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Name: Joseph Krassenstein

Year: Graduate Student

Position: Center

Hometown: Shanghai, China

High School: Shanghai American School

Masters: Public Diplomacy

Club: Shanghai Rugby Football Club/ Santa Monica Rugby Club

Most Memorable Moment with USC Rugby: Seeing the Growth of the USC Rugby program

Favorite Rugby Player: Sonny Bill Williams 

Favorite Post-Game Meal: Ramen

Favorite Pre-Game Music: Meek Mill, Ice Cube, Notorious BIG, or anything that goes hard.

If I were an animal, I would be: A Monkey

Three items I would bring to a deserted island: A Fishing Pole, Speakers, and a Surf Board

Celebrity Crush: Shay Mitchell

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Name: Jonathan So

Year: Senior

Position: Lock

Hometown: Vancouver, Canada

High School: St. Georges

Major: Business 

Most Memorable Moment Playing Rugby: High School tour to Australia and New Zealand

Favorite Rugby Player: Bakkies Botha

Favorite Post-Game Meal: My Opponent’s Tears

Favorite Pre-Game Music: Tsunami – DVBBS

If I were an animal, I would be: A Velociraptor

Three items I would bring to a deserted island: A Yacht, a Satellite Phone, and Live Chickens

Celebrity Crush: Margot Robbie

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Name: Mitch Suzuki

Year: Sophomore

Position: Wing

Hometown: Summit, New Jersey

High School: The Pingry School

Major: Industrial and Systems Engineering

Most Memorable Moment Watching Rugby: When Japan beat South Africa in the Rugby World Cup.

Favorite Rugby Player: Nick Cummins

Favorite Post-Game Meal: Core Power

Favorite Pre-Game Music: Taylor Swift

If I were an animal, I would be: A Dinosaur

Three items I would bring to a deserted island: A Machete, fire, and a fishing rod.

Celebrity Crush: Silje Norendal

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Name: Marco Scavuzzo

Year: Junior

Position: Lock

Hometown: La Jolla, California

High School: La Jolla Country Day

Major: Sociology

Most Memorable Moment Playing Rugby: Watching the Rugby World Cup Finals with the University of Sydney Rugby Team

Favorite Rugby Player: Bakkies Botha 

Favorite Post-Game Meal: Roscoes

Favorite Pre-Game Music: Dr. Dre and Chief Keef

If I were an animal, I would be: A West Nile Crocodile

Three items I would bring to a deserted island: The Bible, a Rugby Ball, and a Fishing Pole

Celebrity Crush: Sofia Vergara

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Name: Cody Po’okela

Year: Senior

Position: Hooker

Hometown: Mililani, HI

High School:Kamehameha Schools

Major: Philosophy, Politics and Law

Most Memorable Moment Playing Rugby: Tackling Loa

Favorite Rugby Player: Richie McCaw

Favorite Post-Game Meal: Laulau and Poi

Favorite Pre-Game Music:Mark Keali’i Ho’omalu

If I were an animal, I would be: A Turtle 

Three items I would bring to a deserted island: An Airplane, beer, and cigarettes.

Celebrity Crush: Grace Park

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Name: Guido Scassellati

Year: Junior

Position: Scrum Half

Hometown: Rome, Italy

High School: Lycee Chateaubriand

Club: Unione Rugby Capitolina

Major: Business with emphasis on Public Relations 

Most Memorable Moment Playing Rugby: Most memorable game played is winning the Italian National Under 16 title. Favorite game I have been too was when Italy beat France 22-21 in Rome, 2011, in the 6 Nations.

Favorite Rugby Player: Mike Phillips 

Favorite Post-Game Meal: Core Power!

Favorite Pre-Game Music: I Want to Hold Your Hand by the Beatles

If I were an animal, I would be: A Honey Badger

Three items I would bring to a deserted island: A Rugby Ball, a Chicken, and a Cow

Celebrity Crush: Gigi Hadid

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Name: Austin Giles

Year: Junior

Position: Fullback

Hometown: Fort McMurray, Canada

High School: Brentwood College

Major: Business

Most Memorable Moment Playing Rugby: Winning the BC Provincial Championship in 2012

Favorite Rugby Player: James O’Connor

Favorite Post-Game Meal: Copenhagen Wintergreen (long cut)

Favorite Pre-Game Music: Taylor Swift

If I were an animal, I would be: A chinchilla

Three items I would bring to a deserted island: A boat, a compass, and a salt water filter.

Celebrity Crush: Lindsay Lohan

Saturday saw the University of Southern California Men’s Rugby team travel to San Diego to face University of San Diego Toreros for an important match that had Gold Coast Conference playoff implications. The Trojans made the necessary adjustments in the week leading up to the match, identifying USD’s strengths and aiming to counter them.

