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.