The Stanford GSB Rugby club began the 2015 campaign with a quality start by participating in a friendly tournament hosted by B.A. Baracus club in San Francisco today. Working off a two month break and with only one week of practice, the GSB team went 1-1-1 with a squad of only 17 players and a great turnout from some old boys.
Special thanks to Paul, Hoffman, Benton, Doctor Mike, and Lippert.
Stanford 14 - B.A. Baracus 14
Dusking off the cobwebs from the winter break, the team had a slow start with some quality back play and hard play from the forwards. Despite an unheralded mental error by Ian Osband which cost a try, GSB was able to go into the half up 7 - 0 as newcomer Kenny Healy scored an electrifying try in the corner off an Osband kick.
In the second half, Baracus pushed it to their forwards and were able to take a 14-7 lead with only a few minutes to play. However, some great back play and some last minute heroics by Osband led to a a try right before the final whistle resulting in a 14-14 tie.
Chico State 29 - Stanford 19
Forced to play right after the first match, the GSB took on a young Chico State squad with size in their second match of the day. Despite being undersized, the GSB pack played the younger Chico State squad hard coming up with several try line stands. The match was a back and forth affair with the final score being determined in the last ten minutes. The match was highlighted by a beautiful run by inside center-turned-second rower Peter Chadri.
Stanford 24 - B.A. Baracus 17
In the final match of the day, the GSB once again took on the B.A. Baracus squad with only 15 players fit enough to enter the pitch. Despite some fatigue and age setting in, the GSB started off hot and never looked back during the match. Clean balls out of the scrums and rucks allowed the superior GSB backline to wreak havoc on Baracus. Baracus attempted a comeback at the end as GSB was down to 14 and then 13 players, but the GSB was able to hold them off to secure the win and end on a promising note.
Overall, the day was a great step forward for the club as we advance onto the Vegas Sevens tournament in February and Duke in April.
Next wednesday at 6.30pm we will host a legendary recruitment push to get out all the remaining athletes at Stanford. It doesn't matter if you've ever played rugby before... everyone will have a good time!!
When: 6.30pm 14th Jan
Where: Steuber Field
Come by in athletic gear and (preferably) cleats.
What is more, following the game we will all head to Schwab for some customary rugby food + beers + a rugby match on the big screen. Make sure you make it out there!
With an undefeated start to the XV season and a new squad with a lot of potential our goal this year should be to win every game we play. Unfortunately, with the timing of the Fall brawl and a depleted roster heading to Austin we knew that might be a tough task. Armed with only 16 members, 13 able to play Stanford graduate rugby sought to battle the likes of Wharton who have already played 4 times as many matches and brought a squad of 57.
Special thanks to Steven and Ledua who helped to bring our numbers up and supplement both our rugby playing and social value!
Stanford 12 - 17 Harvard
Realizing that we did not have enough players to make a full XV, we went to our oldest enemy (Wharton) and borrowed 3 ringers to outfit our back three. We began strongly in the forwards and behind a dominant scrum went into half time 12-0 up through an Osband run and a Shih rumble.
We knew that we should have put more points up on the board as they subbed in their A team for the second half. Ultimately the difference lay in our Wharton back three, who simply were not ready to play competitive rugby. As the game clock ran out with scores tied we pushed for another last second try to beat Harvard. This time the fortunes were reversed as Harvard savored a revenge for last year's final.
Kellogg + Austin Blacks
Stanford 14 - 24 Kellogg
Chastened by our defeat against Harvard we petitioned to play a reduced 13-man game again Kellogg in the hope that our ringers would not decide the game again. What we did not realize was the Kellogg had enlisted some quality ringers of their own.
In a hard fought match the heat and hardness of the soil began to sap life from our depleted squad as one by one we succumbed to injury.
A good performance against tough opposition, we can be proud of 3 goal-line stands that held up certain tries.
Stanford + Kellogg 7 - 7 Wharton
Following a titanic struggle, neither Stanford nor Kellogg could field a full team and we decided to join forces against the greater enemy. In a thrilling contest, the maverick team fought hard against a well-oiled Wharton machine.
Questions have been asked over the Kellogg captain's decision to ignore the points not once but twice when winning a penalty in the opposition 22.
Booth + SMU
Stanford + Kellogg 32 - 28 Booth + SMU
On the final day sapped from rugby and social the tournament was largely disbanded in favor of a Harvard-Wharton arbitrary final. The game against Booth brought out the best of both sides in a nail biting game of 10s that went right to the wire. Matthias "Mai Thai" Cremon ultimately bagging some last-second meat in a classy performance from fly half.
Stanford 37 - 0 Google
The Stanford graduate rugby team continued its unbeaten run in the XV-man code with a hard-fought and resounding victory against Google. Both teams came into this game with some crunching hits and big runners. With the stands close to capacity, this was a "friendly" in little more than name.
