Glendale Coaches Corner

Glendale Merlins Rugby

D1 Men’s Rugby Kicks Off Season

by | Jan 17, 2018 | Coaches Corner

As told by Head Coach Luke Gross – D1 Men’s Rugby

Coaches Blog, Glendale Rugby Date 1.2.18, the location – Infinity Park Turf Field

Tonight was the first organized team training for our D1 Men’s Rugby 2018 Spring Season. The guys had spent some time in the gym doing workouts and a few skill sessions throughout November and early December, but with the holidays in between and a cold front that swept in with the New Year, I wasn’t really sure what kind of numbers or level of players would show up to this first outdoor practice. Fortunately, there was enough to work with. Not ideal numbers, but a good starting point and I told the lads to make sure to touch base with their mates and let them know to get out here, since we really only have three weeks of training before our first match in the Red River Conference. As a program, this will be our first time competing in the Red River Conference and it should prove to have some great competition. Our first match is against one of the strongest sides in this already-established league, the Austin Blacks, and it’s on their home soil, so there is going to be a lot of pressure on them to jump out strong and put their stamp on the league.

Glendale Merlins Men D2 vs Denver Barbarians

Photo by Seth McConnell

Coaches Blog, Glendale Rugby Date 1.4.18, location – Infinity Park Turf Field

Today it was back to the park for another training session. Better numbers this time around and MLR coaches David Williams and Kieran Browner, who everyone calls Ted, showed up and stepped in for a bit at practice. Our professional coaches showing up at practice really made the intensity just jump within the team and they were able to bring a lot of benefit in just the short amount of time they were there.

Coaches Blog, Glendale Rugby Date 1.9.18 and 1.11.18 – location – Under the sheets, on my death bed

It’s no secret the flu has been wreaking havoc on our offices since before Christmas, but now it has finally settled on me. I’m unfortunately not strong enough to get out of bed, which in retrospect is actually a good thing that I don’t expose all the lads at training to this horrible, man-eating virus. Instead, I was able to call in a huge favor and had Coach Williams and Coach Browner lead this week’s practices for the DI side. I can’t emphasize enough how imperative it has been to have these two lend their expertise to this team. Their input goes a very long way to bridging that gap between non-professional and professional rugby here at Glendale and the systems they have been putting in place are already making a big difference for this team.

Coaches Blog, Glendale Rugby Date 1.16.18 – location – Infinity Park Turf Field

Today I used training to determine the lineup for the match against the Austin Blacks this weekend. Training was great and I was extremely proud of how the young and old boys have started meshing in both the tight five and back line. We have about a 50/50 mix of lads who are new to the program and ones that we consider “experienced in the Glendale mindset.” I can’t wait to see how we perform this weekend and how these guys continue to develop as a unit throughout the season. As always, I wish we had a bit more time to practice, but out on the pitch is where we will truly be tested. It’s also where we will improve the quickest. So, why not get down to it?