It was a day that started with the 3s learning each other’s names and finished with an impressive shutout victory. After an interrupted start, waiting for the posts and lines, Santa Monica captain Paul Baumer opened by putting pace on the ball.
The Ventura Outlaws immediately employed their large forward pack in an attempt to steamroll their way to the line, but were continually shut out by fearless tackling from all SM players on the pitch. Most of the tries scored by Santa Monica were through deft offloads in tackles, keeping the ball alive for multiple phases.
As the 1st half wore on, the Santa Monica pack began to take control of the game, winning scrums against the head (despite being heavily outweighed in the pack), and stealing lineout ball. Lock Billy El Atm and Flanker Lamar (Tank) Finnikin kept making the gainline and also kept the ball alive. Quick ball at the base was provided by Allen Corruth.
Once the ball was into the backs, the center partnership of Josh Donnelly and Ernie Leyba tore open the Ventura defense and Leyba opened the scoring and later added for a total of 3 tries. Other tries came from great support play and saw Captain Paul Baumer over the line twice and Leon Parkhouse added to the score sheet. Baumer converted 3 from 6 in really blustery conditions to secure a 36-0 victory.
The 2nd half saw Ventura attempt to get back in the game, with a siege attempt in the SM 22. Great support tackling and excellent rucking kept the Outlaws from crossing the line, and good pressure in the back defense saw the Outlaws knock on the best ball they had all day. The 2nd half saw the Santa Monica pack open up the game, repeatedly rolling over the gainline and leaving a trail of injured and tired Outlaws in their wake.