Travis Murao: Preparing for the Canada Cup
The last month has gone by in a blur! The USQRA National Championship was an exciting and hard-fought affair where the University of Arizona finished a disappointing third after battling the San Diego Sharp (the eventual winners) to a heartbreaking double overtime loss. Some much deserved props go out to Ian Chan's Portland Pounders who finished second (we'll get you next year!).
Almost immediately after the conclusion of nationals I was on a plane headed for Australia and the 4 Nations Cup. The competition there was fast and furious with a double round-robin schedule where we ended up playing a total of 8 games! We faced Great Britain, New Zealand, and Australia with all teams sporting some fresh faces. While we lost to Australia in the final, we gained some much needed game experience against some stiff competition.
After a long flight home, we immediately began preparation for the Canadian National Championships in Ottawa. BC emerged victorious in a close final with the game-winning goal scored by the Laotian sensation Say Luangkhamdeng with .1 seconds left on the clock! It was a much-needed win for BC after so many close games going the other way.
Immediately following we had our final selection camp for worlds where I learned I made the top 12. After being left off the team for Beijing, this came as an enormous relief to me, while, at the same time, I can't help but empathize with the players who didn't make the cut. Having been there, I know how difficult it is to work so hard towards something and have it slip through your grasp. Unfortunately, that is the one shortfall of the depth of Canadian rugby.
Now we are in the final training stages before the Canada Cup. I'm happy with how my body has responded to our periodized training program and I feel prepared for some intense competition. It seems crazy to spend so much time preparing for games that will possibly be decided by a lucky bounce or some other quirky twist of fate, but as Sun-tzu says, "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win." I believe the winners of the Canada Cup have already been decided.