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HSAA Sweep Based on Trust, Unity

National Teams

HSAA Sweep Based on Trust, Unity

It's game time, and everyone needs to be playing together. The HS All Americans proved they could do that. Allison Bradfield photo.

Getting a disparate group of rugby players on the same page in a couple of days and playing a group that’s been training together for a little bit longer is always tough - but the High School All Americans certainly succeeded.

Photos by Allison Bradfield.
HSAA tour of Ontario 2016. Allison Bradfield.
Ruben de Haas goes over for a try.
HSAA tour of Ontario 2016. Allison Bradfield.
Luke Bienstock.
HSAA tour of Ontario 2016. Allison Bradfield.
Kreem Odeh.

It was all about ego and putting team first.

“All of the players are guys used to be one of the best on their teams,” said prop Kareem Odeh (Brunswick, Ohio), who was outstanding in both games. “The biggest thing for us is not to be the guy who does everything. You have to trust one another. You’ve got to trust the other guys to make the tackle or hit that ruck, because they will do it.”

“Going into the first game I thought we came together as a team very well for a bunch of guys who had never played together before,” added Luke Bienstock (Greenwich, Conn.). “Defensively we had a lot to improve on going into the second game and I think our physicality and structure really improved.”

Scrumhalf Ruben de Haas agreed that unity had a lot to do with the two-game sweep (27-12 and 38-5), and he knew who to credit: “thanks to the coaches we came together very well on this tour,” said de Haas.

“The series allowed us to compare ourselves to international competition and see how well we're playing and what we have to improve on,” added Bienstock. “It was great to get the chance to play against Ontario, because we got to train in an elite environment where the quality of coaching and play is so high. It felt good going 2-0 because of all the hard work we put in this week and the way we were able to come together and connect as a team.”