It HAS been awhile since I have been able to write. A lot has gone down in the past three weeks.
For starters, the Metropolis DIII side defeated Syracuse, NY in the final of USA Rugby DIII National Championships in Glendale, Colorado.http://www.rugbymag.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1147:big-second-half-makes-metropolis-champs&catid=61:mens-dii-clubs&Itemid=234
I remember back in 2007 when Metropolis decided that we should commit to having our second side play a full DIII schedule. As hard as it might be to believe, there were more than a few people with the club who had serious doubts that we could pull it off-that enough players would show up to fill out two full rosters. There were enough votes among club members who were able to see the bigger picture, that having a committed second side would help get people out to practice and retain members. With a DIII title-a first national title for the club-and the DI side making it to the National Sweet 16, this season has been a good sending off for Chad "Augie" Augeson, the head coach, who is stepping down to spend more time with his family. Aussie-born Nate Osborne, who was the player coach for the DIII side, is my bet to take over the top spot from Augie.
The thing that made the DIII victory even sweeter has been the fact that I have actually had a chance to play with quite a few of the guys who played in Colorado. A good number of the squad are guys who have played with the Metropolis A side, but have had to cut back related to work and family commitments. It was great news for my club, and I think it will only help the club recruit more players and attract more sponsorships.
One of the things I stumbled onto in preparation for my trip to Australia and New Zealand in September was a site called http://www.crashpadder.com/ It's a site that helps hook travelers up to rent rooms or apartments while traveling. In my case, I was able to take care of my lodging in Nelson and Wellington, New Zealand. The fact that I can actually "go native" while doing the New Zealand portion of this trip has me really psyched up.
The other things I have been able to do with the trip is that I have been able to get plane tickets for my wife and I to fly from Wellington to Nelson. I wanted to have the experience of taking a ferry from the South to North Island, so I got tickets for my wife and I to take a bus from Nelson to Picton, and then from Picton we will take the ferry across the Cook Strait to Wellington for our last night in New Zealand before we fly back to the USA.
I am also going to look at trying to score tickets to see the Australia-USA game in Wellington. What can I say? I saw 3 games in France 4 years ago, I might as well take in 3 games while we are in Kiwi-Land.
While we are in Australia, we will stay with my aunt in Myrtleford, Victoria. While there, I am planning on taking in a couple of days in Melbourne and at least a couple of days in the area around Sydney. There is so much to see, and we will be working on a limited budget, but I am really excited about getting back to Oz. I was last there 5 years ago, and I was up in Darwin for 10 days. Victoria and New South Wales is just going to be a very different experience.
It's hard to believe that it is almost 2 months before we leave Dallas to start our trip...to be continued.