Saint Mary's were impressive Saturday in a friendly against the Olympic Club men's team, playing some expansive rugby in what was an enjoyable friendly match. The Gaels beat O-Club 47-32, but the game was much closer than that, with Saint Mary's scoring their last two tries in the final 90 seconds.
Led by Bubba Jones at flyhalf the Gaels were outstanding with the ball in hand. They ran wild on a developing but injury-hit Olympic Club backline. Olympic, for their part, fielded a close-to-full-strength pack, and were impressive. Their lineout-and-maul was excellent and caused St. Mary's problems.
"They really schooled us in several of the finer points of the game," said Saint Mary's Head Coach Tim O'Brien. "They mauling was extraordinary and we learned a lot about the chess match aspect of the game."
Meanwhile Olympic Club Head Coach Ray Lehner was pleased with his forward effort and said his backline is improving.
"We did well running our forwards off our #9, and I think we took a few steps forward as a team," he said. "But St. mary's is such a great outfit. I was very impressed. We tried to play a more forward-oriented game, as befits an older, perhaps less fit side."
Olympic Club certainly missed Rod Weedon in the backs, but overall, it was St. Mary's adventurous play and solid execution that saw them through.
Story by Alex Goff (www.rugbymag.com) (Mike Geib photos)