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Monday, July 6, 2015

Good Bye Buddha the Bulldog

Back in 2006, it was a watersshed year for me: I made it to Australia, I started playing rugby, and I bought my first bulldog. A brindled puppy named Buddha. He was very popular at rugby matches-what can I say, he loved the ladies. He grew up to be 80 pounds of love- a much adored dog every where we went. He was great with my grandson Duncan when he was a baby and toddler back at our house in Minnesota. While I was working as a travel nurse in Texas, Delaware and New Mexico, he was huge piece of mind for my wife.

Well, two weeks ago puppy heaven got a bulldog. Buddha died in his sleep at the age of 9. 

I had to share my favorite picture of him. My wife squeezed a referee jersey on him and put a rugby ball in front of him. 

Buddha just loved my grandson Duncan..and it was pretty mutual.
RIP big guy...
Buddha the Bulldog back in 2012

Monday, February 16, 2015

2015 Vegas 7's: Flying Fiji Wins it with Style Points.

My buddy Tom and I made it in the Las Vegas on Friday afternoon, so we missed the Friday Matches, but we got a good start on Saturday to get over to catch the action. In the earlier round games, the Fijiians were flying high and looking unstoppable.
Fiji was head and shoulders above everybody in Las Vegas.
Canada and New Zealand both looked like they might have something to say as well, but the host country Americans played some really good rugby to draw 19-19 with South Africa, combined with two earlier wins, it set up a quarterfinal on Saturday night against the Auld Enemy from the North.
The Blitzbokke eating Fijian Dust...
Canada has kind of owned the USA in Sevens the last couple of years, so imagine the surprise when the US took advantage of two early scores against the Canucks, but they did not let their foot off the gas pedal in a 20-0 win, which set up the Sunday semifinals of Fiji-South Africa and New Zealand against the surprising Yanks.  Fiji dominate South Africa and New Zealand came back from a 5-0 deficit to storm past the USA, 26-12. South Africa played with a great deal of intensity and purpose to teach the Americans a lesson 31-0.
South Africa scores against the USA.

This meant that Fiji and New Zealand, two rugby rich countries in the sevens game, yet had never won the USA leg of the Sevens Series, would face off in the final. Fiji showed the power, pace and crowd pleasing panache in taking a large lead over the Kiwis. New Zealand
New Zealand Scores against the USA in the Semifinals.
would score a couple of late tries to make the score, 35-19-but this game was never in doubt to the fans of Fiji, who showed in very large and vocal number to wave the flag for their winning side.
Fiji fans rejoice!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Off to the Vegas Sevens....

My buddy Tom Daniels and I all set with our Kilts for the Vegas  Sevens...
I initially was not going to go this year's Vegas 7's because my wife and I really need to save money for our trip to the UK for touring Scotland and catching Scotland and Samoa play each other at St. James' Park in Newcastle, England. Then word came that the North American leg of the Sevens tour will move next year from Las Vegas to Vancouver, British Columbia. After talking this over with my buddy Tom, we decided that we had to make it to Las Vegas for one last time to see the Sevens series, which is about a 4 hour drive from where I live in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Six Nations 2015: Last Dress Rehearsal for England Before RWC 2015...

I Made it to the Temple of English Rugby back in 2012
Ok, I admit it, I am really up for this year's 6 Nations-The final big dress rehearsal before the Rugby World Cup to be played in England later this September and October. Ireland played very well during the November internationals, with wins against South Africa and Australia.  France, Wales and England were very up and down during their matches. Scotland showed improvement under the direction of former ASM Clermont coach Vern Cotter. Italy, seems to be like a Fiat stuck in reverse.

Let the games begin....
Can this 2015 England side live up to the legacy of the 2003 Rugby World Cup Champs?