Santa Monica’s U19 team got off to a perfect start when No.10 Alex Walsh’s kick off pinned Fallbrook deep inside their own half. From the ensuing lineout, flanker Tom Heaney peeled off to score a try in the corner putting SMRC 5-0 ahead after 3 minutes.
The match continued to be played at a fast pace throughout with Santa Monica enjoying the bulk of possession and utilizing effectively their strong scrum and efficient line out.
With No. 10 Walsh, No 9. Clark and No. 2 Hock the conductors of the play, Santa Monica won their line-outs and simply had too much power for the visitors to stop, handing 3 quick tries to flanker Tom Heaney.
Hooker Willie Hock was in fine form, and after 20 minutes, spotted a gap on the short side and scampered 20 yds to score.
Fallbrook then had 8 minutes of controlled possession but could not pierce through the solid SMRC defense. Finally, Flanker Steven Branham found a hole. He burrowed his way over for a fine try following a lineout.
Santa Monica fought back and scored 2 tries from Heaney and Ekpo in quick succession making it 36-5 at half time.
The 2nd half started at a cracking pace with prop Benny Gonda charging up the middle and from the ensuing ruck, Alex Walsh splintered and outpaced the Fallbrook defense to score the best try of the game.
Fallbrook was having difficulty containing the controlling aggression of the hosts and big lock Ian Jost broke through the Fallbrook defense for another well won Santa Monica score.
Five minutes later, No. 8 Conor Lydon showed excellent vision as he picked the ball up from the back of the scrum, ran a great line for 40 meters to score a terrific solo try. Not to be outdone, Branham found the lads from Santa Monica napping as he executed a perfect kick- chase- gather to score a fine try.
This spurred the hosts on as they replied with a beautifully placed box kick from scrum half Evan Clark for Heaney to chase and eagerly take his 5th try moments before the whistle sounded for full time. Walsh for SMRC and Branham for Fallbrook received Man-of the match awards from each of the opposition coaches, after a great game of clean flowing rugby.
The score line was flattering to SMRC and did not reflect a hard earned victory for the hosts as they prepare for their Semi –Finals next week against Back Bay in what will most likely be a more testing encounter.
Final Score Santa Monica 60, Fallbrook 17
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