2004 National Rugby Playoffs Update
Yeah, we did it. Our support team made the difference. Two players didn’t get to
dress, Darren Pitzele and Peter Thompson, so they immediately and selflessly got
busy helping Danny, Doug and Kazuki with organization, water, recovery, taping
and massage. I really believe this support staff made the difference. With the
two-game, two-day format, the immediate recovery after game one, those two hours
are crucial, and we kept the boys hydrated and kept them fed until we went to
Other players saw limited playing time but were crucial when
they were used, thanks Danny the Wine, Richard Paden and Steven Johnson. Thanks
Chungster and Kevin B. for making the trip and helping out with management. Carl
“North Hollywood” (NoHo) Seibert’s parents, all three of them, were there to
cheer us on and that was special, along with my folks, Gene and Bunny.
Special thanks to Billy and the bandwagon that cut our costs in half for
This is what happened: We didn’t give up a try all weekend,
except for a marginal penalty try in the second game. Defense is the key for us
and that’s what we’ve been saying all year. Jeremy “Le Tank” is charging off the
back of the scrum on offense, but he’s also slaying people who try to cross our
line. He’s being joined by the whole team. I do have to point out the other
Jeremy, our Doc, is leading the D in the midfield from outside center. His cover
defense is impressive, letting our wingers stay out wide on their men.
Our tries all came from sustained pressure on the opponent’s line.
Yesterday, a streamlined Knox charged a penalty forward to the Pittsburg line,
taking the Pitt pack with him, and then inside center, big Fred Moe, finished it
off taking another 4 Pitt defenders on his back and across the line.
We shut Pitt down and all they could do was attack by kicking the ball
ahead, chasing and hoping.
Nathan Jones got style points on a Swansea
dive, full arc, with 15 minutes to go when more sustained pressure saw the ball
out to Nathan who was at flyhalf this weekend with Kain “Picasso” Cross out.
Nathan dummied wide and cut back for the line and with defenders closing in, he
dove, straight up, like he’s getting ready for the Olympic diving in Greece, and
completed the Swansea over the defenders and the line “for a perfect 10”, that’s
what Huw said, he did. “That’s how we do it in Swansea, y’see boys?”
Matt Strangeway collected his second try in two days to finish off
Pittsburg with a blind move off of the scrum 30 meters out, spinning off of the
defender in what has become a regular Strangeway pirouette of sorts and I think
must date back to earlier ballet or something, but he’s got it going and is now
heading for the tryline with determination whenever he touches the ball.
Aaron Blatt had two captain’s games, scoring
twice in the first one and leading again by example in game two. Brett had two
solid games on the wing. Stampy was huge in the front row for two in a row, so
was Knox. Our second row dominated lineouts, thanks to Ray, Scottie, and
Charlie, and Carl was a tornado when he came in.
Dominic is another
captain on and off the field and is solid all around. Ry and Noah tag-teamed at
number 7 and both hounded the opposition ruthlessly. Huw also fed the backs and
forwards evenly and spot on for two days straight. Jerry “One Time” and Kelley
“Apple Pie” tag-teamed on the other wing, with Jerry running the ball strongly
and confidently, and Kelley scored the final try that saw us finish New Haven on
day one 31-6.
It was 22-7 against Pittsburg.
We play defending
champions Boston Irish Wolfhounds on Sat., June 5th, in Pittsburg. Be there.
We’re looking for Old Boys, parents and friends of Santa Monica to come forward
to help us get there.