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EIRA U17s - All About the Experience

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EIRA U17s - All About the Experience

Photo by Dan Bandoni.

After the Eagle Impact Rugby Academy U17s hammered the British Columbia U17s 58-17 Wednesday and look for a repeat performance at the campus UBC on Saturday.

Or maybe better than a repeat. Players and coaches quickly pointed to things they’d like to do better.

“In the first half we played a little slow,” said Jesuit (Sacramento) flanker Garrett Kay. “We want to play fast and then bust it up the middle. We started to do that better.”

You’d not know if from the video. The EIRA team looked pretty quick and attacked whenever there was a sniff of an opportunity. Because they have been adhering to the ever-more-stringent fitness and strength requirements put in by EIRA program directors, they have confidence that if they get hit as they catch a ball, they can handle it. As a result, they concentrate on catching the ball first, and then worrying about the next move, and there are fewer dropped balls, and more attacking movements become tries.

For more on Eagle Impact Rugby Academy go here.

“The defenses can drift so the coaches said, make a hard line and you’ll make breaks, so I just tried to run some straight lines,” said Chuckanut (Wash.) center Jack Wendling, who partnered nicely with Santa Monica’s Quinn Perry in the centers. “And the thing is, when you make a line break, these teammates have the drive to support and know what to do and call for it deep or shallow. They are there and they communicate.”

So it comes down to getting on the same page quickly, and that’s what the players spoke about more than anything else. While players have a good reason to say they are on the EIRA U17s in order to make the HS All Americans, or play in college, that’s not what they talk about. They talk about the teamwork.

“The camaraderie is there and it’s there really quickly,” said Kay. “We bond so well so quickly. For me, the friendships on EIRA are amazing. We all want to play the best rugby we can play, and being here is all about the experience.”

“I play for the people on this team,” added Wendling. “We bond so quickly, and we did at the camps as well. I talk to the guys I was in camp with all  throughout the year. You put that together and the you get phenomenal coaching, it’s special.”

See full video of the U17s v BC U17s here.