18 Oct 2017

Mathew Brown – The Rugby Channel Column


If you truly enjoy watching the future stars of American rugby on a weekly basis then a subscription to The Rugby Channel is absolutely essential.

Let’s start with last week. If you wanted to see the USA Selects in Montevideo beating Uruguay A and Canada A in the Americas Pacific Challenge then you had to have The Rugby Channel, which also  provided informed and entertaining commentary by Marc Stcherbina and Brian Vizard.  

If you were interested in catching a meeting of two Eastern collegiate powers at an outstanding facility in New Hampshire then you had to be a subscriber to The Rugby Channel because that was the only way to watch the clash between Dartmouth and the Naval Academy.

And if even if you missed those three LIVE webcasts on The Rugby Channel, an annual subscription lets you check them out whenever you want with our Video On Demand option.

Your chance to observe even more emerging American rugby talent continues this weekend with another full slate of fixtures from the college ranks, in both fifteens and sevens, plus a crucial Women’s Premier League matchup pitting the last two national champions.

Saturday October 21st kicks off with full coverage of the opening day of the West Coast Sevens from Treasure Island in San Francisco, then we’ve got a tripleheader from Infinity Park that includes TRC’s College Match of the Week featuring Colorado State and the Air Force Academy.

Next up will be the new Glendale Merlins U20 side hosting the University of Colorado, followed by the WPL battle with the Glendale Merlins versus the San Diego Surfers.

And on Sunday October 22nd the knockout rounds of the West Coast Sevens will be webcast from the first bowl quarterfinal through to the Cup Final.

Subscribe Now to The Rugby Channel and it’s all yours, either LIVE as it happens or whenever you get around to giving it a look!


This was a vital match for Scott Lawrence’s charges coming off a disappointing loss to Samoa A when they had to play most of the second half with only fourteen men.

The Uruguayans beat the Selects last year in this tournament and fully dominated them in the set pieces, particularly at scrum time. Last Wednesday it was an entirely different story as the Americans mostly held their own up front and unleashed a barrage of tryscoring that seemed to take the hosts by surprise.

Perhaps most impressive was that even though the Selects repeatedly let Uruguay A back into the match, they never lost their lead and always responded to a tightening of the scoreline by scoring more tries themselves.

Psalm Wooching, Zach Pangelinan, and Josh Whippy all dotted down once with Tim Maupin and Aladdin Schirmer scoring a brace each. JP Eloff and Ben Cima added the rest of the points with conversions and penalties.

This was the perfect outing to put the opening loss behind them and build confidence for their finale on Sunday against Canada A.


This win secured a second-place finish for the Selects and it was probably as satisfying for them to play as it was entertaining for all of us to watch.

Deserved or not, Hanco Germishuys’s red card for punching vs. Samoa A was a key factor in that loss. Apparently the young man was looking for some redemption on Sunday because he was all over the place on both sides of the ball and scored four tries to help lead his side to victory.

Again, the opposition never gave up and the Selects had to keep on scoring to outlast the Canadians who were still very much in the contest down 33-26 with less than ten minutes left on the clock.

Overall this has to be rated a highly successful tourney for the Americans as they finished second, gelled well together, got valuable experience in pressure situations, and racked up a huge number of points through positive attacking play.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a fairly large number of the USA Selects be selected for the Eagles November Tour where they’ll face Germany on November 18 and Georgia on November 25. And of course, both tests will be streamed to you LIVE, exclusively on The Rugby Channel!


Two pretty evenly matched sides that don’t do a whole lot of losing produced a taut affair in Hanover. Dartmouth is the longtime reigning champion of Ivy League Rugby and the Naval Academy is one of the top programs in the entire country.

The difference in this fixture proved to be Navy’s superior defense, holding the hosts out of the tryzone for eighty minutes and allowing just a couple of penalty kicks.

The performance of Navy captain Connor McNerney was also a decisive element as he created one try off the back of a scrum and scored another, providing all the offense the Midshipmen would need.

WEST COAST SEVENS – Saturday, Oct. 21 at 12:00 PM ET

Some of the best sevens squads in the western United States will spend two days on Treasure Island looking to take home some silverware. On Saturday, The Rugby Cannel will have all the thrilling action from pool play.

Here are the schools that will be participating in the 2017 event. Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Cal Poly, Central Washington, San Diego State, Santa Clara, Sonoma State, UC Davis, Oregon, USC, UCLA, USD, UCSB, Western Washington, and Utah Valley.

WEST COAST SEVENS – Sunday, Oct. 22 at 12:00 PM ET

On Sunday the elimination matches begin and the real fun starts in San Francisco!

COLORADO ST. V AIR FORCE – Saturday, Oct. 21 at 3:00 PM ET

This will be the second appearance for both teams on TRC’s College Rugby Match of the Week with Colorado State having fallen earlier to Utah 42-12 and Air Force being defeated by Navy 42-7 in non-conference action.

Both these teams are 3-0 in the Rocky Mountain Conference and tied with 15 competition points. A win by either on Saturday in Glendale could be enough to propel them to the top of the standings, as they both currently trail Utah State by a single point.

MERLINS U20 V COLORADO – Saturday, Oct. 21 at 5:00 PM ET

In addition to their men’s and women’s elite teams, Glendale is building one of the top U20 sides in the nation and you can get your first LIVE look at them on Saturday when they take on the University of Colorado at Infinity Park.

MERLINS V SURFERS – Saturday, Oct. 21 at 7:00 PM ET

The Glendale Merlins are in first place in the Blue Conference with 25 competition points and the San Diego Surfers are in third position with 15 points.

The Merlins are still undefeated this season but were forced into a draw by league rules after their match versus Chicago was called before halftime because of lightning when they were leading 10-7.

The defending champion Surfers need a road win on Saturday if they are to have any hope of challenging the Merlins for top spot in the conference.

Glendale can pretty much wrap up a semifinal spot if they defeat the Surfers but it won’t come easy, as they found out in September with a hard-fought victory in San Diego.   


If you haven’t caught World Rugby TV lately, be sure to give this one a look. It features the usual cool highlights from The Rugby Championship and the Americas Pacific Challenge, as well as a piece on the Ghanaian sevens team, but the real gem is an extended profile of Psalm Wooching.

The former University of Washington standout has decided to forego a career in pro football in order to pursue one in rugby and he very clearly explains why in this interview. Wooching was part of the USA Selects team in Uruguay and appears to have a bright future ahead.

Also entertaining is former Springbok captain John Smit’s take on  three of the opposition international captains he faced off against during his time at the helm of South Africa.  


It’s almost playoff time in the Mitre 10 Heartland Championship and the pressure is on to make both the top four and the next four in order to secure a spot in the postseason chase for the Meads and Lochore Cups.

This was the penultimate week of the regular season and the intensity has definitely been raised a few notches. Check it out and get ready for the excitement on tap in the last round and the upcoming playoffs.


Subscribe Now to The Rugby Channel and you’ll get more rugby than you can realistically watch. TRC will continue to bring you thrilling content with the College Rugby Match of the Week, Guinness PRO14, WPL Finals, both Eagles tests, all of England’s Autumn Internationals, the Barbarians vs. New Zealand and much, much more!