On April 7th, the Cal Rugby reserve grade took on the Bear Cubs of Santa Rosa Junior College. While the matchup may sound more like a mismatch, the Bear Cubs fielded a strong side, and nothing came easily for the Golden Bears. After the jump, photos of the action!
(First off, apologies for this being so late - last week was absolute hell. Secondly, our resident rugger RugbyVet has done a great writeup of this match, so you should definitely check that out if you haven't already. I'll wait. )
(Oh good, you're back! Since the heavy lifting's already been taken care of, I'll just be giving a brief overview and droppin' some visual knowledge.)
Thursday before last, I got off work early and made the trek up to Santa Rosa for the match; I can thank RugbyVet for the idea. The match was not held on the SRJC campus as I expected, but rather took place at For Pete's Sake Field. Named for beloved Sonoma County rugger Peter N. Eiermann, FPS Field is the home turf of the SRJC Bear Cubs, the Santa Rosa Rugby Club, and countless other local sporting events.
Santa Rosa itself is far; this place was further. Slogging north on the rush-hour-traffic-and-construction-clogged 101, you finally get to Santa Rosa. Past downtown Santa Rosa, you finally get to Santa Rosa JC. Past that a ways, you finally get to Comstock Middle School.
Through the Comstock Middle School parking lot and behind the school - you finally get to For Pete's Sake Field.
The match had already started when I got there - Cal was up by a try, but it was still early. The field itself was in great shape, with unexpected and pleasantly rustic wooden goalposts.
The spectators literally stood on the sidelines, and most of the action was on the far side of the field.
Santa Rosa played very strong defense in this match.
A break in the action.
One of the early scrums.
Line outs! We did alright with them this match, but there's still some growth to be had in technique and whatnot.
Just another missed tackle. Go Bears!
A shot of the spectators who showed for the match. I was standing next to a couple who had two sons that were Cal Rugby alumni, and one who hoped to play for Cal. They lived in Sebastopol, so there was no way they'd a miss a chance to see the team so close to home.
A Bear Cub reacts after a particularly ill-conceived pass that resulted in a quick turnover.
Another strong tackle for Santa Rosa.
Action by the try line. Santa Rosa's defense was particularly stiff around the try line - Cal moved the ball relatively well through the middle of the field, but when it got down to the try line, there wasn't much to be had. We didn't score on this possession.
Not to say that we didn't play some good defense of our own!
A Bear Cub conversion kick. Victory was not to had easily.
#10 was involved in a lot of the action.
There he is again!
More tough try-line defense. The scores we had were, for the most part, exclamation points on longer runs, The short stuff was not to be had. We didn't score on this possession either.
We did score soon after, though! And there's the ubiquitous #10 again.
An Old Blue looks on during a break in the action.
Student trainers worked hard, but had fun.
The Golden Bears fight for the ball while their coach studies the action
Probably my favorite shot of the day.
Golden Bears and Bear Cubs congratulate each other on a hard-fought match.
Sportsmanship above all - but when congratulations are done, the disappointment soon follows.
Game ball. Beautiful in its simplicity..
Farewell, Santa Rosa!
All in all, a fun time, capped off by a hard-fought victory by our up-and-coming ruggers. Santa Rosa JC put up a heck of a fight, and held the lead at several points, but our Golden Bears were not to denied. Great job, boys!