Santa Monica Rugby Club’s U14 boys team came from 10 points behind at halftime to beat Fullerton 12-10 in the Southern California Youth Rugby championships this past Sunday in San Luis Obispo. Last minute heroics by wing Chris Collins resulted in the tying score, with Dylan Pritchard slotting the 2-point conversion for the win just as time expired.
The title is the first for the U14 boys from Santa Monica, an impressive feat in only their second season as a team. The squad includes six players from Lincoln Middle School, plus students from other area schools including Paul Revere, Lycee Francais, Campbell Hall and Harvard-Westlake.
The victory caps off a couple of impressive playoff wins, including their semi-final victory on Saturday against Hacienda Heights, 20-12, and the previous week’s playoff win against Belmont Shore of Long Beach, 22-10.
In other action at the Southern California Youth Rugby championships, the Santa Monica U19 boys team lost on Saturday in their semi-final against South Orange County. On Sunday, the boys were able turn things around, winning in the consolation final, 10-5, against a tough North County San Diego team to take 3rd place in the highly competitive Southern California high school-aged bracket.
The two successful boys teams are part of the growing youth rugby program of the Santa Monica Rugby Club, which also includes a U12 boys team, plus 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 — ranging from U8 and U10 co-ed, 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.
For more information about Santa Monica Rugby, visit www.santamonica rugby.com.