By Trevor Cassidy
So the Villagers are a third of the way though the South African season and things are getting a little rough on the field. We're playing well enough but just can’t seem to score the necessary tries or cut out the killer mistakes. But even in defeat we are gaining bonus points for tries or narrow losses, so we’re fighting well. The wins will come.
Take moment to read how Trevor’s South African adventure started in An American Rugby Player in South Africa
We're also facing a common problem I’ve experienced with other teams in the past: dropping our level of play against lesser teams while playing better rugby against the better teams. It costs us when we drop our levels against the lesser teams as we end up playing their style of rugby at which, obviously, they are better.
It’s tough to try to find that balance on the field. On the positive side of it all though, off the field there are no rifts forming which is always good. I’ve often seen struggling teams implode and destroy the entire club atmosphere. Luckily, it’s not happening here at all, everyone here still has a good attitude in regard to the rest of the team and the second half of the season.
Personally I’ve been battling some persistent injuries as well as breaking my nose 2 weeks ago. A fellow teammate and I made the same tackle and I came off second best when his head hit my face. Never broken it before and let me tell you it’s not pleasant. I did play the following week but had to wear a protective mask (like the one Imanol Harinordoquy wore last year) that was pretty restrictive to say the least. Couldn’t really see very well and my nose bled as soon as it was touched, so after that breathing was very limited.
The club here has been pretty busy during the day over the past 2 weeks. We've had the Waratahs training here after they played the Stormers, so I got to meet Rocky Elsom and Adam Ashley-Cooper which was pretty cool. I also got a chance to acquire some kit from them, even though I’m a Reds fan it’s still awesome to get some pro kit!
Currently New Zealand U-20's are here training twice a day during the IRB U-20 World Championship. It’s been interesting to watch them training and how they’re conducting it. The level of these teenagers is better than some premier teams here and the size of them is unreal! It’s a true testament of the system in place in NZ and how they groom their talent there.
It’s sad to see there no representation from the USA, hopefully they will be able to make it up a division soon. I am sure that it would be a boost to the USA rugby nation to have a team competing in this regularly.
We have a busy time coming up, five games in five weeks – often in this league you get a break every three weeks or so, but this is a tough run. By the end of it, we’ll have a good idea of the challenge for the final part of the season: whether we are battling relegation or knocking at the door of the top half. And at the end of it we also have a long long break, nearly a month off.
See you at the end of June!
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