Brilliant Back Bay, Gutsy Royal Irish In HS Club

Brutally clinical play saw Back Bay and Royal Irish through to the Boys HS Rugby National Championships club final.

Back Bay, stung by a slow start against Kansas City Junior Blues on Thursday, decided not to let a slow start burn them this time. The Sharks came out hard, pummeling the Charlotte Tigers early and using Junior Gafa to blast through in the midfield.

Jonathan Haley at fullback handled the kicking game well and Sean Nolan was impressive on attack. Flanker Colin Turner was part of a very strong back row effort.

Back Bay head coach Jeff Bonnett said there was going to be no repeat of the slow start.

"Yesterday we warmed up way of on some other field, walked over, stood around, and finally started to play; we just were really flat," said Bonnett. "We weren't going to do that today. We warmed up right next to the field and came over and started to play."

"Kansas City was really killing us on the kicking game," said Turner. "So that was something we wanted to take care of this time around."

Behind early, the Tigers kind of came out of their game plan as they tried to come back. It didn't help.

Irish Come Back Again

The San Diego Mustangs kicked deep and put the Royal Irish under pressure for two tries and two penalty goals. With ten minutes left in the first half, San Diego scored a second try and led 18-7. 

Royal Irish kicked off, and the restart didn't go ten meters, giving San Diego a scrum at midfield. This was an ideal attacking position for the Mustangs, and seemed to indicate that Royal Irish was really in big trouble.

But the Irish shoved hard and stole the put-in at the scrum. No. 8 Russell Lemaster picked up and went left (because the scrumhalves were on his right) and thundered 50 meters to score under the post.

That made it 18-14, still with San Diego in the lead, but the momentum had made a palpable shift. The Mustangs looked frustrated, and when Royal Irish put together a strong team effort. for another try before halftime, it seemed clear the Lemaster try was a turning point.

Royal Irish head coach Scott Peterson expected nothing less.

"I ripped 'em at halftime," he said. "I ripped 'em pretty good. I said if you played like you did in those last give minutes the rest o the game you'd win this game. In the second half, we were patient on defense and the guys worked hard. I was pleased."

And so he should be. With center Jackson Sherby making tackle after tackle and Tommy Hannon running the attack, Royal Irish ran in four tries and controlled the second half.

In the consolation bracket, Lamorinda rebounded from a tough Day One to beat Kansas City Junior Blues, while Danville outlasted NorCal rival Granite Bay 17-8.

The 5 Best Women's Rugby Shorts

Having a comfortable pair of rugby shorts can greatly impact one’s performance during training and games. When choosing shorts, you want to take into consideration the fit and the durability, especially if you’re going to be in the scrum. The last thing you would want is for your shorts to rip during a scrum because the fabric was not durable enough. In addition to the durability, you want to make sure the shorts are breathable and comfortable for tackling, running, and potentially kicking. If you’re in the market for a new pair of shorts, here are five different types of shorts that you can check out:

Rugby vs Soccer: Former SEC Soccer Player Compares The Two

One of the great things about rugby is that it's a multi-skilled sport which lends itself well to crossover athletes. Particularly in a sports-mad country like the United States, we see tons of players seamlessly make the transition from other sports to rugby. 

How To Throw A Great Rugby Pass

Throwing a great pass can carve up a defense unlike any other facet of the game in rugby. A well-timed, well-placed ball puts a defense under enormous pressure and causes fractures in the defensive line. As long as the ball is placed accurately, on time, and in a position that the receiver can catch the ball on the move without breaking stride, it doesn't matter what it looks like. Heck, if we're looking at football, think of Peyton Manning's passes. One of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game rarely threw a spiral, but he did tick the boxes of accurate, on time, and in stride. 

Some Useful Rugby Passing Drills

Here is a quick, easy passing progression that will help you and your team sharpen your distribution skills and carve opponents up on the weekends. Even the best defenses in the world cannot defend near-perfect passing, so having the ability to run-catch-pass is one of the most lethal weapons in the book. 

We Stand With You

The events of the last week have been tremendously painful to us all.

Rugby Drills That Keep Your Social Distance

As of June 1st, many rugby teams have been granted the option of getting together to conduct practice. However, the practices must adhere to the six feet social distancing rules and players are not allowed to use any equipment. Therefore, options for a practice plan are going to be extremely limited, but that doesn't mean you can't still get some good out of having the team together. 

Bring Em Down: How To Tackle Big Guys In Rugby

For many of rugby players out there, especially us smaller ones, we're all too familiar with the sight of a large, rampaging big man or woman lined up across from us about to get the ball. Our fight or flight instincts kick in, and in that moment of instinctual reaction we dictate the likelihood that the tackle does or does not get made. 

Step By Step Guide: How To Break Tackles In Rugby

One of the best ways to completely unhinge a defense is to beat your defender one on one with a step or a tackle bust. While not all of us can step like Cheslin Kolbe, we do all have the ability to break a tackle and get our team on the front foot. No matter your size, speed, or strength, you can always bust out of a tackle with some clever use of footwork and a trust in your balance. 

"What Is Rugby?" - As Told By USA Eagles

What is rugby and what does it mean to those who play it? I had the privilege of speaking with eight different USA National Team players over the past couple of weeks, and I asked each of them that very question, "What is rugby?"

What Is Rugby Sevens & How Did It Get Started?

Somewhere, someday, somebody in 19th century thought to themselves, "Hmm, rugby would be a lot cooler if there were less players and more space to work with." The solution to this pondering was the invention of rugby sevens, which as the name would suggest, involves two teams of sevens playing on the same size pitch as a standard rugby game.