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.

– Written by Adam Bushell, PR Chair

el-nino-7s-2015USC Rugby Sevens travelled to San Diego this past weekend to play in El Nino Sevens that hosted six teams from Southern California and Arizona. The Trojans were placed in a pool with the same opposition as they faced in pool play at the West Coast Sevens competition two weeks earlier, Arizona State and San Diego State University. Both teams had proven to be highly competitive previously and this past weekend was no different. USC faced SDSU in their first game of the day and the rhythm of play looked in favor of the Trojans until defensively things broke down. USC was unable to match the strength of the Aztecs offensively, the Aztecs managed to put 37 points on the board against the Trojans’ 5. The next round of pool play against ASU was destined to be an even tougher affair. Unfortunately, part way into the second half, the game was forced to end prematurely. Luis Lopez had injured his neck under the impact of a collapsed ruck and was forced to be transported to the hospital. Fortunately, the resulting injury was only muscular and Luis will face a short recovery time. Out of pool play, the Trojans faced Grand Canyon University in the final consolation match of the day. USC fell to GCU in a hard fought match that ended 12-5.

Although having a bleak record for the day, USC had expected the tournament to be a preparatory step in the Trojans quest for recognition at the upcoming PAC-12 sevens tournament. Score lines aside, the Trojans can learn from critical mistakes of this past weekend and make the needed corrections in preparation for the PAC-12 meeting on November 7th.

USCRFC finishes the day off with a win to take home the Bowl from this weekend's ‪#‎westcoastsevens‬.

USCRFC finishes the day off with a win to take home the Bowl from this weekend’s ‪#‎westcoastsevens‬.

– By Adam Bushell, Public Relations Chair

The 7’s team travelled to Cal Poly, SLO this past weekend to compete in this year’s West Coast Sevens tournament. Going into the tournament ranked eleventh of twelve teams, USC had much to prove in their quest for recognition amongst the best of the west.

Early morning pool play proved a tough entrance into the tournament, going up against reputable sides San Diego State and Arizona State. The opening game against SDSU proved a greater challenge than expected, with USC conceding several early tries to the Aztecs and failing to maintain possession of the ball for more than one or two phases. The Trojans fell 34-0.  The second match saw ASU mark their territory with a confident win over the Trojans.  USC made strides in the game, holding the eventual pool winners to a 35-5 victory. Hooker Michael Cesar scored an unconverted try for USC.

Finishing pool play in third, USC was relegated to the Bowl playoffs. Facing teams more equally matched, USC now had a chance to turn the day around. The team met the University of Nevada, Reno in their first play-off matchup and were finally able to develop a rhythm to their play. Carl Aguirre scored twice and Joseph Krassenstein and Mitch Suzuki each scored once. The game finished 22-17 in favor of the Trojans who advanced to play Stanford in the Bowl final. Stanford showed fatigue from their semi-final match against SBCC and were unable to match the pace of USC’s play. USC showed its depth as substitutes took the place of the day’s starters seamlessly, keeping pressure on Stanford for the duration of the game. The formation and strategy of USC was arguably the best we have seen yet.  Final score: 20-5 in favor of the Trojans.

Coach Adam Siddall summarized the day, “The team started slowly in pool play against tough opposition but showed heart and continued to fight for everything. In the playoff stages with more possession and a better understanding of the pattern, the team illustrated its attacking danger with many line breaks and tries”

USC won the Bowl and finished the day ranked ninth, a two-place improvement from the beginning of the day. In theory, USC could have done better had their draw not been so difficult. SDSU took the Plate and ASU lost in the Cup final to Cal. USC has another two chances to prove their worth, first at an SDSU hosted sevens tournament on October 24th and then on to the annual PAC-12 tournament on November 7th.

12030339_10206231207472969_5072901960830378588_o7s report from Public Relations Chair Adam Bushell

Yesterday, the Sevens side went across town to play powerhouse UCLA in a friendly scrimmage. The friendly nature of the game allowed for several seven minute halves and rolling subs to get the entire team’s feet wet, but both sides understood the benefit for early season competition. UCLA, going into next weekend’s West Coast Sevens tournament ranked 2nd overall, came to the scrimmage better prepared and flying out of the gates.

The talent and ability of the UCLA side quickly proved to our Sevens boys that a great amount of work is still to be done to achieve a competitive status amongst the best in the West. Although a high performing side, UCLA’s abilities should not have prevented USC from performing basic Sevens strategy, as was the case on Sunday. On the front foot, USC was unable to move the ball faster than the aggressive UCLA defense and was consistently held behind the gain line. Quicker movement of the ball and a greater exploitation of space is key to any Sevens team’s success. Defensively, the failure to communicate and spread the field proved detrimental on several occasions. Basic switch plays and overlaps executed almost flawlessly lead USC to more problems. Glimmers of hope were seen when the offensive structure of the team resembled what had been practiced in training the week prior; the basis of the team’s game showed signs of coming together. But once broken down the team reverted to its haphazard tendencies of previous years.

Coach Bryan Randles was optimistic following the encounter with UCLA, “The match was a good barometer of where our 7’s team ranks skill-wise. Playing against a top-notch team clearly showed us where our deficiencies lie and where we need to put in a little more work. Overall, it was a very productive day of rugby where the boys gained some valuable 7’s game experience.”

The sevens team must now expand on what went well against UCLA and extinguish their shortcomings if they hope to catch the attention of any of the eleven other sides competing at the West Coast Sevens next weekend.

Join us at Cal Poly SLO this weekend for the West Coast Sevens tournament and cheer on our boys trying to make a statement.

Games will be broadcasted on USA RUGBY:

  • 10:20 am- USC vs. SDSU
  • 11:20 am- USC vs ASU
  • 1:00 pm- Playoffs
  • Bowl, Plate, Cup to follow through 4:00 pm

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]#USCRugbySevens took to a friendly against @uclarugby. The team is now ready to hit the ground running at next weekends West Coast Sevens. #crosstownrivals #justafriendlydoe

uscrugbysevens2015[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Good work today by the 7’s boys. We played UCLA in 1 full time match and then a bunch of 7 minute periods. The score of the first game was 5 tries to 2 but at one point was tied at 2. Everyone got playing time and we improved with each game.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]