By Adam Bushell

Our very own Joey Krassenstein returned from Santiago, Chile earlier this month after representing the USA in the Pan American Maccabi Games. The Maccabi Games is the third-largest sporting event in the world with over 78 countries participating. They take place every 4 years in Israel. On the offset 4 years, there are regional games such as the Pan-American Maccabi Games, European Maccabi Games, and others. 20 teams participated in this year’s games, with Argentina, Chile, the Prince of Whales Rugby Club (Chile), and USA comprising the rugby competition. Krassenstein had a wickedly successful tournament, winning gold and silver in rugby sevens and fifteens respectively, scoring a hat-trick against Chile in sevens. He played the entirety of every game, including a sevens thriller against Argentina that saw the US win by a mere conversion. 

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The USC center commented on his experience at the games, “It was an amazing opportunity being a part of a team that represents not only my religion but also my country. I got a chance to play rugby in a new country against opponents with very different playing styles, and got to enjoy socializing and exchanging with them afterwards.” He co-captained the sevens side and was the fifteen’s MVP in the backs.

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Krassenstein now returns to USC Rugby with new skills that will surely do USC great service in the upcoming Spring season. 

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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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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– 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.

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!

 

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.

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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.

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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.