USA Eagles fall tour: Pelham coach Toby L’Estrange writes exclusive diary on playing for national team

Nov. 25 — “Hi guys. We finished off the the fall tour of Europe on a good note by beating Romania by 34 points to 12 on Saturday. It was satisfying to improve on our structure from last week’s lost to Tonga. We were lucky to get some good conditions that allowed us to use the width in attack and utilise the talent of our outside backs. It was a very enjoyable day and a great way to end my first tour. I’d like to wish all the Pelham rugby players and families a great festive season and look forward to catching everyone again for another big season in 2013!”

Nov. 21 — “Unfortunately, we went down to Tonga on Saturday 22-13 in a tight game. There were a few key moments where they came out on top, and that got them the win in the end. It was a frustrating result for all of us because we got so close and didn’t capitalize on some opportunities that would have won us the game. Anyway, we’re in Bucharest this week, so hopefully we can learn the lessons from last week and get a good result when we play the Romanians this Saturday. We have a day off training today so we’re planning to see a bit of the city, including their Parliament House, which is the biggest building in Europe. One of the great things about rugby is that it can take you to places in the world you would rarely, if ever, visit otherwise. We’re very thankful for the chance to be here and enjoying the experience.

Congrats to all involved in the weekend’s matches against Manhattan, particularly the Under 15s on what sounds like an amazing come -from-behind win!”

Nov. 12 — We played Russia on Friday night in North Wales and came out on top 40-26. It was a tough game, much as we expected from Russia. We played some good rugby, particularly in the first half and out scored them six tries to two. We’ve now turned our attention to preparing for the Tongans on Saturday night, which promises to be an extremely physical and challenging match. The Welsh weather aside, I’m still having a great time—enjoying the company on tour and working hard to get the job done this weekend.

Nov. 6 — We left New York on Saturday night and arrived into a wet and windy London on Sunday morning. We then made the five hour bus trip to Colwyn Bay in North Wales, which we will call home for the next two weeks.

We’ve had a few field and video sessions since we’ve been here working on combinations and phase play in preparation for our first game on Friday night against Russia. It promises to be a great night… provided the weather holds off! I hope all Pelham rugby players and families are well in the wake of Sandy and look forward to hearing the results of the final stages of the season.

Until next time… Toby

Editor’s note: Toby, who coached the Pelham kids in flag and tackle rugby this fall, was selected for the USA national team’s European tour. He’s writing a dairy on the tour for the Pelham Rugby website. The team will play Russia, Tonga and Romania. Here’s information on the matches and how to watch Toby and teammates online:

Eirias Park
Conwy County, Wales
6pm GMT /11am MT/1pm ET Kickoff!
Watch Live on!
Eirias Park
Conwy County, Wales
6pm GMT /11am MT/1pm ET Kickoff!
Watch Live on!

Stadionul National de Rugby Arcul de Triumf
Bucharest, Romania
Time TBA

  5 comments for “USA Eagles fall tour: Pelham coach Toby L’Estrange writes exclusive diary on playing for national team

  1. peter & lorraine tarsnane
    November 8, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Hi Toby, We want to wish you good luck in your upcoming games. Go USA Eagles! We look forward to reading your blog!

  2. Dave, Matt & Dan Biskup
    November 8, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Good Luck Toby, Chris and all the fellow Eagles and thanks for updating the Pelham gang Toby.

  3. Connor Evans
    November 12, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Good luck – Crush Tonga on Saturday!

  4. Skidmore family
    December 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Hi Toby, great that you had a good tour. We liked your kicking game. Best wishes, Andy & Eva

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