Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Interview #8 - Rob Holland

Hey Rob, how're things?
Things are grand, Hogi. I'm old so don't have exams, but trudging away with the Masters.

Congrats on a big weekend at Tour followed by a big weekend at Intervarsities! Tell us briefly about your mixed tour experiences.
Mixed Tour was an incredible weekend. I wasn't completely expecting the cohesiveness that we showed on the pitch to occur so naturally, but in the first game we clicked and it was actually really easy to play with the team. We beat our seed by 11 places, which is more than any other team at the tournament, so I feel like it was a successful experience! I do have some good memories like Niall skying a load of people and Oisín gunning it deep every time Kieth got the disc. There were also many a decent grab by Estelle and Sarah, and I scored a Callaghan which was nice. Losing the last game and dropping a would-be Callaghan were less enjoyable though.

This is the first time that the whole  squad (or almost all of it) has played together competitively. Is there anyone you especially enjoyed playing with?
Everybody on the team was fantastic to play with. Playing defence, all seven players on the pitch have to shut down their opponent. And considering how many turns we did get, I'd say everyone did a tremendous job. It was also fun to slot them in consistently too, with everybody playing a role.

Rob gets horizontal

And last weekend we saw your college team Trinity College become runners up at the Irish Intervarsities tournament. Was the weekend a good one despite falling just short of first place?
Yeah it was a bittersweet weekend. In once sense it was rewarding to have overcome the teams that finished third, fourth, and fifth on the way to the final, but being second place on a Sunday evening is not pleasant. Having been beaten by UCC in the final last year we were really geared up for it, but they are an impressive team and took the trophy back down to Cork with them. That being said, Trinity played well and we were especially happy to have beaten UCD in a kind of ridiculous match (from which there's a lovely photo of me jumping into you).

Tell us, how did you get into Ultimate?
Sam Meighan's ma is friend's with Donal Murphy's ma (two Irish Ultimate players' mothers) and told her that Sam plays Ultimate. Donal's a friend from school and he produced a disc one day in fifth or sixth year. So I was aware of the sports existence. Then a group of us played summer league a couple of years ago for the laugh (Deco and Stein were actually on our team) and I joined the Trinity Ultimate club and hung around.

You've not played as long as some of the other squad members but you have played with Irish powerhouses Trinity, OCS, Broc and Ranelagh - some achievement in a short time. What are some of your highlights from the last 3 years?
I always find playing with Trinity to be very enjoyable. With the people there and ultimate it is a great place to play, with IVs last year probably being my favourite tournament to date. Also, foreign tournaments are always particularly memorable as highlights. I had hardly been playing a year before playing two Tours with OCS and the final of All-Irelands with Broc so they were incredible learning experiences. The Ranelagh performance at All-Irelands last year was also pretty good, coming third with the second team, and I'm really looking forward to this year.

Again, not vertical
In June the team will travel to Windmill. After your experiences at Tour do you think the team will continue to get results? Or will you find tougher match ups here?
I'm not entirely sure what to expect from the teams at Windmill. Having never been I don't know what the standard is like, but I think it's safe to assume that the games will be tough. We'll play each team as they come and I hope we expect to put in an honest account of ourselves.

Are there any teams attending Windmill you want to play more than others?
I'm actually not sure of the other teams going to Windmill, but it doesn't really bother me who we play. I think Germany are going so that would be exciting, but I may have made that up.

Describe an ideal week for the team at U23s in July.
It's really sunny and warm and there's lemonade and we win absolutely everything. Realistically it will be tough but I'd like to think that we would reproduce our performance from Tour and take a few big shcalps. And I don't get injured.

Teammate Declan Grogan has a question about  your defensive mindset. He asks "what makes you so motivated to go get the D every time?". I guess as an O-line player we have to explain these things to him!
Making lives difficult and messing up the other team is fun. It sounds kinda jerky, but it's true! It's a feels great when you prevent someone from getting what they want for the benefit of your team. I enjoy marking handlers because it's generally considered easy to "just dump it", but if you mess with the resets the other team gets flustered and it is really really fun to watch.

Robert Problems
You've an unfortunate history of freak injuries. Can you contain your recklessness long enough to "smash it" at Windmill and Toronto?
Ha, I'd like to think of it as premeditated recklessness, but with commitments I have now I think I'll most definitely have to be more prudent than before. I do get injured a lot. I think I could only play at around 5 club training sessions last year. But I'm currently feel healthy and intend on seeing out the summer that way. 

The usual closing questions: Who do you want to play most in Toronto?
Canada. It would be nice to play the hosts and if they play as physically as I think they will, it would be a decent match.

Make us laugh.
Two silk worms were in a race. They ended up in a tie.

Cheers Rob. Best of luck with the next few months!
Cheers, buddy.

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