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Harry B James
The year they became Champions
29 okt, 20:29 0 kommentarer
The World Rugby Cup final was held in the capital on a soft wet night in France last night. Two great teams roared like thunder at each other with no respect at all for their own physical safety, a gold medal awaited the victors for the reward of 3 years of hard work.
The game itself was filled with drama and near misses. When referee Wayne Barnes blew the final whistle the South African skies filled with Champagne air. The New Zealand team as hard as they fought was met with the patter of soft rain falling on their faces.
In years to come it will be remembered as one of the best World Cup final occasions ever to be recorded.
The Stockholm Exiles P16 season 2023, we came together in a school in early spring for our first meeting. At the same time, we were exiting a cold and particularly harsh winter. In a sporting context, the rugby hibernation in Stockholm was coming to an end. The hunger for the sport was obvious as they sat in front of us. Martin, Robbie and myself introduced ourselves and laid out a road map for the coming season. However, to stay the course rules had to be made and there had to be a collective agreement. This is what was decided by the players.
1. When you meet always shake hands with everyone in the group.
2. Be respectful to all but to yourself most importantly.
3. Be on time every time.
4. Have your school work completed for training and games
5. No Dickheads allowed
With these rules in place, we started to train. Players were divided into 3 groups and each of the coaches would have two skills that each group would concentrate on for that week. Skills, Skills, Skills was the mantra.
Doing this over preseason of 6 weeks would give the team not alone the skills they required but also the intelligence of when to use them. Games came along then to practice those skills.
Fast forward to the USM. Enköpning was the destination. The work during the season was put in with training sessions and matches. We knew we were able but this is cup rugby and there are no guarantees in such a format.
The customary accommodation was booked, as a matter of fact, no stone was left unturned, all the preparations from to snacks after the games they even had a masseuse at their disposal.
The players during the year had bonded like brothers great friendships were made and most importantly together they were stronger. There were the customary pre-match talks, this time it was more in-depth we asked the players to think of the people who have helped them to reach this point, their parents their PE teachers their grandparents, an Uncle or an Auntie these are the people who will be listening to every word as they tell their story.
The games on the first day came quickly and momentum started to build.
On the final day, we had one pool game left and thankfully the results of the day before meant the final was awaiting us. This is where we wanted to be this was the pathway we discussed at the start of the year. Valdemar one of our Co-Captains received a facial injury in the final pool game. There was concern for their brother by the team but everyone knew what they had to do, so the final scene was set.
The final, all teams on the final day had to take the field and enter the field through a celebration-type entrance with dried ice smoke the whole works.
It was a great spectacle for the near 700-strong audience. The stage was set. Now the Exiles P16s always dance to their own tune. The team formed an arrowhead-type togetherness led by co-captain Oscar. We all had our hands on each other shoulders. This was a symbol of togetherness and a belief we had in each other.
There was an unscheduled delay and to tell you the truth there was nothing going to stop these players so we took to the field first, this left our Malmo's opponents in their line stuttering and stumbling in after us. We had won the first psychological battle.
The game plan was straightforward all season. Strong in defence get to the halfway line and from there attack. Malmo was emotionally bruised from our previous victory that morning, they seemed to have a point to prove. However, they faced brave young men with a genuine focus on just one thing, to be able to tell their victory to the people who got them there. The skills and beliefs that were obtained during the year came to fruition and true to form the team went on to become victorious.
The red thread, after all the team's victories the team were to sing the team song. It is an emotional outcry of victory and authority. We are a team of six different nationalities and a tribal song from the country of Tonga The Tiki Tiki was the victory song. To a bystander, being sung displays a powerful emotional message to the team it shows being together we are stronger.
The backbone of the team
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow coaches Martin as the attack coach and Robbie as the defense coach.
Martin Hall with his conductor-esque style had the players turning opponents inside and out with elegance and grace.
Robbie Gramham moulded the players into a defence formation, they had hunger and desire to get the ball back at all costs. His cast-iron defence was a key element to all our success this year.
A famous playwright from Ireland once said, "Being from Kerry, in my opinion, is the greatest gift that god can bestow on any Man.
Being head coach of this team, in my opinion, is the greatest gift that has been bestowed upon me.
