Kelp – SMRC 3’s
The SMRC Kelp fell to the Long Beach Wave 6-21 on a beautiful Saturday in Long Beach. The Kelp took an early 6-0 lead with Alex Rylance making two penalties after numerous late and high tackles by the Long Beach opposition. LB scored a converted try as the Kelp did not continue playing after LB knocked the ball on 3 times before scoring. After taking some big hits the Kelp looked timid, kicking away possession, missing tackles and knocking on the ball. LB scored two more converted tries before the Kelp started playing hard, crashing the ball and marching downfield, but were unable to cross the line twice after knock ons. Overall the defense was better than last week and the intensity picked up at the end of the game. Bring that to the start of training next week. – Robert Kremer
Barnacles – SMRC 4’s
The Barnacles (SMRC 4’s) opened their season as the defending SCRFU Division 4 Champs with a tremendous victory against rivals Belmont Shore.
The side a melting pot of experience and age featured former Dolphin legends Jeff Pugh, Peter Bergamo and Ray Lavoie (captain) as well as SMRC debutants Shane Morales, Phineas Palmer, and Nate Grandos. Morales used his speed to beat his opposite number in the 5th minute of the game and score the first of 12 tries that would be scored on the day. Flanker, Andrew Woolley’s conversion just slid inside the right upright from the left sideline.
Belmont Shore answered the Morales try with two quick scores off of turnovers before center Nick Regas (playing his first rugby of the season) sniffed a crease and slid through the tight opening finding pay dirt and the five pointer. Woolley’s conversion was wide. Belmont answered with three more tries in the half to stretch their lead to 12-29, before Jason Davenport stopped the hemorrhaging with a dandy try in the right corner. Woolley missed again, but the lead was an attainable 17-29 at the half.
The second half told a different tale. In the games 45th minute scrumhalf, Danny Carpio was given his walking papers and that seemed to be just the wakeup call the Barnacles needed to ignite their potent attack. Woolley, who had a tremendous game despite not having trained once thus far this season scored the halves opening try, which was converted by replacement wing Padraig Cremin.
Playing a man down the Barnacles continued to assault the visitors with a late brace of tries from Ali Ross, who was a very late addition to the roster. Cremin converted the extras to put the home side up 38-29. Belmont continued to fight though and were rewarded with a late unconverted try to bring the final score to 38-34.
Overall a tremendous match. Both sides had a smattering of players who will feature heavily in higher division tussles later in the season. The game was played with great passion and spirit and it was a great effort for the Barnacles to get off to a fast start in defense of their Southern California Rugby D4 crown.