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Gold Coast Divide Shows

USD packing down v Grand Canyon in a game they lost, but learned from.

The first week of results in the Gold Coast Rugby Conference has quickly established a large gulf between the stronger teams and the less-strong teams.

Santa Barbara City College beat UC Irvine 55-5 on Saturday. Long Beach State hammered Cal State Fullerton 70-0, and San Diego took down UC San Diego 62-0.

Only USC hasn’t played yet, and while if history is any guide, they won’t be able to challenge those top three, new coach Andrew Yeo is reportedly putting together a solid effort. It’s the Toreros, 49ers, and los Vaqueros - bullfighters, miners, and cowboys - for the top three spots, for now.

CSULB Head Coach Jason Reynolds said he saw his team play better than where they ended last season. They were certainly committed in defense, and run with a lot of conviction.

Meanwhile, USD, which lost 38-31 to Grand Canyon in a preseason game, has made some adjustments since then.

“This was an improvement from the GCU game,” said USD Coach Andrew Castle. “GCU are a very good team and turned our mistakes into points which every good team does. We spent the whole week working on defense and it paid off.” 

UCSD also got four yellow cards during the game, and that killed any momentum they might have secured.

“I have no illusions that playing most of the match a man, and sometimes two men, up helped us and really hurt them,” said Castle. “They are better than the scoreline showed and their coach Brian Kennedy should be proud of their effort.”

So maybe UCSD cane reload from this, although they will have to be more disciplined.

SBCC certainly has to be happy with their start.

“Our boys are coming together quite well,” said Coach Kevin Battle, whose team is by definition a young team because SBCC is a community college with players attending for one or two years. “We will always be young [so] we will have to outwork our opponents. We have some tough kids. I like what we’ve got, but we know we are underdogs in each match.”

Battle said his team has high expectations, but he also knows there’s competition at the top. 

“We have high expectations this season but will face each match as thought it’s our championship,” he said. “Hopefully our youngsters will come through ok and give us a shot at postseason.”

So SBCC is hopeful, USC a wild card, UCSD possibly a wounded predator, and CSULB is thinking big. San Diego? A national semifinalist team last year, they have some work to do, Castle.  

“We turned the ball over a lot and that is something we need work on going forward,” he warned. “We simply can't compete with the top sides in our league with 20-plus turnovers on offense. Even though we improved from GCU we still have a ton of work to do and a long way off where we would like to be.”


Gold Coast (DIAA)
  W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
Long Beach 1 0 0 70 0 70 1 0 5
San Diego 1 0 0 62 0 62 1 0 5
SBCC 1 0 0 55 5 50 1 0 5
USC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
UC Irvine 0 1 0 5 55 -50 0 0 0
UCSD 0 1 0 0 62 -62 0 0 0
Fullerton 0 1 0 0 70 -70 0 0 0