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Why Football Players Should Play Rugby

Why Should Football Players Play Rugby in the Spring!!

Of course we in the Rugby community think it is the greatest of team sports.  We are clearly biased.  Here’s why, as a football player, you should use Rugby as your Spring athletic activity:

Ball handling skills – The rugby ball is generally the same shape as a football.  Every practice session and game will give you multiple opportunities to pass and catch the ball, because….

In rugby, (offensive lineman and defensive players take note) EVERY player gets to run with the ball.  On the football field, this will help you to be more secure in ball carrying and contact situations.

Evasive running - As a ball carrier in rugby, you will be challenged to evade would be tacklers and be given plenty of opportunities to attempt to break tackles.

Hone your tackling skills - Conversely, you will get plenty of practice making close quarter and open field tackles.  See below for details on how the coaching and officiating of rugby makes the tackle situation as safe as possible.

Outstanding conditioning – High school games consist of two 35 minutes halves of near continuous play.  No huddles.  Games are challenging.  So are practices to get you ready to play the game well.  This will get you in remarkable shape for your summer football camp.  Far better than any other spring sport.  According to former Hersey All-Conference Two-Way lineman Spencer Krueger, “Rugby 100% improved my conditioning for football as well as improving my tackling technique.”

Driving an opponent backward – This is an important aspect of both football and rugby.  It’s one reason football players adapt quickly and perform well in rugby and an why football players improve after a season or two of rugby.

It’s competitive – Teamwork, discipline and performance in pressurized situations characterize both sports.  Any ambitious athlete should be looking for any opportunity to develop these character traits.

Click here to hear from a high school football program that benefited greatly from relationship of these two great sports:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWMXvfcs3CM 

Become a successful multi-sport athlete - Some of the most successful college football coaches recognize the benefit of playing multiple sports, Nick Saban of Alabama and Urban Meyer of Ohio State to name just two: http://footballscoop.com/news/value-multi-sport-athletes-hs-coaches-share-players

And you can play rugby in college!  Stallions Alumni have gone on to play at these colleges/universities: Ohio State, Illinois, Purdue, Iowa, Colorado, St. Mary’s (CA), Illinois State, Wisconsin, Louisville, Davenport, Washington (St. Louis), Charleston, Western Illinois, Northern Illinois, Lake Forest and Wisconsin/Platteville.

Sign-Up Day for the 2019 Spring season in January 12 at Camelot Park in Arlington Heights from 9 AM to Noon.  Indoor practice starts on January 13th.  Call or text 847-845-4982 if you have any questions.

Contact Safety in Rugby

RUGBY IS NOT FOOTBALL WITHOUT PADS

In 1823, during a soccer match at the Rugby School in England, William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran with it toward his opponent’s goal.  Little did he know that he was about to invent a new sport, Rugby, which would be played around the world and eventually morph into American Football…And little did he know that he was going to get tackled!

History is just a small connection these sports share.  Reality is that there are numerous and significant differences, not the least of which are the tackling techniques utilized in American Football and Rugby.

We frequently hear the cliché “Rugby is just football without pads”.  This is usually attached to further statements about the level of sanity of those who have taken up our great sport.

There is no debate about the contact nature of rugby.  The coaching and officiating of the fundamental elements of the game have served to minimize the risk of injury.  It is not the mayhem the novice observer perceives.  Here is a summary of these elements:

Head-to-Side tackling technique – The primary core skill in granting a rugby coach certification is his/her ability to teach this skill.  The tackler leads with the shoulder with the head directed to the ball carrier;s side and behind the hip, thus taking the head out of harm’s way.

Shoulder drive and arm wrap -  The tackler is not allowed to “cross body block” to make the tackle.  The arms must wrap the ball carrier to complete the tackle which requires a shoulder and leg drive to be effective.

Legislation of high tackles – Tackling a ball carrier above the upper chest is penalized.  Blatant and/or repeated will lead to the guilty party being removed from the match.

Continuity of play – The continuous nature of play in rugby (no huddles) induces a level of fatigue that reduces the speed of players engagement in tackle situations.

Dump tackling is illegal – Picking up and “dumping” the ball carrier is illegal and punished as severly as above the shoulder contact.

No off-the-ball contact – There is no blocking or contact away from the ball carrier.  Therefore, there are no blind hits, away from the play, on an unsuspecting player.

Despite these differences, there are similarities and carryover skills and activities that make American Football and Rugby a great combination for the contact sport athlete.

