On the Pitch – February 26th, 2022

The final week of February saw all the Oaks teams on the pitch! As all teams are getting to the midpoint of their seasons, we are excited to see how all teams and players are all progressing so incredibly well! Also, a little sneak peak of what’s to come, March 12 th we have ALL the Oaks teams playing in Chico on the day! We will be in the stadium and the grass at PV playing all day. We will be celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Chico Oaks Youth program and the 20-year reunion of the Chico Mighty Oaks National Championship. More info to come on that VERY soon.
Please see below for the coaches writeups on their matches:

WHITE OAKS – by Coach Buck
Saturday was a beautiful day to play and watch rugby. The U-10’s showed up strong with 17 players. The
White Oaks challenger for the day was Gridley, also showing up strong with 15. Chico and Gridley met
on the well set up field and rugby commenced. We had four well called games Ref’d by Ernesto. Great
job and thank you Ernie, that is not an easy thing to do. Both teams came out strong and put some quick
scores on the board. Chico prevented some scores with relentless defense and great tackling by Wyatt,
Joe, Kanyon, Kellen, Parker, Meadow, Collin and Milo to name a few. Daniel, Benjamin, Benicio, Issac,
Adrian, Brayton, Westin, Lucas and Davis had good play on the pitch as well.  Overall Chico played well
showing improvement in rucking and had successful passing in open play.
While showing improvement in some areas the White Oaks still need to get better in others. After Chico
makes a tackle, they need to NOT pile up behind the tackle, instead they need to fan out on defense
across the field to shut down any efforts made by their opponents to get the ball wide.  Improvement
can also be made by Chico after the tackle has been made to set up and get ready for the next phase
and not bunch up at the breakdown making it hard for the scrum half to get the ball out of the ruck and
distribute as necessary. It’s exciting to see all our kid’s playing rugby. They are amazing. They play hard
and are making good progress in learning the game. We are all very proud and extremely appreciative of
every player and their families on our team.

GRAY OAKS – by Coach Brian
The Gray Oaks showed up to the pitch on Saturday ready to play some rugby against a game squad from
Gridley.  From the start, the boys moved the ball around and found some nice open field to run and
quickly scored a few tries. Gridley kept the pressure on and answered back with a few tries of their own
with some nice running by their bigger and stronger forwards. The match was a back-and-forth affair with both teams giving it their all. Gridley did a nice job of rucking and running their forwards, while Chico did a good job of getting the ball to their quicker backs to set the pace.  Chico had solid backline play from Kiernan, Tyson, and Cruz while the forwards were led by Cairo, Raulie and Liam.  Overall, it was a wonderful day for the boys as they continue to grow and learn how to play as a team.  
Well done Gray Oaks!

RED OAKS – by Coach Mitch
It’s always good to play at home! For the second weekend this season the Oaks were able to host!
Playing in the grass at PV, although the ground was hard, it was nice to be “home”!
Kickoff saw Barbarian rugby take advantage of the Oaks defense. One of the things we really need to
work on is recognizing overloads and spreading the field. This led to 4 or 5 of the visitor’s tries on the
It took Chico about 30 minutes to get it together and start putting out some effort. Once they started to
chase kicks and work together, get together on defense by setting their posts etc. The match turned
around a bit.
Chico scored 4 tries on the day. Gavin got 2, Henry scored 1 and Linc scored as well. All off great effort
and hustle. James was ALL over the field on the day as well.
The boys have 4 weeks left and we are looking forward to more improvement!!
They reconvene on the pitch this Saturday in Gridley taking on Elk Grove. It should be another great

WILD OAKS – by Coach Rau
What makes this game so much fun as a coach is to see the progression of your players from week to
Visiting and playing the Amazons club was a fun experience for all the Lady Wild Oaks since the girls got
to interact with a lot of their players who were happy to join us since we only arrived with 7 players.
Mother lode and Lamorinda were the other teams to play with 7 players a piece also, so there was no
shortage of playing time for the girls. 
We played 4 games in the space of 2 hours so didn’t get much rest, but the girls sucked it up. 
Great day had by all.
PS. Guess I should start keeping score ‘cause I have no clue what any of the game scores were.

