FALLBROOK – On Saturday, May 8, two of the three Fallbrook girls’ rugby teams that played in the Southern California Championships at Cal State Fullerton won their respective divisions.
The Girls U-14 team started off the day winning 31-5, playing seven-a-side rugby with Michel Navaro using her speed to score five tries and kick a conversion. Alyx Paulson kicked two conversions.
Coaches said this team had come “a long way” this season, learning with every game and finishing on a high as they defended the U-14 title.
Unfortunately, the Girls U-16 team got beaten 25-5 in the next game with Lizeth Palma scoring a try. This was a difficult game, but coaches said “the girls played with heart against much bigger opposition.”
The big game of the day was won by the Girls U19 team, 22-0, which doubled as a State Cup and Nationals qualifier.
“These girls went out and played some outstanding rugby showcasing their skill and playing as a cohesive unit,” said coaches.
The first half of the game was described as a “tense affair” as Tara Burke scored the first try. Right after halftime, Burke was back over the goal line with a well-timed intercept try. Lauren Bell kicked the conversion. The next try was scored out wide by Nicole Bell and a difficult kick was converted by Lauren Bell. Jamie Garcia then kicked a penalty to take Fallbrook to the win.
“The pressure in this game was intense and the girls handled it with aplomb, rucking well and attacking with confidence,” said spectators.
The team will advance to State Cup (San Francisco) and Nationals (Utah) this month.
The Fallbrook boys U-19 rugby team has also qualified for these two events in the high school division.