According to Robert Frost, "Nature is a Chaos, Humanity is a Ruck." He wasn't writing about rugby, but Jake wasn't entirely sure the first time he read it. In this episode, the brothers recap the Women's World Cup and consider the All Blacks second win of the season over Australia. Jake is already getting wound up about the Saracens v Newcastle match coming up in Philadelphia, so he is trying to get Ethan equally as excited, though that's no small thing. In the middle of it all, Jake announces his desire for a song for American fans to sing at USA matches. Suggestions welcome!
There is a lot for the brothers to catch up on after the longer-than-expected hiatus. Top of Jake's list is the Women's Rugby World Cup and the USA Eagles looming semi-final. Ethan's list of what to talk about was notably short, having drifted away from rugby-thoughts during the hiatus. MLR, The Rugby Championship, and the USA Club 7s Championships all come up as Jake tries to catch Ethan up and blow life into the embers of Ethan's "real fan" status.
The brothers react to the Barbarians match against England, the Hurricanes win over the Bulls, and discuss recent news from America. Ethan does not care as much as Jake about the USA Eagles coaching change, but his love for rugby comes through in his reaction to the news of a new competition forming in America.
The brothers manage to get through a conversation about the London 7s without exploding in frustration, and Ethan's admiration for the USA 7s team only deepens. Some time is spent on the topic of the Hurricanes, but the bigger reaction was about a newly-announced television deal for World Rugby events in America. Jake very bluntly steers the conversation to a piece he recently posted on Rugby Today. And Ethan makes it clear that he has no interest in being a "former rugby player."
Both brothers share their reactions to the Crusaders v Hurricanes Super Rugby match. Jake also has some USA-related news for Ethan, and Ethan once again shares how well he did in working out how to watch an HSBC 7s tournament without seeing the scores first.
Both brothers watched a Life v St. Mary's D1A champioship match, but it isn't clear at the start that they watched the same one. One of the brothers traveled back in time without realizing it. However, Ethan and Jake still talk about the idea of college rugby being a marketable rugby product in the US. There is also some nostalgia, some excitement ahead of the Paris 7s, and a renewed desire to become a Hurricanes fan from Ethan.
Ethan keeps asking Jake, "Why does that thing happen?" Or, "Why doesn't this other thing I think should happen actually happen?" The framework for this week's round of Ethan's questions was Quins v Wasps and some of Jaguars v Sharks. The brothers differ about which match was the more interesting of the pair. Jake is also excited about watching two college rugby championship matches this coming weekend, and Ethan is genuinely curious about what his own reaction will be.
When the brothers first started these conversations, the first test was to see if Ethan liked the rugby. He did. The next step was to get Ethan involved with a team or league. He was interested in the end of last season's Super Rugby--and, specifically, the Hurricanes--but that interest did not stick long enough to last into this season. However, we have now found a team that has sucked Ethan in: the USA 7s team. Ethan and Jake talk some about the Singapore 7s, including the potential star power of the current USA squad. Ethan also asks Jake about how he is finding being an assistant coach for his son's team. They also touch on some European rugby, including getting their plans set for what to watch this weekend.
It's been clear for a while that to get Ethan even further into rugby fandom, he needed a team to follow. He has that now: The men's USA 7s team. He still needs help figuring out how to watch, which is not a good sign for anyone. Fortunately for Ethan, he has a personal rugby concierge in Jake who makes sure he doesn't entirely miss out. This episode involves a bit of fawning over Madison Hughes, as well as touching up Super Rugby, Aviva Premiership, and the potential of Major League Rugby.
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For Ethan's benefit, here are the times for the USA 7s pool play matches on Saturday in Singapore:
v Wales at 1:36am EST
v Scotland at 4:34am EST
v New Zealand at 8:50am EST
Ethan definitely likes March Madness, and he had the chance to compare the experience of watching college basketball and rugby. The rugby he watched was two Saracens' matches--one against Bath and one against Glasgow. Jake also sent him a couple highlights of college rugby, which provides more meat for the episodes. Having watched part of the second match of the recent women's Can-Am series, Ethan also asks Jake's thoughts on the support women's rugby receives.
In addition to enjoying the fifteens from Allianz Park, Ethan is excited for the Hong Kong 7s. Unsurprisingly, Jake is also excited. Ethan's excitement, though, is a direct consequence of having watched the USA men's team play well in Las Vegas and Vancouver. It is easier to root for and get excited about a winner, and the USA 7s men can win any match they play.
Speaking of Chris Ashton and the Wasps v Leinster match, swan dives came up. Jake confused Ollie le Roux with Willie le Roux. Oops. The dream of every winger is to be confused with a prop, as we know.
Some swan dive classics.
A bit of Chris Ashton.
I have looked to try and find an answer to Ethan's question about why a box kick is called a box kick. So far, I have not found anything beyond my own theories. Anyone with knowledge of who started calling a box kick a box kick, when, and precisely why? Let us know.