Updated: Jan 30
The 2023 season has kicked off in Arizona, as Camelback has taken the field in their first game of the season. After a great preseason, the Camelback players wanted to establish their new presence in Arizona Rugby by taking on an old rival, Phoenix Rugby Club. The boys were ready, right at kick-off hooker Sam Vulaca. secured the ball and made a mad charge toward the Phoenix side. Camelback moved the ball well and got on the scoreboard early with a nice team try by Brendon Best and a conversion by Richie Sefo.
The first half was full of excitement, with great runs, crushing tackles, and beautiful passing, this was not reflected in the score of Camelback 7 Phoenix 6, a close game reminiscent of the last time the two teams met in the December rain at Loud Fest.
Early into the second-half plays by props William Krieger and first-game rookie Cyrus Peterson gave Camelback their next few tries.
Phoenix embodying the spirit of Rugby refused to give up and scored their first try of the game after fighting for control next to the try line. Both teams dug deep into their souls and played the final twenty minutes at some of the best Rugby the crowd had ever seen. The game came to an end near the Camelback try line as the team held Phoenix back, throwing everything they had in the final second of play. The final whistle blew and the score of 26-13 gave Camelback their first win of the 2023 season.
After a great third half held at Rico’s bar and grill the two teams celebrated the day and held a boat race for their men of the match. This season the goal of the club will be to “overcome” says head coach Mark Pekarik, as the team looks to grow the new players and push for the excellence that Arizona Rugby is becoming known for. “We got the result we have been looking for, now let's build on this,” said coach Molesi Vaoga after Saturday’s big game.
Next week Camelback will be hosting two games against Las Vegas starting with their A side match-up, followed by a competitive old boys and new boys B side match. Come check out the games and follow the team as they work towards greatness in the Southwest Rugby Division.