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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hurting Wallabies...

After finishing my night shift at work on Saturday morning, I joined some other rugby-mad Los Angelenos at the Springbok Bar and Grill to catch South Africa-Australia. Kickoff was at 8 AM Los Angeles time.

The Springboks went with Goosen as their flyhalf after it seemed clear to many Springbok fans that with Morne Steyn at the helm, the Springboks had become too dependent on his boot and were missing some serious imagination.

In yesterdays game at Loftus in the rare-air of Pretoria, Goosen may not have shined with the boot, but the Springbok attack looked much more fluid and dangerous. Look for Goosen to start for the next game against New Zealand.
Barnes to miss last game in Argentina

The other thing that helped the Springboks out in their decisive 31-8 beat-down of the Wallabies was just good-fashioned physicality. The Wallabies were already missing stars to injury like O'Connor, Pocock, Will Genia and Quade Cooper, but in yesterday's loss, Berrick Barnes ended up in hospital with a punctured lung(I have had that same injury, except in my case, it took getting hit by a car to break my ribs and puncture my lung-yeah, it hurt like hell) from cracked ribs. To rub salt into the Wallaby wounds, Adam Ashley Cooper got knocked out colder than a mackerel after trying to prevent a Springbok try before half time. Robbie Deans has further concerns with Ioane, Samo and Polota-Nau being questionable for the last game in Argentina.
Australia: Gold Medal winning Wheelchair Rugby Squad from  the London Paralympics.

With the Wallaby training room looking like a Kokoda Field Hospital, there is no truth to the rumor that  Wallaby Head Coach Robbie Deans is sending a call out to the Gold Medal Winning Wheelchair Rugby Team from the London Olympics to spell his ailing troops....

If the Wallabies are looking to get healthy in Rosario, they will have a tougher task than anticipated. The Pumas played the Wallabies tough in Australia, and with something to prove in front of the home fans, the wounded Wallabies may end up with a tough day at the office against the Pumas, in what may be Robbie Deans' last game in charge of the Wallabies.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Finding a Rugby-Friendly Bar in LA

Well, I have been here in LA for about 2 1/2 months. I have now found a new rugby home with the Pasadena RFC Old Boys. That was an important step.

The other part of being a rugby fan here in the USA is trying to able to actually WATCH some rugby on TV. On the positive side, I got ATT U-verse, where I can get Fox Soccer +. It gives me access to watch Australian Rugby League, The English League, the former Magner's league, and Heineken Cup matches. On the down side, my system does not allow me to see any Currie Cup, ITM or Rugby Championship(the former Tri Nations, now with Argentina added to the mix)

One of my friends, and fellow season ticket-holder with Chivas USA, Tom Daniels, told me about a place in Van Nuys that is actually called the Springbok Bar and Grill. I had to check this place out. As luck would have it, the Springbok Bar and Grill is located very close to where my wife works. On a Tuesday night where I was actually off work, I met my wife and we went over to the Springbok Bar an Grill.
In front of the Springbok Bar and Grill in Van Nuys, California
The Springbok is run by 3 South African expats who live in LA.  They felt that the marketplace in LA very much needed a rugby-friendly bar that served large amounts of meat products. ://

Granted, it was a Tuesday night, no rugby was showing on their multiple TV's, but the quality of the food was first-rate. I had the Piri-Piri Chicken, and my wife had, I believe they were called Saotsises-grilled skewers of chicken over rice. They were delicious. The quality of the food was beyond most pub food that you run across. We both gave the food very, very high marks.
With all of the South African flags on the outside of the place, and Springbok photos inside, it does not take a lot of imagination to see how crazy this place will get during Springbok and Rugby Championship matches.
With one of the original Springboks...
I was thrilled to find a rugby friendly bar that also has really, really good food. For my rugby friends overseas and back in Minnesota, I think I will be OK out here in LA-LA land.