Matthew “Polar Bear” Hawkins, despite off-season surgeries, work, rugby, being a hubby & daddy and now coaching SDSU, takes the Thursday slot on RWU. Today, he answers Fan Questions re the Rugby World Cup.
LAUREN: Investment Banker/flyhalf:
How many games will the USA win in this RWC and who do you see them beating?
MH: I really hope they win more than the Russia game, after a great showing against Ireland, I would hope that they are targeting a huge upset against Italy.
TAXMAN MEZO; Front Row:
What’s the deal with 7s Specialists? Are they too afraid to play Union or do they think they are just better than everyone else?
MH: Taxman Mezo, I’m not sure exactly what your angle is with this question, but I will be as politically correct as possible. Fortunately or unfortunately, the 7s game over the last 5 years has just developed in to a completely separate game and some guys are just better suited for 7s and others are suited better for 15’s. But both forms of Rugby Union.
ROSALIE; 1st 5/8 of the National Champion NYRC Women:
Will the 7s Eagles try to one up the 15s Eagles at the Pan Am Games or in the next IRB 7s World Series along the lines of player appearance and style? There is a lot of beard action happening on the 15s team, Brian Wilson-style
Is there a behind-the-scenes bet underway? Since we beat Russia, will you dye your hair Red, White & Blue?
MH: First off, Congrats on being National Champions! The 7s guys generally do as much as they can with the hairdo & facial hair, but the 15’s team definitely set a bench mark. I’m we’ll rise to the challenge.
ROSALIE: Are any of the guys interested in coming by the NYRC and meeting our U19s or doing a session with us?
MH: As far as making a trip out to NY and running a session, I think that would be great, we just have to get to NY.
HEDGE-FUND JARL; Flanker/Fullback:
Does you have a greater appreciation for penguins after having visited New Zealand?
MH: Unbelievable appreciation! Didn’t get to meet Happy Feet, but maybe next time.
HEDGE-FUND JARL: Why so we kick away so much possession?
MH: I think that’s a hard one to explain as it could be part f the game plan. It also could be because we have lost our shape and we just need to calm the game down and reset.
JWB: As a Polar Bear, you eat penguins. What types of wine go well with a penguin and penne?
MH: Penguin is definitely not my favorite. A fresh piece of fish is definitely the way to go, with a nice glass of chardonnay.
JUNOIR BLABER: NYRC Assistant Coach and RWU Contributor:
We need the full details of this polar bear story!? Plus, was living on the island in Lost as bad as it looked?
MH: No definitely not as bad as it looked, I love a little time out every now and then and water is obviously a favorite. Unfortunately, the story is far to detailed to break out now, but look for me to elaborate in the near future.
JUNOIR BLABER: Why do you prefer 7s to 15s or do you not, you just happen to be better at 7s?
MH: I think to be honest, I love rugby. I don’t feel that I’m better at either one, but I just fell in to sevens and have really only played sevens the last 4 years except for the odd opportunity with the 15’s eagles here and there. I have had just a lot going on personally and I had to focus on one and I believe that I can contribute the most to the Sevens Program, and the last reason is that I want to go to the Olympics.
JUNOIR BLABER: Name 6 guys that you played with, against or seen play that you would want to be on your dream 7s team.
MH: Oh wow, that’s a hard one. You really putting me on the spot here. That’s something that I would like to think long and hard about. I believe 7s especially, is a game of chemistry and that would dictate my team.
BARRISTER JIM; #8 gives a scenario and questions:
The last battle between USA and Russian heavyweights was in Rocky IV. If Sly Stallone and Dolf Lundgren were rugby players, what positions would they play?
MH: I think I would have Sly as my hooker and Dolf would definitely be a lock or in the loose trio.
BARRISTER JIM: And for the Frankie Goes to Hollywood crowd (When Two Sides Go To War), what positions would Reagan and Gorbachev play?
MH: I think they’d both be sitting in the driver’s seat as Coaches.
JWB: Who would make the next best Action Hero? Dan Carter, Quade Cooper or Alesana Tuilagi and why?
MH: Quade Cooper I think would be the best I see him filling more of a non traditional action hero like Neo in The Matrix. Dan Carter would fill the role as more of a James Bond type and Alesana would big the main henchman that our hero comes up against at some point in the movie.
JWB: Who would make the best villain? Paul O’Connell, Adam Kleeberger (avec beard) or Sam Warburton and why?
MH: All three could fill that role rather easily. O’Connell would be great as a Jeckyl & Hyde type.
JWB: I’m 12-0 picking the matches – including the point differential, so we’ll spare you the indignity of competing. That said, pick your starting 15 players on a RWC All-star team, sans Eagles:
MH: Thanks for sparing me, Johnathan. You’re too kind. Here’s my team, sans Eagles:
Whoops! You’ll have to till Saturday to see the Polar Bear’s Dream Team!
Phaidra Knight with Pam Kosanke, tomorrow.