All three Santa Monica Rugby Club boys’ teams won their playoff matches this last weekend, advancing them to the SCYR Championship semi-final round.
U18 Boys downed Back Bay, 36-12. The Dolphins scored in the first 30 seconds as the Sharks took the opening kickoff and tried to break through the SMRC defense but Garrett Manoukian intercepted the ball, ran 10 yards, and passed to Joe Simon who sprinted through the defense and scored under the posts. Santa Monica controlled possession for the next ten minutes with excellent rolling mauls from lineouts and Alex Walsh kicked two penalties from 40 yards to put the Dolphins ahead 13-0. This was followed shortly by two great tries from center James Cherrington. Back Bay breached the Santa Monica backline to score under the posts just before half time, but SMRC had the last say when Alex Walsh kicked another penalty giving the Dolphins a commanding 26-7 lead at the half. Back Bay scored again in the second frame, but Evan Clark sealed the victory with a fabulous break through the Back Bay defense. Walsh missed the conversion but followed up with a try of his own to end the match.
Other action at Webster Middle School saw the SMRC U14 Boys with a convincing win over Back Bay, 38-5. The Dolphins’ fast attacking back line quickly swept through the Sharks’ defense and first-half scores from Ryan Suggs and Ryan Dominic pushed the home side to a 19-0 lead. Back Bay came back in the second half to score but then two quick scores from Chase Capiti and another from Dominic secured the home team’s victory.
The SMRC U16 Boys traveled to San Clemente to face the Gators in a well-contested match that found the Dolphins on the winning end of a 17-12 score. SMRC went up early in the first half on some good phase play culminating in a try by Benny Gonda. Kieran Kerwin converted the try and that was the end of the scoring for the first half as both teams tried to wear the other down with tactical play. SMRC executed a great kicking game, pinning San Clemente in their own half of the field for the majority of the match. The Gators came out strong in the second half, exploiting some Dolphin penalties and managing an unconverted try to pull within two points at 7-5. The Dolphins stuck with their game plan and a couple of nifty chip-and-chase kicks led to scores just minutes apart by Cormac Heaney and Olan Moon White. Down 17-5, the Gators perserved and managed one last try at full-time.
U18 Boys will host Hawaiian Gardens at Webster at 10:45am this Saturday at Webster, followed by the U14 Boys vs San Clemente at 12:15pm. U16 Boys will travel to Hawaiian Gardens for an 11:15am kickoff at Fedde Sports Complex. Winners of these matches will advance to the SCYR Championships on May 11th at Cal State University Fullerton.