Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Sunday, 23 February 2014 23:35    PDF Print Write e-mail
Santa Monica Boys Beat ICEF
School Age - Boys

The Santa Monica U18 boys rugby team defeated ICEF 50-12 Saturday in the Buddha Cup, an annual clash between the two teams.

Action from Santa Monica, in green, and ICEF, in red.
Action from Santa Monica, in green, and ICEF, in red.

There are strong ties between ICEF and Santa Monica Rugby Club; Mike Piscal (aka Buddha) founded and ran ICEF Public Schools, and ICEF rugby has thrived under the leadership of Stu Krohn and Dave Hughes, both former Santa Monica men's team players.

In the game named for Piscal, Santa Monica opened with two quick tries by
maintaining ball possession and gaining quick ball from the breakdown. ICEF were unable to meet the controlled aggression and power of the composed Santa Monica forward pack when their scrum packed low and pushed ICEF back which disrupted their momentum.

Santa Monica took advantage of a wealth of possession and a well-functioning
lineout to exploit space out wide.

Down 38-0 going into the second half, ICEF forwards showed grit and determination and a series of penalties against Santa Monica enabled ICEF to regain possession and hold the ball better in tight. ICEF scored two tries and one conversion by splitting open Santa Monica's defense.

It was an impressive rebound in the second half, but not enough to reel in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica's scores came from mobile loosehead prop Benny Gonda (3 tries), spritely flanker Tom Heaney (2 tries) whose pace at the breakdown was first-rate, inside center Joseph Epko, who constantly broke open ICEF's defense, No. 8 Conor Lydon, and Ian Jost. Flyhalf Alex Walsh kicked five conversions.

Mention should go to Conor Lydon
whose tackling and defensive work were outstanding, center Parker Lynch, who combined well with his center partner Joseph Expo, Willy Hock who was at the forefront on every attacking play, Benny Gonda who bulldozed through the ICEF defense and showed great support play in getting his hat trick. Scrumhalf  Evan Clark constantly put the ICEF on the back foot with clever box kicks and Walsh controlled the backline.

Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Sunday, 23 February 2014 23:15    PDF Print Write e-mail
Union Count Wins HS Clash in NC
School Age - Boys

The high-flying Southern Pines high school rugby team traveled to #11 Union County Friday night in North Carolina HS action and were summarily defeated 41-17.

Southern Pines in yellow. Union County in blue. George Deslisle photo.“We didn’t respect the ball tonight, and gave away possession too many times,” said Southern Pines Coach Robert Bortins.

Despite a strong preseason with victories over #15 Chapin, SC and #25 Alpharetta, Ga, the Gators were unable to translate what worked in previous wins to an upset over reigning state champions Union County.

Southern Pines scored on a nice long-range movement, but the Gators lost the ball on the ensuing restart and and some slick passing by Union County set up a try that tied the game. Union County then continued to punish Southern Pines mistakes to score four more times in the first half.

Union County unleashed some nifty plays, including a nicely-executed kick and chase to put the game out of reach at 36-12.

“No excuses, Union County was the better team today, but we look forward to a rematch in the playoffs.  Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn” said Bortins. “We still have all our season goals ahead of us, but our margin of error has decreased significantly.”  

Photos credit to George DeLisle.

Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Thursday, 20 February 2014 16:50    PDF Print Write e-mail
Torrey Pines Ends Wilson Win Streak to Win in SoCal White
School Age - Boys

San Diego - Wilson High School of Long Beach, Calif. brought their two Southern California Youth Rugby high school championships, and their three-year winning streak, south to face San Diego rivals Torrey Pines High School in this year's Southern California Varsity White Division championship, hosted at Cathedral Catholic High on Saturday, Feb 15.

Torrey Pines wing Jeremy Fleet scores the lone try of the game. Susie Talman photo.
Dean Karam on an eightman pick for Torrey Pines. Susie Talman photo.
The crowd looks on as both teams battle for a lineout ball. Susie Talman photo.
Mason Orosky for Torrey Pines. Susie Talman photo.

This year Torrey Pines turned the tide, winning 13-9 in a tough defensive battle.

The tone was set from the opening kick as both sides traded possessions near midfield. The tackling was sure and neither team could gain much advantage. Wilson committed a costly offside penalty at their own 22, and Torrey Pines' flyhalf, Alec Mills, slotted the kick to stake his team to an early 3-0 advantage.

Energized by the score, Torrey Pines opened up their play book, and succeeded in getting the ball to their big, fast wing, Jeremy Fleet, who lived up to his name by gouging Wilson's defense for sizable gains down the sideline. Fleet finally punched in a try with a 15-meter dash, and Mills was again good with the kick making it 10-0, Torrey Pines. The teams traded penalty kicks, and the halftime score stood, 13-3.

