The Santa Monica Rugby Club’s under-14 boys team defeated Fullerton 12-10 to capture the Southern California Youth Rugby Championship in San Luis Obispo Sunday, May 11th.
The Santa Monica team came back from ten points behind at halftime to earn the victory over Fullerton.
In the last minutes of the battle, wing Chris Collins picked up a score to tie the game at 10-10, and Dylan Pritchard added the two-point conversion to give Santa Monica the win just as time expired.
The title is the first for the Santa Monica under-14 boys team, “an impressive feat given that it is only their second season as a team,” coaches said.
The squad includes six players from Lincoln Middle School, as well as students from other area schools including Paul Revere, LycÈe FranÁais, Campbell Hall and Harvard-Westlake schools.
The victory caps off a couple of impressive playoff wins, including a 20-12 victory over Hacienda Heights in the semifinals May 10th, and a 22-10 win against Belmont Shore of Long Beach in the previous week.
In other action at the Southern California Youth Rugby championships, the Santa Monica under-19 boys team lost in the semi-finals against South Orange County May 10th.
The team was able turn things around the next day, winning 10-5 in the consolation final against the North County San Diego team to finish in third place in the highly competitive Southern California high school-age bracket.
The Santa Monica Rugby Club also includes an under-12 boys team, as well as girls tackle rugby teams at the middle school and high school levels.
Founded in 1972 as a men’s rugby team by graduates of UCLA, USC and St. Mary’s College, the club now fields up to ten sides on a given weekend during the regular season, which runs from January to May.
The club ranges from under-eight and under-ten co-ed teams playing non-contact rugby, to a strong adult women’s team, to the club’s premier men’s side, which plays all across the country in the national Rugby Super League.
Information, www.santamonica rugby.com/.