Fall Semester 2017 71 instructional days
Open Registration Mon-Fri August 14-18
Move-In Wed August 16
Classes Begin Mon August 21
Labor Day Mon September 4
Thanksgiving Holiday Wed-Sun November 22-26
Classes End Fri December 1
Study Days Sat-Tue December 2-5
Exams Wed-Wed December 6-13
Winter Recess Thu-Sun December 14 – January 8
Spring Semester 2018 73 instructional days
Open Registration Thu-Fri January 4-5
Classes Begin Mon January 8
Martin Luther King’s Birthday Mon January 15
President’s Day Mon February 19
Spring Recess Sun-Sun March 11-18
Classes End Fri April 27
Study Days Sat-Tue April 28-May 1
Exams Wed-Wed May 2-9
Commencement Fri May 11
Summer Session 2018 58 instructional days
Registration Mon-Tue May 14-15
Classes Begin Wed May 16
Memorial Day Mon May 28
Independence Day Wed July 4
Classes End Tue August 7

(Phoenix, AZ) For the second consecutive week the University of Southern California Trojans Rugby Club made a trip out to Arizona, this time to take on Arizona State University. Unfortunately for the visitors, they came away with a similar result to the previous week, falling 24-47 to the Sun Devils.

The teams knocked-on through the first five minutes of play before ASU scored their first of eight tries. USC failed to find touch on a penalty kick by the narrowest of margins. Sun Devil flanker Joseph Banaga deflected the ball back into play before it crossed the out-of-bounds line. From the bounce, flyhalf Alex Walsh kicked the ball forward. Winger Kyson Jester gathered it and streaked the length of the field for an impressive score. Walsh converted the extras and added a penalty 5 minutes later. 0-10 ASU after 12 minutes.

The Trojans took their only lead of the match within the next few minutes after a couple of quick-strike scores. After Walsh’s penalty kick, ASU failed to clear their zone on the ensuing kick-off; giving USC the ball inside the 22-meter mark. After playing tight through the forwards, scrumhalf Guido Scassellati passed out to flyhalf Adam Bushell, who found center Mitch Suzuki running an outside line that put him through a gap. Suzuki pinned his ears back and raced into the corner for a try. ASU retained possession of the next kick-off but an errant pass from Cody Canann bounced around the midfield, where USC’s Bushell toed it ahead. The Canadian flyer raced past fullback Jester and dotted down under the posts. Bushell converted his own, making it 12-10 USC.

From there, things steadied for ASU while the Trojans’ penalty count continued to climb. Having seen enough infringements around the ruck, the referee finally issued a yellow card to Wing Namdie Ahazie in the 26th minute for not rolling away. Playing up a man, the Sun Devils would cross the line three times within a 10-minute span. Walsh converted one of the tries, taking the score to 12-27 at the half.

Said Head Coach Loa Milford, “The penalties and the set-piece absolutely killed us today. ASU exercised discipline and executed on specific phases of the game where they overmatched us. In open play, we defended very well…made our tackles…but they kept grinding out penalties, kicked-to-touch, and mauling over for multiple scores. We simply didn’t have the answers there.”

In the 45th minute from a USC lineout at midfield, ASU failed to match numbers. From the free kick, Trojans flanker Michael Cesar broke through the line before getting tackled at the 22. The forward pack continued to gain ground through a series of pick-and-drives. Having sucked the defense in toward the tackle area, scrumhalf Scassaletti dished to Bushell, who found outside Center Dimitry Veremeenko running a cutback line. Veremeenko was nearly away if not for an ankle tackle. The forwards went back to work, keeping the ball in tight; once again sucking in defenders. From 5-meters out, Scassaletti popped to Bushell, who crashed over for the try. The USC flyhalf converted again, bringing the Trojans to within striking distance at 19-27.

But that is as close as affairs would get. In the 57th minute, Veremeenko received a yellow card for a high tackle. From the penalty and line-out, the Sun Devils mauled over the line. 19-32 ASU.

On the next kick-off, replacement lock Bryant Young received a yellow card for taking the opposing player out in the air. Now down to 13-men, the Trojans proved powerless to hold the Sun Devils out as Jester notched his second and reserve flanker Oscar OckoMichalak got his first. ASU completed their try-fest when reserve prop Colin Clancy dove over on a driving maul. USC salvaged a last-minute try that culminated in 8-man Luc Desroches dragging a defender over the line for a score. 24-47 Final to ASU.

