– Written by Jeff Stratford, PR Contributor

On Sunday the XV’s traveled up to Malibu for an afternoon match against Pepperdine University. It did not take long for the Trojans to diagnose an exploitable discrepancy in the relative sizes of each team’s forward pack. With the mismatch favoring the Trojans, USC struck first with a try two minutes into the match from hooker, Michael Cesar. The elegant simplicity of the Trojan’s forward attack allowed USC to maintain possession for the better part of the match while opening up the backline for rookies Demitry Veremeenko and Trent Herschel to score their first tries as well as a try from veteran scrum half, Guido Scassellati.

Solid team defense held the Pepperdine University Waves try-less with only two penalty kicks. The Trojans marched out of Malibu undefeated in their preseason moving to 3-0 with a 24 to 6 victory over Pepperdine. The 2nd XVs fought hard and had moments of rugby brilliance, but fell to the Waves 15 to 17. Trojan Rugby newcomers, however, were victorious in their sportsmanship and willingness to gain in game experience. Indeed the future of Trojan Rugby looks bright. In the spirit of the sport both teams showed a mutual respect for one another with the final view around the pitch showing Trojans and Waves arm in arm for love of the game.

88For the second weekend this season, USC Rugby will be sending two teams to two different events. On Saturday USC 7’s will be traveling to San Diego to partake in the El Nino Rugby 7’s hosted by OMBAC Rugby Club and on Sunday USC XV’s will be playing their 3rd preseason friendly against Pepperdine University in Malibu.

Click to here to view last year’s match report against Pepperdine. 

Many of the usual suspects for the 7’s team will be unavailable travel outside the weekend for competition because of Parent’s Weekend. The 7’s will be sending a squad of 12 players to San Diego in hopes of getting some more experience for many of their newer players. In XV’s, several positions are open to 2nd/3rd-strings to fill as many of the 1st-stringers are committed to the 7’s on Saturday. USC XV’s hope to build off the momentum of last week’s win against UCSB.

Fight On to all our competing boys and welcome to LA to our Trojan Rugby Parents!


Lock Rohan Martin stretches to secure the ball

Lock Rohan Martin stretches to secure the ball

– written by Public Relations Chair Adam Bushell

USC traveled down the peninsula to take on UC Santa Barbara at the picturesque Palos Verdes High School.  With no 7’s commitments this weekend, the Trojans had their full complement of players available for the first time this Fall season.

UCSB plays in Division 1-A, which is a division higher than USC, so the Trojans understood the challenge before them.  Out of the gate, the Gauchos put the Trojans under pressure by dominating possession inside the USC half. However, a turn of events returned possession to USC and allowed for fly-half Adam Bushell to supply a grub kick through to inside center Joey Krassenstein. A fortunate bounce placed the ball into Krassenstein’s hands and it was try time Trojans. Off the restart, UCSB again pounded into USC’s territory and came inches from the try line, but was denied points by a supreme goal line stand by the Trojans over several phases of play.

Back with possession, USC took the ball into the opposite half and the test of goal line defense was now on UCSB. After a number of phases, hooker Michael Cesar pummeled over the line to score USC’s second and the convert made it 14-0. UCSB managed to nudge a penalty kick over for three, finishing the half with the score 14-3.  The second half saw the forwards dominating the play once more, holding off the Gauchos from scoring for the entirety of the half. A penalty kick was scored by USC early on. Cesar once again proved too much for UCSB to handle as he rolled another one over the line following a long drive by the forward pack. The final try of the day was scored when Krassenstein exploited an opening off of a quick-tapped penalty. Dancing around two UCSB players and brushing off another, Krassentein’s individual effort was awarded with his second try of the game. All tries converted, the final score equated to 31-3, marking a dominant win for the Trojans. The forward pack had been rock solid in all aspects of the game and were responsible for the score difference between the two teams.


Coach Loa Milford commented on the performance, “I thought we were solid in defense, though I’d like to see us apply more pressure in the opposition backline. We need to continue to work on our attack and patterns of play. I thought it was a solid performance but we still have a long way to go.  UCSB blooded over 20 rugby neophytes so the final favored us a bit.”

In the 2nd XV’s match, USC showed some resilience and came away with a victory as well. Tries went to Nick Ludwig, Oliver Dabao, Robert Sieh, Gordon Stewart, making the final score 25-17.  Ludwig’s intercept try at full-time sealed the deal for the men of Troy.

Match Photos:

Shout out to our team sponsor RockTape for helping us go stronger for longer.

Shout out to our team sponsor RockTape for helping us go stronger for longer.

Maccabi USA rugby team announced for 2015 Pan American Maccabi Games

Philadelphia, PA, October 12 – The Maccabi USA rugby team has officially been selected for the 2015 Pan American Maccabi Games, which will be held from December 26, 2015 – January 5, 2016 in Santiago, Chile.

“It’s taken us a lot longer to announce our team with well over 50 players applying for this amazing opportunity to combine their love for rugby with their Jewish heritage,” explained Aaron Davis, the Head Coach of Maccabi USA’s Open Men’s rugby team. “And without an official try out we had to do a lot of research before selecting the 27-man team.”

musa-squad-panam56-embedThe rugby competition at the 2015 Pan American Maccabi Games will feature both 7s and 15s – using a round robin format – with the top two teams competing in the Gold medal match. The teams taking part will be Argentina, Chile and the USA.

