SILICON VALLEY TOURNAMENT
The NorCal season unofficially opened this past weekend with the San Jose
Seahawks hosting the Silicon Valley Tournament. With three divisions
playing a round-robin format, no team would complain about a lack of matches
at the day's end.
The Hayward Griffins and new coach Roy Helu captured the tournaments top
division by posting a 3-0 record. Having already captured the No. American
Challenge and Las Vegas Tournaments this fall, the Griffins needed two
late match comebacks to keep their unblemished record in a very competitive
division featuring Golden Gate, San Mateo and San Jose.
Trailing Golden Gate 12-3 at halftime, Hayward stole the ball from
Gate's strong rolling maul at the goal line and went 99 yards to close the
score to 12-10. A late try by speedy winger Roger Grant let the Griffins run
out 17-10 winners. Meanwhile, the Seahawks handed an undermanned San Mateo
side a 21-0 wake-up call.
The tournament's second leg featured some great rugby as Golden Gate's Steve
Forester hit last minute penalty to break a 13-13 tie with the Seahawks.
Hayward twice used its patented length-of-the-field counterattack to
turnaway San Mateo by 24-5.
The Seahawks became the final victims of Hayward's long distance heroics.
San Jose had carved out a 16-11 lead and with Hayward's Mosi Vunipola in
the sin-bin and only four minutes remaining, the Seahawks hoped to grab a
share of the tournament crown with a victory. But Grant and prop Pila
Ealelei made a 80-yard break down the left wing. The Hawks defense made a
great stand in the left corner. Hayward tried for the line close to the
ensuing ruck, but were denied. Yet again, the Hawks defense denied the
Griffins near the posts. But Hayward finally breached the line on the
right wing and centered the ball for the simple conversion and the 18-16
lead. Tory Gallindo tried a last-second drop goal to try and grasp a win
for San Jose but the dropper sailed wide left.
San Mateo, who were missing Eagles Anitoni, Saulala and Tau lost 20-0 to
second-placed Golden Gate.
Undefeateds Olympic Club and Santa Rosa squared off in the final match for
title. The less-than-full-strength O. Club powered past the youthful Santa
Rosa side for the division crown. The reformed Aptos club and Seahawks II
rounded out the pool's enterants.
Chico State downed upstate rivals Sacramento State by 15-10 in the finals.
While newcomers Maritime Academy and Chico State II filled out the group.
The Hayward Griffins will host their own tournament on Saturday, December
12th at Kennedy Park in San Lorenzo. (Take the "A" Street exit off Highway
880. Head west on A Street and take a right on Hesparian. The park is on
the left.) Play starts around 10:00 AM.
WOMEN'S "SUPER SIX" TAKES FLIGHT (OK, it's only five for now)
Taking a cue from other successful "super leagues," the top West Coast
women's sides have orchestrated the U.S. West Coast Super Six competetion.
Playing home-and-home fixtures this fall and next spring, the elite league
hopes to provide high-level matches on a regular basis for the west coast's
top clubs. The defending national champions Berkeley All-Blues and Bay Area
She Hawks (BASH) will represent NorCal, while the Oregon Sports Union
(ORSU) and Seattle's Emerald City Mudhens will carry the Pacific Northwest
banner. UCLA and team to be found will take-up Southern California's cause
in the latest addition to USA super leagues.
BERKELEY ALL-BLUES 70 ORSU 0 (Referee-M. Gadoua)
The Oregon Sports Union knew it faced an uphill battle against Berkeley on
Sunday after its win over BASH the previous day. And the pouring rain and
sloppy field didn't help ORSU's cause. The ORSU forwards battled the
All-Blues pack to a virtual stand-off, but the Berkeley backline didn't
let the damp conditions slow down its try-scoring juggernaut.
Dianne Schnapp may have thought she'd only be a spectator at the match.
Surely, the stalwart Eagle flanker hadn't planned to earn her first cap
in "ball hostage" negotiations. Early in the second-half, an after-try
conversion went sailing over the fence. The half dozen local ***age
spectators, who were waiting to use the baseball field, scampered to
retrieve the "souvenir."
When asked to return the ball, the ball players seemed to have "misplaced"
it prior to returning to the pitch. Schnapp and some All-Blues reserves
then "borrowed" some baseball gear to successfully affect the return of the
rugby ball. Two victories in one day....Congratulations All-Blues.
OREGON SPORTS UNION (ORSU) 10 BASH 5 (Referee-J. Jury)
BERKELEY ALL-BLUES 91 BAY AREA SHEHAWKS 3
The Berkeley All-Blues played a *** Halloween trick on NorCal rivals
BASH. They played the same trick 13 times all totaled and ran out easy
91-3 winners in the inaugural Super Six match. Led by four tries from
center Jane Mitchell and a hat-trick from wing Chewy Kane, the All-Blues
had a 63-0 lead at half-time. Pairs of tries from Carol Burdick, Ashley
England and Jen Lucas put the final touches to the scoreline.
Katie Wharton add her own special potion by going 13-for-13 with conversion
kicks. Muffy Fulton could only muster a penalty kick for a BASH side that is
rebuilding after a rash of retirements following the 1998 national
BASH 24 UCLA 5 (Referee-D. Jaquint)
BERKELEY ALL-BLUES 84 UCLA 0 (Referee-M. Eason)