Wilson played to their size advantage early in the second half, pounding the Torrey Pines defense with their tight five, and most effectively their No. 8 Connor Cudeback. The pressure was intense, and the Torrey Pines defense committed costly errors allowing Wilson to claw their way back into the game with two additional penalty kicks.

As the clock wound down, the score stood 13-9, and the pressure continued to build. The Torrey Pines defensive structure held, their tackling was solid, and the whistle blew handing Torrey Pines this year's high school championship.  The Falcons finish the season, 8-0.

Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Sunday, 16 February 2014 23:53    PDF Print Write e-mail
Cathedral Wins SoCal Varsity Final
School Age - Boys

The Cathedral Catholic Dons defeated View Park 17-7 Saturday evening in tight and intense battle for the Southern California Cal High School Red Division title.

Cathedral's Patrick Irvine spins the ball out while under the attention of View Park's Neville Cassanova.
Aaron Mitchell is stopped by View Park's Joshua Wells.
Cathedral flanker Tyson Maeva.

The victory capped off a 9-0 undefeated season for Cathedral.

The Dons were able to put pressure on  View Park early in the game and forced a View Park error in-goal, allowing flyhalf Mac Entwhistle - ready to join the Sport Lived Australian Rugby Academy - to score a try after two minutes. Junior fullback Adam Wilson converted.

Entwhistle would later make a try-saving tackle after a long View Park run a meter from the Cathedral line, and Wilson counter-attacked well from the fullback position all night long.

As the game settled into a defensive battle, Cathedral was able to score off a ruck; quick passes got the ball out to St Mary’s-bound wing Nick Gamez who was able to touch down in the corner for an unconverted try. Cathedral led after 18 minutes 12-0.

The remainder of the half had the Cathedral offense pushing and pressurizing the View Park defense but to no avail.

The second started much like the first half ended as both team continued to fight for points in what was turning into a defensive battle.  Finally, after 18 minutes in the second half View Park was able to steal a Cathedral lineout at the 5-meter-line to score a converted try to make it 12-7.

Undaunted, Cathedral immediately  went on the attack and was able to score off 8 man Aaron Mitchell’s pick up and offload to Gamez who touched down in the corner for his second try of the game with 15 minutes left. Wilson just missed the conversion from the sideline, Cathedral 17, View Park 7.

For the remaining 15 minutes both teams attacked and counterattacked making big hits and long runs in the process. Both defenses held and when referee blew the final whistle the final score was 17-7, Cathedral.

Written by Alex Goff    Saturday, 15 February 2014 16:36    PDF Print Write e-mail
Sierra Foothills Wins Thriller in NorCal HS
School Age - Boys

Sierra Foothills needed every second to win a thrilling Northern California High School clash with Granite Bay, scoring on the last play of the game to take a 26-21 decision Friday night.

Sierra Foothills in mostly black. Granite Bay in mostly green. David Barpal photo.Sierra Foothills in mostly black. Granite Bay in mostly green. David Barpal photo.
Sierra Foothills in mostly black. Granite Bay in mostly green. David Barpal photo.
Sierra Foothills in mostly black. Granite Bay in mostly green. David Barpal photo.
Sierra Foothills in mostly black. Granite Bay in mostly green. David Barpal photo.

Ranked #4 among HS club by, Sierra Foothills  ran out to a 14-0 lead in the first half before Granite Bay scored on a quick tap.

Sierra looked close to scoring early, once thanks to a nifty box kick, and a couple of times on some long runs, but the Granite Bay cover defense held. But prolonged pressure finally saw the forward barrel over.

Eventually Sierra Foothills was able to go wide and scored another in the corner to lead 14-0.

But Granite Bay made it 14-7 at halftime after a long period in the Seirra 22.

In the second half Sierra Foothills worked it wide and slammed through the defense to make it 19-7. But Granite Bay didn't fold. A yellow card for a late challenge put Sierra Foothills down a player, and Granite Bay worked the phases to score and then did it again to tie the game 19-19, and then take the lead with the conversions 21-19.

Sierra Foothills mounted a furious series of attacks trying to regain the lead. They seemed to have a try set up on the wing, but the last pass didn't go to hand. They though they were over the line, but the try was negated by a knock-on.

Still camped out on the Granite Bay line, Sierra Foothills piled over with one  more surge. The try was given, and the kick good to finish the game 26-21.

With the result, Sierra Foothills moves to 4-0. Also in the Varsity Gold league in Northern California, Jesuit B defeated the Sacramento Eagles 21-15 to improve to 3-0 and Vacaville improved to 2-1 with a 22-12 defeat of Lancers.


Page 8 of 77