically and emotionally invest in a team so that they commit the necessary time, where losing a game hurts and winning a game is the single greatest thing in that moment.

I’ve more questions than answers at this point but as I continue to coach I continue to learn and understand, not only the game that is rugby but also I get an understanding of player thinking, their situation in life and how the club can fit into that and also help it when it can.

My plan is to update this blog weekly on our progress,

Thanks for reading.

Current Workout Plan

Back – (Tu) Weighted Pull-ups, (F)Bent over row
Biceps – (M) Weighted Chin-ups, (Th) curls
Calves – (M) Dumbbell Calf Raises, (Th) Barbell Calf Raises,
(Th) Seated Calf Raises
Chest – (Tu) Weighted Chest Dip, (F) Bench Press
Hamstrings – (Tu) Leg Curls, (F) Stiff Legged Deadlifts
Quadriceps – (Tu) Barbell Squats , (F) Barbell Lunges
Shoulders – (M) Barbell Military Press, (Th) Front Raises,
(M) (Th) Lateral Dumbbell Raise, (Th) Rear Delt Row
Traps – (Tu) (F) Barbell Shrugs
Triceps , (M) Close grip bench press, (Th) Standing Barbell Tricep Extension

Sets/Reps = 5 Reps/5 Sets
Split over 4 days
Rest ~ 90 seconds between sets.
~ 3 minutes between exercises.

(M) Monday , (Tu) Tuesday, (Th) Thursday, (F) Friday