In summarizing the game, Milford said, “Coming out of the UofA match, we worked on the weaknesses the Wildcats exposed and certainly improved in those areas. However, this ASU match revealed an entirely different set of vulnerabilities that we will address this week and moving forward. As Dominic (Riebli – Director of Rugby) has said from the beginning, each game represents a benchmark for our development. We improved week-over-week but still came away with the same result. However, I don’t think the final score line reflected the entirety of the effort. If I have my data correct, ASU scored 32 points while playing with a one- or two- man advantage. We just killed ourselves with the penalties. Our sinbins were a function of our match fitness and the result of the pressure that the Sun Devils put us under. We’ve simply got to do better.

“This move to PAC Rugby continues to serve as a reminder of just how far we have to go as a program. In relation to last year (playing D1-AA), the precision of execution has increased ten-fold. We obviously expected the massive jump in competition; it really shows the difference not just in terms of overall athleticism, but also the advantages of playing in a varsity-type environment. These programs that we compete against all train most days per week. For us…we’re just transitioning to that model and learning how to make it work for the student-athlete. The growing pains are certainly there but we’re exceptionally grateful to experience them.”

The Trojans will play their first local contest this weekend, serving as the opening match for the UCLA/Utah game. USC kicks-off at 11am this Saturday against University of Utah’s JV squad in Westwood at UCLA’s North Athletic Field.

Fight On!

You can find the official D1A rugby release here

(Tucson, AZ) After a tumultuous Fall and pre-season that saw them log zero playing time before participating in our first ever PAC Rugby Conference match, the University of Southern California Trojans Rugby Club lost to the University of Arizona’s Junior Varsity squad by a final of 29-44.

Things started ominously for the Trojans as the Wildcats scored two tries in the opening quarter or play. Flyhalf Adam Bushell got USC on the board in the 18th minute with a penalty kick but Arizona responded with a long break and their third try of the half, 3-17. Openside flanker Michael Cesar made an excellent line break in the midfield and streaked through the defense to score under the posts in the 35th minute. Bushell converted the extras, bringing the contest to within one score at 10-17 midway through the affair.

Arizona opened the second half in the same manner as the first, scoring two more tries against a somewhat listless USC defense. Prop Kian Azizirad got the Trojans back to within striking distance in the 52nd minute on a well-worked series of pick-and-drives, 17-27 with a quarter to play. Unfortunately, that’s as close as things would get as the Wildcats scored three more times before Cesar responded with two late tries of his own.

Said Coach Zac Winter, “We definitely looked like a team that hadn’t played a game of rugby yet. The match fitness certainly wasn’t there. It’s difficult to simulate that type of endurance and intensity and we obviously would’ve benefitted greatly from getting some game time before now.” (USC’s originally scheduled preseason got upended by a series of cancelations and rainouts.)

“Fortunately, we can address the various areas of deficiency and hopefully give a better performance next weekend. As a team, we’re simply not all there. We had some brilliant individual efforts from Adam (Bushell), Michael (Cesar) and Luc (Desroches) but our team IQ at this stage is quite lacking. We don’t have the kind of depth or assets available to where we can afford to function as disparate units.”

“Coming into this competition, we knew every week represented an unprecedented challenge for us,” said Director of Rugby Dominic Riebli. “Each contest sets a benchmark against which we can measure our program. UofA has a program we can only aspire to at this time. Their roster size is 3x ours, their facilities are top notch, and their coaching staff is first rate. (UofA Head Coach) Sean Duffy has done amazing things here. Even though we played his reserve side, we knew that we had a tall order in front of us. Given the circumstances, the coaching staff expected a rough beginning but we had hoped for a better result. We’ll get back after it on Monday and prepare for ASU.”

The Trojans travel back out to Arizona this weekend to take-on Arizona State University. Kick-off is slated for 1pm at ASU Poly Field.

Fight On!

You can find the match video here

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Breakout Team of the Year: University of Southern California. Long the “yeah but” team of the PAC-12, as in “it would be great to have a full-on PAC-12 conference, right?” “Yeah, but USC would have a really, really tough time.” Not anymore. The Trojans have a strong coaching staff and are getting more players and more athletes involved. They made the national playoffs in DIAA, something that would have been unheard of not that long ago.

