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Mustangs Prove SoCal Knows What It's Doing

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Mustangs Prove SoCal Knows What It's Doing

San Diego vs Tempe. Photo San Diego Mustangs rugby.

The San Diego Mustangs weren’t exactly miffed that they were in Tier 2 of the Boys HS National Championships, but they still had something to prove.

“Southern California is the best rugby in the United States,” said the Mustangs’ Judd Berman. And San Diego wanted to show where they stacked up.

And they did it, beating a dynamic Tempe team that can score from anywhere in the Tier 2 final.

It was the sort of game where the teams traded tries. But while the Mustangs showcased some excellent ball skills and understanding of space, they won because of their tenacity and physicality on defense. 

They consistently met Tempe at the gain line, and frustrated the Arizona team enough that they started to get yellow cards. With the numbers advantage San Diego pulled away 22-12 only to see Tempe score late and get a shot at one more try.

No dice, though, as the Mustangs hung tough.

“We couldn’t exit, we kept giving up infringements, but we ended the season how we started it, beating Tempe,” said Berman. 

A little bravado, maybe, but also a note, again, about how strong the Mustangs, and their league, are. San Diego beat Tempe, lost to SOC by three, lost to Thunder by six, beat San Clemente, Back Bay, and Belmont Shore, and then lost to SOC by three in the SoCal playoffs.

So they came into the national tournament the third-best team in Southern California, but determined to prove they belonged. They then beat Vienna, the #2 team in Virginia, Raleigh, the #2 team in North Carolina, and Tempe, the Arizona champs.

Yes, we can be sure they made a statement, not just for them, but for Southern California.