Saturday saw a hot and competitive day of collegiate rugby at the Long Beach State Rugby Tournament, with Santa Barbara City College and Occidental taking home the prizes in their respective divisions.
This year’s competitors were: Arizona State Cs, Cal State Long Beach, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (A,B,C), Cal State Fullerton, Loyola, Santa Barbara City College, UC San Diego and UC Irvine. Those teams where split into two brackets; a 1st Division which had a playoff format and the 2nd Division which was a round robin format.
The semifinals in the 1st division was Santa Barbara CC vs Fullerton. Santa Barbara won their pool with victories over Loyola, CSULB and UC Irvine. Fullerton earned their semi spot with victory over UCSD and a close loss to Cal Poly SLO. This was a tight affair with the forward’s dominating the play from start to finish with the final score 10-5 to Santa Barbara CC.
The second semifinal pitted the deepest squad at the tournament, Cal Poly, which had left behind their entire 1st 7s squad to rest up for qualifier, against Cal State Long Beach. Cal Poly got there with victories over Fullerton and UC San Diego. Long Beach got there with two wins over Loyola and UC Irvine and a loss to SBCC. This also was a tight game with fatigue and attrition playing its role on both squads but the ball bounced in the host’s favor with the Long Beach 49ers coming away with the 17-0 win.
This led to the final being a rematch of the earlier pool game (CSULB vs. SBCC) that SBCC won handily. The final like most games played for silverware was a closer contest but SBCC had their pressure convert into points with 5 minutes to go in the half with two quick scores taking a 14-0 lead into halftime. Long Beach came out strong from half time to score under the posts to make the score 14-7 and that was a close as it got with SBCC camping out in Long Beach’s half and that pressure paid off in another strong team try to put the final score 21-7.
Santa Barbara City College was probably the most consistent performer on the day and deserved winners.
In the 2nd division, Three squads stood out, Arizona State (C’S) and Cal Poly SLO (B’s-C’s) for their depth and solid play throughout the day but the school program that took the spoils was Occidental (Oxy) coached by former 7s Eagle Dallen Stanford.
On the day, several teams put their hand up and this bodes well for a very competitive spring league season in the first and third divisions.
Tournament organizers thanked the Southern California Referee’s Union for their staffing of the event on a busy weekend in Southern California Rugby.
Long Beach State Rugby is sponsored by www.KaplanConstruction.com , Photo’s from the event can be found on www.longbeachstateRFC.com and www.buttonpressingmonkey.com