Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
Try: The Movie is a documentary that was recently released and little word has been passed around about it’s presense. The film follows that paths of three American rugby players in their quest to make the Eagles squad for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Dan Payne, Latu Puloka, and Jarvis Albury are the focus of the documentary as are their varied paths that lead them to rugby. Aside from the three main players in focus, the film makers also went over many of the obstacles that face rugby players in the USA, but kept the tone positive throughout.
Since the film was released almost a year after the 2007 World Cup, there isn’t any suspense in regards to who actaully makes the cut. Regardless, the film is quite enjoyable, albeit a little short. At a runtime of only 40 minutes, I was definitely left wanting more.
The film starts with a quick recap of the history of rugby in the United States, which included some very nice shots of the 1920 & 1924 United States Olympic Rugby teams. Hopefully one of these days, USA Rugby will finish their history project and release the history book that has been tossed about for years. O.K., back to the documentary. The film then follows the three players along through their training and into the NA4 competition. While both Albury and Puloka get plenty of screen time, Dan Payne gets the lion’s share. I would imagine it had something to do with him being the one that makes the team. Payne’s pact with his brother (who plays in the NFL) is a key point throughout the film. As a Iraq veteran, Puloka brings a more endearing storyline to the film. Injuries pretty much put Albury out of the story from the beginning. They continue to go to him and use their storytelling skills to make it feel like he still has a shot, but anyone who has been involved in elite athletics knows how the story will end. Injured players don’t make the team.
Aside from interviews with the Payne, Puloka, and Albury there are interviews with a handful of other Eagles hopefuls. Everyone’s favorite former Eagle Coach, Peter Thorburn, has some very nice things to say about rugby in the USA. Serioulsy… I’m not kidding. Nigel Melville and Al Caravelli also get a bit of face time in the film. There is also lot of behind the scenes rugby action throughout the film which I always enjoy.
The short running time is the only beef I had with the production. The film finishes before the World Cup begins and I would have really enjoyed seeing the documentary taken the full course through the RWC.
Rugby America Grade: B
Click the link to learn more about Try: The Movie . There is a trailer available through the website and the movie can be ordered through their website for $20. A little steep for 40 or so minutes, but it was worth it to get into my collection.