Belmont Shore got four penalty kicks from Geoff Pound and a solid debut from age-grade callup hooker Joe Taufetee to edge rivals Santa Monica 12-8 in a relatively sloppy early-season league game in Southern California.
The game was what you'd expect from teams that have hardly been on the training field in the last few weeks. Neither team was able to really bring it together, and, as Shore Head Coach Ray Egan said, "the set-piece was a bit of a lottery."
However, Santa Monica Head Coach Doug Bratcher was not discouraged by the loss, partly because his team gets a bonus point for a close loss.
"I was really happy with the defense," Bratcher told RUGBYMag.com. "To hold Belmont Shore to no tries in a league game is nothing to sneeze at."
Sean Pypers scored a try for Santa Monica, the only one of the game, while Brian O'Shea hit a penalty kick.
The result perhaps hinged on one passage of play, when Santa Monica pushed Belmont Shore back and were close to scoring another try. They were held off about two meters from the line.
"Had we scored then, things might have been different," said Bratcher.
Meanwhile, Egan, who saw good performances from Taufetee, flanker Eddie McKenna, scrumhalf Rainier Ball, and center Peter Sio, was fairly pleased.
"We needed to work on our option-taking and if we had been a bit better, then we might have won by several scores," Egan said. "But a win's a win. Overall we're pretty p[leased. We got something from every trip to their 22; we just didn't get to their 22 enough."