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Written by Alex Goff    Saturday, 14 April 2012 22:38    PDF Print Write e-mail
Four Left in SoCal DII
Clubs - Men's DII Clubs


Despite being 3-5-1 and 6th in their league, Pasadena upset the North County Gurkhas 11-5 Saturday to make the semis of the SoCal DII club playoffs.

The third-place Gurkhas were not able to get their offense going.

Kern County, ranked 4th after the regular season, easily dispatched San Fernando Valley 43-12. Pasadena will face the Old Aztecs and Kern County takes on Ventura County in the semis next week.

 
Written by Alex Goff    Saturday, 14 April 2012 22:32    PDF Print Write e-mail
DIxon Takes Clash of Top HS Teams
School Age - Boys


Dixon High School defeated Jesuit 38-28 Saturday to take the showdown between the two undefeated single-school high school teams in Northern California.

Jesuit, the perennial national title contenders and defending national champs, were humbled by an up-and-coming Dixon squad, which led 38-14 into the closing quarter.

“We have been around for six years, and it takes time to build a program,” said Dixon Head Coach Rob Salabar. “We have been able to get some really good athletes on this team, and this time we put in a really nice, solid, team effort. They scored a couple of tries near the end, so you can bet we’ll be working on fitness in the coming days.”

Salabar’s Dixon squad is headed for the USA Rugby national invitational (Jesuit’s school administration is keeping their rugby team home this year), and this victory puts them among the top contenders.

“Jesuit set the bar for high school programs,” said Salabar. “We’ve just been trying to get to that level.”

Dixon improves to 6-0, while Jesuit dips to 5-1.

 
Written by Press Release    Saturday, 14 April 2012 21:40    PDF Print Write e-mail
Dartmouth Rolls On to Ivy Final
Colleges - Men's DI College


After going undefeated during their Ivy Rugby regular season in the fall, Dartmouth Rugby quickly returned to form in the semifinals of the Ivy Wildcard tournament Saturday in Princeton, NJ. The tournament, which will determine who represents the conference in the upcoming national Division I-AA playoffs, began for The Big Green with a matchup against Harvard. While the regular-season champs struggled a bit early on, they ultimately rose to the challenge from The Crimson and earned a convincing 51-7 win.

 

Captain and No. 8 Paul Jarvis seemed pleased with the team’s effort after the game. "The boys did well to adapt after a poor start. There were multiple dropped balls and missed opportunities, but our defense and territory control started to pay dividends and we were able to dictate the flow of the game."

 

Dartmouth was unable to take control early, as they made several mistakes that prevented them from putting up points. After several near misses, freshman fullback Madison Hughes finally broke open the scoring to give The Big Green a 5-0 lead. Lock Dylan Jones would be the next to notch a try, busting through several tackles to extend to lead to 12-0 after a successful Hughes conversion.

 

Harvard didn’t let this opening flurry go unanswered, as they turned several minutes of positive play into a try of their own to cut the lead to 12-7. Yet just when it seemed The Crimson was ready to make a game of it, Dartmouth started pulling away again, this time permanently. Jarvis opened the assault, running through several tackles to make it 19-7. He would add another try on one of the last plays of the 1st half to bring the score to 24-7 at the break.

 

The rate of scoring would accelerate as the 2nd half began. Prop Lawrence Anfo-Whyte would be the score first to score, motoring in from over 40 meters out to make the lead 31-7 after Hughes successfully made the subsequent conversion. Only a few minutes later, the fullback would score his 2nd try of the day, making an electric run from deep inside Dartmouth’s half to increase the advantage to 36-7. Finally Jarvis would score his 3rd try for the hat trick, making the score 43-7 and putting the game out of question. The Big Green would go on to win 51-7.

 

With the win, Dartmouth advances to tomorrow’s final. They’ll take on the hometown Princeton Tigers, who won a nail-biter against Brown 22-20 in the other semifinal. The game will kick off at noon. 

 
Written by Press Release    Saturday, 14 April 2012 22:06    PDF Print Write e-mail
RSL Week 6 Review
Clubs - Top Club Leagues


Three games in Week 6 of the Rugby Super League; NYAC defeating Life University 40-23, Old Puget Sound Beach over the Denver Barbarians 74-22, and the Boston against the Dallas Harlequins game finishing in a 16-16 tie.

