BC Rugby Premier League previews: Meraloma Rugby

22/09/2012 § 1 Comment

Meraloma Clubhouse - inscribed bricks
(photo: BlueAndWhiteArmy/flickr cc)

After a half-decade of success, last season was a great disappointment for the Meralomas. The team struggled all year and missed the playoffs. This year sees a new head coach and a batch of new players joining up with a group that has been playing on Vancouver’s Westside for many years. We caught up with new head coach Angel Cividanes last week. Here are his thoughts on the coming season.

Yours is a veteran club, with a large number of players at the premier level who have played together for many years. That must help you with getting things started this year, especially since you probably didn’t have the preparation time you might have like to have had?

I think that, ya, having guys, veterans for many seasons playing rugby, it’s good, I hope we can get more! That forward pack is very strong and experienced and we have some young players coming in.

The backs will be strong too, we’ve got good leaders there.

What will be the key to winning in the weeks going forward?

Keep what we did well today. Adding in other stuff that we need to improve. We really need to work on defence, to get a better structure. To play better than when we don’t have the ball. We did ok today [against a depleted UVic squad]; but next week against James Bay?

What’s the challenge personally for you this season? You’ve been involved with the Meralomas for many years, but this year you are the head coach. What are you looking at for the season?

For me, obviously, we have a totally brand new coaching staff – with guys like Jake Hirst and Peter Robinson – I really want to work as a team in the coaching staff.
This means working with the top two squads together and using the third division as a development group. We need to push the young guys up to push up everybody else.

What about the importance of developing a club culture? Jake has mentioned to me that he really wants to re-set how things are done at the Meralomas.

Club culture, I’ve totally bought into that. Down in my country, in Argentina, in every club we have a really strong culture. You are playing for the club, 150%, to do your best, for the club.

In a strong club all players – veterans, juniors they connect. When our teams are running out, I’d like to have junior players, mini rugby, Veterans, welcoming out the premier team onto the field

What about having a captain who is experienced as Eric Wilson?

It’s important when you have guys like Eric Wilson and Brian Erichsen. It’s important they understand what kind of rugby we want to play. They are the big promoters for us, on the field, they aren’t just captain and vice-captain; they must do themselves what we are going to do as ateam.

We have some very good young players – Jason Galbraith, from Manitoba he’s only 19. We have the second row player Tom Roach. And a few young guys from Wales and Ireland. A couple other guys are going to coming over from the island as well to strengthen our squad.

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