Written by Alex Goff    Sunday, 19 February 2012 15:26    PDF Print Write e-mail
Tolkin's Plans Becoming Clear
RUGBYmag Premier - Exclusive News

A few aspects of new USA 15s MNT Head Coach Mike Tolkin’s plans are becoming clear.

Written by Eamonn Hogan    Sunday, 19 February 2012 15:15    PDF Print Write e-mail
Column: The Trouble With Foreigners Pt 2
RUGBYmag Premier - Columns and Opinions

Eamonn Hogan has been travelling to the USA since 2005 assisting club, high school and national teams with refining their skills at the breakdown. He has coached rugby for nearly twenty years and is currently a contributor to Rugby Coach Weekly magazine based in the UK. He is therefore in a unique position to judge the view of ‘foreigners’ in the American game. In this follow up editorial, he looks at overseas coaches and where they can help the development of the game in America 

Written by Press Release    Saturday, 18 February 2012 22:47    PDF Print Write e-mail
Cal Edges UBC By 1
Colleges - Men's DI College

SAN FRANCISCO - Flyhalf Alex Aronson kicked the game-winning conversion following No. 8 Danny Barrett's try in the 74th minute as California came back from a six-point deficit to beat British Columbia, 13-12, Saturday on Ray Sheeran Field at the San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club on Treasure Island. 

Dobson Images
Dobson Images
Barrett in for the winning try. Dobson Images

The Golden Bears (10-0) will take their one-point advantage into the rematch with UBC on March 25 in Vancouver, Canada, and attempt to win the "World Cup" series, which is decided by total points scored in the annual, two-match competition.

Thunderbirds scrumhalf Carlin Hamstra connected on 4-of-6 penalty attempts to score all of UBC's points. UBC flyhalf Harry Jones failed to make a 30-meter drop kick in the 68th minute.

Aronson, who also made 2-of-3 penalty-kick attempts for eight points scored, lined up the go-ahead conversion and kicked it through the posts from a few meters off the touch line in front of an appreciative crowd.

"I just wanted to go through my routine, trust it and strike it true," said Aronson.

Eight of Cal's starters, which included four sophomores, had never before faced UBC, and the Bears made it tough on themselves with uncharacteristic errors to give British Columbia ample opportunities to capitalize.

Hamstra missed his first penalty attempt off the left post from 40 meters in the sixth minute and Aronson gave Cal the lead five minutes later with his 22-meter penalty boot. The senior flyhalf connected again from the 22 before Hamstra converted his second penalty attempt to trim Cal's lead to 6-3. Hamstra's second three-pointer tied the score at 6-6 going into the break.

Cal was able to initiate several line breaks but could not finish them with tries. Brad Harrington had one of those breaks inside the 22, which did not result in any points for the Bears. Following that sequence, Hamstra's third penalty kick gave UBC a 9-6 lead in the 56th minute.

After UBC flyhalf and Canadian international Harry Jones missed his drop kick from 30 meters, Cal's 22-drop went directly out, giving the T-Birds a scrum in scoring territory. The Bears were quickly whistled for an infraction and Hamstra upped the UBC lead to 12-6.

But as Cal pressured UBC deep its own end after the ensuing kickoff, the T-Birds failed to put their clearance kick into touch. Instead, fullback Jake Anderson fielded it at midfield and made defenders miss as he put the Bears into scoring position. Two phases later, Barrett scored the first and only try by either team on the day, and Aronson sealed it with his conversion.

Coach Clark praised Barrett's resolve to find the try zone for the Bears.

"When Danny is determined like he was today, he's the best player in collegiate rugby," he said.

For the second straight year during the Rugby Bears' inability to host home matches at Witter Rugby Field, proceeds from Saturday's "World Cup" opener were directed to benefit high-school and youth rugby. And for the second straight year, Cal come back to beat the T-Birds on Treasure Island.

"They really come to play," said Barrett of the Thunderbirds. He called his score "a team try to get it down to the goal line. We put ourselves in a tough situation and were happy to dig ourselves out."

"Errors aside, I am really proud of the work the boys put in today," coach Clark said. "It would have been easy to fold in the final stages trailing a good team like the Birds."

"Both defenses seemed to stand up when it got close to the goal line," said UBC head coach Spence McTavish. "The turning point was probably that high ball that we put up and their fullback got it," McTavish said of UBC's failed clearance kick in the waning minutes that Anderson returned into scoring range. "That set everything scrambling."

The one-point win for the Bears is their slimmest margin of victory during their current, 63-match winning streak in 15s.

"We are a fair ways from being the team we want to be but today was a couple of steps in the right direction," said Clark.

The Scoring Timeline vs. British Columbia:

11:00 Alex Aronson 3

18:00 Alex Aronson 3

23:00 UBC (Carlin Hamstra) 3

37:00 UBC (Carlin Hamstra) 3

Halftime: California 6, British Columbia 6

56:00 UBC (Carlin Hamstra) 3

70:00 UBC (Carlin Hamstra) 3

74:00 Danny Barrett 5, Alex Aronson 2

Final Score: California 13, British Columbia 12

Written by Alex Goff    Sunday, 19 February 2012 03:06    PDF Print Write e-mail
SoCal DI Club Latest
Clubs - Men's DI Clubs

Belmont Shore weathered a tough OMBAC team to win a close one Saturday 31-25 and remain undefeated at 4-0 in the SoCal club league.

OMBAC dropped to 2-2. Meanwhile Santa Monica trailed 10-7 to Los Angeles at halftime but came back to win 33-20 and improve to 2-1-1.

With Las Vegas showing a surprise loss to Back Bay 24-15, Santa Monica vaults into third, just behind bonus-point-rich OMBAC.

SoCal DI Men League

Club W L T PF PA Diff BT BL Pts
Belmont Shore 4 0 0 181 44 137 4 0 20
OMBAC 2 2 0 139 117 22 3 2 13
Santa Monica 2 1 1 104 117 -13 1 0 11
Back Bay 2 2 0 112 128 -16 2 0 10
Las Vegas 1 2 1 98 90 8 1 0 7
Los Angeles 0 4 0 44 180 -136 0 0 0

Written by Alex Goff    Saturday, 18 February 2012 22:40    PDF Print Write e-mail
Austin Defeats Fort Worth in Mud
Clubs - Men's DI Clubs

The Austin Blacks continued their undefeated run in the Texas DI club league with a 37-7 defeat of Fort Worth in very wet, muddy conditions Saturday.

Fort Worth scored the opening try on a lineout-and-drive, and that seemed to be the preferred method of scoring throughout the game.

The mud was thick and partway through the game it was hard to differentiate the two teams. Austin managed, however, and reeled off seven tries, several of them lineout-and-drive efforts.

Head Coach Lachlan Ferguson praised his team, especially the forwards, with his props Joe Malenka and Mike Lowe leading the way. Austin used a revamped backline as two of his mainstays in the threequarters have had to step away from rugby for family reasons.

But the revamped backs didn't have a lot of ballcarrying to do.

"It was a day to work it in the forwards and not get the ball past the #10 too often," said Ferguson. "We just did pick-and-drive and then kicked for territory and exert pressure. The guys did really well and stuck to the plan. I am very pleased."


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