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Fallbrook wins Fullerton Youth Rugby International Tournament

One of the Fallbrook Rugby Club girls teams won the March 18-19 Fullerton Youth Rugby International Tournament and the two Fallbrook teams played each other in the semifinals.

"All in all it was a good weekend for everybody," said Fallbrook co-coach Craig Pinnell.

The eight teams in the 15-a-side tournament on the field across from Ladera Vista High School included two from Fallbrook – the Warriors, which consisted of the more veteran players, and the Braves, which were comprised of under-16 and under-14 players with some new under-18 players.

The March 18 pool play matches consisted of 25-minute games. The Warriors had a 31-0 victory over Brantford (Ontario), a 47-0 triumph against the Colton-based Empire club, and a 33-0 win over Smiths Falls (Ontario).

The Braves won their first two pool play games. They defeated Fullerton by a 24-0 margin and rolled over Armada, which is from the British Columbia town of Port Alberni, by a score of 25-0.

The final pool play game for the Braves was against the Coastal Dragons, which consisted of Encinitas and Carlsbad players. The Coastal Dragons won that 17-5 match.

"I thought it was a really good day for the Braves," said Pinnell. "It was a very good day for them even though they lost their last game."

The 2-1 pool record placed the Braves second in their pool. The semifinals pitted one pool's first-place team against the other pool's second-place team, so the Braves and Warriors faced each other in one of the semifinals.

"That was a difficult one for a coach and obviously for the players," Pinnell said.

The semifinal was a 30-minute game and ended as a 14-0 Warriors victory.

Although Coastal Dragons won their pool and Brantford was second in the other pool, Brantford defeated Coastal Dragons in the other semifinal. The Braves faced Coastal Dragons in the third-place game, and in the 30-minute rematch the Braves scored the only try in the 5-0 game.

"That was really good to see – that they could come back and shut them out," said Pinnell.

The championship game between the Warriors and Brantford was also 30 minutes. Brantford became the only team to score against the Warriors, but the Fallbrook club won by a 27-8 margin.

Fallbrook won the Fullerton Youth Rugby International Tournament each year between 2010 and 2014, but the Warriors finished third in 2015 and second last year.

"That's the first time in a while," said Pinnell of the tournament championship.


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