Full article here

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Fall Semester 2016 71 instructional days
Open Registration Mon-Fri August 15-19
Move-In Wed August 17
Classes Begin Mon August 22
Labor Day Mon September 5
Thanksgiving Wed-Sun November 23-27
Classes End Fri December 2
Study Days Sat-Tue December 3-6
Exams Wed-Wed December 7-14
Winter Recess Thu-Sun December 15-January 8
Spring Semester 2017 73 instructional days
Open Registration Thu-Fri January 5-6
Classes Begin Mon January 9
Martin Luther King’s Birthday Mon January 16
President’s Day Mon February 20
Spring Recess Sun-Sun March 12-19
Classes End Fri April 28
Study Days Sat-Tue April 29-May 2
Exams Wed-Wed May 3-10
Commencement Fri May 12
Summer Semester 2017 57 instructional days
Registration Mon-Tue May 15-16
Classes Begin Wed May 17
Memorial Day Mon May 29
Independence Day Mon-Tue July 3-4
Classes End Tue August 8

By Adam Bushell

This past Saturday marked the end of the Trojans’ 2016 season with a loss at UC Davis in the first round of the D1AA National Championship. UC Davis are the current holders of the championship title and fielded a thrillingly competitive side to go up against USC. The Trojans showed sparks of being able to compete with last season’s best, and perhaps if the side had been at their best their fate may have been different. But it was not their day, and USC’s first visit to Nationals in recent memory was cut short. UCD outran, outplayed, and outcompeted the Trojans and the Aggies’ victory was well deserved.

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Losing a tough fight after a long season will always be disappointing; any team with competitive spirit can attest to this. But the Trojans must not lament over their losses. Instead, the past season’s strides must be put into perspective. The team turned two wins and four losses in 2015 into five wins and one loss in the 2016 regular season, going on to win in the semi-finals of the GCCIR playoffs and losing the finals to CSU Long Beach by two points in the last minute of extra time, inevitably earning a spot in the first round of Nationals. This drastic turn around in performance in the span of one year is a major victory in itself. It is the efforts of the entire club, the coaching staff, the medical staff, and the players that must be commended for their achievements this year. In December, as pre-season came to a close and the Sevens players rejoined the Fifteens in training, it became apparent the level of expectations the club had for the upcoming season. It would require focus, tenacity, and drive to achieve the goal of reaching nationals and competing with the best in the division. The Trojan’s displayed just that. The desire to perform has been at a level unseen in years, and now USC Rugby has a season to show for it.

GCCIR 

(W) USC 38-10 UC Irvine

(L) USC 17-24 CSU Long Beach

(W) USC 30-18 USD

(W) USC 31-10 CSU Fullerton

(W) USC 36-24 SBCC

(W) USC 32-31 GCU

GCCIR Playoffs 

Semi-Finals (W) USC 17-12 GCU

Finals (L) USC 36-38 CSU Long Beach

DI-AA Nationals

First Round (L) USC 12-29 UC Davis

The momentum, however, must not stop here. The hard work of key graduating players cannot go to waste. There are two components necessary in USC Rugby’s quest to compete with the best in the nation.

Firstly, the club must continue to reach for bigger and better things and maintain the drive necessary to do so. If the progress made in the span of one season can be replicated in seasons to follow, success will inevitably come. Beyond the skills learned and the strategies implemented, this season’s efforts have established a culture; a culture critical in maintaining winning values long after its current players have left the side.

Secondly, the team must receive the necessary attention from those with power and resources to have an equal opportunity as the competition at hand. As a competitive club sport in a highly renowned university, one would expect the university itself to be the foundation of such support, but as of late this has not been the case. This past month, team was forced to play a semi-final home game at a middle school thirty minutes away, despite a perfectly acceptable field on campus being vacant but that the team was barred from playing on. On top of this, the funding received bi-annually from the university is at a bare minimum relative to other competitive sides in the division. A rugby team needs equipment, field space, a coaching staff, a medical staff, transportation, and other costly components. Fundraising can only achieve so much.

