USC Rugby traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona to play in the 2nd Annual Rugby Bowl hosted by ASU Rugby. USC Rugby played Grand Canyon University in the curtain raiser for the final match of the day. The field was on the San Francisco Giants Spring Training grounds – and it was a beautiful sight!
The USC Rugby team prepared well during the week, and had an uneventful road trip to Scottsdale, and looked forward to the competition. Opening kickoff of the game, it was clear the heat, and some lingering injuries could not be ignored, and after a few (too many) missed tackles, USC Rugby was already down 14 points and looking to push the action to get back into the game. Unfortunately another USC turnover and a quick GCU counter-attack pushed the score out again.
USC Forward’s Colten Elkin and Cameron Streeter worked tirelessly throughout the match, and even with a brand new front row (due to injuries and illness), the scrum never gave up and continued giving their all. Special recognition to Luis Lopez, playing with a torn shoulder muscle, and Richie Podkowski coming off the bench after only 15 minutes to play hooker and prop in the match, and he also made a bunch of tackles.
Vice-Captain Haico Kaashoek kicked USC’s first points from a penalty, and Captain Joey Krassenstein dotted down a try after an effortless kick-charge and perfect patience to wait for the ball to bounce up into his hands for the opening USC try.
After the halftime break, USC continued to pressure and create interesting opportunities for scores but the Grand Canyon Rugby goal line defense prevented any more scoring in the match. Clever kicking into the corner by Guido Scassellati pushed Grand Canyon back into their own defensive zone, and good breaks by Robert Semu and rookie sensation Mitch Suzuki continued to push for another score. Adam Bushell guided the backline and made several breaks, but the continuity couldn’t convert line breaks into points. USC Rugby improved throughout the match and has learned from this experience.
The USC bench was cleared and everyone played and performed well. Man of the Match for USC Rugby was Colten Elkin with his tireless work ethic and his positive attitude and ability to always be around the ball, and special mention for Duncan Chalfant for his outstanding tackling, and he also played periods of the match at Hooker and Prop.
USC Rugby also left a good impression in the Scottsdale Old-town district as well. This team traveled well, played hard, and enjoyed themselves in good spirits and positive intentions. The other guests at the team hotel loved having a rugby team to hang with. Fight on!
GCU defeated USC 59-8 in The Rugby Bowl.
Photos courtesy of photographer Spencer Campbell.
|Last Name||Position||Favorite Athlete||Stunk on an island with the music …|
|Pierre||Badin||Fly-Half||Johnny Wilkinson||Bob Marley – Redemption song|
|Samuel||Bowers||Hooker||Kiira Korpi||Message In A Bottle – The Police|
|Adam||Bushell||Fly-Half||David Beckham||Fix You- Coldplay|
|Duncan||Chalfant||Prop||Colin Kaepernick||Game of Thrones Theme Song|
|Chadd||Dunn||Prop||Teemu Selanne||Shut up and Dance by Walk The Moon|
|Colten||Elkin||Flanker||Steve Prefontaine||Rhapsody in Blue|
|Austin||Giles||Center||Paul Bissonnette (Biz Nasty)||Fancy- iggy azalea|
|Alec||Hively||Flanker||Lebron James||Ain’t No Mountain High Enough- Marvin Gaye|
|Haico||Kaashoek||Fullback / Vice Captain||Conrad Smith||“Wandering Eye” – Fat Freddy’s Drop|
|Joseph||Krassenstein||Center / Captain||Sonny Bill Williams or Julian Savea||Jammin’ by Bob Marley|
|Taiu||Kunimoto||Wing||Ian Thorpe||“I will survive” — Gloria Gaynor|
|Luis||Lopez||Prop||J J. Watt||Moshpit- Flosstradamus|
|Kwabz||Osei-Larbi||Wing||Russell Westbrook||Sanko by Timaya|
|Richie||Podkowski||Hooker||Rob Gronkowski||Like a Cowboy- Randy Houser|
|Guido||Scassellati||Scrum-Half||Conor Murray- Munster & Ireland||Bloody Sunday-U2|
|Robert||Semu||Wing||Derrick Rose||California Gurls – Katy Perry ft. Snoop Dogg|
|Dylan||Sidoo||Lock||Pavel Bure||Summer Madness (Kool & The Gang)|
|Jonathan||So||Lock||Henrik and Daniel Sedin||Call Me Maybe|
|Gordon||Stewart||Scrum-Half||Nick Diaz (MMA)||Anna Karina by Blue Scholars|
|Cameron||Streeter||No 8||John Martinez (Portland Thunder)||“What I Got” by Sublime|
|Michael||Suzuki||Wing||Alex Morgan or Bryce Harper||I Knew You Were Trouble – Taylor Swift|
|Jonathan||Wolverton||Lock||Sonny Bill Williams||Careless Whisper|
|Alvin||Wong||Wing||Wrestler Dan gable||Cross road blues by Robert Johnson|
|Omar||Zeitoun||Flanker||Muhammad Ali||Island by Pendulum|