After a one-week hiatus, UC San Diego Men’s Rugby took the field again this Saturday, November 21st, to take on the San Diego Armada at Robb Field in Ocean Beach. The Tritons dominated early, taking a five tries to zero lead. In what was their last game of the preseason, the Tritons had problems closing the game out, conceding two tries, but ultimately prevailed.
In the first 20 minute period, UC San Diego dominated the rucking area and captured multiple turnovers that went for long distance tries. Winger Pierre Karpov had two tries in the opening period, using his speed off of the turnovers to convert the opportunities. The Tritons continued to go wide in the second period of the game, exploiting two on ones and three on ones on the outside. It was two forwards however who scored in the second period, one by Judah Word on a 20 meter zigzag through the opposing defense and one by George McMahon on a pick and go. The Tritons added another try for good measure and went into the half up five tries to zero.
UC San Diego subbed in a few fresh players to start the third period, and the Tritons lacked the cohesiveness they displayed in the first 40 minutes. The Armada confiscated the ball and put two tries on the board after some nice movements by their forwards near the end-zone. Despite not being able to convert any of their set-pieces into points during that second half, the Tritons held strong and clinched a decisive five tries to two victory.
The forward and back of the day for UC San Diego were Andrew Clawson and Eric Golant. At the flank, Andrew held strong on defense near the rucks and was aggressive on the opposing crash balls. He also had a strong showing in the lineouts throughout the day. For the backs, Eric launched the offense from his inside center position and had a couple of big tackles. Taking over at the fly-half position in the second half, he had a couple of nice runs inside the armada defense and some nice kicks behind the defense, setting up the Tritons with good field position that they almost converted in tries.
With their preseason now over, the Tritons will be looking forward to the start of their regular season early during winter quarter. Between now and then, they will also head to UCLA for the UC Tournament during the second week of January.