Match Report: Berkeley All Blues vs. Atlanta Harlequins

The Berkeley All Blues hosted their first annual Homecoming event at their home closer this past weekend on Saturday, October 19th on the Gaelic Field at Treasure Island, with some dramatic views of the San Francisco skyline behind them. The Atlanta Harlequins were in town to play the All Blues, looking to string together two consecutive wins, and Berkeley was looking to tip themselves above a 50% win-loss ratio.

The All Blues came out strong and scored almost immediately in the opening drive of the game, exploiting defensive disorganization from Atlanta after penalties. After the second kickoff, there was an Atlanta line out that lock Katie Chou intercepted directly, taking the ball up for a solid gain. Altanta was able to kick the ball downfield after a Berkeley 5m scrum, but Berkeley regained possession of the ball in a line out. Jenn Sever dove over an Atlanta player for a diving try, bringing the score to 14-0, within the first 10 minutes of the game.

Atlanta was determined not to let Berkeley pull away, and brought play to All Blues territory for the first time around minute 12. Flyhalf Ruth Bryson kicked it downfield, where the All Blues regained possession, but a bobbled pass was picked up by the Atlanta wing. Berkeley wing Cameo Motley gave chase all the way down the field but was inches short of the tackle. Atlanta conversion was good, bringing the score to 14-7.

The try seemed to shake something in the All Blues, who wouldn't allow much time in their territory for the remainder of the game. The only remaining Atlanta try came from a breakaway from their fullback Jessica Wooden at minute 50. Remaining All Blues tries came from: Cameo Motley (2), Blair Groefsema (2), Nathalie Marchino, and Jenn Sever. Final score of the game was 44-14. 

Match Report: Berkeley All Blues @ Minnesota Amazons

From scrumhalfconnection.com:

 

Only a month away from nationals, WPL teams played their first match in the second half of the season this weekend. The Twin Cities Amazons went into the weekend like every other team in the league, looking to play well and gain momentum and a stronger footing within the conference. Although the Zons have fared well so far this season, they had yet to put together a full 80 of great rugby. While on the road against Berkeley the Zons held on to a close match, and historically the All Blues had yet to lose to the same team twice in one season since entering the WPL.

Needless to say, this match was not going to be easy for either team. Weather also played a factor for the match, with rain in the forecast and cooler temperatures expected. Sun was out for warm-ups, but was slowly replaced by overcast and light rain for the remainder of the match.

The Amazons kicked off to start the match, quickly getting possession and opening up scoring for the match with a forward try by Zarembinski just 4 minutes in. The try was converted by Radtke, Zons up 7-0. Momentum was in favor of the Orange and Blue for the stanza of play, with tries by Bridges and Braaten and another conversion to bring the score to 19-0 at the 9 minute mark. Amazons controlled possession until the All Blues got into firing range and Bryson made a penalty kick, score was then 19-3. The All Blue continue to fight on using force to disrupt contact points and create turnover ball, but penalties from both sides led to another pick for points, this time made by Radtke, 22-3 Zons at the 26 minute mark. Off of the kick-off return the Zons created some space with a grubber kick touched down by scrumhalf Lentsch. This ended the half 27-3 Amazons up.

All Blues came out firing in the second half, creating a turnover off of their kick-off and forward play into the try zone. Chou touched it down within the first 5 minutes. Forward play was the name of the game for the next section of the match, lots of turnovers and loose ball led to a very scrum heavy second half. The Amazons were the first to get it out to the back line and it paid off with a try from fullback Vonada, score now 32-8. More scrumming and back and forth play lead the All Blues into the Amazon red zone, but Braaten got out front with a great kick to bring the Zons back into scoring range, then got the ball again to the try zone which was converted by Radtke. The Zons ended the half with another try by Johnson, also converted by Radtke. Final score 46-8.