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by Ben Anderson (contributor)
I played for Highland from 2000-2003, and we were National Champions all four of those years. As a rugby club, we have been to every high school Rugby National Championship that USA Rugby has held. On Sept. 26, 2008, Go Movies released a movie called Forever Strong.
It captured the essence and stories of a rugby team located in Salt Lake City. This team is outstanding and is the most dominating team in its conference, let alone one of the most accomplished teams in the world. I am not writing this as a movie review—although it's a good movie.
I'm trying to give credit to one of the best sports stories of all time. Highland Rugby is dominate for many different reasons, and I wanted to talk about them in this article.
Highland Rugby is not the biggest team in the nation, nor is it the fastest. I would say that we are the smartest and most physical team in the nation. Rugby is a very technical game, so in order to be a top team, you need to know the rules and theory of the game. It's important to know when to do a quick tap or to kick for touch.
Second, Highland is one of the most fit teams in the nation.
I remember conditioning more for rugby than any other sport I've played. Highland Rugby Club has an extensive training schedule that involves running two miles a day, 10 to 50-yard sprints, five 100-yard sprints, and free weight lifting.
None of this was involved in our everyday practices, so we could concentrate on rugby and increasing our skill and knowledge of the game.
We as a team have been very close. Former players always come back to help coach other players. Connections from around the world help get experienced games from outside the country. The Haka, a very famous ritual that the famous New Zealand All Blacks do before games, is a story about tradition and brotherhood.
The players know their teammates will be there for them and it helps the team succeed. The things this team teaches you to be successful on and off the field are life lessons.
Forever Strong has just aired here in New Zealand on National TV and I thought it was pretty good. Awesome to see a school in America passionate about the sport of Rugby, as you will know New Zealanders are crazy about it, lol. Just a quick hello, and good luck for the future from Gisborne, New Zealand.
Nga mihi nui kia koutou Te Kura o Highland.
Naku noa na