What a great weekend of rugby for all the Chico Oaks. We had all teams on the pitch in one way or another. Here are the game recaps from the respected coaches of each team:

WHITE OAKS (U-10’s) Coach Ernie

This past Saturday, the White Oaks traveled south with 9 players to Elk Grove for the Kickoff Tournament. It was a beautiful day for Rugby.  

Our first match was against the very tough Kaji team out of the Sacramento area. We did pretty well in the first half, as were able to ruck and find space. The second half was a little tougher, as Kaji made better adjustments in the 2nd half. A quick side note, since we were short one player, Kaji was gracious to lend us one of their players, Aby and he did an awesome job for us.

The second match of the day was against River City/Elk Grove combo. This was a tough match for the White Oaks, it was difficult to find space, due to the stingy defense. But we fought hard and never gave up. The highlight of the game was that we played a player down the entire match with no subs for the entire day. The lesson of the day was to build character. Sometimes in life/rugby, things don’t go your way or according to plan. I was proud of the team, as we focused on the small task such rucking and tackling.

The final match of the day was against Elk Grove, and it was our best match of the day. We were tenacious on the tackles and the rucks. We also used our kicking to elevate pressure from our end. Overall, this day was a great experience for the boys. They battled through each game, didn’t give up when things didn’t go their way, and finished their day on a positive.  

GRAY OAKS (U-12’s) – Coach Ivan

On Saturday, the Grey oaks played in three games against Sac pal, Elk Grove and River city.  In all three games they played with their hearts on their sleeves.  But in the last game they really showed it. Even though everyone was dead tired they came out and gave it their all and played their best game of the day. 

RED OAKS (middle school boys) AND BLACK OAKS (JV high school boys) – Coach Mitch

Both the Red and Black Oak boys’ teams had a bye this weekend, so we gathered at PV to play touch before we all hung out and watched the Mighty Oaks took on Berkley in the stadium at 1:00pm.

With 3 of us coaches out there we rounded out the numbers to have three 7 a side teams. It was super fun to run with the boys! We were able to help them recognize quite a bit of skills/patterns etc while on the pitch. A few things that they got considerably better at were following the ball after the pass, staying in their lanes, and not drifting, launching up on defense and finally attacking the gain line at pace while running plays. Ironically, there is a lot of room to improve still!

After we finished, the boys all went into the stadium and watched the Mighty Oaks match. I wasn’t able to watch the boys in the stands, but Coach Art was and he mentioned later that day it was a good match and he got the idea it really gave the boys an idea of what needs to happen. They were able to see the lessons they learned playing touch happening on the pitch by the men’s teams playing.

WILD OAKS (middle school girls) – Coach Rau

Wow. What a wild day of rugby for the Middle school girls’ team of Chico.

The Wild Oaks made the trek to Livermore this Saturday to play what we thought was going to be 3 maybe 4 games of 7s rugby but because Land Park showed with only 4 girls, we played our scheduled games and theirs. That gave us 7 total games with 13 girls.

The girls stepped up to the challenge and played some awesome rugby with everyone getting their share of play time. At the end of the day, the 3 wins and 4 loss record could not justify how tough they played, especially against the more experienced teams of Sac Pal (2 teams) and Lamorinda.

Great way to start what I see is going to be a fun productive season.

Injury Report: lots of bumps and bruises. Some turf burns from the playing surface but all is good.

*** SIDE NOTE – It’s been said that the picture you see of Coach Rau sitting, was the ONLY 5 minutes he sat all day! We are super excited to have him leading our Girls program!!! Thanks Coach. 

KNOTTY OAKS (women’s club) – Coach Cheese
On a beautiful, sunny Saturday  in Sparks, Nevada our own Knotty Oaks traveled to join Reno’s Battle Born Babes, to form the Knotty Babes. They took on a combined effort of the EPA Razorbacks and Fresno Golden Dogs.
 For 80 minutes an immense battle between two teams occurred. In the opening minutes EPA broke the defensive line and scored a quick try against Reno. On the insuing possession the suffocating defense of Reno and Chico forced a turnover that the Knotty Babes quickly turned into a try. For the next 10 minutes it was a back and forth effort to gain an upper hand between both teams. At the 20th minute the score was 14-12 with EPA on top. Unfortunately EPA and Fresno were just too much for the Knotty Babes to contain. Some unforced errors and some bad luck doomed the Knotty Babes at the end of the day.
The social was held at Packs and Pints in Sparks, Nevada. The Knotty Babes dominated the infamous “Marrying Kind” song and the many others that were sung. The boat race was also won by the Knotty Babes by a large margin. All in all it was great day for the Knotty Oaks and Battle Born Babes. This week the Knotty Babes travel to San Jose to take on the Seahawks.
Cheers and good luck to the Knotty Babes this weekend.

Addendum: The coaches of the Knotty Oaks are still undefeated in beer pong now in multiple states.

MIGHTY OAKS (men’s club) – by the Touch Judge

Beautiful weather welcomed the Berkley’s men’s club to Chico! The Mighty Oaks decided to play in the stadium on the weekend and a good crowd showed up to take in the match.

The game kicked off a bit late and was very evenly played for the first 20 minutes. The game was tied 7-7 before the visitors got some momentum and put in 3 more tries before half. That put the score 26-7 at the half.

Chico roared back in the second half scoring 3 tries of their own and converting 2 of them to Berkley’s 1 unconverted try. That made the score 31-26.

The Mighty Oaks kept playing hard the whole match. Following a missed penalty kick by Berkley, the Oaks were able gain possession of the ball. Rucking well, they drove the ball inside their opponents 22 but couldn’t find the try zone.

The final was Berkley 31 Chico 26. Great game to watch. The boys played very physical rugby hitting hard and running at pace. This is the first match I’ve got to watch this season, but from what I’ve heard they have improved each week! With this extremely young team, many Black Oak alumni over the past 4-5 years, I’m for one, very excited about the future of the Mighty Oaks!!

All teams are back in action the week of February 26th, which includes the White, Gray and Red Oaks all playing at PV on Saturday. More info to come later in the week.


Mitch Jagoe

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