Written by the referee: James Hinkin
It is early February, a time that many call the dead of winter, so naturally, I was glad to escape the heat and get down to coastal Monterey for some rugby in perfect conditions. I arrived a late to see both teams already well into their warmups. Yes, I did arrive late, showing up at 12:30 for a 1:00 game, but I feel that the car with its wheels uppermost next to the car facing the wrong way with a crumpled front end, blocking 1 of the 2 lanes on Hwy 156, may have been significant.
No matter. With the sun shining down, the temperature in the mid 60s, a perfectly marked field and two well supported teams eager to play I made damn sure that we were ready to go at 1:00. And so we were off. Humboldt St had the early advantage as CSUMB could not stay on the side at the ruck. Several early penalties necessitated a talk with the captain and things soon sorted themselves out. Unfortunately for the home side, HSU was ruthless in capitalizing on these mistakes and were running in tries. The visitors scored 4 tries in the first half with 2 conversions. Not to say that the home team didn’t have its chances, because they did. The scoreline did flatter the Lumberjacks a bit, but every time the Otters got close the inevitable turnover, knock on or penalty would undo all their hard work. HSU showed a more convincing finishing touch is all. The loss of CSUMB’s scrumhalf to a reaggravated knee injury near the end of the half was particularly devastating. The HSU #13 Dalvin Jamal-Milton was exceptionally lethal in the back line as he showed the speed and vision to repeatedly carve up the Otter line. Unfortunately, the reason I know his name so well is, with about a minute left in the first half, he made a tackle and managed to get the player off their feet but not safely back to the ground, so I gave him 10 minutes to think about the error of his ways.
Even though they were down a man the second half opened with another HSU try almost immediately after the whistle, thus opening up the NSCRO substitution law allowing HSU to empty their bench in the second half. (A great idea, in my opinion. This should be considered for all youth and lower level club competitions.) As the half progressed and CSUMB got their tail up and finally got on the scoreboard with a well earned try. With only a few minutes left HSU had some discipline issues as they developed a pattern of illegally killing the ball whenever the hosts got some momentum and I finally had enough of it when one of their players crawled through a ruck to grab the ball and bring it back to his side. The visitors ended the match down a player and Monterey Bay took full advantage to score a second try. Well done, them. The match ended with handshakes all around on a perfect rugby day.
|12:00 pm||NorCal Collegiate Rugby Conference||2017-2018||02/10/18|
|Humboldt State University||7||39|