Bennett (left) and Scassellati (right) will serve as USC's new team captains

Bennett (left) and Scassellati (right) will serve as USC’s new team captains

By Adam Bushell, Public Relations Chair

USC Rugby would like to congratulate Corbin Bennett as Team Captain and Guido Scassellati as Backs Captain for the immediate future. Bennett, a returning starter for the program will also be the team’s Forwards Captain.

Bennett will be assuming the responsibilities for the role after long standing captain Joseph Krassenstein decided it was in the team’s best interest to hand the reigns down to the next generation of Trojan Ruggers. Krassenstein, now a graduate student, will however continue to play for USC during the spring season.

Bennett possesses natural leadership characteristics and although this is only his second year playing the game, he has proven to be an incredibly quick learner. Rugby does run deep in the Bennett lineage however as his father, Tom Bennet, also played for USC (Class of ’87). Corbin Bennett however focused on baseball as his sport of choice and played at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon for two years before arriving at USC. After realizing his desire for contact sports and oddly shaped balls, he decided to give rugby a try and has excelled at it ever since.

“As coaches we chose Corbin because he has strong potential to lead the team and the quality of work he has put into this team is amazing. He gets respect from all the players on the team and will lead by example,” commented Head Coach Loa Milford.

Bennett will also have the resources of Guido Scassellati, a third-year starter from Rome, Italy who is no newcomer to the game. Scassellati, the team’s scrum-half, has had a long development experience with Unione Rugby Capitolina in Rome and has proved that he is very capable in his knowledge of the game. 

“We’ve given Guido the responsibility as assistant captain as he’s proven to be responsible and resourceful in the game of rugby. Especially at scrum-half where he’ll have to talk a lot throughout the game, the captaincy gives Guido a greater say in the team’s on-field and off-field decisions,” said Coach Milford.

USC is currently undefeated in the XV’s preseason after defeating UNLV, UCSB, Pepperdine, CSUN, and the Alumni. The Trojans finish the preseason against crosstown rivals, UCLA, on December 5th in Westwood.

 

 

 

Join USC Rugby at Blaze Pizza on Figueroa December 2nd to help us raise funds for the upcoming season! Bring some friends, make a delicious pizza…outrageous fun.

20% of the proceeds raised between 7:30 and 10:30 will directly support the USC Men’s Rugby Club!

Blaze Pizza
3335 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, California 90007

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By Jonathan So

Homecoming weekend means the return of USC Rugby for the annual Alumni Game. Trojan rugger grads put their boots on again to take on the Students. As the teams lined up for kick-off, both had something to prove: the Students wanted to show the Alumni firsthand how the program has progressed since 2014; the Alums wanted to continue their three year winning streak.

The match was fast-paced and high-energy, with the Students applying a more direct, physical brand of rugby. Despite a few handling errors, the Students dictated the pace of the match and put up 34 points in the first 60 minutes while holding the Alumni to 5. Credit goes to current Head Coach Loa Milford for not only drilling and preparing the current USC Team throughout this pre-season, but also putting up two tries as he suited-up for the Students. In the final 20 minutes of the game, the Alumni settled in, caught a second wind, and played positive rugby. After a great back-line play and try, the Alumni picked up momentum and put an additional 2 tries up on the board, ending the game with a final score of 41-20. The Students were pleased to finally end their 2-year losing-streak against the Alumni.

Many thanks to all players, families, and friends for coming out and participating. It is always a pleasure to host our former Trojan ruggers and we hope you enjoyed the Alumni Weekend as much as we did. Fight on!

A big thank you to our alumni for coming out and participating in our annual Alumni match this past Homecoming weekend! Always a pleasure to host our former Trojan ruggers!

A big thank you to our alumni for coming out and participating in our annual Alumni match this past Homecoming weekend! Always a pleasure to host our former Trojan ruggers!

By Adam Bushell

The sevens team travelled to UC Berkeley this past weekend for the annual PAC-12 Sevens competition. Making a statement at this year’s tournament was the end goal for the sevens boys, who had put a full season of hard training in with coaches Adam Siddall and Bryan Randles. After viewing the initial draft, USC was hopeful for a relatively well-matched round of pool play. However, due to two teams dropping out of the competition, USC was moved to a tougher pool and was set to face Arizona State, University of Oregon, University of Arizona, and UCLA. Saturday started off promising as USC put on a strong performance against ASU, despite conceding a loss to the nationally ranked sevens side. The day seemed long as the Trojans went up against Oregon, U of A, and UCLA, who all proved the superior in their matchups against USC.

