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2021: A Year of Thanks

  • 31 Dec 2021
  • 136 Views

People always ask me how this past year and Covid generally have been for me; i.e., whether The Rugby Breakdown has been able to survive the when sport was in pandemic mode. And I still respond with the same amazement, that, yes, TRB emerged in good health due to the unwavering support of a devout readership. And for that, I will be forever grateful and take renewed motivation into 2022 to serve this community.

Additionally, the playing hiatus allowed me to speak with many more people than is traditionally so during the league season. When there were no titles or playoffs to track, I talked to those teams and people who were doing something, and it was a nice shift in focus that I hope to continue in some form.

In terms of favorite moments for me this past year, the Club 7s National Championship is a big one. Outside of my local Rugby NorCal high school rugby, the Tukwila, Wash., event was the first major competition I attended in person. Everyone was so happy and reunions marked the weekend – mine included.

Same can be said for the NCR national 15s championships in Knoxville, Tenn. I hadn’t seen any college rugby in-person in California, so I was so amped to be in the presence of teams who pushed so hard all fall. Like club 7s, the notion of gratitude prevailed in Knoxville, and nearly everyone was so impressed that a season that began with so many question marks ended with a national semifinals berth. And personally, I’ve never been better treated as an on-site reporter. That was really, really nice, too.

As for the work itself, the most popular pieces from 2021 were the ones that required constant updating throughout the year. The 2021 and 2022 lists that record new college athletes – whether high school seniors committing to college programs or transfer students starting careers with new teams – were the most-read articles. These lists update as high school and college programs, individuals, proud coaches or parents post on social media – so it’s a constant scan.

In the same vein, the weekend scores are also very popular, as are simple informational posts that provide direction to live-streams, rosters, participating teams, event previews. As easy as these articles are, the traffic shows that people are looking for the basics.

Also popular were TRB’s all-tournament or all-league teams. The Club 7s All-Tournament Team focused on non-capped players, highlighting the quality talent putting pressure on the international level. The DI Elite All-Conference Team focused on the first- and second-year players, who were debuting in the competition after Covid-19 and yet still made a major impact. These types of lists come together after watching a competition in earnest and looking beyond the high scorers.

Finally, the following received the most views in each of TRB’s coverage categories:

High School: Tropical 7s U18 Pool A Preview (April 1)

College: Dartmouth, Army Play to Single-Digit Decision (Sept 21)

Club: Columbus Gains Confidence in MW Hybrid Win (Sept 29)

USA: Rob Cain: DTE Brought Virtual Work to Life (Jan 27)

For a full review of TRB’s work this past year, click here. Eager to start populating the database with 2022 stories!

Article Categories:
COLLEGE · HIGH SCHOOL · SR CLUB · USA

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