I do concede that the level of competition over the past decade has not been where it has needed to be in order to earn the heightened attention from the university. In addition, establishing a competitive reputation for a team takes time and consistent results. However, with the performance displayed this past year, the club’s position within the university’s recreational sport department must be revised. There must be greater representation for the club to achieve their goals and bureaucratic lag cannot stand in the way of the team’s success.

The past season has established what will hopefully be a bright future for USC Rugby. Refinements for next season will begin almost immediately with the election of a new student E-Board this coming Thursday.

We say thank you to our graduating players:

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                         Joseph Krassenstein (Center)           Jonny So (President, Lock)                             Luis Lopez (Prop)

                                                            z IMG_2750-XL-1                    IMG_2585-XL

                                                   Nick Banks (Vice President, Prop)                    Jeff Stratford (Prop)

We would also like to thank those who generously contributed to all our fundraising campaigns over the past year and encourage you to stay connected via our Facebook page. This season would not have been possible without you. 

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Fight On.

By Eric Edholm, Shutdown Corner

The process of making football safer is a slow trickle.

Do you start at the top and try to make NFL players play more safely, and thus give younger players the model of how to tackle more safely? Or do you start with youth football and try to make it safer for the next generation?

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A great chicken-or-egg debate.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has been an innovator, willing to swim upstream on the matter, and has been railing for years about the need to implement the “rugby tackle” into college and NFL football. Clearly, performance hasn’t been sacrificed with Carroll’s teams, which have used it — the Seahawks are one of the best tackling teams in the NFL, just as his former USC teams were when he coached there.

But Hall of Famer and Oakland Raiders DB coach Rod Woodson believes help is needed on the other end, too. Yes, he’ll be coaching a revamped Raiders secondary that two years ago was a major liability and now might be a very solid group. But he also will be spending time in the offseason, starting Friday, helping out middle school and high school players proper football form and technique on the Pro Football Hall of Fame campus in Canton, Ohio.

Woodson is joining the inaugural Pro Football Hall of Fame Academy, a four-day symposium and demonstration this summer aimed at teaching young players how to better train and prepare for football, testing their reaction skills, and also emphasizing character development. But safety and proper tackling technique is also one of the primary areas of concentration in the program.

Woodson believes in the rugby tackle, which aims at getting low, leading with the shoulder and putting the tackler’s head behind the ballcarrier. It will be a big part of the focus at the academy, and given the current climate of the game, which has a far more raised awareness of concussions and the dangers of head trauma, this could be a very important lesson to instill early on. They’ll be bringing in actual rugby players to demonstrate how they tackle, which often is far different than how football players try to.

bathvleicestertigersguinnesspremiershipe-cz9pvfnfcl“When your head is in front of the ball, a lot of the time what happens it that his head and your head collide,” Woodson told Shutdown Corner by phone. “When [the students] see the rugby players tackle — and do so without helmets, without pads — and not get nearly the number of concussions that NFL players get, I think it will be beneficial.

“It’s important for them, but it’s also important for the NFL. It can enhance our game and make it a lot safer.”

And it’s no different than what Woodson said he’ll be teaching his Raiders team. Just because they’re professionals doesn’t mean they can’t learn a better way, Woodson said, and so when the Raiders start OTAs at the end of the month he’ll carry over some of the same things he and the other instructors will be teaching at the academy to Raiders first-round safety Karl Joseph, for instancts, along with the rest of his players.

Safety just one part of the academy, of course. It’s a full-scale instruction of the game, and Woodson said that cutting-egde reactionary testing will be implemented to help speed up young players’ brains to diagnose what’s happening in front of them and react naturally and more quickly.

“My role is to inspire the young kids and give them the instruction, discipline and knowledge they need to be football players,” he said. “But we’re also teaching them standardized combine testing, proper technique and we’re using the latest technology — things I wish I had when I was playing — to give them that extra edge.”

But without that safety knowledge, we could be heading into a generation of more frequent concussions and fewer young players who are allowed to play by their parents. By starting early with the safer tackling form, young players have a chance to make it second nature rather than having to unlearn bad or more dangerous technique later.

“We can help them, and this is what we’re doing this for,” Woodson said, “by showing them the right way to do things early on.”

– – – – – – –

Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

By Sanjay Kirpalani , National Recruiting Analyst

 Credit: Student Sports 4-Star DT Jay Tufele was one of four defensive lineman at The Opening Oakland Regional last weekend to earn an invitation to The Opening.