The big clash between NYAC and Life University ended up in NYAC’s favor, with the home side winning 40-23. With the bonus point win, NYAC owns first place in the East and has now defeated each opponent in the first of two matchups this season. While there is still a lot of rugby to be played and the home and away system gets the other teams another opportunity to reverse the results, it won’t be easy to knock off NYAC.

The game started with both sides missing penalty opportunities, as both sides took the measure of their opponent. Ten minutes in, NYAC’s Brian Doyle provided a spark with a great take off a restart and Life was scrambling to defend the goal-line. An attempted clearance kick was blocked and Chris Chapman scored the first try of the day for a

5-0 NYAC lead.  Life’s Tui Osborne reduced the deficit a few minutes later with a penalty as NYAC back row broke early from a scrum. NYAC was slowly getting the better of the territorial battle, but midway through the half, Life winger Shaun Van Rensburg shrugged off four would-be tacklers for an 80m jaunt down the left sideline to score Life’s first try. The restart by NYAC didn’t go the requisite 10m, and Life reacted faster with flanker Jason Davila finishing off the long range effort, Osborn converting for a 15-5 lead.

With a renewed sense of urgency, NYAC’s pack claimed the restart and powered over for a try, narrowing the gap to 12-15.  Restart issues continued to surface, as shortly after that try, a Life 22 drop out was blocked by NYAC’s Conor Coyne and number 8 Alastair McFarland capitalized, scoring near the posts to reclaim the lead. With time winding down in the half, NYAC were awarded a penalty in front of the posts. NYAC turns down the easy chip shot, opting to go for the corner instead.  It wasn’t a fruitful decision, as Life was able to repel the attack and the score at the half remained 19-15 to NYAC.

In the second half, NYAC gets off to a great start with an early converted try. An Osborne penalty narrows the gap to 26-18, but again NYAC controls much of the territory.  Life’s 18 year old prop Xander Daniels departs the field with an injury, and he is replaced by veteran Chris Sullivan. A break by center Alan MacGinty leads to another NYAC try, as NYAC begins to start converting pressure into points. Minutes later MacGinty and a Life defender both go for a loose ball in the open.  MacGinty wins the race and scampers in for a try to push the lead to 40-17, MacGinty converting all three second half opportunities. With time winding down, Life scores in the corner. Life hurries with the conversion in order to have a chance at getting a fourth try and a bonus point, but it was not to be and the score would finish at 40-23.

“They kept us pinned down in our half and we couldn’t escape” said Life player coach James Isaacson, “they kept it tight when they needed to and ran through their phases... we played better than we have all season and that’s all you can really ask for as long as you keep improving”. They two teams will play again late in the season, in the return game in Georgia.

In Denver, high flying Old Puget Sound Beach came in and defeated the Denver Barbarians 74-22. In a game that was perhaps tighter than the score-line might suggest, Denver repeatedly made good ground and threatened the OPSB line, but did not convert on all their opportunities.  On the other hand, OPSB can – and did – score often, absorbing pressure, waiting for an opportunity and then using the backs especially to carve several scoring opportunities.

Denver to off to a good start, using several phases to pressure the OPSB line, but came away without points.  From an OPSB attacking lineout, center Alipate Tuilevuka reached for the line to get OPSB on the board. Back came Denver, with Maximo DeAchaval making a promising break that was stopped by an illegal tackle. Denver opted for the corner, but again OPSB stopped the threat. Minutes later, a Denver clearance kick dropped at the feet of prop Olive Kilifi, who powered over for OPSB’s second try. OPSB’s Miles Craigwell was next on the board for the visitors with his first try of the day. Another penalty to Denver was kicked to the corner, but Denver knocks on from the lineout. Finally Denver got a break, as OPSB was guilty of feeding in the resulting scrum, and from the free kick, Hunter Leland crosses the try-line to get finally get Denver some reward.

Feeling adventurous, Denver attempts to run out of their “22”, but OPSB tackles and counter-rucks effectively, turning the ball over and Tuilevuka gets his second try. Denver has two more promising attacks stopped just shy of the try-line, but OPSB winger Filimoni Botitu splits those two attacks with a fine try down the left sideline. The five first half OPSB tries were all converted by Russell Armstrong for a 35-5 lead.

In the second half, the frantic pace continued as Logan Collins and Ben Nichols score tries for Denver, and Miles Craigwell and Andrew Durutalo score for OPSB. Midway through the half, yellow cards were issued to Mike Palefau and Kyle Hitt for some extracurricular activities.  Emosi Vucago slips through for a try, followed a minute later by another try from Botitu. Off the bench, Nolan Allen adds another try for OPSB.  Denver gets a fourth try, credited to Ben Schnake, before Craigwell completes his hat-trick for OPSB.  Finally Nolan Allen intercepts an errant pass to notch another try, OPSB’s twelfth of the evening. Denver drops to 0-3 on the season, while OPSB is at 3-0.