BLACK OAKS – by Coach Bill
The Black Oaks took the pitch last Saturday, February 26 with our mostly Jr. Varsity side against Elk
Grove who out-weighed our team by many stone. The scrimmage was four twenty-minute periods
captained by Malu Evalu and Joey McKellar.
The larger Elk Grove club outscored our boys, but the Oaks ran a beautiful defensive line, nonetheless.
Additionally, the Oaks plays in the pack and the back line were well-executed and far above the level of
the Elk Grove side. The mostly varsity Elk Grove club were tough to tackle and ultimately out-weighed
and out-scored the Oaks by many tries, but the Oaks were tough throughout the four periods and

played hard to the last whistle! We’ll be working on our defensive launch, which, if we were a bit more
disciplined and eager, would have significant in the outcome of our match.
The Oaks positively improved our play this week and we look forward to our regular season match play.
With continued improvement, we show tremendous promise against upcoming contenders and will
inevitably bring home clear victories this season. We look forward to our next two weeks at home where
we can show off our skill on the pitch.

KNOTTY OAKS – by anonymous
On Feb 27th the Knotty Oaks once again supported the Reno Battle Born Babes on the pitch in an away
game. This match was against the Sam Jose Seahawks, and was the perfect example of rugby culture. A
tight battle of ball handling and sportsmanship raged for 90 minutes as some unlucky injuries caused
stoppages to play. 
A tough effort by the Seahawks managed to block several tries by the combined Knotty Babes, resulting
in the win going to San Jose. The home team struggled against our forwards in rucks and set pieces, but
we couldn’t convert that effort into points. Amazing efforts were put forth by our flankers, locks, and
President Luna who was moved to inside center.
We’re looking forward to our bye week this coming Saturday to recover and plan our attack against the
Sacramento Amazons at home on the 12 th of March.

MIGHTY OAKS – by Coach Cheese
On February 26th the Mighty Oaks were scheduled to take on the San Joaquin Harlots in Modesto,
California. The rugby gods blessed us with calm, cloudy, cool 60° day at kick off.
The Mighty Oaks kicked off at 1pm sharp. Unfortunately, they gave up 3 tries in the 4th, 8th and 32nd
minute to be down 15-0. In the 36th minute the Mighty Oaks offense finally strung multiple phases
together. They broke the Harlots defensive line and with a quick pick to weak side they scored their 1st
try to bring the game to 15-7 right before halftime. The Mighty Oaks came out of halftime revitalized
and eager to earn their 1st victory of the season. Chico and San Joaquin traded a pair of scores by the
48th minute. With the score 20-12 in San Joaquin’s favor, Chico had to dig deep to find a way to win.
Then suddenly Chico found a way to score 3 tries in a row all with successful conversions to take the
lead 31-20. With 17 minutes left in the match, all Chico had to do was play solid defense and maintain
possession. During the final 10 minutes Chico’s defense gave up 2 tries, with the last in the 79th minute.
With Chico up 31-30 in dead time it came down to the conversion kick followed by 1 final phase. As the
Harlots kicker set up, the Mighty Oak players watched with anticipation. As the kick left the foot it
looked like it was a great strike but sailed just to the left of the goal post. With 1 final phase left in the
match and a slim lead, Chico was set to kick off. San Joaquin corralled the kick and was able to run
multiple phases, but Chico’s defense stepped up and forced a penalty. This sealed the Mighty Oaks 1st
victory of the year.
The Mighty Oaks have shown improvement every week in all aspects of the game. At the mid-way point
of the season, they seem to be gelling as a team and are looking to turn around the season. This week
the Mighty Oaks have a much-needed bye to let players heal up and get ready for an important 2nd half.

This coming weekend finds the Knotty and Mighty Oaks on a bye taking advantage of a much-needed
bye. The Black Oaks JV team will be traveling to Sacramento and the White, Gray, Red and Wild Oaks will
be back in Gridley, sort of their home a way of home on the season. When match times come available,
we will be sharing ASAP!
Coach Mitch

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