The two and a half hour bus ride risked leaving the Trojans lethargic and heavy footed upon the opening whistle. However, from the kickoff USC hit the ground running, dominating the majority of play and working to keep the ball in USD’s half. Trojan Flyhalf Adam Bushell kept the Toreros pinned in their own half for the opening fifteen minutes until USC capitalized on a mistake in the attacking zone. An errant USC pass landed nicely into Bushell’s arms, allowing him to fall over the line for the opening try of the game. The Flyhalf converted his own score, 7-0 USC.

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The teams consistently swapped possession for another fifteen minutes until USD conceded a penalty inside their half. Bushell stepped-up and nailed the kick. 10-0 USC.

Minutes later, Center Joey Krassenstein made a half-break a threw a perfectly timed offload to Bushell. Unfortunately, he couldn’t collect the pass. The ball went to ground and a pacey USD Center took it the other way. The Trojans scrambled to recover and brought the man down, but not before he found 8-man Cameron Guirguis for a try against the run-of-play. USD’s Flyhalf Avery Vandenberg easily converted; 10-7 USC after 40 minutes of play.

USD carried the momentum into the 2nd half with Vandenberg bookending his unconverted try with two penalty kicks. The Trojans complicated matters during that interval when Lock DeMarco Scavuzzo received a yellow card for diving over the ball. Having already conceded one try and a penalty, USC had their back against their goal line a second time. Although they ultimately conceded a penalty kick, the resoluteness of the Trojan defense gave them a boost of confidence heading into the final quarter 10-18 USD with 12 minutes left in the game.

From the restart, the Trojans started an unforeseen comeback when Center Dimitry Veremeenko’s fantastic individual effort lead to several broken tackles and a try out of virtually nothing. Bushell missed the conversion. 15-18 USD. Four minutes later, the Trojans recaptured the lead when Halfback Guido Scassellati dummied, fended off a defender, and scored in the corner. Bushell’s kick went wide again. 20-18 USC. In the 77th minute and inside the attacking twenty-two, Veremeenko struck again by making a half-break and offloading to Flyhalf Bushell for his second of the day. The conversion went astray again, keeping USD within reach of a try at 25-18. However, Flanker Michael Cesar sealed things up when, from a Torero scrum, the ball went flying out the back and eventually into his arms. Krassenstein missed the convert, bringing the final score to 30-18 in favor of USC.

Trojans Captain Corbin Bennett commented, “No one expects us to win or to perform at the level we have thus far. Our team has embraced the underdog status and we all love playing with that chip on our shoulder. While we will enjoy this victory as it does attest to how far our program has come, we still have a long season ahead of us and still have many things to improve upon. We truly would not be where we are without the sacrifice our coaches and their families continue to make.”

This Saturday, February 13th at 10:30am, USC goes up against CSU Fullerton at Dodson Middle School in Palos Verdes.

Photos from the match

Match Running Score

Current Standings

by Alex Goff

Southern California shocked the University of San Diego Saturday in the Gold Coast DIAA Conference, scoring four tries in the final 13 minutes to turn an 18-10 deficit into a 30-18 victory.

USC, which had shown some improved results of late, was expected to give USD a push, but many would have accepted an 18-10 loss as a sign that the Trojans were improving. Instead, they blew the doors off the game.

USC started off well, with flyhalf Adam Bushell scoring a try, which he converted, and then adding a penalty for a 10-0 lead. But USD pushed back with a converted try scored by No. 8 Cameron Guirguis and converted by flyhalf Avery In the second half, a penalty to tie the scoe, a try at 55 minutes, and then a penalty to make it 18-10. That’s when the Trojans went to work, as center Dimitry Giudo, Bushell, and, at the end of the game, flanker Michael Cesar, all touched down.

The win bumped USC to 2-1 and dropped USD to 1-1.

Also in the Gold Coast, Grand Canyon defeated UC Irvine 36-15 to move to 2-1 and remain in 1st. GCU ran out a fairly young team and Coach Ryan Kelly said they played well at times, and not so well at times.

“We are hoping it all comes together by April,” said Kelly. “We’ll see where we are in two weeks when we play Long Beach State.”

As for Long Beach State, the 49ers smacked Cal State Fullerton 38-3. Fullerton actually scored first, but then tries from scrumhalf Roland Blackiston, No. 8 Jerell Abellera-Neri, and wing Devon Stone staked CSULB to a 19-3 halftime lead. Center Anthony Simeone and lock Joshua Myles scored tries in the second half, while flyhalf Steven Bodley added five conversions and a penalty.

So there’s plenty of rugby to be played and Long Beach State is the only unbeaten team.