Goff Rugby Twitter     Goff Rugby Facebook

SOC Raptors Win Exciting Clash With San Diego

irish rugby tours

SOC Raptors Win Exciting Clash With San Diego

In the second week of Southern California preseason games, the South Orange County Raptors pulled off a mild upset, beating La Jolla 36-26.

Marcus Nguyen scored three tries in the win with Asher Hannon added 11 points with a try and three conversions. Addison Barrette and Mike Lewis added tries for the Raptors.

It was a well-played, physical game, and La Jolla led early. The teams traded tries for a 14-12 La Jolla lead going into halftime. But Nguyen got his hat trick right before the break that gave his team a lead they would not relinquish. On the other side of halftime Barrette and Lewis raced in for tries for a commanding 31-14 lead. 

However, La Jolla mounted a bit of a comeback and got a superbly-taken try from Max Smith and another to make it 31-26. With five minutes to go, La Jolla was applying all the pressure and was rewarded with a scrum 10 meters from the SOC tryline. But strong defensive pressure from William Lhommedieu and Keegan Hannon forced a turnover and the Raptors worked their way down the field to set up Hannon's game-sealing try.

It was an exciting, dramatic game.

La Jolla was led by Smith and Marty Jellison, while Nguyen not only scored three tries but was very strong defensively both at center and at No. 8. Hooker Sammy McMillan put in a big day at the office, especially on the defensive end of the ball as he pulled off several poaches at key moments. Hannon ran the game well at flyhalf and kicked smartly from the hand, while Barrette was a powerful runner as tighthead prop, and his try was a bit of fancy ballhandling.

This week's San Diego Mustangs vs Thunder game was called off. Rain prevented San Diego from practicing, and as that was how they assembled played to do their COVID testing, they were unable to test the players, so the game was canceled. Next week the Mustangs will play SOC and Thunder will face La Jolla.