Tritons show promise in Claremont loss
In defeat, a silver lining. For the UCSD ruggers, a lackluster first half at Claremont could have spelled the end of the game before halftime. The offense hadn’t moved as smoothly as anticipated, and defensive effort needed improvement. Yet, instead of settling and accepting defeat, the Tritons – fueled by a week of focused practice – knew they were capable of a higher standard. Inspired and rejuvenated, UCSD proceeded to score five second half tries, transforming the once-blowout into a real contest, and providing a needed spark of morale
late in the waning season. Perhaps no other game this season best represented the squad’s grit as did this. Fielding at one point, due to injury, just fourteen players against an opponent loaded with reserves, the Tritons made sharp adjustments and battled together, all while mounting a furious comeback attempt. For the Tritons, Kody Chuang – playing out of position on the wing while recovering from a hurt shoulder - found the try zone twice, while scrumhalf Luca Boccalato and forwards Daniel Carrillo and Dom Escobar each added tries of their own. As the Tritons look forward to their upcoming opponents, the lessons learned from a motivational second half will be crucial, as well as analysis of what needs to be improved. Areas of improvement are spearheaded by a need for finer tackling, a lack of which resulted in various Claremont line breaks, which buried the Tritons in scoring deficits throughout the contest. Overall defensive integrity, alignment, and intensity are related areas that will need to be addressed for
increased success moving forward against offensively talented opponents. Additionally, the backline continues to display improvement in ball distribution for numerous offensive possessions and phases, and the Tritons will continue to focus on increasing accuracy and pace in order to maximize their athletic, offensive potential. The Tritons travel to the University of San Diego to face the Toreros on March 4th before hosting the Arizona State Sun Devils on March 18th in the season finale.
By: Vishnu Vijayakumar
February 18, 2023