It was a glorious day for rugby with the main pitch fast and firm, and a full docket of exciting matches throughout the day.
The U-16’s opened the day on field 1 and scored two late tries to beat their LA counterparts. Next were a late arriving group of “Old Boys”. Despite their tardy arrival and rag tag appearance, superb rugby was on display in offense and defense. The games opening try came 4 minutes in as Riaz Fredricks linked with David “Lucky” Luke to spring the Kiwi center. Lucky then threw a nifty behind the back pass to John Ruud who sidestepped his opponent and passed back to Fredricks. Fredricks linked once more, this time with women’s coach Angus Perkins, who dashed the last 35 meters to score, much to the delight of the Lady Dolphins. In the end the Golden Dolphins ran out 5 try to 0 winners over the LARC Old Boys.
The Fighting Kelp then took the pitch against the LA Rebellion. The game was close for much of the first stanza and even into the middle of the second half, but eventually clinical rugby won the day. The Kelp scored 43 total points in their victory, and are now 2-2 in league play. A number of new players played in the side yesterday getting their first real rugby action.
Next up were a fired up group of Barracuda, looking to win their 7th consecutive game. After beating LA by more than 50 points in the first game, the ‘Cudda were a little overconfident in the first 10 minutes of the game trying to run out of their own end and making uncharacteristic mistakes. LARC capitalized and scored the games first 5 pointer. Behind the leadership of scrum half Lucas Yancey and flyhalf Pierce Cooley, the boys got back to the game plan and took over the match. The ‘Cudda scored five unanswered tries to win the match 29-7.
The games final match pitted first place Santa Monica against third place LARC. An LA win would have dashed the Dolphins hopes of winning the league championship. With team captain Ali Ross unavailable for action, lock Aaron Davis stepped into the captaincy. Davis lead from the front for the second game in a row and scored the games first try in the 5th minute of the game. The conversion was missed badly, 5-0. For the next 35 minutes the Dolphins gashed the LA defense for huge gains, but instead of recycling the ball and relaunching the attack, the Dolphins did their best Harlem Globetrotter impression throwing to many 50/50 passes (most of which failed). The visitors also showed some flash and broke the gainline several times, but the Dolphin defense held firm and kept LA off the score board.
After a pretty firm tongue lashing at half time the home side came back out in the second half more focused and looking to put the visitors away. In the 54th minute wing Kelly Serfoss broke down the left sideline and stepped the fullback to score under the posts. Flyhalf Michael Hobbs added the extras, 12-0.
From the restart Los Angeles put together some good phases and moved the ball down the field, eventually scoring under the posts, 12-7. Some questionable calls from the referee left the sidelines scratching their heads and gave the visitors another sniff at scoring. After camping out on the Dolphins line for several minutes LARC scored, 12-12 with 15 minutes to play.
The Dolphins finally woke up and committed to sticking to the game plan for the remainder of the game. A quick try from fullback Padraig Cremin in the corner put the Dolphins up for good, but they were not done, 19-12. With 10 minutes left center Shane Morales burst through the midfield and exploded into the try zone to claim the Dolphins bonus point, 26-12.
Realizing that points differential is all that separates SMRC and Belmont Shore at the top of the table, the Dolphins continued their onslaught. On attack as the clock wound down, Hobbs put a nifty chip kick over the charging defense and it was Morales who collected the kick in the try zone to score his brace of tries, 33-12.
The referee indicated that there would be another restart and the Dolphins took the ball and quickly found the charging center Shawn Lee. Lee broke a tackle and connected with flanker AJ Woolley who took the ball and raced 50 meters for the final score, 40-12.
Tries (6)- Cremin, Davis, Morales 2, Serfoss, Woolley
Conversions (5)- Cremin, Hobbs 4
1-Flake, Jon (Kalemani @ 65); 2-King, Pat; 3-Silverman, Ross (Hill @ 77); 4-Cohen, David (Winter @ 47); 5-Davis, Aaron ©; 6-Regal, Brian (Aseme @ 60); 7-Manavian, Taylor; 8-Woolley, AJ; 9-Ramos, Lucas (Carpio @ 47); 10-Hobbs, Michael (Gibbon @ 79); 11-Serfoss, Kelly (Martini @ 70); 12-Lee, Shawn (Martini, blood @ 22-32); 13-Morales, Shane; 14-Pypers, Sean; 15-Cremin, Padraig