Fall 2010 Newsletter
Captain Nick Finger
President Sam Power
Ireland Tour 2010 Player Blog
This year, Yale Rugby will be posting daily blog updates detailing our Spring tour to Ireland, which will run from March 5-14. Check back at this page to follow the team and check out our overseas adventures.
Day 6 - March 10th, 2010
Wednesday was a travel day for Yale Rugby. After a hard-fought match against Cambridge for both the A and B sides, the team headed back to London's Stansted Airport for a flight back to Dublin on RyanAir. The team arrived back to their accommodations by around 2:30, and were greeted by Head Coach Jan Pikul, who had just arrived from his trip from America. Although a training session was initially scheduled for the afternoon, it was canceled to allow the team to recover from physical matches the previous day. This did not stop some of the more enterprising Meat Brothers on the trip from getting in a workout in the hostel's common room, much to the amusement of the other guests at the hostel. Most of the team shipped off to bed fairly early in preparation for a good training session the following day at Blackrock College with a member of the Leinster coaching staff.
-Andrew Moir '10
Day 5 - March 9th, 2010
Our day began at 5:45 with a bus ride to the Dublin airport to catch a flight over to Cambridge. Upon arriving in London, we took a bus to Sydney Sussex College where our B side played. Despite not having played a game for the past four months, we played a good game but lost to a much more experienced squad. At the half, Sydney was up by 10 points over the Bulldogs. Early in the second half, Phil Constantinou touched the ball down between the posts after an excellent run which allowed Rob Morse to easily make the kick. The game ended with a score of 22-7. Even though we lost, morale was high as the team left the pitch. Directly after the Sydney game, we walked over to a pitch on the Corpus Christi Grounds to play Cambridge’s select side team. Yale was first on the board when Ryan Vandersloot made a kick for points. However, Cambridge quickly countered with their own kick to make the game 3-3 going into the second half. Throughout the game, Yale’s defense proved to be strong, with hard hits coming from the forwards and tight open field defense by the back line. Forward Patrick Mitchell played an especially hard game, making several solid tackles. Despite a strong defense, Cambridge found a hole in our line near the try zone and the game ended with a score of 10-3. Although Yale lost both their games today, everyone agreed it was some of the best rugby this team has played together. After everyone was showered up, we spent the night out with the Cambridge team who proved to be excellent hosts.
-Mac Hull '13
Day 4 - March 8th, 2010
Today was a pretty good day overall. The main event was a practice in Blackrock with a couple of coaches from the IRFU (Irish Rugby Football Union). The practice was very well structured, helping us work out the kinks in our gameplay after months off of the pitch. They started us out with some warm-up drills, and then spit us into groups and had us play touch. As the practice progressed, they would stop us, have us run a drill that integrated more rugby skills and strategies, and then had us continue our games with the new techniques until we finally had a full-blown full-contact game going. After the coaches left we split up into the backs and forwards and did some position work. After practice we all went into Blackrock for lunch. The majority of us ended up at the Wicked Wolf pub with food from various locations, watching rugby or playing darts. In the end, everyone split up and went back to their respective residences for some rest. In the evening, we all met up at the Shipsey's house for a team meeting, some pizza, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Like I said, a pretty good day overall. Next up: 5am wake-up call for our flight to Cambridge.
