Santa Monica, Pearl City and Mission claim US Men's club titles
June 5, 2006

Pearl City and Mission were crowned USA Division I, II and III Men's Club Champions, respectively, here at the
Qualcomm Stadium Rugby Club this weekend.

On Saturday, Mission defeated the Boston Irish Wolfhounds, 32-22, to claim the club's first Division III title. A 10-10 game at halftime, BIW regained the lead on a try, and was about to score its fourth of the game when Mission stole the ball on BIW's 1-meter line, and ran 99 meters for a motivating score. It's estimated that the Irish Wolfhounds had possession of the ball for 30 of the final 40 minutes of play, but several goal-line defensive stances by Mission, despite playing a man down in the closing minutes, clinched the win.

A day later, Pearl City became the 10th team in as many years to claim a Division II title, handing Santa Barbara a 32-5 loss in the championship match. In the culmination of the championships, Santa Monica successfully defended its 2005 title, defeating the Boston Irish Wolfhounds 57-19.

In consolation play, Hayward defeated Las Vegas 27-10 in Division I action and Red Mountain defeated Montauk by a 14-0 forfeit score.

The men's national team coaching staff, including director of rugby Alan Solomons, head coach Peter Thorburn and assistant coaches Tony Smeeth and Matt Webber flew from San Jose to San Diego and back Sunday to attend the championships in their continuous efforts to 'cast a wide net' in identifying talent for the next level of play.

'It was well worth the experience. There were probably a half-dozen players that we knew little to nothing about that certainly could fit into an NA4 situation,' said Thorburn. 'These teams were very well coached with a very good style of play. The standard of play was well worth a look, considering how hard they played the day before.'

Solomon and Thorburn both added, 'That it was incredibly valuable to meet a lot of people in and around the game, especially on the club level.'

Boulder, Colo., becomes the site of the next set of USA Rugby championships as its Pleasant View Soccer Complex will host the men's collegiate all-star, women's 15s and womens u-23 all-star championships beginning this Friday, as well as four test matches between the USA Rugby Women's National Team and U-19 team and their respective Rugby Canada teams.

USA Rugby Division I, II & III Men's Club Championships
Qualcomm Stadium Rugby Complex (San Diego)

Division I
Semifinal: Santa Monica def. Las Vegas, 24-3
Semifinal: Boston Irish Wolfhounds def. Hayward, 25-14
Division I Consolation: Hayward def. Las Vegas, 27-10
Division I Championship: Santa Monica def. Boston Irish Wolfhounds, 57-19

Division II
Semifinal: Pearl City def. Red Mountain, 34-25
Semifinal: Santa Barbara def. Montauk, 35-3
Division II Consolation: Red Mountain def. Montauk, 14-0 (forfeit)
Division II Championship: Pearl City def. Santa Barbara, 32-5

Division III
Finals: Mission def. Boston Irish Wolfhounds, 32-22

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