Santa Monica's Heliodoro Robles on the attack against Eagle Rock on Saturday. Dolphin U16 boys started the day with a convincing 17-10 win (photo by C. Crego)

The Santa Monica Rugby Club dominated Eagle Rock Athletic Club in league rugby play Saturday. 

The Dolphin U16 boys started the day with a convincing 17-10 win. The Dolphins pressured ERAC from the opening kickoff and scored early with great forward play resulting in a try by Chris “Kentucky” Collins. Captain Nadav Djiji took advantage of a ERAC penalty and took a quick tap, dashing by himself over the goal line for SMRC’s second score.

An errant clearing kick by Djiji midway through the second half turned out to be tactically successful as wing Brett Tulchin sprinted 40 yards to outmaneuver the ERAC fullback and snatch the bouncing ball. A deft dive over the try-line secured the victory for the Dolphins. ERAC scored in the last play of the match, but it was too little too late.

Next up were the U19 Girls. Coming off last week’s victory over Cantwell, the Dolphin girls came out strong and smothered the Eagle Rock attack, keeping them scoreless. The Dolphins’ back-line was lightning fast, chalking up four tries. The 20-0 victory was well-received by coach Nikila Flagg.  

“Our girls are really coming together as a team,” Flagg said. “The backs and forwards are linking up and we look forward to continued improvement next week.”  

The girls travel to Antelope Valley on Saturday to face the SCRFU 2008 champions.

The U19 Boys came out firing on all cylinders against ERAC. Select-side Lonnie Shankling had a hat-trick, seemingly running at will through the Eagle Rock defense. Flanker Chris Ralphs took a line-out ball at the five-meter line and battled his way into the end zone for the score. Dolphin captain Carlos Martinez led from the front, dotting down a try himself mid-way through the first half. In the final minutes, Santa Monica’s back-line passed the ball through the hands until it reached reserve winger Wendell Lazaro who easily ran around the ERAC opposition to seal the 34-10 victory for the Dolphins.

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