-Matt Walker '13
Day 3 - March 7th, 2010
When Rob tasked me with chronicling the day’s events, I took to my assignment with a certain degree of dread - there was no promise of any rugby on the itinerary, it appeared to me that I had been awarded the dubious honor of penciling an uneventful entry into the team journal. But a man wise in the ways of the world once told me, "Appearances may be deceiving." And his words rang so true this glorious Sunday on Yale Rugby's Irish Spring Tour 2010 because it proved to be a Sunday to remember for everyone on the team. The day started off with a trip to the Shipsey residence where the team had agreed to convene before we embarked on our excursion to Wicklow Mountain. This was where the team chanced upon the Shipseys' backyard remodeling efforts and being the generous, energetic lads that we were, we unhesitatingly volunteered our services as a display of our gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Shipsey for their hospitality. The Shipsey backyard quickly became a proving ground for the raw athleticism of the Yale Rugby team as we raced up and down the treacherous slopes, clearing boulders and felling trees with our bare hands. Inspired by the competitive spirit of the Meat Bros, I soon found myself hurling rocks in my bid to outdo my spirited counterparts. After a solid hour of reshaping the landscape of Shipsey’s backyard, we left for Wicklow Mountain in high spirits, thoroughly satisfied with our contributions of the morning. However, our appetite for adventure had clearly not been satiated by that bout of exercise. Even before we could stop to take in the breathtaking sights that Wicklow had to offer, the team was frustrated by our first obstacle, one which came in the form of a fast-flowing river separating us from the starting point of the trekking trail we were about to take. Of course, your everyday tourist would heed the warning sign (which read "DANGER, KEEP AWAY") and find an alternative means of getting to the other side. But under the fearless command of Mr. Power, who essentially was an Irish incarnation of Bear Grylls of "Man vs Wild" fame, we rolled up our pant legs, took off our shoes and opted to brave the wild currents, wading across the river to the awe and amazement of bemused onlookers. Safely on the opposite bank, we then took a further 3 hours to reach the apex of the Wicklow Mountain, a climb which brought us to a dizzying height of 2500 feet. Sitting on the ridge line of the mountain and looking down at the other people below who lacked the physicality we possessed which saw us to the summit, I felt a sense of accomplishment that could only be found in the fraternity I shared with such a fascinatingly meaty team of real men. Standing there, I felt like Yale Rugby truly ruled the world that day. After a tiring day of hiking and a quick spot of touch rugby on the field at the foot of the mountain as we awaited the arrival of the buses to ferry us to our respective homes, we broke off for dinner. The Hostel Boys went off to an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet upon Sam Power’s recommendation, which proved to be the best 12 Euros I’ve spent on tour so far. We came close to bankrupting the restaurant with our incessant orders of Crispy Chicken, Chicken Wings and Chicken Balls (no, it's not what you think it is) and we all left the restaurant drunk on Chinese food and animated conversation. Tired from the excitement of the previous few days, we all returned to the hostel and turned in for the night, physically exhausted but mentally wired for the rugby-related festivities that were to follow in the days ahead.
-Jonathan "Wildman" Au Yong '13
Day 2 - March 6th, 2010
There was no doubt about it. The lush green landscape, the beautiful red-haired people, and the roaming tourist bus named the Paddy Wagon with a pipe-smoking leprechaun as its mascot, let me know that I had arrived in the magical country of Ireland! Our first impression of a native Irishman was our bus driver, Mick O'Patrick, who was nothing short of a rebel rock star, whose rocky marriage led him to live a life that seemed to be filled with drunken nights and frivolous women. However, his charm and quick wit made the ride to our lodgings quite enjoyable and once at our destination he wasn't afraid to let the incoming traffic know how he felt about their honking and their impatience. After a few hours of exploring the surrounding town and some much-needed "R and R," we suited up and traveled over to Shipsey's house. The guys passed some rugby balls around and chatted and we got to witness the elusive child-like side of Moir, as he playfully bounced on Shipsey's trampoline. We then embarked on a short hike up to the top of a hill, behind Shipsey's house, where we were greeted by an awe-inspiring view of all of Dublin and the surrounding ocean. Not long after we had been to a few more scenic vista points and taken group pictures, we began our first practice, which was a mini-tournament of touch. People were slipping on the mud and slick grass left and right, some tempers got heated, some sick tries were made, and several passersby stopped to see the action. The mud on our clothes, the sweat on our backs and the smiles on our faces reminded us why we loved the sport of rugby so much. After a good practice, we ravenously marched to Power's house where we were warmly welcomed and treated like family. We ate our fill of succulent chicken breasts, grilled cheeseburgers, potato salad, mixed salad, lettuce, tomato, red and yellow peppers, and Mr. Power's staple bread, which Mrs. Power said had a lot of "ruffage" in it. Great conversation saturated the air as a rugby match between the London Irish and Leicester filled the TV screen. As the party came to a end, the tired rugby players including myself headed back to their rooms, while the more energized players went off to experience the infamous night life of Ireland. After a greatly appreciated hot shower, I ran into Moir and Will in the lounge of the Hostel. It was in the lounge that we spontaneously paid tribute to our strong and fearless leader Pat Madden - who, unfortunately, was not able to come on tour after suffering a major injury to his knee the night before we left - by staying in and doing homework on a Saturday night while doing 5 sets of 20 pushups and by pouring out an imaginary 40 ounce bottle of protein shake on the floor. As the night comes to a close, I realize I have still have 8 more amazing days to experience Ireland and England and for that I am thankful. Three cheers for Yale Rugby! Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray!
-Alex Porro '13
Day 1 - March 5th, 2010
At 2pm, Yale Rugby assembled in front of Payne Whitney Gymnasium to load the bus and begin our tour to Ireland. Spirits were high, although the absence of our injured captain ameritus, Pat Madden, was certainly palpable. At 8:45pm, Yale Rugby took off from JFK on a flight to Dublin.