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Muddy Life Clean Through

Tuesday May 26, 2009 in Elite Level Rugby Rugby Super League

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(Mark Aylor above, Nate Rogers below. Photos Tight Five Photo.)

May 26, 2009 – In case you didn’t know it, it rains during the spring in Georgia.

A lot.

Life University knew it, and planned for it as they hosted Belmont Shore in the Super League semifinals Sunday.

“It had been raining on and off through the week and we knew it was going to be wet and muddy on gameday,” said Life director of rugby Scott Lawrence. “We were prepared for it and I think Belmont Shore are more used to playing on dry ground. I think the conditions were something of an advantage to us.”

In muddy conditions, the book says make sure of your set pieces. Teams kick a lot, so you get your share of lineouts, and knock-ons are frequent, so make sure you win more than your share of scrums.

In addition, Lawrence said he wanted his team to take care of the ball above all else.

“I gave the guys a KPI of 85 percent ball retention,” Lawrence said. “That’s pretty high. But the guys met that. We worked hard on improving our ball retention.”

In addition, the players ramped up their physicality in preparation for the game – looking to plough through Belmont tacklers and to knock loose balls in the tackle.

That all translated into a 25-3 Life victory, and a place in the final in Glendale, Colo.

Life, of course, were in Infinity Park last year, winning the DI club title. One wonders if they have an advantage coming in to this game, meeting SFGG, who don’t have that experience.

“I think what it did for us last year was show the guys how to prepare for a championship game,” said Lawrence. “We made adjustments to their training, and they make adjustments to playing at altitude and the travel and the weather.”

Lawrence said even team meals have been adjusted so that the team will be closer to peak attentiveness. The game kicks off at 7pm local time, which is 9pm Eastern.

“We have to make some changes, but most importantly the guys need to get some rest this week,” Lawrence said.

- Alex Goff © www.erugbynews.com


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