San Clemente U16 went into this game 5-0 in the league and needed to win this game to finish of the season 6-0. Oceanside were a big side and lots of comments before the game came my way questioning their age due to the size. we’ve played big teams before but these guys were big. I knew we had the speed and we just needed to run these boys around the park. Eventually they would tire, I hoped.
The first half was a battle in the trenches. we had scored 2 tries out wide with some good hands all stemming from good ruck play. The forwards played phenomenal up front and consistently gave the backs a good platform to work with.
After going 10-0 up and having missed 2 conversions and a penalty, Oceanside started to come back. Their big forwards would pick and go. it wasn’t pretty by any means but they played to their strengths and it was effective. San Clemente were camped on their own try line many times and everyone tackled their hearts out and put their bodies on the line as the big pack from Oceanside continued to pound the line. Eventually Oceanside scored and the score was 10-7 at the half.
At the half I mentioned to the boys that they were putting themselves under pressure by failing to clean up the crappy balls and trying to do extravagant passes. The opposition was tiring and all we had to do was to move the ball around and the game was ours.
And so the second half was a completely different game. The passing was simple , no miss passes by prop forwards, just Anton at fly half would run plays. Simply draw the man and pass. If we came into contact we would get 4’s and 5’s into the rucks and dominate. Oceanside were starting to walk around and had no answer for the speed and fitness. As long as we stayed out of the close contact situations and kept the ball away from their forwards we would be ok.
The tries started to come and Oceanside had no answer. I don’t think Oceanside stepped in our 22 the entire match and the only time they were in our half was from the kickoffs. The second half score was 33-0. The complete opposite of the first half which was a forwards battle, this half was free flowing passing rugby. I was a happy coach to see the boys working together as a team in an unselfish manner.
San Clemente Finish top of the San Diego U16 league and we will wait to see our seeding before we go into the playoffs.
Awesome job gentlemen! you played some first class rugby.