Stormy weather cleared the last weekend of January just long enough for Santa Monica Rugby Club’s third match of its 2008 campaign, a renewal of its long-standing rivalry with the Los Angeles Rugby Club. Though Santa Monica led the entire game, propelled in part by two tries from center Kelly Serfoss, LA kept things close pulling to within three points in the closing minutes before a late penalty kick by fullback Padraig Cremin sealed the deal at 23-17.
This season marks the Los Angeles Rugby Club’s return to Division I rugby in Southern California after a number of years in Division II. The game at Daniel Webster Middle School marked the first time the two teams had met since 2002.
The Santa Monica men’s team is now 3-0 in the early going of its conference pre-season.
The Santa Monica Rugby Club’s women’s team evened their record at 1-1 this past weekend with a hard-fought 10-5 win over visiting club Tucson. The match puts the Lady Dolphins back on track as they look forward to a home game against rivals Las Vegas on Saturday, February 16.
After a 3-0 start, the Santa Monica men’s side lost their first game of the Southern California pre-season, falling 19-35 against 2007 national champions Belmont Shore of Long Beach. Both clubs continue to look ahead to the March start of the national Rugby Super League and Division I competitions, working in new players and trying out different combinations on the field.
Next up for the Santa Monica men is an exhibition match against 2007 collegiate runners-up Brigham Young University at noon today on Friday, February 8 at the San Diego Invitational Tournament, part of the festivities building up to this weekend’s 2008 USA Sevens Tournament at PETCO Park in San Diego. The two-day international tournament features 21 of the world’s top “sevens” rugby teams, including such heavyweights as England, South Africa, Argentina, and Fiji, as well as rising teams such the U.S. and Kenya. For more information on the tournament, go to usasevens.com.