Los Angeles cruised the 405 north to meet up with old arch rivals Santa Monica. It was a big day of rugby with old boys teams, woman's teams, and even youth rugby all providing entertainment to the large crowd. The killer bees started the ball rolling in their 1:45 game and scored early after some shattering runs from the forwards. It was a very well represented team with most of the players having played first side at some stage. Ozzie recruit Evan Renfrow controlled the game from the 10 spot well and kept the ball in front of his forwards. Tony Letona was very aggressive and made multiple yards carrying the ball up and Kevin "Koos" Kusiak was relentless in defense. Mikey McNeely was all over the field tackling like a demon as LA continued to pour on the pressure. A niggling injury to George concerned the LA side, but he continued to drive his men forward ably supported by Andy Dilsaver at scrum half, who was showing off in front of his lovely wife Rachel and her father. Slowly the Santa Monica team gained some footing and ran in a few tries, but as per usual, LA stuck to their guns and kept coming at them. Karl had lost half his ear and was nursing a new injury (fracture) to his hand (thanks to Sweeny’s face) but he stayed on and pulled off an amazing tackle from behind on the opposing winger, throwing him into touch much to the delight of the line judge, who had previously had words with him. Chris Sweeny, eager to get his first team colors back was strong at the back, and Zach Morgan continues to improve with every outing. Santa Monica ran out winners by 5 tries to 2
At 3:45 the main game began in front of a strong LA contingent including Tim Hock and Larry Docimo previous Loyola coaches, and old boys of the club, Kevin Corcoran, Noel Rodgers, Mike Hammer, and Tom Hendricks, to name a few. Santa Monica came out strong and scored in the first 2 minutes, 5-0. But LA after the long drive settled down quickly and put pressure on throughout the entire first half. Playing with a slight head wind, they kept the ball in the Santa Monica half of the field and narrowly missed some scoring opportunities. L.A's Ozzie/French, flyhalf, Beeely Cafe was carving up the field like OJ Simpson and creating holes where there weren't any. It reminded me of my youth. I was getting amorous with an older, married lady one night, when we heard a door slam. "Quick," she said," it's me husband, ya better fuck off."
"Where's ya back door," I asked.
"We don't have one," she replied.
"Where do you want one," I said.
The half came with Santa Monica still at 5-0. In the second half Santa Monica again scored early, but LA came right back and R.J. Smith crossed over under the bar. Chris Judd true to recent form, chipped this one over from 15 yards. Then LA went on the rampage with Simi Kuli steamrolling the opposition, forwards ably backed by Ethan Young and Evan Cox. Cafe ran through a gap and fed outside, running three wide with 20 yards to run was the big red from Queensland in the black and gold, Brodie Duncan who got tapped from behind. Then LA spun it left and Ashly Judd scored only to be denied when the ref failed to spot him putting it down. From the 5 yard scrum, LA put on the pressure, honed from scrumming against 300 year old trees at training, and new man from Steamboat, Nick dotted it down. Juddy failed to hold par when his chip from a short dog leg rimmed the upright. 12 -12. Santa Monica had a nervous meeting under the posts, and kicked short. After a minor mix up, they were rewarded a dubious scrum. Their NZ import, Hobbs drew the defense with a well timed pass and the fullback dotted it down to be converted. LA were not done and kept the pressure on but Santa Monica had a few too many late guns and ran in a few more tries to win 40 to 12.
The score was by no means an indication of the run of play. The next day we became aware that our hooker, Chris Bowman was leaving for Australia. Bo really was a great asset to the club, and we are going to miss him a lot. From all of us here at the LARC we wish you all the best buddy.