The San Diego Mustangs Under 16 and Under 19 rugby teams each began their Southern California Championship quest, with quarter-final playoff matches held on Saturday at Little-Q field, home pitch for the OMBAC Rugby Club. The Mustangs U16 took on Fullerton with the U19 team up against ICEF from Los Angeles, who fielded an athletic and speedy team who had just returned from a two week rugby tour in New Zealand.
In the U16 match the Mustangs started strongly with a penalty kick then converted try from a run by center Alex Lindsay. Fullerton answered back with an unconverted try. Immediately after kick-off, Mustang Aaron Mitchell rumbled 40 yards before he passed on to fellow front row teammate Michael Fogel who scored an unconverted try. The second half saw furious attack from Fullerton who fought back with two more scores, bringing them one point away from the Mustangs with minutes remaining. The Mustangs however closed out the game when Jake Goena scored a classic wingers try in the corner. Final score Mustangs 23, Fullerton 17.
The Mustangs U19 opened their match against ICEF with multi-phased attacks that led to two quick tries. ICEF countered with some gutsy and athletic play and took advantage of a quick penalty tap for a try in the corner. By sticking to a disciplined game plan the Mustangs scored two additional tries to lead at halftime, 22-to 7. In the second half momentum shifted with ICEF being the aggressor and narrowed the score to six points. The battle continued yet domination by the Mustangs led to their eventual win by a score of 46-to-28.
The Mustangs U19 will host the semi-final against inter-league rival San Clemente on Saturday April 28, at 1 p.m. at Little-Q Field with the Mustangs U16 travelling to play South Bay.