Young men today need a release from what the world is throwing at them in their daily lives. They need a release from that life and rugby takes them to places where they can release a lot of negative energy and start again the next day fresh. Rugby takes them to the limit physically and mentally and they keep coming back for more. Now they have their story in the world they are P16s Swedish and Stockholm district champions in 2023. Becoming a champion is almost unbearable but it is an awesome responsibility to have.
I am proud to be able to say I was a part of this coaching team and a player group. When we meet in the future we will reinforce that with a handshake, Rule number 1.
Donal Buckley Stockholm Exile Rugby
The year so far and the next adventure
16 sep, 09:45 2 kommentarer
Hello to all
So to dive right in straight away we are 16 wins and 1 loss for the season so far. The loss came on our trip to Italy, however, we won the tournament by a points difference.
The Italian trip for the players was something special. The hosting parents were marvellous. They really took care of our young men. The games came thick and fast and Exiles P16 excelled against established opposition. 2 wins and 1 loss was a fantastic result for the lads. A huge thanks must go to the receiving club Rivoli Rugby Club.
The English trip took us to Cambridge. The town of Royston was our destination for our match. We had to play the new Rules of tackling.
This did not deter our players as we had already introduced this technique into our training session at the start of the year. The game was a good test for us in defending Exiles P16 with so much courage and determination saw us wear down the offence. The lads got their victory and it was great to see all the players interacting after the game laughing and joking together in true rugby fashion.
On the home front, we lead the district table. We hit the ground running at the start of the competition with wins over our local rivals. Our local rivals are now giving us more competition and that is only good for us and for the good of rugby in our region.
This time next week we will be competing in the USM This is our annual national competition. We have the preparation done we know the game plan. So when I write again we hope that we may have a handful of gold medals in our hands.
I just want to say from us coaches what a pleasure this year it is to train the lads.
You must be very proud parents of what your young men have achieved so far this season. They know they are not there yet and we have one more weekend to overcome.
I would like also to take this opportunity to thank Mari Hall she has helped the lads this year with breathing techniques and calmness which is very apparent through our games.
I will be back again after the USM with the results of the competition.
The coaches of the P16s 2023
16 maj, 16:00 1 kommentar
Hello to all,
It is my pleasure to write about our season ahead. first and foremost I would like to announce that we have 28 players on the panel this year. This is a challenge in itself to keep all the players motivated and happy. Thankfully, there are three coaches here to help keep the lads in check.
Martin Hall will be our backs coach again this year. Martin originally from New Zealand has a great understanding of the running game and in his quiet manner gets the lads moving the ball swiftly and efficiently.
Robbie Graham has moved up from the P14s and he will take the defence side of the game. Robbie is originally from the real capital of Ireland which is Cork has a fantastic pedagogical way of getting his lesson across to the lads.
Myself, Donal Buckley, It is my 4th year now with the P16s. I have always been fortunate that I have had always great players to train. This year we are the envy of most clubs in Sweden for having 28 players on the Under 16 panel.
Stay tuned as we will be putting our match analysis of our games in this format.
Thank you for reading this message from the P16s Exiles team and Management.
Paintball & the rest of whats left of the season
8 okt 2020 2 kommentarer
Ok! Pls read to the end😊
So for those players who has signed up for this Saturday’s paintball following info is vital:
1015 Jordbro station, link up with everyone with a car. This means that no one head straight off to the arena before we have everyone who travels by train. 1015 sharp! For you that still haven’t signed up I m afraid it’s to late to do that since a week ago.
Bring clothes and shoes that you don’t really care that much about. If you want to by additional ammunition it’s paid by your own wallet. A quick lunch after the shootout can be planned at the venue.
Is the season over or not!?
Well both yes and no! Andrew is trying to organize a game against Enköping but as a Stockholm select team runned by Dustin Jinka from the Stockholm rugby union. More info will be available as soon possible.
Exiles will be holding ”Get into Rugby training, every Saturday in October 11-12 am, at Skarpnäcks astro turf field. Get into rugby is open to ladies, Under 18 and Under 15 girls, under 18 and under 16 boys and touch rugby. So there are still possibilities to train.
For me this Paintball OK corall shoot out is the last “session” as the “head” coach for P16. I will most likely be found in P18 next season coaching but not as active as I have been the last 2 years. It’s been easy and great having the pleasure to be with your boys and I do hope to see them again in P18, and that they continue to play many more years cause they all have talent and the mental needs for the game.
Don’t eat yellow snow!
Strength and Conditioning Training
Björkhagens Skola. Idrottshall