On MCU Park's field, faced with the simulated dirt of the baseball field and pitcher's mound, James Kennedy swelled his cheek and smiled. Then he offered a very Major rugby league takes on the home debut of his team at the New York Rugby Union.
"I feel physically," he says, "as if I'd played this fucking game."
The owner laughed, of course, as well as his players around him when they mingled with friends, family and fans. Rugby United New York (RUNY) defeated the Toronto Arrows 24-20 with what a local writer, perhaps by looking at the dashboard in football format, called "winning player with no time left". In other words, a short-range test 80 minutes from the end, Americans pounding the line, the Canadians facing demons.
Hooker Dylan Fawsitt, a flanker of Irish descent who writes his name in New York history after another Irishman turned the USA into Eagle, scored first and second home tests. Or if it's dirt, turf or sand: Coney Island Beach has also been the backdrop for the American essay Nate Brakeley and two conversions of the half-fly, Chris Mattina.
Behind the beach, the dark Atlantic. Above, storm clouds and a howl of wind. In a certain way, the promised rain has been retained. But the New York climate never fails to exasperate. This wind, favorable to Toronto in the first 40, completely disappeared at half-time.
I was in the stands to watch. The atmosphere, the buzz, it was great. I know because I'm a fan, you know?
James Kennedy, owner of RUNY
"Incredible," said Kennedy. "But you heard the crowd, they came in."
They did it when New York attacked, although they were silent for long periods because of the short, fast drives of the Toronto torso. Former Manawatu midfielder Sam Malcolm threw an explosive dynamo, giving 10 points to the pass by scrum half Andrew Ferguson and center Guiseppe. of the roof. And, it turns out that the discussions of half the half with Arrows analyst Rodin Lozada dispelled the thought of this author to complain about his cold fingers. There are some tours, in the snows of Glendale, Colorado, it was so cold Malcolm left the field "inconsistent" and one of the centers fainted in the shower after the match.
It's the border rugby in every way, rough and ready and entertaining reliable. RUNY won his first game in sunny San Diego, but his first game in his own city was as raw and honest as this horrible ocean wind.
RUNY's slogan is "Unite the Empire", as in the Empire State. Their fans wore shirts and jackets bearing the names of local clubs. Xavier, Pelham, Monmouth, Adirondack. Everything is so new that they were trying their songs. "RUNY, RUNY", it looked a bit like a DC United game, or maybe the cry of a lonely British paparazzo in front of a Washington courthouse. "Let's RUNY" was probably a bit too Yankees for Brooklyn's cyclone house, so named for the roller coaster, affiliated with the famous New York Mets.
But RUNY is wearing the orange and blue of the Mets and Knicks and "it's really very New York," as Kennedy said about the buzz as the game ended. Catcalls and Boos saluted the Canadian counters and a promising fight but quickly fell asleep. In a break in play, when the girls of the Brooklyn School of Irish Dance missed their tail, a guy in a suit and a RUNY scarf, maybe a few Coney Island Sirens in the wind, saw his luck. On a pond roof, River plunged his heart into screams of joy and whistles.
Major rugby league
"You put this crowd here on a Sunday during the day," Kennedy said, "you're doubling in. I was in the stands to watch.The atmosphere, the buzz, it was great. because I'm a fan, you know, I'm going to tell my friends, it's great, so I could not ask for more, about 3,000 fans, I'll take it on a Friday night. "
The next test of his product, that he has boosted in the New York Times, will come next Sunday, in the afternoon against the Colorado Raptors. They will arrive by plane. Local fans may not have it as easy.
Playing Coney Island presents a common challenge to American rugby: to go to the game to watch it. As the great pundit of the United States says, the number 8 of the United States, Dan Lyle, American sports you need both Es: entertainment and ease. RUNY has the first, the second is on the to-do list. Coney Island is spectacular and historic, emblematic of New York at the forefront of its wingtips. It's also absolutely miles from everywhere.
Think of a better world in which Seinfeld was the 90s sitcom that made the rugby debut, not friends. Kramer would have been with Bob Sacamano, selling Russian hats on the sidewalk. But Jerry, George and Elaine would have spent a whole episode on D, crawling in the twilight of Brooklyn, moaning about the subway and how they were going to miss the hymn, a hot dog and a kickoff, otherwise all that weird game I did not know much about just Whatley had re-offered them tickets. Fashionable, that's what the Guardian did.
But Jerry, George and Elaine would also have seen what the Guardian saw from the train. Two kids bouncing Space Hoppers on a small apartment balcony. A thousand neighborhood bodegas. The first glimpse of the cyclone and the parachute jump, lit by the setting sun.
Like a trip to a game, it's unique. It's probably as good. Welcome, rugby, in your new home strangely appropriate. Beautiful and exasperating, confusing and brutal. New York.