All Blues vs. ORSU (9/9/2017)

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This past Saturday, the All Blues took on Portland's ORSU at home. The match was hosted by the wonderful San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club on Treasure Island. Kickoff was at 12PM, and conditions were much more favorable over the previous weekend, with a high of 75F and a forecast of partly cloudy skies. 

The game started a little slow for the All Blues, with ORSU scoring their first try within the first 5 minutes (no conversion). As the first quarter of the game continued, it was concentrated mostly on the home side of the field, leaving the All Blues on the defensive. A second try by ORSU was held up by the home team at the 10 minute mark, and the All Blues continued to try to fight back. Unfortunately, at 17 minutes, the All Blues succumbed to a second try by ORSU (still no conversion). Trailing behind 10 to 0, a great change of pace was made as number 6, Christina Ramos, took a 60-meter run for the first try of the afternoon for the All Blues. Shortly after, a second try for the All Blues was made by number 10, Bulou Mataitoga, ending the first half with a great deal of momentum for the home team.

As the second half began, the game was tied, 10 to 10, with no conversions made on either side. After the kickoff, it was clear that there had been a change in the direction of the game. Within minutes, Flyhalf Mataitoga ran in a third try for the All Blues (no conversion), her second of the day. This was followed immediately by two quick back-to-back tries for the All Blues. The first of these was touched down by number 8, Delaney Chapman, a former San Francisco Golden Gate player. It was converted by number 15, Sam Miller. A quick fifth try was run in after by the forward pack, including number 7, Cassandra "Tard" Tong, and touched down by number 3, Allie Byrne (no conversion). Ahead by 17, the All Blues continued to play hard against ORSU. A great run by Mataitoga with an offload to number 21, Emma Harbidge, scored the seventh and final try of the match for the All Blues.

The game ended with a final score of 32 to 10 for the All Blues. Particularly outstanding performances were made by number 8 (Delaney Chapman) and number 10 (Bulou Mataitoga).

Written by Elena Cuadros

Building Greatness from the Inside Out

A Short Interview with Head Coach Theo Bennett

Theo Bennett. Image courtesy of http://pioneiro.clicrbs.com.br/

Theo Bennett. Image courtesy of http://pioneiro.clicrbs.com.br/

As the All Blues begin the 2017 WPL season, we are excited to welcome new head coach Theo Bennett. Hailing from New Zealand originally, Theo has coached in several countries including New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Kenya, and of course the US. The thing that has stayed consistent since the beginning of his career in 1994 however is the desire to build organizations that foster continuous player development and sustainable pathways towards greatness.

Theo started his career as a player in the wings, but his coaches quickly realized that his rugby mind and athletic potential demanded a leadership role. Step by step he moved inward until he became a flyhalf. His playing career was cut short by an injury before he had reached his full potential. The University he was playing for (on scholarship) had already invested a great deal of time and effort developing Theo into the player he was. Rather than giving up on his playing career Theo pivoted away from the inward journey of developing himself as a player and towards the outward journey of coaching others at the young age of 21. Since then his life has been dedicated to spreading the game of rugby, fostering and mentoring young players, and developing organizations that can lead to the continued growth of the global game.

One might think that the best coaching engagements might be the ones where individual and team glory was achieved. Rugby players are all fundamentally competitive individuals seeking to achieve personal and collective greatness through team sports. After over 20 years of coaching, Theo has seen a broad cross section of the global rugby community. When asked about his favorite coaching engagements throughout this long career he did not pinpoint the team that had the most wins, or the team that had the most epic sports-movie comeback. Instead he points to the teams which had the greatest people.

“It all depends on the people. Any geographical location is someplace you can love or hate based on whether or not you feel welcome or feel good. [...] Wherever the team is that I feel most comfortable is where I love coaching. It’s all about the people.”

It is no secret that the All Blues are one of the the most decorated women’s rugby clubs in the nation. Over its almost 40 year history the club has accumulated numerous national championships and produced a plethora of international caliber players. But like so much else these days, the way that women’s club rugby is played in the US is changing fast. The game is changing and the All Blues must change with it. In order to build the club outwards, the club must first look inwards to get to the core of who the All Blues are.

“We need to find out where we are invested. Not financially, but emotionally. Who drives that?”

We must reassess what is that the All Blues represent and get down to the foundation of what we has always made this club great. Namely: the people. Theo Bennett is poised to work through this process and build greatness from the inside out.

Authored by Dot Mittow

All Blues WPL Coach Search

The Berkeley All Blues Women’s Rugby Club is currently seeking a Head Coach for our WPL season beginning mid-August through Women’s Premier League Nationals in mid-November 2017. The ideal candidate is committed to working with elite, senior-level female athletes to build and maintain a championship-level team.

The Team

Founded in 1978, the Berkeley All Blues are one of the country’s top women’s rugby teams. The Club has won a combined total of 15 National Championships in both 15’s and 7’s rugby. The All Blues team consists of approximately 40 women dedicated to the Club and the sport of rugby. The Club welcomes athletes of all levels and current players range from elite to novice in experience. The Club currently participates in a competitive WPL season, a competitive and developmental 7s season, and a developmental D2 season. Several players regularly compete on the Women’s National Team. The emphasis of fall season is to compete at the highest level in the Women’s Premier League with the aim to secure another National Championship.

Key Responsibilities

  • Attending all home and away matches for WPL and B Side, and Nationals (mid-November; Tempe, AZ).
  • Evaluation of all members of the Team and determination of rosters for both a competitive Women’s Premiership League team (“WPL Side”) and a developmental team (“B Side”).
  • Development and refinement of game strategies for all league and non-league matches for both WPL Side and B Side teams.
  • Organization and running of all official practices for both WPL Side and B Side teams.
  • Coordination and communication with Team-selected captains for both WPL Side and B Side teams.
  • Providing effective feedback to individuals and the Team for maximal player and Team performance and development.
  • Assistance with selection and mentorship of assistant coaching staff.
  • Assistance upholding and enforcing Club policies set by the Club’s Executive Board.

Schedule

Practices are held twice weekly on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in Berkeley, California. We aim to field both WPL Side and B-side squads for all matches, as numbers allow. Match schedule for the fall is not yet available. There will be approximately four away and four home matches this fall, plus the National Championship in Tempe, AZ.

Qualifications and Additional Information

Previous playing and coaching experience is required; specific experience coaching women is preferred but not necessary. Compensation is negotiable and commensurate with experience. This is not a full-time position. Unfortunately, the Club is unable to provide visa assistance. Travel expenses to away matches will be paid by the Club.

To Apply

Please submit a coaching resume as well as a brief statement of coaching philosophy to allbluespresident@gmail.com. It is strongly encouraged to apply by Friday, April 7th 2017 as applications will be considered on a rolling basis. For additional information about the Berkeley All Blues, please explore our website.