Going into a consolation game on day two against Oregon State University, the team had a chance to prove their worth. Despite a tough day one, the Trojans rebounded against OSU to secure a 12-10 win and a positive finale for this season’s sevens.

Coach Siddall had this to say about the weekend, “The PAC 12 Tournament provided the highest standard of competition for the USC Sevens program this season. Despite being unsuccessful against stronger opposition on the first day the team backed it’s processes, fought through injuries and showed mental toughness to produce one of the seasons best performances and a convincing win on day two. The establishment of new patterns and processes will provide a platform from which the program can build in future years.”

With coach Adam Siddall returning to nation of birth New Zealand after Christmas, the program would like to thank him for his immense contribution and assisting the team in developing skills that will carry out into the years to come.

Looking ahead, the sevens squad will no rejoin the fifteens for the duration of the fall semester and into the spring to unleash the full potential of a team directed by Head Coach Loa Milford.

USC Rugby was featured for the first time ever on the PAC-12 Network this past weekend. Shout out to our season sponsors @studyhallla, Adverts4Autos, @canterbury_usa, and all our supporters who’ve donated this season to $15k in ’15.

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Trojan Rugby is made possible by the generous contributions from supporters like you. As a club sport at USC, fundraising is a critical component in allowing our team to be competitive. We are thrilled to announce Study Hall and Adverts4Autos as our new team sponsors.

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With Study Hall’s proximity to campus and the Greek row, they have quickly established themselves as the ideal place to catch the game with a burger and a beer. A true gastropub, their menu ranges from the classic to the experimental, from caesar salad to bleu cheese garlic aeoli burgers. And the extensive drinks menu exceeds the scope of this brief announcement. Already USC Rugby has held World Cup viewings at Study Hall to great success. The “industrial-rustic” style of Study Hall makes it appealing to the traditionalist and modernist alike. We are confident that this partnership is a genuine classic in the making.


DSC_0518With the help of Trojan Rugby Alumnus Spencer Kassimir, Adverts4Autos is already providing their second year of support. With the noble goal of making car ownership feasible for any and all, Adverts4Autos sells advertising space on your car and allows you to choose brands that align with your interests.  On behalf of the USC Men’s Rugby Club, we cannot overstate our gratitude to these two businesses for allowing us to play the game we love. We hope that these promising partnerships set the tone for the future of this organization in the years to come.

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This past weekend, USC Rugby had the pleasure of holding a match against the Sydney University Football Club who has been on a tour of the West Coast. This was a great opportunity for our boys to learn from players who live and breathe the sport. The day started with the viewing of the Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and Australia; the passion expressed by the SUFC players, several of whom are on track to play for the Wallabies, made the occasion a tense affair.

Following Australia’s loss to the All Blacks, the SUFC boys had no mercy when they stepped on the field to play USC. However, despite a score-line that suggested an overly lopsided matchup, there was much to be learned from playing a far superior opposition. The way SUFC moved the ball, the way they always attacked on the front foot, the way every breakdown was met with pure might, are the ways in which USC Rugby must learn to approach the game. It was a true spectacle that we in the United States are not exposed to enough. For the game to grow here, we must welcome more teams like the Sydney University Football Club with open arms, even if it means playing against a far superior opposition.

After 40 minutes of play, a number of players from both teams swapped jerseys and played another 40 minutes for the opposing team. The USC players could now compete alongside the talent that had opposed them the half before. In the true spirit of rugby, the day ended on a positive note.

Thank you, SUFC, for helping to grow the sport in the US and for giving us a good day of rugby.

Photos from the match:

USC Rugby Sevens will be traveling to UC Berkeley this upcoming weekend to compete in the annual PAC-12 Rugby Sevens competition, hosting 7’s teams from 10 of the colleges in the PAC-12 division. The Trojans have been placed in a tough pool with ASU, UCLA, UofA, and Oregon. USC hopes to make a point at this year’s tournament and improve upon recent results from earlier this season. We invite all alumni, friends, and family from Northern California to join us on the rare occasion that the team ventures up north and to cheer on our mighty

Trojans as they take to the battle field this November 7th and 8th. If you are unable to make the trip to Cal, be sure to catch us on the PAC-12 television network live broadcast of the tournament starting on Sunday. All games are played at CAL’s Witter Rugby Field. Fight on!

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