The game followed a similar pattern to McGeorge. Physically we were outmatched in terms of size, but in terms of technical ability and fitness Google were not able to keep up. In open play rucking, tackling and attack we showed that we have a dangerous team. The set pieces creaked at times under the weight of an oversized Google pack and we will need to address this if we are to be victorious in Austin.
The highlight of the game has to be the amazing defense that kept a team with 4 athletic runners over 250lbs from crossing the line. We made the decision to play the game in their half, perhaps with a few too many kicks, but when they threatened our lines some incredible cover tackling ensured that we made it a shutout.
Special congratulations to Evan who once again demonstrated what a quality player he is with a score and some great assists. On a day where the outer backs got almost no go-forward ball he made the best of every opportunity he got. We will sorely miss him in Austin... but maybe he's planning to buy a last minute ticket?
Undergrads 17 - 12 Grad (Overtime)
Another year gone and the same story told again. The GSB loses out to the undergrads in the Klein cup in a keenly contested match. It was a great contest and we had a few opportunities to close out the game but, on balance, the undergrads deserved this victory.
I think that we showed great focus to get up for the game without a proper warmup and start strong, but ultimately our fitness failed us. More than that, once we got tired we stopped making the correct decisions in defense and attack. Don't worry, this is to be expected at this stage of the season and probably a welcome wake up call after the easy game versus McGeorge.
Stanford 66 - 10 McGeorge
The first game of the season is always going to be tough. With only 2 weeks of practice Stanford were hosting a McGeorge team with 2 games under their belt already and who they hadn't beaten in over 3 years of XVs. As the heat bore down on Steuber field, gallantly supported by at least 5 significant others Stanford GSB rugby got its season under way.
There were some miscues from the start, a poor kickoff was capitalized upon by some trademark McGeorge forward play. They pummeled our forward line and pushed over for the first try of the game. The few instances we won possession the backs showed that there is some real fire-power out wide, Carey and Kenny combining nicely to keep us in the game as another McGeorge rumble took us to 14-10 to Stanford.
However, from that point it was all Stanford. Some inspirational tackling from Cedric following the restart changed the tide of the forward battle, and once we started winning ball there was nothing the McGeorge team could do to stop our strike runners. They were broken and we made them pay.
Some wonderful skills, great performances and a winning start to our season. I can honestly say that everyone put in a great performance, but special mentions for this week to go to:
“I wish Stanford had a home football game every week” - everyone.
Well grad students, you’re in luck. Come cheer on the Stanford graduate rugby team as they take on the evil might of McGeorge law school. Expect big men, short shorts and a designated hooker on each team. Sound intriguing? There’s also FREE BEER for those over 21… yeah I thought so.
Bring out your friends/family/enemies!
More info at the facebook event.
It still feels like we've only just got back to Stanford... but our first game is less than 10 days away!
At this point, everyone is going to need:
And ideally some rugby shorts/socks, although these you might be able to borrow for the first game.
Overall I would say the best store to use is AMAZON.
Students get FREE 2-day shipping (and often returns) for 6 months.
Sign up for Amazon student here.
Your two main choices are:
There are cheaper ones, there are more expensive ones... that's up to you.1) Getting it fitted by a professional dentist. (~$50 - $150)
2) Boil-n-bite do it yourself. (~$1 - $100)
If you are looking for a recommendation, this one seems pretty good.
Walmart also has a decent selection at very low prices.
In general, most players will want to wear firm ground soccer cleats for our season.
Some of our forwards swear they require "soft ground" studs, but usually our fields are very hard/fast... so I'd recommend firm ground.
Trying on shoes is better in person... so if you can I'd recommend:
1) Soccer pro - 2737 El Camino Real, Redwood City, CA 94061
2) Goetz brothers - 2629 Broadway St, Redwood City, CA 94063
3) Sports authority - 1775 E Bayshore Rd, East Palo Alto, CA 94303
Otherwise there are plenty of places online, Zappos offers free returns.
The classic choice are Adidas Copa Mundial, a bit expensive but you cannot go wrong here.
When we play matches, the team will provide a shirt, but you need to bring shorts/socks.
We play in black shorts and black socks.
These are the best shorts... they are extremely comfortable and will last for years.
Any black socks are OK, but if you buy nicer ones your feet will thanks you.
Here is a cheap pair on amazon.
Today we are kicking off the season with a session of touch rugby on Manzanita field at 5.30pm
Come and check out one of Stanford's largest graduate sports teams.
All ages/genders/abilities are welcome - there will be NO CONTACT this first session so don't worry about getting hurt.
p.s. there will be FREE BEERS