Friday, May 16, 2014

Interview With Metropolis Coach Nate Osborne

We were lucky enough to catch up with Metropolis head coach Nate Osborne to get his thought on his team's upcoming quarterfinal match, the level of play in the Midwest, and the state of rugby in Minnesota.

This Is American Rugby: You are taking on Schuylkill River this weekend. What has the team done to prepare?

Nate Osborne: I've learnt over the past 3 years of being at this stage that changing what you do can sometimes hurt more then help. So we are staying focused on what got us here and trusting our patten and plan that's has worked all year, and of course defense!

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TIAR: If you beat Schuylkill you'll have to play either NYAC or Life. How do you prepare for such strong opponents on short turnaround?

NO: As I said above trust in what got you there. Feel good about the prep work and the hours you've spent working on things through the season. Then recover, rehab and rest best you can! Just do all the little things to get ready to go hard again the next day. All the teams at this point are hard and good teams. We haven't played any of them so it's always fun to play someone you haven't play before.

TIAR: The Midwest played the bulk of its season in the fall with only a few matches in the Spring. Is it hard to get the guys going again just in time for the playoffs?

NO: I think there are good and bad things about it. I feel it's been good for us with getting some guys back from injury and also helps a lot with not burning you out. Midwest is spread out so 26 hour road trips can get to you after a while. So staying fresh and focused is a good thing.

TIAR: Who have been some of your standout players this season?

NO: I'm not sure there's just one! Our whole forwards have been fantastic. Charlie Baleirara & Ashley Horobin have done a great job getting the pack ready. We have focused and worked really really hard on our set piece over the winter time and it's paid off big time. Our backs have done a great job of learning how each other plays and going more of the cuff rather then set plays so to speak. But Pat Latu is one if not the best pro I've played with in 30+ years of rugby he has been unreal this season.

TIAR: How would you grade the level of competition in the Midwest?

NO: I think the Midwest is the best it's ever been. I've been here 8 years and it's never been stronger. It is hard to travel but playing everyone twice gives it an even feel. Anyone can beat anyone on any given week. I'm not sure you can ask for more than that when getting a league going.

TIAR: What is the overall state of rugby in Minnesota?

NO: Rugby in Minnesota is going great guns! From the youth and high schools, where Katie Sjeklocha who does a fantastic job with MN youth rugby. Creating program for a whole bunch of schools and groups that would never get to see or hear about rugby with her and her team. To the college game where we have two National Champs in Duluth and St Johns. With coaches like Rob Holder, Tammy Cowan and Jeremy Katchuba to name a few. To a growing men's league and 7's programs like the Young Bloods with Sam Robinson leading the charge, to us at Metropolis where we have 3 full teams playing D1, D2 and D4 every week. I would say it's never been stronger and would put it at the top of most unions in the USA.

All in all it's our 3rd trip to the elite and we are not there to make up the number. We have learnt a lot over the year and we are hungry for the next step. All the prep is done we just need to preform on the weekend the way we know we can and everything will work out.

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