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NorCal Gets Going: SFGG, DLS, Jesuit Win

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NorCal Gets Going: SFGG, DLS, Jesuit Win

Jesuit found some space after giving up the opening try. Photo Curtis Popp.

Northern California's first step into competitive HS rugby this year was a tentative one, but it still happened, and that's a little victory in and of itself.

While some games were shifted to later in the spring because a late football season made preparation difficult (Danville vs Granite Bay, for instance), and some games were changed to more of a scrimmage format (Elsie Allen vs Bellarmine), we did see three games played.

SFGG

SFGG handed Menlo-Atherton a convincing 44-5 defeat. Marin and SFGG are slated to play-off at some point for a spot at HS Nationals.

This was a physical game and SFGG was perhaps a little bit fitter than Menlo-Atherton. pPaddy Casey was in good form at fullback while lock Joey Lewis led the forward effort. With youngsters Roan O’Connell and Diego Cisterna also playing well SFGG could be in good shape for the spring.

De La Salle

De La Salle beat Marin 27-17 in a very competitive contest.

De La Salle won the all-California school title at the end of February 2020 and looked set for a nice run through the rest of the spring. But of course that all was shut down. They have started with the same intensity this spring. The game was played on Sunday due to troubles finding a field for Saturday. Marin started off well and scored off an attacking lineout when the DLS forwards backed off from engaging the maul looking for an obstruction call—Marin read this and just waltzed in.

Marin broke through a few minutes later and the forwards finished off the surge and it was 14-0 Highlanders. But with about 10 minutes to go in the first half De La Salle found its rhythm and sophomore prop Chase Tofaeono's break got his team near the Marin tryline and then lock Brendan Regan bashed over.

Despite losing No. 8 and heart and soul of the pack Terrell Hopson to injury in the first half, DLS came together nicely in the second half. Marin extended their lead to 17-7 but then better defense and better ballhandling saw De La Salle run in tries and won 27-17.

Marin recognized DLS tighthead prop Chase Tofaeono and flyhalf Mario Storti as the best of the winning team. 

"The sun was shining, the field was fast and it was a great day for rugby," said DLS Head Coach Derek Holmberg. "Marin should be very proud of the effort they put forth. They made us earn everything we got. Our guys were thrilled to be back on the pitch with their brothers and had a ton of respect for the Marin players following the match."

Jesuit Sacramento

And Jesuit of Sacramento beat a Mother Lode team that, despite recruiting obstacles, was very competitive and ready to play. 

It was the first game in over a year for all the teams involved, but MOther Lode brought a very physical team and made Jesuit work for every meter. Jesuit, like many teams in the region, are dealing with injuries and fatigue from the recently-completed football season. However, the Marauders got into the swing of the game.

Junior center Roanin Krieger and senior flyhalf David Hause helped lead the attack while up front seniors David Econome and Tucker Johnstone were a powerful duo. At scrumhalf Fletcher Popp kept it all moving and center Sebastian Torres capped off a very impressive team try.

Mother Lode scored first but Jesuit answered, equalized, took the lead, and kept building on that lead. Mother Lode used their kicking game to push the Jesuit defense back and those kicks led to two tries late in the game to make the final score Jesuit 38 Mother Lode 19.

It was a good showing by Mother Lode and a rocky start but eventually a solid outing for Jesuit.