Credit: Student Sports
4-Star DT Jay Tufele was one of four defensive lineman at The Opening Oakland Regional last weekend to earn an invitation to The Opening.

EL SOBRANTE, Calif. — There isn’t an ounce of hesitation for 4-star defensive tackle Jay Tufele when queried on a career path outside of football.

The 6’3”, 288-pounder from Bingham High School in South Jordan, Utah, is clearly a fan of physical contact.

“If I wasn’t playing football, I’d be playing rugby right now,” Tufele told Bleacher Report. “I’d be trying to go pro in rugby. I love that sport. I’ve been playing since I was in seventh grade.”

A handful of offensive lineman at The Opening Oakland Regional last weekend are probably wishing he would make that switch permanently.

The nation’s No. 4 defensive tackle and the No. 59 player overall in the 2017 class was a menacing force all day long.

According to Tufele, his performance—which concluded with an invite to The Opening—validated any questions about his standing as one of the premier defensive linemen in the 2017 cycle.

“It feels amazing [to get that invite],” he said. “It’s like a weight off my back, and it feels great to accomplish this. I showed them that I can really play. Everyone has been wondering about it, but I just came out and showed that I can be a dominant player. I just showed that I can match up with everyone else in terms of skill and athleticism.”

With more than 20 offers to his credit, up next on his agenda is to sort out the main players in his recruitment.

“I haven’t really gotten around that much. The last visit I took was when I went to California to see USC and UCLA. That was two or three months ago,” Tufele said.

However, he does have a few trips in mind he would like to make before the upcoming season.

“Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, and I want to visit Washington in the summer,” Tufele said. “Ohio State and Michigan have been coming at me really hard. Utah is always there too. They are around everyday. There’s a few more schools.”

In particular, one head coach at one of those programs has wasted little time in making a positive impression on him—even though he admits he was slightly intimidated when initially speaking with him.

“I’d say [Buckeyes head coach] Urban Meyer. He’s a really good guy,” Tufele said. “I used to be scared in talking to him. But he’s been awesome to talk to. He’s a great guy.”

The big man from the Beehive State reports a 3.3 GPA. Although he doesn’t have a major sorted out yet, he’s currently interested in pursuing a career in the medical field.

While he does have a few visits and programs on his mind, he’s in no hurry to make a decision—which he said could come on national signing day for now.

When it does come time to make the final call, a few factors will be critical in helping him arrive to that conclusion.

“I just want know if I can make an impact right away,” Tufele said. “The atmosphere of the school and how the players get along with the coaches will be important. I want it to feel like a family wherever I go.”

Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

By Director of Rugby Dominic Riebli 

In their final game of the regular season, the USC Men’s Rugby Club traveled to Las Vegas, host city to the American leg of the IRB 7s Series, to take on a Grand Canyon University.  Although they had already secured a playoff spot in the Gold Coast Conference, the Trojans needed to achieve at least a double bonus point loss (score four or more tries and keep the margin of defeat to within seven points) in order to maintain their hold on a first or second place finish and a home playoff match.  USC achieved their goal and then some; coming back from 21 points down to win 32-31 on a penalty kick in the 77th minute.

 With both teams playing in a foreign environment, USC and GCU spent the first 10 minutes of the match feeling each other out and playing for field position.  Sophomore Flyhalf Adam Bushell’s penalty kick in the 13th minute gave the Trojans an early 3-0 lead.  Unfortunately for USC, that represented their only score for the half as things went from bad to worse for the home side.  The Trojans frequently found themselves on the wrong end of the referee’s whistle as Freshman Hooker Oliver Daabo received a yellow card for a swinging arm tackle and Freshman Prop Kian Azizirad got pinged several times for pulling down the scrum.  Playing a man-up, Grand Canyon’s sizable pack battered away at the gain line and made several meters after contact.  They received their just rewards with tries at the 21st and 30th minutes. 3-12 Antelopes.