Look for future articles:  The Scrum is Not a Mess, How Rugby Improves the Football Athlete and Football, Wrestling and Rugby: A Combination for Success

Coach Bergman's Summer Message

Looking back, I know that I speak on behalf of our entire coaching staff when I say that the last two months demonstrated all that is good about our great rugby club.  1) Our middle school U14 side played themselves into second place in the Rugby Illinois State Championship, 2) Our tireless Social Committee put on another fantastic Awards Dinner; 3) We had our largest group ever (>70) march in the Arlington Hts. July 4th Parade; 4) Our entire club pulled together and ran the best Seven's State Championship in the history of Rugby Illinois; 5) Stallions Alum Spencer Krueger is playing great on Senior New Zealand club Marist Albion and 6) Alums Kevin Lydon and Andrew Collins led our HS Sevens squad to its fourth State Championship in five years.

THANK YOU to all who made this happen.  The players have heard me say numerous times that "a team gets what it collectively deserves".  Our club's sole purpose is not to just win games and/or championships.  It is however, our measuring stick and what we strive to achieve...by doing things right!  It is without arrogance that I say that the minutes of celebration we enjoyed at Melas Park when the Championship was secured was well earned by our entire organization.

Being able to wach our sevens side from the end zone demonstrated the brilliance of Kevin's plan and the discipline of our players to execute it consistently.  That discipline and the courage of all of our players to play through the discomfort of partially recovered injuries and to consistently tackle larger players was an inspiration.

Looking forward, our work toward a successful 2018/2019 has already begun.  The staff is planning our teams' training programs. Our players need to reflect on their individual ability to live up to the Stallions Players Core Values and focus on making improvements in their personal self-management to live up to those values.  Parents need to reinforce with their players the importance of these values, particularly in the context of being great teammates.

RECRUITING: This is 24/7/365!  If you have contact with any family in which a call from one of our coaches will help, let us know right away.  Share Facebook posts from the Stallions or Coach Bergman with your Friends to get the word out.  Friend Coach Bergman on Facebook as he only uses this for rugby news.  We will be scheduling a meeting in the next few weeks to specifically discuss recruiting initiatives.  Please make that meeting with ideas to help us get our membership to a level where we can field full sides at the five levels of competition within Rugby Illinois.

Finally, Good Luck and Thank You  to our graduated Seniors and their families.  Your contribution has helped make the rugby experience positive for all of our members.  We will certainly miss you and look forward to hearing news of your future endeavors.

Post-Script: Players Core Values: 1) Be There, 2) Do the Work, 3) Care About Quality and 4) Be Great Teammates.

 

 

 

 

Letter from Spencer Krueger

Stallions Family: Here's a note from Alum (Hersey, 2016) Spencer Krueger, who is currently in New Zealand participating in a high performance academy with the Canterbury Crusaders.

Hello all,

I cannot believe that I have already been down here for a month, the time is flying past. When I first arrived and started the camp I thought that they were going to tell me to forget everything that I had previously known and teach me to do everything a different way.This couldn't have been further from the truth . While they are showing me new ways and techniques to do things, the real way they do things down here is practice the little things over and over again until its perfect.

While our main coach is Grant Keenan (former Black Ferns coach), we have guest coaches come in who coach the under 19 and under 21 Canterbury provincial team. In addition to this I am able to watch the Crusaders practice and often times do the same drills that I am doing Now that the All Blacks are finished with their series with France, people like Owen Franks and Kieran Reed are back with the Crusaders, so I am very excited to see how they train and possibly meet them.

Club matches are going great and I have played 3 full games since arriving. I did not play this past weekend due to a strained abdomen but expect that I will be back next week. The boys however pulled out a big win over Burnside (our huge rival but no could tell me why, just that they hate them) and we take on a tough Shirley side next weekend who have a Number 8 that also plays professionally in Japan, so it should be an excellent game.

I will continue to send updates on Facebook,

Spencer Krueger

Path to the Eagles

Here is a link to a very good description of USA Rugby's plan to move our best players into National Team programs.  If you want to know what the requirements are for players who aspire to this level of play, live up to their Golden Truths outlined on the first pagfe of the document.  https://assets.usarugby.org/docs/eagles-roadmap.pdf

Best Directions to Dan Ryan Woods

The best way to get to the 9/16 match against the South Side Irish: Take I-294 south to 95th St.  Exit on the 95th St. EAST exit. Take 95th east to Southwest Highway and turn left. Take Southwest Highway until 87th street and turn right. Take 87th street east until Western Ave. and turn left. The park entrance is then about two blocks north of 87th on th right (east) side of the street.  Address is 8500 S. Western Ave., Chicago, 60620. Please give yourself at least 1 hour, 15 minutes for this trip.

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Arlington Stallions Rugby Club Coach Bergman Coach Bergman

Arlington Stallions Rugby Club Coach Pateras Coach Pateras

Arlington Stallions Rugby Club Coach Pateras Nick Tojaga

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