The Santa Monica Rugby Club’s under-12 and under-14 boys teams both won their 2010 Southern California Youth Rugby championship matches in sudden death overtime at California State University-Fullerton Saturday, May 8th.
In the under-12 boys final, the Santa Monica Dolphins faced the only team to beat them during the regular season, the Santa Clarita Tigers. The Dolphins controlled possession early and took a 5-0 lead in the first two minutes on a score by winger Dylan James.
The second half saw the possession more evenly distributed as Santa Clarita fought back and scored with ten minutes remaining to even the match at 5-5.
The score remained tied at the end of the first half of sudden death overtime as defense was strong for both teams. But with only a minute remaining in the second half of sudden death, reserve scrumhalf Quintin Edward made a skillful pass to winger Emerson Flores-Ciego, who sprinted down the sideline outpacing the defense and put the ball down in the corner to secure the 10-5 victory for the Dolphins, coaches said.
In its championship match, the under-14 boys team faced Belmont Shore, which had defeated the Dolphins in a “friendly” match earlier in the season.
The two teams were scoreless early on in the game but after nine minutes of play, Dolphin center Nick Cardiel made a sideline break from 35 yards out and touched down for a try 20 yards right of the posts. Jamie Stewart narrowly missed the conversion and the Dolphins led by 5-0.
Belmont raised its game in the second half and converted a try in the right corner after 35 minutes, but after Belmont missed the conversion, the teams were tied at 5-5.
Both teams halted any further scoring with strong defense to force the game into sudden death overtime, where the Dolphins won the toss and elected to kick-off. After a penalty by Belmont, the Dolphins opted to kick and Stewart booted the ball between the posts to give Santa Monica an 8-5 dramatic victory, coaches said.