Another in a long string of perfect rugby days welcomed the boys on Saturday as two sides (Vegas only brought a first team) trotted out to victory.
The Fighting Kelp opened the adult portion of the rugby day looking to move up in the standings playing a very large Imperial Beach team. Imperial Beach jumped out to an early lead in the third minute with a quick try, and it looked like it might be one way traffic for most of the game. The Kelp had a different plan though and quickly reorganized scoring three tries before the half ended. The second half was an end to end affair and the Fighting Kelp answered every try that Imperial Beach scored. When the final whistle blew, neither team on the field was sure who had won, but the referee counted his tallies and found that SMRC won 48-41. The victory moves the Kelp into second place in the standings behind Dead Rabbits. The Kelp will travel to the Dead Rabbits in three weeks to avenge their only on field loss of the season.
In the days final game the Dolphins looked to beat Las Vegas at home for the first time since 2008. Las Vegas traveled to the Dolphin Pit with only 15 players and, at least on paper, this looked to be a perfect chance for the Dolphins to close the points difference gap with Belmont Shore.
A sloppy, low energy Dolphin team emerged from the sideline and quickly gave up a try to the visitors. For the next several minutes passes went to ground, tackles were missed, guys tried to play their own style of rugby. The coaching staff watched and stewed on the sidelines knowing that once the Dolphins emerged from their slumber that things would turn around. In the 17th minute flanker Brian Regal touched down for the first Dolphin try of the match. Five minutes later it was center Shane Morales who broke through defensive line untouched from a scrum 22 meters out, 12-7.
Vegas kept playing and eventually were able find a crease in the Dolphin defense in retaking the lead 12-14. Finally, saying enough, number 8 Ken Aseme touched down under the posts just two minutes before halftime, 17-14. Las Vegas kicked a ball deep into the Dolphin half after the restart and intelligent rugby prevailed. Wing Kelly Serfoss kept the ball on the sideline 5 meters from the Dolphin line and as everyone meandered about was able to throw in to a streaking fullback Ali Ross. Ross took the ball forward and passed back to Serfoss who galloped the remaining 60 meters for the try on half time, 22-14.
The second half opened and the Dolphins started brining on reserves. The fresh legs continued to wear down the visitors and at the 3/4 mark of the game, Aseme claimed his second. Fielding a kick on the sideline near his own 10 meter line Aseme looked to pass and counter attack back in field. Seeing that there might be a better option, Aseme burst up the sideline and shaked and baked his way for another long range try, 27-14.
Finally, having broken the backs of the visitors, and getting back to the game plan the tries started to come more easily. Reserve scrum half, Danny Carpio finished a nice movement that saw most of the 15 man squad touch the ball, 34-14. With 10 minutes to play it was Morales (who has scored 4 tries in the last two contests) who blasted his way through for another Dolphin score, 41-14.
Reserve fullback, Padraig Cremin was next to add to the tally, scoring in the corner, 46-14. Finally, on the final whistle it was reserve #8 AJ Woolley who crashed through for the clubs 9th try, 51-14.
While not the clubs best or most focused effort of the season, it was good to run away with the game. The clubs depth continues to be a strength, as is our fitness, and ability to match up with nearly any style of rugby the opposition chooses to play. The club is off next weekend for Easter, but returns to the pitch on April 6 against long time antagonists OMBAC.
Santa Monica 51
Tries (9): Aseme 2, Carpio, Cremin, Morales 2, Regal, Serfoss, Woolley
Conversions (3): Cremin, Gibbon 2
Las Vegas 14
1-Hill, Danny (Flake @ 45); 2-King, Pat; 3-Kalemani, Epi (Seemen @ 45); 4-Winter, Zac; 5-Davis, Aaron (Cohen @ 60); 6-Regal, Brian; 7-Manavian, Taylor (Killefer @ 45); 8-Aseme, Ken (Woolley @ 60); 9-Ramos, Lucas (Carpio @ 35); 10-Gibbon, Alan; 11-Pypers, Sean; 12-Lee, Shawn (Martini @ 50); 13-Morales, Shane; 14-Serfoss, Kelly; 15-Ross, Ali © (Cremin @ 65)
All photos (c) 2013 Red Dragon MGMT