Looking at the list of names who played well for the USA in the recent Churchill Cup, or who had good moments, one of the names conspicuously absent was that of Kevin Swiryn.
The former USA 7s and St. Mary’s team captain, and professional for Agen, had probably his worst series for the Eagles, and the wing/center told RUGBYMag.com that he knows it.
“No need to sugarcoat it, I didn't play well,” Swiryn said Wednesday. “My defense was abysmal and embarrassing. When you get to this level if you're not your toughest critic, you won't make it very long. I know how I played and there's nothing anyone can say that I haven't already said to myself.”
The key next step, said Swiryn, is to pick himself up.
“I'm fortunate that I have a few games under my belt from previous years that show my capabilities,” he said. “If I didn't, the likelihood of me playing again for the US this summer wouldn't be very high.”
Asked if he felt the long French season – Swiryn’s first professional season – was a factor in tiring him out, the former All American said it’s possible, but that’s just an excuse.
“It's a World Cup year and we need to be playing the best players to give our team the best chance to compete and to win games,” he said. “If I fall out of form then maybe I'm not the guy. If I play two bad games and one good one, then I'm inconsistent and, again, I may not be the guy. But if I play like I have in the past for the Eagles, then I know I'm the guy.”
Everyone can have slumps, said Swiryn, pointing to former baseball MVP Ryan Howard’s 0-23 run this year.
“That doesn't make him a poor hitter; he just has something going on that's not allowing him to maximize his performance. In the Churchill Cup I played poor defense, but I can say with confidence that normally I'm a solid defender. I had my slump and it's time for me to get out of it, just like Howard did when he hit a home run.”