The Northern California DII club league is only a week old, but it’s already looking good for Santa Rosa.
The Santa Rosa club thumped the Diablo Gaels 51-3, while Vacaville and San Jose tied 13-13, Fresno beat Sacramento 32-18, Berkeley defeated Marin 35-15, and Baracus edged Chico 24-21.
For Santa Rosa, which finished 4th in the nation last year, going behind 3-0 early wasn’t a big deal as they got rolling after about 20 minutes.
“The game against Diablo was fun,” said Santa Rosa assistant coach Alan Petty. “We were able to bring in several subs that have played some international ball and that was more than they were able to match.”
Three different wings touched down, as did the Santa Rosa fullback, showing that they intend to spin the ball. However, they scored three tries in the front row, too.
Being able to score in multiple ways, said Petty, “creates a lot of tactical stress on teams having to defend all across the field.
“The strength of the club is the experience, most of the boys started playing ball in high school therefore you have 24-year-olds who have played in 200 matches. The area we are improving is in our depth, where we were only 22 deep in really class players, now we are getting good rugby out of players 25 to 35. Competition to make the playoff roster will be difficult, should we qualify.”
And this has helped Santa Rosa adjust to having lost a few experienced players, too.
“We lost some very good players who retired or moved on, we have added a few too so we will see how it goes. If we can build continuity then we will be successful. But NorCal is a tough place to play every week so it will always be a challenge,” said Petty.
Santa Rosa has a bye this week. Playing this week are:
Marin at Baracus
Chico at Berkeley
Sacramento Caps at San Jose
Vacaville at Fresno