The LARC U16s opened their season is strong fashion with a 29-5 thrashing of Pasadena Rugby Club. The LA side was led by Number 8 Justus Tavai. Justus provided much consistent physical play throughout the contest. Isaiah Leilua, played in his first game as Scrum Half in place of Harrison Dulgarian and brought tremendous leadership to a very young forward pack and was able to utilize an extremely talented back line. The LA U16s pounced on the Pasadena side and maintained pressure throughout the match. The few times that Pasadena was able to break the LA defense Fullback Brandon Espeso thwarted each threat with solid tackling. Fly-Half Jhoinan Alvarado playing in his first game for LARC was extremely impressive and put constant pressure on the Pasadena #10. This week the Rising Eagles from Northridge travel to LA in another North Division match.
Saturday’s homecoming match brought out a great cast of LA Legends to the pitch. The visiting Ancient Aztecs announced that they would be travelling light and needed a few numbers to fill their side of 15. Older Legends got involved in the fun with Kevin Cochran serving as team manger, Chris Gleiter refereeing the match and the likes of Aaron Wooler, Noel Rogers and Bob Jenks just to name a few looking on in support. LA came deep with former LARC club captain Matt “Vegas” Matzen serving as captain for the day. He led a strong crew in the forwards including legends Terry Wooldridge, Chuck Ezell and Tim Culloton. Even with this massive pack, the Aztecs struck early rushing to a 10-0 lead at the half. The first 20 minute half was uninspired to say the least, but the simple game corrections and lack of intensity were addressed at the half by game captain Matt Matzen as he stated, “Time to harden up boys, now we play with LA Pride!”. The Second half brought just that, LA Pride. A high kick out of the Aztecs own 22 was fielded by fullback Bozho Deranja who countered with a classic chip and chase. Deranja fielded the ball on the bounce and off loaded to a supporting Tim Culloton who scampered down the sideline for a 40 meter try. Miho Deranja answered with a try of his own after getting great ball from scrum half Fernando Ayala. LA 10 – Aztecs 10. LA Godzilla members played an integral role in match. LA Godzilla Captain Yoshi distributed the ball wide from his position at the helm, #10 and helped the LA side dice through the Aztecs for yet another try, this time in the corner (15-10). However the game was not over yet, a crew of LA Godzilla members turned Aztecs for the game (Aztecs only travled with 10 players) proved lethal as Ted Nozaki, LA Godzilla Manager, broke loose and off loaded to a supporting Aztec to break away for a long try from midfield. LA 15 – Aztecs 15. With one minute left new LA Legend Jason Hurell nearly broke loose for a try only to be stopped by the strong Aztec defense deep in Aztec territory. The ball would be kicked to touch resulting in a 15 -15 tie. LA Legends play their next match in one month March 22nd at Santa Monica. With a need for a bit more fun and light fitness, Legends will be playing Old Boys Touch EVERY Thursday from 6:30-8:00 at Alondra Park. All ages and abilities are welcomed and encouraged.
LOS ANGELES GODZILLA - MENS DIVISION 4
We had another nice day of rugby at our home pitch today. LA Godzilla is in position to set the tone for the day by wining this Div 4 match for D3 and D1 following ours. Our opponent, the OC Gators is at 2nd place in Div 4 at this time (2 win 1 loss). In the first half, OC #8 attacked from the scrum and made a try. Conversion was made (0 – 7). OC #8 was a key player and Godzilla needed to stop him. OC #15, another key player, was running strongly all day and made a try, conversion was made (0-14). At the eleventh minute OC made another try (0-19). Godzilla conceded a penalty in which OC kicked for points (0-22). Godzilla didn’t have a good chance for the first 20 minutes; however, finally at 23 min following big gains made by Godzilla backs, Milo made a great try following quick ball recycle from a ruck (5-22). Godzilla needed to turn around the game from this point, however Godzilla gave up another try before the end of the first half and the conversion was made, first half was ended LA Godzilla 5 – OC Gators 29. Godzilla #5 Angel Muro played well for the first half, it was his first rugby game and he made good tackles and carried the ball several times. In the second half Godzilla #15 Bozho ran well by the right side touch line for 20 meters and made an excellent last pass to #8 Tim (Concrete) at the 22 meter line, Tim made a try by escaping from a tackler (10 – 29). This was a great try to change the atmosphere of the game in favor of Godzilla, however, it was not the case. Godzilla couldn't stop strong and consistent attacks by OC Gators there after. Godzilla conceded two tries with one conversion made (10 – 41). Godzilla attacked and defended well for the next 15 minutes. Godzilla #11 Chris Highland made good gains several times and also made a good tackle from a far distance, this was also his first rugby match. Godzilla conceded another try (10 – 46) and thereafter, Godzilla’s stamina ran out and Godzilla defense couldn't stop the OC Gators. For the last 15 minutes Godzilla conceded 4 tries and 2 conversions. The final score was LA Godzilla 10 – OC Gators 70. Godzilla were not able to tackle down two key players of OC Gators (#8 and #15). Defense will be emphasized the rest of the season.
LOS ANGELES BLUES - MENS DIVISION 3
The Blues opened up against the Old Aztecs in the first few minutes with the forwards dominating and scoring in the 4th minute with a try by blind side flanker, Jesse Perez. The Blues would continue to dominate the forward play during the first half but, failing to put any numbers on the score board. A determined Old Aztec back line would score a try in the 35th minute to even the score 5 all going into halftime. The second half began as the first half did with a try by prop Vincent Leota in the 52nd minute to make the score 10 - 5. Also mimicking the first half, Old Aztec's scored a try in minute 61 and converted it to take the lead 10 - 12. Not to be denied, forward and utility back, Josh Campbell scored a try in the 68th minute which was converted by Pete Marsden to put the Blues on top 17 - 12. Twelve minutes later after determined defensive play by the Blues, the whistle signaled that LARC Blues had won their fourth victory of the season. The blues record at the half way mark of the season is 4 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw. This puts us in contention for first place in D3A. After the Las Vegas game next week and a much needed Bye weekend following, the LARC will face some very stiff competition including Temecula twice and then Oxy, Belmont, and Old Aztecs. The end of our season is filled with challenges and LA plans on meeting them head on with all our players, coaches, staff and supporters can give.
LOS ANGELES RUGBY CLUB - MENS DIVISION 1
Los Angeles Rugby Club takes down San Diego Aztecs 29-20 in a thrilling match. LARC got up early with a try from Stuart Sharpe (converted by Mitch Raisch). San Diego came storming back, however, scoring three unanswered tries (one converted) to take a 17-7 lead. Just before halftime, LARC's Adrian Ojeda broke through the line to score a converted try under the posts, to narrow the deficit 17-14. LA started out strong in the first few minutes of the second half, and a great individual play by Mitch Raisch led to an unconverted try in the corner. Both teams settled down and put up solid defensive stands. In the 70th minute, San Diego took advantage of penalty and slotted the posts to take the lead. Down 20-19 late in the second half, LARC converted a penalty with 4 minutes remaining to take a slim 22-20 lead. After an incredible defensive goal line stand and at full time, LA created a turnover and brilliantly played the ball to player of the match Adrian Ojeda who gutted out a tough run and dived in for a converted try. LARC walks away victorious 29-20, earning 5 points and sits alone atop the SCRFU DI standing at 4-0. Great job today!!