What a Ruckin’ Weekend!

Fans in the United States do not get to enjoy the great game of rugby to the level that fans overseas do very often, but this past weekend was a rarity within the continental United States.

If you wanted to see some of the best in the world play you could, thanks to the Churchill Cup. If you wanted to watch some of the best young talent within the collegiate ranks you could (and on NBC at that). If you wanted to watch some of the best in amateur rugby in the United States as well you could.

In short, this past weekend rocked.

Photo by Steve Crecilius

Those that were fortunate enough to be in the Glendale are were able to enjoy the international matches at Infinity Park Saturday as the Churchill Cup kicked off its seventh annual competition. Team Canada got off to a quick start against Uruguay in the opening match, easily dominating the game en route to a 48 to 6 win.

The U.S. match against Russia started off much more competitive. Mistakes by the U.S. allowed the Russian team to get out to a 5-0 lead early. By the end of the half the lead would end up changing hands a few times with Russia going into the half up by one, 15-14. The U.S would come back out with an incredibly strong second half and would end running away with the game 39-22.

When fans in Colorado were not enjoying the international matches there were a whole bunch of top notch matches from the best men’s club teams from around the country. Between the three different divisions there were so many matches that I am just going to talk about the winners here. After many exciting matches there would be three new champions crowned by the end of the day on Sunday. Those winners were:

Division III Champion: Cedar Rapids (OMBC); defeated St. Louis Royals 28-14

Division II Champion: Tampa Krewe; defeated Doylestown 29-17

Division I Champion: Las Vegas; defeated last year’s runner up 36-22

With so many great matches there is no way I could really give you a proper overview in the space I have. BUT if you want to here and even see more you can go to this link for much more on every match, including links to download the games.

If you could not be in Colorado you were not out of luck. The brilliant execs at NBC decided to televise the Collegiate National Sevens Tournament on Saturday and Sunday for two hours each day.

I have to say I was a little apprehensive at first. Earlier in the year the USA Rugby Sevens Tournament in Las Vegas was on national television; it was disappointing to say the least. They made to broadcast for people that knew nothing about the game, which is most of the audience in the United States. However, they forgot one thing- they did not show very much rugby.

NBC did it right though and showed most of the matches that they did televise. Now I can’t talk about the winner here because I have yet to watch Sunday’s competition; got it on the DVR. I can say without a doubt that the fans won with such a well-done broadcast. Hopefully it will not be the last competition that we see on NBC.

Beer: Tread Lightly Ale from the good people at the New Planet Brewing Company in Boulder, CO- with the U.S. Rugby team doing so well it only seemed appropriate that a beer with a name so similar to an iconic American phrase (Don’t Tread on Me) be chosen.

Tread Lightly Ale is what a beer for the new millennium should be like. With 5% ABV, it is not so strong that it will get you too drunk too quick, but it will also help dull the aches and pains of the day after a few. This beer is also probably the healthiest beer made. Made with fermented sorghum corn, orange peel, hops and yeast, this beer is actually a low calorie, healthy alternative to the average beer, Yes, I said healthy!

While it is light and easy to drink, it is not the best tasting beer in the world either. If you like your average domestic, you’ll like this beer. If you’re accustomed to beer with a better body, flavor, and aroma then you may be better off with another beer.

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