The Los Angeles Rugby Club may have lost Saturday’s game, but the result is still cause for encouragement.
Holding Belmont Shore to only 18 points, LA were in perfect position to upend the defending national DI champs, ultimately going down 18-14.
The result, then, was a disappointing loss for LA, but a sign, say club leaders, of better things to come.
“We were in a position to win that game; we should have won that game,” said club VP Paul Breen. “I don’t think it was a one-off. I think you can expect to see better things from this club from now on.”
For the past 18 months the Los Angeles Rugby Club has been looking to change how it does business.
“We have been working diligently about moving from a player-run club to an executive-run club; we hired a new coach. We have been getting more involved in youth rugby and with our old boys and growing rugby at all levels,” said Breen.
The club is looking also to bring a women’s team under their umbrella. But the crux of the club is still the DI men’s club, and success there helps recruiting. Breen said the club has been working hard to build from within rather than relying on bringing in players from overseas.
“We have a lot of talented players and a lot of good youth teams in the Los Angeles area,” said Breen. “We believe in home-grown.”
And all of that is the result of long-term thinking. But there are short-term benefits. Belmont Shore was relieved to get out of Saturday’s game (muddy and wet as the conditions were) with a victory. Compare that 18-14 scoreline to last year, when Shore beat LA 36-6 and 67-0.
“We are very excited about the developments in the club,” said Breen. “We have good numbers at training and we’re growing the game.”