Things at hand:
Planning has begun for the Gurkhas 25th year anniversary party, set for July 14. Possible locations include the Olympic Resort in Carlsbad. Will?s wife, M.J., is still not pregnant but gets a mention for assisting in the banquet planning. Joe Clarke is working on the list of invitees so if anyone has contact with anyone who played for the Gurkhas over the past 25 years get them in touch with Joe.
Looking well ahead to September 15th (your guest editor?s birthday) we are planning our golf tournament. Bad Andy is ... ahem ... "scouting" courses.
Our thoughts and support go to Chris DeFalco. His grandfather is gravely ill. Chris made the trip to SLO this past weekend and traveled back Saturday evening to be with his family.
Loyal readers may recall that a sponsor was secured this season by our own Dave Levine. Word on the street is that the jerseys, balls and goal pads are on order. It will be nice to have a team that looks coordinated if not one that plays that way.
The Los Angeles Rugby Club also reports "securing a sponsorship package with Tetley's Brewery and the Cock & Bull pub in Santa Monica." Don?t be surprised to see them at our pitch on St. Patty?s Day sporting new Tetley?s gear. If our gear has arrived by then perhaps it would be a good photo opportunity for our sponsor. It would certainly be a good reason to move to Peabody?s or Tom Giblin?s for the after-match party.
Away vs. Arroyo Grande - March 3rd
Most of the team traveled early Saturday morning to Arroyo Grande up near San Luis Obispo. Their forward pack was a scrappy bunch in the rucks and mauls but loose play caused them to lose possession at critical moments allowing the boys in blue to score. The Gurkhas formed a stand for several minutes on our try line to prevent the opposition from scoring despite several penalties awarded in their favor. The final was 30-3 for the "A" side. No "B" side match was played due to a lack of numbers on Arroyo Grande?s side resulting from several injuries during the match. We had a decent showing compared to some matches in the past so a big thanks go to everyone who traveled all the way up there and continuing the five-game winning streak.
Thanks also go to Jason Henry for arranging a very good rate for the rental van with Budget.
The only notable injury on our team was David March getting his knee banged up. It didn?t seem to slow him down at the clubs that evening in SLO. He was seen dancing with girls and generally having a merry time.
Notable events on the day:
? The "Golden Boot Award" goes to Gareth Mills for scoring two-thirds of the points in the match by making 3 penalty kicks, 3 conversions and a try of his own.
? Darin "J.P." Meyers scored his first 15?s try in the closing minutes of the match. He managed to sneak away at the pub afterwards without shooting the boot.
? Scott "UK" Mitchell?s van ran out of gas before they even got out of Escondido.
? Clay Orey and your guest editor, Alan Miles, will have a snore-off the next time the team travels for an overnight trip.
Home vs. San Fernando ? February 24
Stormy weather almost forced us to reschedule the match but some last minute scrambling found us at Orange Glen H.S. San Fernando scored an unconverted try early in the match which turned out to be their only score. Some great effort from the backs, especially Gareth Mills, chasing down runners and preventing what would have been certain tries near our goal line allowed the Gurkhas to retain the lead. Ray Steel was un-retired yet again to fill the "Pops" jersey after fellow Kiwi David March went out with an injury in the second half. The tackling madman, Chris DeFalco, returned from a head injury sporting a new scrum cap and a foam enhanced physique. The final was 20-5.
San Fernando was a bit light on numbers so the Gurkhas supplied players for the seconds' match but lost to some very quick young players in the opposition?s back line. Silly play of the seconds' match went to Leonard as hooker throwing into the number one position in a line-out calling "Vino?s ball" with your editor marking the number one spot on the opposing team. Let?s just say he didn?t get very far before the penalty.
Away vs Pasadena ? February 17
(postponed from February 10)
The Gurkhas had their highest scoring game of the season resulting in a 52-21 victory. Pasadena was a much improved team from when we played them in the preseason. The player of the match for the "B" side game was newcomer Jason Henry. He made a number of solid hits on our way to our first true second side win.
The tour is rapidly approaching.. The travel agency needs to pay the airlines and hotel by the end of March. Get those payments to Joe Clarke by the end of the month, NO Exceptions. The Bahamas requires two pieces of identification so most people will need to get a passport soon. If it?s a renewal it can be mailed in. Those of you requiring brand new passports will need to get on the paperwork immediately. See Alan Miles for a copy of either form.
Rancho Bernardo H.S. Rugby:
Coach Devon Cutrell reported strong play by his RBHS Barbarians against some physically larger college teams. There have been several non-game related injuries among his players however. While not scoring the wins, the effort by the high school kids has been encouraging. He is looking forward to the tour of Northern California later in March. Be sure to show up early for the match Saturday March 10. The Barbarians have a match scheduled before our match against Eagle Rock at the Encinitas field. Show your support because the players you see in Barbarians uniform could be playing beside you as a Gurkha in a very short time.
The train trip to the "Swallows Inn" was postponed in February since we had a rain makeup away game the following day. We have another break in our schedule March 24. Let?s think about meeting Friday night, the 23rd, at 6 pm at the AMTRAC station in Oceanside for a train trip to San Juan Capistrano at the now infamous "Swallows Inn". The train leaves Oceanside at 6:38 pm and the last train back leaves at 11:05 pm. Roundtrip fares are $16.00 and the trip only takes 30 minutes to get there. Grab your significant other and come join us for a fun night of dinner and dancing.
Tami, Sean O?Connell?s wife, is pregnant. She was misquoted as saying "What are you doing, Sean?" Well, now we know.
Dave Levine and Blackadder are still living in sin in the purple love shack. You naughty boys.
Allan Armstrong has acquired a new nickname to cut down on the confusion of too many Allan/Alan?s on the field. He?ll now be known as "L.C." which stands for lower case. By extension that makes you editor upper case but another nickname takes precedence. L.C. will be joining the Marine reserves.
Blaise Jackson is doing the honorable thing and getting hitched to Donna. The wedding has been planned for late July.
The man known as "Sleeper" will be bidding us farewell in the next few weeks. He is moving to the East coast. Something to do with outstanding warrants here I?m sure.
We are still in need of a good training field with lights. We?ve moved from Bradley Park back to our old field at San Marcos Junior High. Training is still from 7-9pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. New members are always welcome. More people means more dynamic practices which translates to better skills in our matches. Hopefully better visibility for the team matches at the Leo Mullen Park in Encinitas will continue to generate community interest in rugby and our club.
Get your dues in this week or no selection, NO Exceptions!