In the final game of the day, Boston and the Dallas Harlequins tied 16-16. It was the second consecutive tie of the season for the Harlequins, which must be some kind of record.

Boston had a try and a penalty in the first half in response to a Harlequins penalty kick, moving out to a 10-3 lead. Center Fred Berger had the try for Boston, and Blake Creighton, returning from injury, contributed the kicking points for the home team. Scrumhalf Shawn Begg kicked the penalty for Dallas. As the game moved into the final quarter, Boston was holding on to a 16-3 lead, but the Harlequins were pressing hard. Two more penalties by Begg brought the visiting team close at 16-9, but a converted try would be needed to tie the game up.

With just a minute on the clock, Dallas center Sean O’Sullivan touched down for that try, and Shawn Begg made no mistake with the conversion to bring the scores level. With no time on the clock, Boston kicked off and the Harlequins slowly worked their way back up the field, taking five minutes to get close to the goal line, but knocked on to stop the threat, and the game finished at 16-16.

“Our defense was much better today and there wasn’t a lot of back-and-forth” reports Boston’s Chris Williams. “They might have had 80% of possession in the last 20-25 minutes and they took their penalties and scored with a minute or so left.  They played hard and did a great job of playing to their game-plan for the last twenty minutes.  Dallas’ Mark McCloy commented “it was a very physical game, there weren’t a lot of line breaks. It was a narrow field so it was easy to defend, but it was a hard physical game... Devin Musick, flanker Jimmy Clark and Shawn all played very well for us. I’m very proud of the way they guys fought back. It was a long travel day and they played very well in the last 20 minutes to salvage the points”.

The Harlequins play Life in Dallas next week, while Boston has some time off before they get to play NYAC again.

 
Written by Alex Goff    Saturday, 14 April 2012 19:29    PDF Print Write e-mail
NorCal Di Standings Logjam
Clubs - Men's DI Clubs


Things are getting altogether too complicated in the Northern California DI club league.

Olympic Club and SFGG won this week, securing bonus points by scoring four tries (or in O-Club's case, many, many more), while San Mateo pulled off a slight upset, beating the Sacramento Lions 20-17.

The EPA Bulldogs remain in 1st after winning easily over crosstown rivals the Razorbacks. The Bulldogs are now 6-0 and have clinched 1st place in the Pacific Coast bracket of the Competitive Region 1 playoffs.

With the news that the Utah Brothers will be allowed into the playoffs, as of Friday, the #2 seed goes to Utah. That leaves four teams fighting it out for two spots. All four are now 4-2.

Olympic Club improved to 4-2 with a massive 102-17 pasting of the Sacramento Capitals. Fullback Dustin Muhn and flanker Danny Houghton both scored three tries for O-Club, and Ryan Harris was outstanding, taking Man of the Match honors.

Olympic Club moves into second on points difference over San Mateo. Both are at 21 points. SFGG stays close at 20 points after a bonus-point win over the Barbarians. The Lions, who had been 2nd almost all season, drop to 4th because they don't have the bonus points of the other teams.

So it all comes down to next week.

The bottom two teams, the Bay Area Barbarians and EPA Razorbacks, play each other. San Mateo plays Olympic Club. The winner will almost certainly be 2nd, and #3 in the CR1 playoffs. The Lions play the Capitals, a game they are expected to win, leaving SFGG to play the league-leading Bulldogs.

That puts the Lions still in an excellent position to claim the final playoff spot.

(Provo has the right, apparently, to challenge for that final spot. No word has been heard on whether that will happen.)


NorCal DI Men League








Club W L T PF PA Diff BT BL Pts
EPA Bulldogs 6 0 0 219 68 151 4 0 28
Olympic Club 4 2 0 245 107 138 4 1 21
San Mateo 4 2 0 179 122 57 3 2 21
SFGG 4 2 0 158 125 33 4 0 20
Sacramento Lions 4 2 0 167 67 100 2 1 19
Bay Barbarians 1 5 0 23 196 -173 0 0 4
EPA Razorbacks 1 4 0 85 183 -98 1 0 1
Sacramento Capitals 0 5 0 96 309 -213 0 1 -3


 


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