Witter Field, Piedmont–

The PITS Ruggers opened up their season under the lights at Witter Field on Friday night.  They squared off against the Marin Highlanders who have already played 2 league games.  The two teams spent the first 20 minutes testing each others’ defenses for weak spots without either team making any serious threats.

But at the 25 minute mark, the Marin team took advantage of a free kick from a penalty and ran in from 2 yards out for the score.  The conversion was good, and the  boys from across the San Rafael bridge led 7-0.  The teams settled into a back and forth game, even though the Piedmont ruggers were playing one man down due to a yellow card for a high tackle.

The PITS club turned on the offense for a series shortly before the half ended.  Everett Ellis, playing wing and out of his normal No. 8 slot, scored on a very nice pass, catch and 40 yard run.  There were no extra points added as the conversion kick sailed wide.  At the intermission, the PITS boys were down 7-5.

In the second half, all the scoring was from Marin, but every point was hard fought.  The Marin team scored one try for five points, and then with just a little time left in the game, they added some insurance with a quick penalty kick for 3 points.  For their first league game, the Piedmont team came out on the bottom, 15-5.  The visitors named Captains Mason Willrich and Fiachra Collins each “man of the match” which is the designation of the best play through the entire game from the opposing team.

Playing down a player for most of the game due to penalties did not help the home team ruggers. The PITS boys committed a number of mental errors that did not exist in Canada.  This was a tough test for the Piedmont team as the Marin team is clearly the cream of the Redwood league.  PITS missed two earlier league games due to weather which showed in this effort.  Going forward, they will need to focus on not committing penalties, or it will be a long season, indeed.