Search This Blog

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ablations, Rugby and Bridesmaids...

I am feeling pretty good after my cardiac ablation this past Monday. When I last had the procedure over 5 and a half years ago, my chest felt like it had been worked over with a baseball bat for the better part of a week. At that time I did not have the strength or the wind to make it halfway up my street. This time, I have actually been able to walk the mile around the entire Cooper High School complex across the street from my house. My doctor told me that even though I was on the table for 7 hours getting my heart zapped, the technique and equipment are much, much better now-so as odd as it sounds, it was not as invasive to my body as it was 5 years ago. I still have some spectacular bruising where they had the femoral lines in my groin, but you cannot even see where they had the catheter in my neck. Really-I am feeling better.

Enough about me.

There was a lot of rugby last week. My Metropolis Rugby Club went to South Carolina, and lost a close game to Norfolk RFC, 18-12 in the Division I round of 16. They won the consolation match the next day against Media RFC. Interestingly, in the quarterfinals, Norfolk got beat by Palmer College of Chiropractic-a team Metropolis has defeated twice in the past year. In a side note, Palmer's run to the Semi-finals gave a last-minute stay of execution to a rugby program that was on the chopping block. On the bright side, this means that Metropolis really does belong among the top sides in American Division I rugby. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this past year has been the most successful year ever for the Minneapolis-based club.

In Europe, Guy Noves' men in red and black beat Biarritz in an all French Heineken Cup Final at the Stade de France, Toulouse's record 4th European Crown. Toulouse was the better side on the day in a match that had a great ambiance at the Stade de France. After the match, it was announced that former French international scrum half Jean-Baptiste Ellisalde was going to retire as a player with Toulouse and will join the coaching staff. Guy Noves rested key players the week before in the French Top 14 Semi-finals, sacrificing a chance at a double when his second choice team fell to Perpignan. Toulouse's win in the Heineken Cup final vindicated his decision to go all out for European glory.

The Super 14 final this weekend will have a very South African flavor as the holders, the Blue Bulls will take on the Stormers this weekend, in what should be a fantastic match up with some interesting side stories, as former Blue Bull, and current Springbok winger Bryan Habana will take on his former mates wearing the colors of the team from Cape Town that will be making it's first ever Super 14 Final. The Stormers ground out a win at Newlands against the Waratahs, and the Bulls outscored the Crusaders.

This final will pit the two best fly halves in South Africa in Peter Grant for the Stormers, and Morne Steyn for the Bulls. One area to watch for, is if the Stormers 6 foot 11 second row, Andries Bekker,  can challenge the Bulls for supremacy in the air on the line outs-an area that the Bulls own against most opposition. If Schalk Burger can perform his terrier-like work at the break down, the Stormers just MIGHT have a chance at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto. I just think the Bulls are going to be too much for the team from Cape Town. I think the Bulls will win their 3rd Super 14 title, and second in a row today.

With the English and Magner's League titles on the line this weekend, the match that has my interest is one that I won't be able to see until the highlights are on You Tube: The battle for Le Bouclier de Brennus, the holy graal of French Rugby will be on the line as Perpignan looks to cap off a great season with a second straight French title. Standing in their path will be the Wil E Coyote of French Rugby...yes, I am talking about Clermont Auvergne. The Michelen Men will be in their 4th straight final and 11 th overall. They are THE Bridesmaid in French rugby, never lifting Le Bouclier de Brennus. At the Stade de France today, it will be an army of gold-clad fans from the Auvergne hoping that today will be the day win Clermont will finally trade in their bridesmaid dress for a bride's bouquet.

No comments:

Post a Comment