In November, the All Blues defeated Glendale 39 to 5 to earn their 15th title as the WPL National Champions. Congrats on a great season, All Blues!
The All Blues hit the road for the second-to-last league match of the season and returned from San Diego with two victories!
Grey skies and drizzle greeted the teams Saturday morning, but both teams brought the intensity in a tightly-contested WPL match. The All Blues struck first when the forwards stole a Surfers lineout and Katy "KitKat" Augustyn dragged several Surfers over the try line as she touched the ball down. The Surfers got on the board soon after when a Surfer flanker picked up a loose ball off a 5 meter scrum. The kick was good and San Diego pulled out to a 7-5 lead that they maintained until halftime. The second half featured more physical play as both teams fought for possession and territory. The All Blues pulled ahead early in the second half when the scrum set a nice platform, allowing the backs to swing the ball wide to wing Ardia Kelker who beat her opposing wing for the score. The score remained at 10-5 for most of the second half with neither team able to gain an advantage. Finally, late in the game, Phoebe Boone dove over the line after a strong run from flyhalf Ruth Bryson to give the All Blues some breathing room. Bryson's conversion kick was good, pushing the score to 17-7. Despite threatening for the last few minutes, the All Blues couldn't touch it down, and the final whistle blew, with a 17-7 victory!
The All Blues B-side came out ready to play, with fierce tackling, good continuity, and hard running. They found success early out wide as fullback Lisa Roselin inserted into the line at pace and turned the corner for two early tries, giving the All Blues a 10-0 lead. The Surfers then took advantage of numerous All Blues' penalties and their forwards dove over for two tries to pull out to a 12-10 lead. Unfazed, the All Blues turned up the defensive intensity and began to dominate. Centers Jessica Turner and Pam Ames had some beautiful interplay, settling up an Ames' try. Shortly after, Turner charged 70 meters downfield, before just getting caught by the Surfer defense. She managed to find Lisa Roselin who dotted down the score. Minutes later, after a strong run from flanker Tannia Lau, scrumhalf Tisha Waki smartly took a quick tap penalty and darted through the defense for the try. The last 20 minutes saw the All Blues break it open, as lock Emily Van Gulik scored off the back of a ruck, Lisa Roselin blazed down the sideline for her fourth(!!) try, scrumhalf Leah Kanerisman touched one down, and finally wing Alyssa Baccarella snuck through the defense, bringing the final score to an awesome 47-12 victory!
Video of the WPL match is posted on Vimeo.
This weekend, the All Blues wrap up the regular season with A and B side matches against the Glendale Raptors. A-side kickoff is at 10AM Saturday at Morton Field in Vallejo, CA. The B-side match will follow.
There was nothing like an 8AM kickoff time to challenge both the All Blues and New York to bring their A-game to Sunday's match in Vallejo. Both teams began warming up before the sun came up, beginning the match in a cliche layer of San Francisco Fog. The damp conditions caused both teams a high number of knock-ons and penalties. While New York made a strong effort to use both their pack and back line throughout the game, Berkeley came out on top with dominating scrums, well-utilized kicking, and solid defensive pressure.
The All Blues took a quick 7-0 lead with a try by eight-man Liz Terry and conversion by flyhalf Ruth Bryson. A second try followed shortly after when lock Sarah Walsh dove over the line. Bryson's conversion put Berkeley ahead 14-0. An excellent effort by scrumhalf Jossy Tseng continued to spin play wide, allowing Berkeley's back line to challenge New York, eventually resulting in a try by Berkeley's back Ardia Kelker, with a successful conversion by Bryson to take the game into halftime with a score of 21-0 Berkeley.
New York kicked off in the second half as both teams kept the score stagnant for the first 20 minutes. Eventually the All Blues broke things open as flanker Phoebe Boone and center Lucy Croy dotted down two tries apiece. Bryson converted three of the tries, to bring the final score to 48-0, in favor of the All Blues!
Video of the match is posted on Vimeo.
Following a weekend off, the All Blues hit the road again, to Glendale, CO. It was another close game as the teams battled back and forth, trading tries. Glendale struck first, scoring only two minutes into the game. This woke up the All Blues and they came back firing, scoring three quick tries, two from center Jill Whitfield and one from eight-man Liz Terry. Glendale scored again and All Blues flyhalf Ruth Bryson slotted a penalty kick late in the first half for a All Blue 24-17 lead at halftime. The second half was thrilling, as Glendale scored midway through the second half to tie the game. Both teams battled up and down the field, until with less than two minutes on the clock, All Blues wing Alyssa Baccarella crept around the Glendale defense to score! Glendale did not give up though, and marched down the field. The All Blues defense stayed strong and held up a potential try with no time left on the clock, to secure the 32-27 win!
It was a rough trip to New York City as the All Blues lost to New York, 25-5. The team started strong, with a try from outside center Sarah Davis nine minutes into the game. The All Blues couldn't maintain the pressure and were called for numerous penalties, allowing New York to kick two for points and pull out to a 6-5 halftime lead. New York kept the pressure up in the second half, scoring three unanswered tries. New York and the All Blues face off again on October 7th in CA.
This weekend the All Blues head to Colorado to face the Glendale Raptors on Saturday, 9/29 at 4PM at Infinity Park Stadium. Tickets are available online.