“Players will play plenty of minutes in a short space of time – which is exactly what will be expected of the squad that represents Team USA at the 2017 World Maccabiah Games in Israel.” added Dallen Stanford, the Assistant Coach of Maccabi USA’s Open Men’s rugby team and a former USA 7s Eagle.

The Maccabi USA rugby team to compete at the Pan American Maccabi Games consists of athletes from clubs, universities, and colleges around the United States, and also includes Maccabi USA alumnus:

Eitan Babcock; Milwaukee Rugby Football Club, Andrew Berson; Dartmouth Rugby, Erik Dollman; Albany Bootleggers / Albany Knickerbockers RFC, Jon Fonvielle; Mystic River Rugby Club, Dan Freedman; Santa Barbara Grunion RFC / Coach at Santa Ynez Valley Youth RFC, Joe Freundlich; Chicago Westside Condors RFC, Zachary Getson; Auburn University RFC / Griffins RFC, Howard Goldsmith; Chicago Westside Condors RFC, Eyal Hakim; Boca Raton RFC, Sam Harrison; Head Coach at Colorado College RFC, Zachary Hiller; Houston United Rugby Team, Jaeson Kaylegian; UIC RFC / Chicago Riot RFC, Robert Keene; South Valley Rugby / Pacific Club Rugby, Michael Korn; Glendale Raptors, Joseph Krassenstein; University of Southern California RFC, Max LaVictoire; New York Rugby Club, Jake Levine; Dartmouth Rugby, Eli Mandel; University Washington RFC, Adam Markun; Middlebury RFC, Samuel Rabb; San Francisco Golden Gate, Ben Rotstein; New York Rugby Club, Michael Rudzinsky; USC / Mystic River Rugby Club, Matthew Sarna; Maryland Rugby, Adam Satz; University of South Carolina Men’s Rugby, Dallen Stanford; Tiger Rugby, Tristan Sylk; Philadelphia Fight Rugby League / Media Rugby Football Club, James Tayson; New England College.


For more information on the rugby competition in at the Pan American Maccabi Games, contact Maccabi USA Rugby Chairman Erik Dollman at erik.dollman@tbs.toshiba.com.

About the organization:
Maccabi USA (MUSA) is a federally-recognized not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization with an extensive history of enriching Jewish lives through athletic, cultural and educational programs. The organization is the official sponsor of the United States Team to the World Maccabiah Games, and the Pan American and European Maccabi Games, as well as a sponsor of the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in North America. As the official Maccabi representative in the U.S., Maccabi USA supports Jewish athletic endeavors, enhanced by cultural and educational activities in the United States, Israel and throughout the Diaspora.

MUSA develops, promotes and supports international, national and regional athletic-based activities and facilities. It strives to provide Jewish athletes the world over the opportunity to share their heritage and customs in competitive athletic settings. MUSA supports programs that embody the Maccabi ideals of Jewish Continuity, Zionism and Excellence in Sport. Maccabi USA Builds Jewish Pride Through Sports.

Maccabi USA has been selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) as a Multi-Sport Organization (MSO). The nonprofit organization becomes one of 35 MSOs nationwide to be recognized by the USOC for its ability to cultivate a national interest in sport and increase opportunities for participation internationally, nationally and at the grassroots level.


Congratulations to Head Coach Loa Milford and his first win as USC XV's also had a successful tour to UNLV winning 24-21 ‪#‎usctrojanrugby‬ ‪#‎winnerscircle‬

Congratulations to Head Coach Loa Milford and his first win as USC XV’s also had a successful tour to UNLV winning 24-21 ‪#‎usctrojanrugby‬ ‪#‎winnerscircle‬

This weekend, the USC XV’s team traveled to Sin City to take on a strong UNLV side for their pre-season opener.

Both sides were extremely evenly matched, with USC narrowly winning 24-21. UNLV opened the scoring in the first, but the Trojans shook off the off-season rust and retaliated with a physical offense and a tightened defense.

With 5 minutes left to go, Trojans were down 17-21. Fly-half Pierre Badin was able to break through the defense with a perfectly-timed sidestep and put the ball down for a try and make the conversion, putting the Trojans up by 3.

USC was able to hold off the aggressive UNLV defense and slow the game down to come away with the victory. Special mention must be given to the USC forward pack, which despite being outsized and having two starting players injured early in the game, managed to put on a fantastically physical display. The pack was dominant at the scrums and lineouts, not only winning their own set-pieces but also a significant amount of the opposition’s.

Additionally, the forward were able to out-grind the defense, consistently breaking the gain-line with tight carries. The backs must also be applauded for a strong and energized defense, despite also being significantly outsized.

Rookie front-row Eugene Lee was given Man of the Match honors after scoring two tries on debut. USC XV’s looks to build its pre-season winning streak against a strong UCSB side this weekend (Oct. 17)

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][us_image_slider ids=”5698,6785,6841,6830,6823″ autoplay=”1″ autoplay_period=”3″ orderby=”rand”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Fall 2015 schedule:

  • Monday: 6-8 pm
    @ Cromwell Field (Track Field)
  • Thursday: 6-8 pm
    @ Cromwell Field (Track Field)

Spring 2016 schedule:

  • Monday: 6-8 pm
    @ Cromwell Field (Track Field)
  • Wednesday: 6-8 pm
    @ Cromwell Field (Track Field)
  • Friday: 4-6 pm

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