Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Clown of the Week: Alex Goff


Rugby Mag chief pundit Alex Goff has been penning down some strange comments in regards to the USA's under pressure scrum half Mike Petri following his try in the win over Uruguay.

It's probably fair to say Mike Petri didn't have his best couple of games in the recent World Cup qualifying playoffs against Uruguay, and it won't have escaped many followers of the Eagles that he has been coming under increasing pressure over his performances during the past 12 months. This Is American Rugby notes of his performance reads as follows.

"His heads up play on his try was brilliant and showed great rugby smarts. However, in his duties as a scrumhalf he was lacking. Too often he took too long to pass the ball. The hold-up allowed the Uruguayan defense to get up quickly and either tackle him or disrupt play. His box kicking wasn't great either."

Judging by the comments of USA fans and observers, most wouldn't really disagree too much on the whole with that analysis.

That try Petri did score however led to Alex Goff of Rugby Mag to go crazy over the NYAC scrum half. Even though it was albeit by far the softest and weakest one Uruguay conceded in either match, and largely thanks to a weak tackle attempt by Francisco Bulanti who appeared to slip.
GIF: Petri flies past an admittedly weak attempted tackle
According to Goff in his article titled "Quick-Thinking Petri Changes Game", Petri "was the best player on the field for either side", "a terrier around the breakdown quickly chasing after each opportunity to feed the ball out to his players" and "provided leadership".

Now despite his quick thinking for the try, to merely claim Petri had a very good game last Saturday would probably be limited to only ardent Petri fans, but taking it as far as "the best player on the field for either side" just makes Goff look totally silly and his article has persuaded seemingly nobody.

There has been suspicions of Rugby Mag and Goff offering a pro Tolkin East Coast bias. In this case, it's hardly well hidden amidst the luscious praise for Petri, who has the identical school (Xavier HS) and club (NYAC) background as his coach who spent all his career there prior to his head coach role with USA. And by the way, can you guess which particular USA player gave Goff his pre series interviews?

Following a defeat last year Goff wrote an article titled "Put Box Kick in a Box" criticising the strategy. Now what do you think "the best player on the field for either side" got up to last weekend? That's right, box kicking, and getting charged down doing so in fact, an error that forced to the USA into taking a scrum that led conceding 3 points.

You'd have thought Goff would have been critical given his seeming dislike of the box kick, and he probably would have done if he was a Zimbabwean immigrant from Texas who isn't such a pal of Tolkin's. In fact you could be sure that if Ngwenya had taken that quick tap, he would probably be chastised with that "not following the gameplan" line Goff is rather fond of.
GIF: Petri's box kick wasn't put in a box


  1. Just a side-note: Petri also played for Belmont Shores and actually helped them beat NYAC and Tolkin before moving back to NYC for work/rent-paying issues. So, he did have success away from the nest, so to speak.

  2. East Coast bias?

    Trust me, nobody on the East Coast thinks Tolkin is doing a good job either. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    Rugbymag is and always will be the equivalent of an American Rugby Tabloid. Their attempts at analysis are always half-assed and they are too afraid of losing their press access with USAR to ever write anything that may upset Nigel or other administrators.

    It's a good place to go if you want updates on Mens/College matches but little else.

    Remember when they thought people would pay to read their content?'d that one go?

    RE: "Not following the game plan"

    Yeah our game plan under Tolkin is complete shit and Goff has his head so far up his ass in this regard that it's actually unreal.

    How many times did Petri kick away possession against the Maori when we had a 2-3 man overlap? Anyone who can't recognize this as a poor decision has no business play 9 at the test level and anyone who isn't immediately pulling their 9 after 2-3 kicks like this in a match has no business coaching at the test level either.

    And so continues the slide into overwhelming mediocrity..

  3. Goff and rugbymag don't know anything about the college game either. There is more to college rugby than BYU/CAL. Neither discussed the horrible refereeing of D1A championship last year between Life and St. Mary's. Some argue that the ref cost St. Mary's the game, and that is the reason he is not allowed to ref any more high level games ever again.