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USC looked to respond 5 minutes later as the forwards set-up a driving maul from a lineout inside the attacking 22.  After the maul collapsed near the goal line, Hooker Daabo picked the ball up from the tackle area and attempted to sneak in on the short side.  However, the Xavier High School product knocked-on before touching down, thus giving GCU a scrum on their five meter line.  After a couple of possession exchanges on the Antelopes half of the field, GCU had another scrum inside their own 22.  Instead of kicking out of their own end, as they had done on the previous sequence, Flyhalf Ben Pensyl passed to Center Ryan Canino.  This caught USC off-guard and their defensive line did not attack in unison, thus creating a gap for the Antelopes to exploit.  Canino burst through the midfield and had a lot of space to run.  Trojan Sophomore Fullback Mitch Suzuki’s cover tackle proved futile as Canino offloaded to Wing Dru Pelter, who took it the rest of the way for a coast-to-coast try.  With the conversion the Antelopes increased their lead to 16 points.  USC tried to strike back before halftime but an errant pass from Junior 8-man Corbin Bennett went bouncing around the midfield.  Canino picked up the loose ball and scored in the corner.  24-3 in favor of the Antelopes.

 “We played poorly in that first half; very uninspired,” said USC Head Coach Loa Milford.  “My speech was pretty simple: I urged the boys to up the tempo in the second half as it was the only way we could get back in the game.  We had so much riding on the outcome of the game (a home playoff match) so it’s not like I needed to remind them.  I wouldn’t say that we needed to dig deep and find something extra, we just needed to play with more urgency.”

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 And play with urgency, they did.  From the opening kick, Freshman Flanker Michael Cesar took the game over and made line break after line break.  The first came from a turnover near the halfway line.  Cesar dashed through the Antelopes pack and sprinted for the posts.  GCU Center Canino attempted to make a try-saving tackle but came in too high.  Referee Holmquist awarded USC a penalty try and Canino a yellow card.  With the Bushell conversion, USC trailed 10-24.

 Minutes later, Cesar made another break from deep inside USC territory and got dragged down near the halfway line.  With GCU scrambling back to cover defensively, the Trojans needed a quick recycle to continue the momentum and potentially pull themselves back into the game.  Unfortunately, Junior Scrumhalf Guido Scassellati attempted a probing run across the midfield, which delayed his offload to his oncoming teammates.  GCU Winger Pelter stepped into the passing lane, intercepted the ball, and scored an easy try against the run of play.  Pensyl kicked the conversion and put the Antelopes back on top 31-10.

 “That play should have crushed us,” said Milford.  “We finally started getting some momentum and looked like we were going to get to within 7; then their winger swept in and gave us a dagger.  That was literally a 14 point swing.”

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Seemingly undeterred, the Trojans answered back with a converted try from Freshman Center Dmitry Veremeenko.  Cesar then tallied his second score in the 60th minute.  With the conversion, USC found themselves 7 points down with a quarter to play.  They still needed to score another try and keep Grand Canyon from scoring if they hoped to hold onto a top spot in the league.

The teams both had scores go begging in the next 10 minutes as goal line defense beat goal line offense.  Veremeenko finally dotted down in the corner at the 70 minute mark to give his team the much needed bonus point try.  Unfortunately, Bushell missed the extremely important yet extremely difficult conversion, leaving USC down 29-31 with less than 10 minutes to play.  A converted try from GCU meant a certain victory and a second place finish for the Antelopes.

Salvation came in the 77th minute as a Grand Canyon were penalized for offside on their own 22-meter line.  Keenly aware of the situation, Milford directed Bushell to kick for points.  A converted kick would give USC the lead but, more importantly, would almost definitely secure the second bonus point.  Bushell’s kick literally squeaked inside the crossbar as it glanced off the upright and through.  The penalty gave the Trojans a 32-31 lead, their first since the beginning stages of the match.  GCU had a chance to snatch the victory back but a knock-on at fulltime ended the affair.

 With the win, USC moved to first place in the Gold Coast Conference with a game in hand over undefeated Long Beach State.  Should LBSU falter in their match against Santa Barbara City College, the Trojans would win the regular season.

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“It’s quite an accomplishment to go from an ‘also ran’ last year to competing for a regular season title,” said Milford.  “We obviously still have business to tend to and have yet to play our best rugby, but I’m happy for the guys right now.  When that whistle blew, you could tell that they’d given everything they had.  It made me proud.”

USC awaits final results and standings over the next couple of weeks that will determine their playoff opponent.  The only certainty for the Trojans is that they will host a playoff match for the first time in many, many years.